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The American Revolutionary War was a war fought between Great Britain and the original 13 British colonies in America. The war took place from 1775 to 1783.
The American Army (Army of the colonies), led by George Washington, and other generals, defeated the armies of the British Empire. The colonies became independent, which meant that the British Empire was no longer in charge of them.
After the French and Indian War, the colonists began to think that they were not getting their "rights as freeborn Englishman". This meant they wanted to be treated fairly by the English government. Part of this was because of the Proclamation of 1763, but it was mainly caused by new taxes the British made the colonies pay for the war. Americans called this "No taxation without representation", meaning that the colonists should not have to pay taxes unless they had votes in the British Parliament. These taxes included the Sugar Act (1764), Stamp Act (1765), Townshend Duties (1767), and Tea Act (1773). Each tax led to more unity between the colonies.
In 1770, colonists in Boston known as the Sons of Liberty got in a fight with British soldiers. This became known as the Boston Massacre. After the Tea Act, the Sons of Liberty dumped hundreds of boxes of tea in a river. This was known as the Boston Tea Party (1773). This led to the British Army taking over Boston.
After that, leaders of the 13 colonies formed a group called the Continental Congress. Many people were members of the Continental Congress, but some of the more important ones were Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, Roger Sherman and John Jay.
In 1776, Thomas Paine wrote a pamphlet called Common Sense. It argued that the colonies should be free of English rule. This was based on the English ideas of natural rights and social contract put forth by John Locke and others. On July 4, 1776, people from 13 colonies agreed to the United States Declaration of Independence. This said that they were free and independent states, and were not part of England any more.
The colonists were already fighting Britain in the Revolutionary War at this time. The Revolutionary War started in 1775 at Lexington and Concord. Though American soldiers under George Washington lost many battles to the British, they won a major victory at Saratoga in 1777. This led to France and Spain joining the war on the side of the Americans. In 1781, an American victory at Yorktown helped by the French led Britain to decide to stop fighting and give up the colonies. America had won the war and its independence.