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The American Revolutionary War Portal

""Clockwise from top left: Battle of Bunker Hill, Death of Montgomery at Quebec, Battle of Cowpens, "Moonlight Battle"
The "American Revolutionary War began as a war between the "Kingdom of Great Britain and "thirteen united former British colonies on the "North American continent, and ended in a "global war between several European "great powers. The war was the culmination of the political "American Revolution and intellectual "American Enlightenment, whereby the colonists rejected the "right of the "Parliament of Great Britain to govern them "without representation. In 1775, revolutionaries gained "control of each of the thirteen colonial governments, set up an alliance called the "Second Continental Congress, and formed a "Continental Army. "Petitions to the king to intervene with the parliament on their behalf resulted in "Congress being declared traitors and the states in rebellion the following year. The Americans responded by formally "declaring their "independence as a new "nation, the "United States of America, claiming "sovereignty and rejecting any "allegiance to the British monarchy. In 1777 the Continentals "captured a British army, leading to "France entering the war on the side of the Americans in early 1778, and evening the military strength with Britain. "Spain and the "Dutch Republic – French allies – also went to war with Britain over the next two years.

Throughout the war, the British were able to use their naval superiority to capture and occupy coastal cities, but control of the countryside (where 90% of the population lived) largely eluded them due to their relatively small land army. French involvement proved decisive, with a French naval "victory in the Chesapeake leading to the surrender of a second British army at "Yorktown in 1781. In 1783, the "Treaty of Paris ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded by what is now Canada to the north, "Florida to the south, and the "Mississippi River to the west.

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""Royal Savage is shown run aground and burning, while British ships fire on her (watercolor by unknown artist, ca. 1925).
The naval "Battle of Valcour Island took place on October 11, 1776, on "Lake Champlain. The battle is generally regarded as one of the first "naval battles of the "American Revolutionary War, and one of the first fought by the "United States Navy. The "Continental Army had retreated from "Quebec to "Fort Ticonderoga and "Fort Crown Point in June 1776 after British forces were massively reinforced. They spent the summer of 1776 fortifying those forts, and building additional ships to augment the small American fleet already on the lake. British General "Guy Carleton had a 9,000-man army at "Fort Saint-Jean, but needed to build a fleet to carry it on the lake. By early October, the British fleet, which significantly outgunned the American fleet, was ready for launch. On October 11, "Benedict Arnold drew the British fleet to the strait between "Valcour Island and the western shore, a position he had carefully chosen to limit British advantages. In the battle that followed, many of the American ships were damaged or destroyed. That night, Arnold snuck the American fleet past the British one, beginning a retreat toward Crown Point and Ticonderoga. Unfavorable weather hampered the American retreat, and more of the fleet was either captured or grounded and burned before it could reach Crown Point. Upon reaching Crown Point Arnold had the fort's buildings burned and retreated to Ticonderoga.

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""Holman, Cape St Vincent.jpg
The moonlight Battle off Cape St. Vincent
Credit: Ctrl-Z
The moonlight "Battle off Cape St Vincent, 16 January 1780 by Francis Holman, painted in "1780 shows the Santo Domingo exploding, with "Rodney's flagship

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""Portrait of George Washington-transparent.png
"George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the first "President of the "United States, (1789–1797), after leading the "Continental Army to victory over the "Kingdom of Great Britain in the "American Revolutionary War (1775–1783).

Washington was chosen to be the "commander-in-chief of the American revolutionary forces in 1775. The following year, he forced the "British out of Boston, but was defeated when he "lost New York City later that year. He revived the patriot cause, however, by crossing the "Delaware River "in New Jersey and defeating the surprised enemy units. As a result of his strategy, Revolutionary forces captured the two main British combat armies — "Saratoga and "Yorktown. Negotiating with Congress, the colonial states, and "French allies, he held together a tenuous army and a fragile nation amid the threats of disintegration and failure. Following the end of the war in 1783, Washington retired to his plantation on "Mount Vernon.

Washington became President of the United States in 1789 and established many of the customs and usages of the "new government's executive department. Although never officially joining the "Federalist Party, he supported its programs and was its inspirational leader. Washington's "farewell address was a primer on republican virtue and a stern warning against involvement in foreign wars.

Washington is seen as a symbol of the United States and "republicanism in practice. His devotion to "civic virtue made him an exemplary figure among early "American politicians. Washington died in 1799, and in his funeral oration, "Henry Lee said that of all Americans, he was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." Washington has been consistently ranked by scholars as one of the "greatest U.S. Presidents.

Selected ships and units

""Philadelphia on display at the National Museum of American History
"Philadelphia was a gunboat (referred to in contemporary documents as a "gundalow or gondola) of the "Continental Navy. Manned by "Continental Army soldiers, she was part of a fleet which, under the command of General "Benedict Arnold, fought in the "Battle of Valcour Island against a larger "Royal Navy fleet on "Lake Champlain in October 1776. Although many of the American boats in the battle were damaged in the October 11 battle, Philadelphia was one of the few that actually sank that day. In 1935 amateur military marine archaeologist Lorenzo Hagglund located her remains standing upright at the bottom of Lake Champlain, and had her raised. Bequeathed to the "Smithsonian Institution in 1961, Philadelphia and associated artifacts are part of the permanent collection of the "National Museum of American History, in "Washington, D.C. She is listed on the "National Register of Historic Places and is a "National Historic Landmark.

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