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George Washington

Commander of the Continental Army, first Commander-in-Chief.

William Howe

English General who commanded the English forces at Bunker Hill.

Nathanael Greene

American general of Rhode Island, helped to turn the tide against Cornwallis and his British army.

Benedict Arnold

Successful American general during the revolution who turned traitor and joined the British cause.

John Burgoyne

British general who captured Fort Ticonderoga from the Americans but lost at the battle of Saratoga.

Charles Cornwallis

Commanding general of the British forces that were defeated at Yorktown, ending the American Revolution.

Thomas Paine

Wrote the pamphlet "Common Sense" arguing for American independence from Britain. Also published "The Rights of Man".

Barry St. Leger

Led British Army, Tried to take Fort Stanwix but American Benedict Arnold drove him back.

George Rogers Clark

Seized British forts on the southwestern frontier.

Richard Henry Lee

Proposed the resolution calling for independence of the American colonies.

Horatio Gates

Defeated General Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga.

John Paul Jones

American naval commander in the American Revolution.

Thomas Jefferson

He was a delegate from Virginia at the Second Continental Congress and wrote the Declaration of Independence.

Marquis de Lafayette

French soldier who joined General Washington's staff and became a general in the Continental Army.

Admiral de Grasse

A French admiral that had a powerful fleet in the West Indies which he offered to Washington to help in an attack on Cornwallis at Yorktown.

Patrick Henry

A famous orator who spoke out against British rule of the American colonies.

Comte de Rochambeau

French general who commanded French troops in the American Revolution, notably at Yorktown.

John Jay

United States diplomat and jurist who negotiated peace treaties with Britain and served as the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Ethan Allen

Leader of the Green Mountain Boys.

Abigial Adams

Wife of John Adams. John Adams frequently sought the advice of his wife. Wrote him letters regarding women's rights and her dislike for slavery.

Richard Montgomery

Former British officer who captured Montreal for the colonies.

George III

King of England during the American Revolution.


Hired soldiers.

natural rights

The idea that all humans are born with rights, which include the right to life, liberty, and property.


Privately owned armed ships specifically authorized by congress to prey on enemy shipping.


A philosophy of limited government with elected representatives serving at the will of the people. The government is based on consent of the governed.

natural arisotracy

Letter written by Thomas Jefferson addressed to John Adams. Concerned the subject of aristocracy achieved by meritocracy.

popular consent

The idea that a just government must derive its powers from the consent of the people it governs.

civic virtue

Notion that democracy depended on unselfish commitment to the public good.

Second Continental Congress

It met in 1776 and drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence, which justified the Revolutionary War and declared that the colonies should be independent of Britain.

Common Sense

A pamphlet written by Thomas Paine that claimed the colonies had a right to be an independent nation.

Declaration of Independence

The document recording the proclamation of the second Continental Congress asserting the independence of the colonies from Great Britain.


American colonists or British citizens who remained loyal to Britain and opposed the war for independence


Patriots were rebellious colonists and the Whigs were their English counterparts.

Treaty of Paris 1783

Treaty Between England and the Colonies , formally ended the American Revolutionary War.

Bunker Hill

The first important battle of the American War of Independence.

Battle of Saratoga

Turning point of the American Revolution. It was very important because it convinced the French to give the U.S. military support.

Battle of Yorktown

Final battle of the war, in which French and American forces led by George Washington defeated British General Cornwallis.


German soldiers hired to fight with British forces.

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