The American War of Independence, known in the United States primarily as the American War of Independence or American Revolutionary War was the conflict which, between April 19, 1775 and September 3, 1783, opposed the Thirteen North American colonies, which later became the United States of America, to their motherland, the Kingdom of Great Britain.

When did this war start and why?

The war started in 1778 as a local independence rebellion, but it  turned into a global conflict between the great European powers for dominance over the seas and colonial territories. France entered the war alongside the Americans and, in alliance also with Spain and the United Provinces, sought to challenge British dominance and to obtain revenge after the defeat in the Seven Years’ War. Britain, on the other hand, was able to strengthen its expeditionary force in America by recruiting numerous contingents of German mercenary troops, the so-called Hessians, supplied, for remuneration in money, by Hesse-Kassel, the Electorate of Hanover and other small German states.

London required American people to help pay for the expenses of the vast North American “empire”. After the Seven Years’ War, in fact, England was in serious economic difficulties which it tried to remedy with two fundamental measures: the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act; moreover, the motherland reaffirmed its industrial monopoly by effectively forbidding the autonomous development of the colonies, caring, as was obvious, not so much about their particular interests as the global interests of the empire. In fact, neither side nor the other existed an open will to fight and the colonies served as a pure source of raw materials useful for English development.

Who won the war?

After ups and downs, the British defeat at Yorktown against the Franco-American forces led by General George Washington and General Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau marked a decisive turning point in the war. The Treaty of Paris, signed in 1783, officially put an end to the conflict, already concluded between 1781 and 1782. With the peace, the United States were recognized by the United Kingdom, which had to cede Senegal, Saint Lucia and Tobago, Florida and Minorca to Spain and its Asian colonies to the United Provinces. France, however, despite some successes, failed to wrest the dominion of the seas from Great Britain and the British crown retained possession of the Antilles and Canada while much of India remained under the control of the British East India Company.

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Salvatore Giammello- Istituto comprensivo “O.G.De Cruyllas” Ramacca. Docente : Marilena Tamburino



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