The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Charles Thomson was an Irish-born Patriot leader in Philadelphia during the American Revolution and the secretary of the Continental Congress throughout its existence. Thomson was born in Gorteade townland, Maghera parish, County Londonderry, Ireland, to Scots-Irish parents. After the death of his mother in 1739, his father, John Thomson, emigrated to the British colonies in America with Charles and two or three brothers. John Thomson died at sea, his possessions stolen, the penniless boys were separated on arrival at New Castle, Delaware. Charles was first cared for by a blacksmith in New Castle and was educated in New London, Pennsylvania. In 1750 he became a tutor in Latin at the Philadelphia Academy. During the French and Indian War, Thomson was an opponent of the Pennsylvania proprietors' American Indian policies, he served as secretary at the Treaty of Easton, wrote An Enquiry into the Causes of the Alienation of the Delaware and Shawanese Indians from the British Interest, which blamed the war on the proprietors.
He was allied with Benjamin Franklin, the leader of the anti-proprietary party, but the two men parted politically during the Stamp Act crisis in 1765. Thomson became a leader of Philadelphia's Sons of Liberty, he was married to the sister of Benjamin Harrison V, another signer, as delegate, of the Declaration of Independence. Thomson was a leader in the revolutionary crisis of the early 1770s. John Adams called him the "Samuel Adams of Philadelphia". Thomson served as the secretary of the Continental Congress through its entirety. Through those 15 years, the Congress saw many delegates come and go, but Thomson's dedication to recording the debates and decisions provided continuity. Along with John Hancock, president of the Congress, Thomson's name appeared on the first published version of the Declaration of Independence in July 1776. Thomson's role as secretary to Congress was not limited to clerical duties. According to biographer Boyd Schlenther, Thomson "took a direct role in the conduct of foreign affairs."
Fred S. Rolater has suggested that Charles Thomson was the "Prime Minister of the United States". Thomson is noted for designing, with William Barton, the Great Seal of the United States; the Great Seal played a prominent role in the January 1784, ratification of the Treaty of Paris. Britain's representatives in Paris disputed the placement of the Great Seal and Congressional President Thomas Mifflin's signature, until mollified by Benjamin Franklin, but Thomson's service was not without its critics. James Searle, a close friend of John Adams, a delegate, began a cane fight on the floor of Congress against Thomson over a claim that he was misquoted in the "Minutes" that resulted in both men being slashed in the face; such brawls on the floor were not uncommon, many of them were promoted by argument over Thomson's recordings. Political disagreements prevented Thomson from getting a position in the new government created by the United States Constitution. Thomson resigned as secretary of Congress in July 1789 and handed over the Great Seal, bringing an end to the Continental Congress.
He spent his final years at Harriton House in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania working on a translation of the Bible. He published a synopsis of the four evangelists in 1815. In retirement, Thomson pursued his interests in agricultural science and beekeeping; as Secretary of Congress, Thomson chose what to include in the official journals of the Continental Congress. He prepared a work of over 1000 pages that covered the political history of the American Revolution. After leaving office, he chose to destroy this work, stating his desire to avoid "contradict all the histories of the great events of the Revolution. Let the world admire the supposed wisdom and valor of our great men, they may adopt the qualities that have been ascribed to them, thus good may be done. I shall not undeceive future generations."According to Thomas Jefferson, writing to John Adams, Thomson became senile in his old age, unable to recognize members of his own household. "Is this life?" Jefferson asked. "It is at most but the life of a cabbage.
In 1853 JW Randolph and Company republished the work incorporating various materials from the Estate provided by Jefferson's literary executor Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The new publication corrected some errors in the original Stockdale publication, including an error in the original publication which Jefferson made note of in a 1785 missive to Thomson: "... Pray ask the favor of Colo Monroe in page 5, line 17, to strike out the words'above the mouth of the Appomattox,' which makes none sense of the passage...". The Historical Printing Society publication removes Thomson's notes from the appendix and instead offers them in footnote form throughout the work according to the original plates to which they refer, he was portrayed in the 1972 film 1776 by Ralston Hill. Thomson is depicted on the seven-cent postal card, Scott Nos. UX68 and UY 25, issued in 1975. Thomson was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1813. Continental Congress Founding Fathers of the United States Thomson's Bible Jane Aitken Schlenther, Boyd Stanley.
"Thomson, Charles". American National Biography Online, February 2000. Charles Thomson at the Database of Classical Scholars The life of Charles Thomson
Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was an agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America that served as its first constitution. It was approved, after much debate, by the Second Continental Congress on November 15, 1777, sent to the states for ratification; the Articles of Confederation came into force on March 1, 1781, after being ratified by all 13 states. A guiding principle of the Articles was to preserve the sovereignty of the states; the weak central government established by the Articles received only those powers which the former colonies had recognized as belonging to king and parliament. The Articles formed a war-time confederation of states, with an limited central government. While unratified, the document was used by the Congress to conduct business, direct the American Revolutionary War, conduct diplomacy with foreign nations, deal with territorial issues and Native American relations; the adoption of the Articles made few perceptible changes in the federal government, because it did little more than legalize what the Continental Congress had been doing.
That body was renamed the Congress of the Confederation. As the Confederation Congress attempted to govern the continually growing American states, delegates discovered that the limitations placed upon the central government rendered it ineffective at doing so; as the government's weaknesses became apparent after Shays' Rebellion, some prominent political thinkers in the fledgling US began asking for changes to the Articles. Their hope was to create a stronger national government; some states met to deal with their trade and economic problems. However, as more states became interested in meeting to change the Articles, a meeting was set in Philadelphia on May 25, 1787; this became the Constitutional Convention. It was agreed that changes would not work, instead the entire Articles needed to be replaced. On March 4, 1789, the government under the Articles was replaced with the federal government under the Constitution; the new Constitution provided for a much stronger federal government by establishing a chief executive and taxing powers.
The political push to increase cooperation among the then-loyal colonies began with the Albany Congress in 1754 and Benjamin Franklin's proposed Albany Plan, an inter-colonial collaboration to help solve mutual local problems. Over the next two decades, some of the basic concepts it addressed would strengthen. With civil disobedience resulting in coercive and quelling measures, the passage of what the colonials referred to as the intolerable acts in the English Parliament, armed skirmishes which resulted in dissidents being proclaimed rebels; these actions eroded the number of Crown Loyalists (aka Tories amongst the colonials and together with the effective propaganda campaign of the Patriot leaders, they caused an increasing number of colonists to begin agitating for independence from the mother country. In 1775, with events outpacing communications, the Second Continental Congress began acting as the provisional government that would run the American Revolutionary War and gain the colonies their collective independence.
It was an era of constitution writing—most states were busy at the task—and leaders felt the new nation must have a written constitution. During the war, Congress exercised an unprecedented level of political, diplomatic and economic authority, it adopted trade restrictions and maintained an army, issued fiat money, created a military code and negotiated with foreign governments. To transform themselves from outlaws into a legitimate nation, the colonists needed international recognition for their cause and foreign allies to support it. In early 1776, Thomas Paine argued in the closing pages of the first edition of Common Sense that the "custom of nations" demanded a formal declaration of American independence if any European power were to mediate a peace between the Americans and Great Britain; the monarchies of France and Spain in particular could not be expected to aid those they considered rebels against another legitimate monarch. Foreign courts needed to have American grievances laid before them persuasively in a "manifesto" which could reassure them that the Americans would be reliable trading partners.
Without such a declaration, Paine concluded, "he custom of all courts is against us, will be so, until, by an independence, we take rank with other nations."Beyond improving their existing association, the records of the Second Continental Congress show that the need for a declaration of independence was intimately linked with the demands of international relations. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution before the Continental Congress declaring the colonies independent. Congress created three overlapping committees to draft the Declaration, a Model Treaty, the Articles of Confederation; the Declaration announced the states' entry into the international system. On June 12, 1776
The Continental Marines were the naval infantry force of the American Colonies during the American Revolutionary War. The Corps was formed by the Continental Congress on November 10, 1775 and was disbanded in 1783, their mission was multi-purpose, but their most important duty was to serve as onboard security forces, protecting the captain of a ship and his officers. During naval engagements marine sharpshooters were stationed in the fighting tops of the ships' masts, were supposed to shoot the opponent's officers, naval gunners, helmsmen. In all, there were 131 Colonial marine officers and no more than 2,000 enlisted Colonial marines. Though individual marines were enlisted for the few U. S. naval vessels, the organization would not be re-created until 1798. Despite the gap between the disbanding of the Continental Marines and the current organization, the Continental Marines' successor, U. S. Marine Corps, marks November 10, 1775 as its inception. In accordance with the Continental Marine Act of 1775, the 2nd Continental Congress decreed: That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one Colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, two majors and other officers, as usual in other regiments.
These two battalions were intended be drawn from George Washington's army for the planned invasion of Halifax, Nova Scotia, the main British reinforcement and supply point. In reality only one battalion was formed by December, with five companies and a total of about 300 men. Plans to form the second battalion were suspended indefinitely after several British regiments-of-foot and cavalry, supported by 3,000 Hessian mercenaries, landed in Nova Scotia, making the planned amphibious assault impossible. Washington was reluctant to support the Marines, suggested that they be recruited from New York or Philadelphia instead; the Continental Marines' only Commandant was Captain Samuel Nicholas, commissioned on 28 November 1775. Though legend places its first recruiting post at Tun Tavern, historian Edwin Simmons surmises that it was more the Conestoga Waggon, a tavern owned by the Nicholas family. Robert Mullen, whose mother owned Tun Tavern received a commission as a captain in June 1776 and used it as his recruiting rendezvous.
Four additional Marine Security Companies were raised and helped George Washington defend Philadelphia. Marines were used by the US to carry out amphibious landings and raids during the American Revolution. Marines joined Commodore Esek Hopkins of the Continental Navy's first squadron on its first cruise in the Caribbean, they landed twice in the Bahamas, to seize naval stores from the British. The first landing, named the Battle of Nassau, led by Captain Samuel Nicholas, consisted of 250 marines and sailors who landed in New Providence and marched to Nassau Town. There, they wreaked much damage and seized naval stores of shot and cannon, but failed to capture any of the needed gunpowder; the second landing, led by a Lieutenant Trevet, landed at night and captured several ships along with the naval stores. Sailing back to Rhode Island, the squadron captured four small prize ships; the squadron returned on 8 April 1776, with 7 dead marines and four wounded. Though Hopkins was disgraced for failing to obey orders, Nicholas was promoted to major on 25 June and tasked with raising 4 new companies of Marines for 4 new frigates under construction.
In December 1776, the Continental Marines were tasked to join Washington's army at Trenton to slow the progress of British troops southward through New Jersey. Unsure what to do with the Marines, Washington added the Marines to a brigade of Philadelphia militia dressed in green. Though they were unable to arrive in time to meaningfully affect the Battle of Trenton, they were able to fight at the Battle of Princeton. Continental Marines landed and captured Nautilus Island and the Majabagaduce peninsula in the Penobscot Expedition, but withdrew with heavy losses when Commodore Dudley Saltonstall's force failed to capture the nearby fort. A group under Navy Captain James Willing left Pittsburgh, traveled down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, captured a ship, in conjunction with other Continental Marines, brought by ship from the Gulf of Mexico raided British Loyalists on the shore of Lake Ponchartrain; the last official act of the Continental Marines was to escort a stash of silver crowns, on loan from Louis XVI of France, from Boston to Philadelphia to enable the opening of the Bank of North America.
At the end of the Revolutionary War, both the Continental Navy and Marines were disbanded in April 1783. Although individual marines stayed on for the few U. S. naval vessels left, the last Continental Marine was discharged in September. In all, there were 131 Colonial marine officers and no more than 2,000 enlisted Colonial marines. Though individual marines were enlisted for the few U. S. naval vessels, the organization would not be re-created until 1798. Despite the gap between the disbanding of the Continental Marines and the establishment of the actual United States Marine Corps, the USMC deems November 10, 1775 as its official founding date; this is similar to the practice of the British and Dutch marines. 1775, October 13 Second Continental Congress
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library that serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States; the Library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C.. The Library's functions are overseen by the Librarian of Congress, its buildings are maintained by the Architect of the Capitol; the Library of Congress has claimed to be the largest library in the world. Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages."The Library of Congress moved to Washington in 1800 after sitting for 11 years in the temporary national capitals in New York City and Philadelphia. The small Congressional Library was housed in the United States Capitol for most of the 19th century until the early 1890s. Most of the original collection had been destroyed by the British in 1814 during the War of 1812, the library sought to restore its collection in 1815.
They bought Thomas Jefferson's entire personal collection of 6,487 books. After a period of slow growth, another fire struck the Library in its Capitol chambers in 1851, again destroying a large amount of the collection, including many of Jefferson's books. After the American Civil War, the Library of Congress grew in both size and importance, which sparked a campaign to purchase replacement copies for volumes, burned; the Library received the right of transference of all copyrighted works to deposit two copies of books, maps and diagrams printed in the United States. It began to build its collections, its development culminated between 1888 and 1894 with the construction of a separate, extensive library building across the street from the Capitol; the Library's primary mission is to research inquiries made by members of Congress, carried out through the Congressional Research Service. The Library is open to the public, although only high-ranking government officials and Library employees may check out books and materials.
James Madison is credited with the idea of creating a congressional library, first making such a proposition in 1783. The Library of Congress was subsequently established April 24, 1800 when President John Adams signed an act of Congress providing for the transfer of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington. Part of the legislation appropriated $5,000 "for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress... and for fitting up a suitable apartment for containing them." Books were ordered from London, the collection consisted of 740 books and three maps which were housed in the new United States Capitol. President Thomas Jefferson played an important role in establishing the structure of the Library of Congress. On January 26, 1802, he signed a bill that allowed the president to appoint the Librarian of Congress and establishing a Joint Committee on the Library to regulate and oversee it; the new law extended borrowing privileges to the President and Vice President.
The invading British army burned Washington in August 1814 during the War of 1812 and destroyed the Library of Congress and its collection of 3,000 volumes. These volumes had been left in the Senate wing of the Capitol. One of the few congressional volumes to survive was a government account book of receipts and expenditures for 1810, it was taken as a souvenir by British Admiral George Cockburn, whose family returned it to the United States government in 1940. Within a month, Thomas Jefferson offered to sell his personal library as a replacement. Congress accepted his offer in January 1815; some members of the House of Representatives opposed the outright purchase, including New Hampshire Representative Daniel Webster who wanted to return "all books of an atheistical and immoral tendency." Jefferson had spent 50 years accumulating a wide variety of books in several languages and on subjects such as philosophy, law, architecture, natural sciences, studies of classical Greece and Rome, modern inventions, hot air balloons, submarines, fossils and meteorology.
He had collected books on topics not viewed as part of a legislative library, such as cookbooks. However, he believed, he remarked: I do not know that it contains any branch of science which Congress would wish to exclude from their collection. Jefferson's collection was unique in that it was the working collection of a scholar, not a gentleman's collection for display. With the addition of his collection, the Library of Congress was transformed from a specialist's library to a more general one, his original collection was organized into a scheme based on Francis Bacon's organization of knowledge. He grouped his books into Memory and Imagination, which broke down into 44 more subdivisions; the Library followed Jefferson's organization scheme until the late 19th century, when librarian Herbert Putnam began work on a more flexible Library of Congress Classification structure that now applies to more than 138 million items. In 1851, a fire destroyed two thirds of the Jefferson collection, with only 2,000 books remaining.
By 2008, the Librarians of Congress had found replacements for all but 300 of the works that were in Jefferson's original collection. On December 22, 1851 the largest fire in the Library's history destroyed 35,000 books, about two–thi
First Continental Congress
The First Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from twelve of the Thirteen Colonies who met from September 5 to October 26, 1774, at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, early in the American Revolution. It was called in response to the Intolerable Acts passed by the British Parliament, which the British referred to as the Coercive Acts, with which the British intended to punish Massachusetts for the Boston Tea Party; the Congress met to consider options, including an economic boycott of British trade and drawing up a list of rights and grievances. The Congress called for another Continental Congress in the event that their petition was unsuccessful in halting enforcement of the Intolerable Acts, their appeal to the Crown had no effect, so the Second Continental Congress was convened the following year to organize the defense of the colonies at the onset of the American Revolutionary War. The delegates urged each colony to set up and train its own militia; the Congress met from September 5 to October 26, 1774.
Peyton Randolph presided over the proceedings. Charles Thomson, leader of the Philadelphia Committee of Correspondence, was selected to be Secretary of the Continental Congress; the delegates who attended were not of one mind concerning. Conservatives such as Joseph Galloway, John Dickinson, John Jay, Edward Rutledge believed their task to be forging policies to pressure Parliament to rescind its unreasonable acts, their ultimate goal was to develop a reasonable solution to the difficulties and bring about reconciliation between the Colonies and Great Britain. Others such as Patrick Henry, Roger Sherman, Samuel Adams, John Adams believed their task to be developing a decisive statement of the rights and liberties of the Colonies, their ultimate goal was to end what they felt to be the abuses of parliamentary authority, to retain their rights, guaranteed under both Colonial charters and the English constitution. Roger Sherman denied the legislative authority of Parliament, Patrick Henry believed that the Congress needed to develop a new system of government, independent from Great Britain, for the existing Colonial governments were dissolved.
In contrast to these ideas, Joseph Galloway put forward a "Plan of Union" which suggested that an American legislative body be formed with some authority, whose consent would be required for imperial measures. In the end, the voices of compromise carried the day. Rather than calling for independence, the First Continental Congress passed and signed the Continental Association in its Declaration and Resolves, which called for a boycott of British goods to take effect in December 1774, it requested that local Committees of Safety enforce the boycott and regulate local prices for goods. These resolutions adopted by the Congress did not endorse any legal power of Parliament to regulate trade, but consented, nonetheless, to the operation of acts for that purpose. Furthermore, they did not repudiate control by the royal prerogative, explicitly acknowledged in the Petition to the King a few days later; the Congress had two primary accomplishments. The first was a compact among the Colonies to boycott British goods beginning on December 1, 1774.
The West Indies were threatened with a boycott unless the islands agreed to non-importation of British goods. Imports from Britain dropped by 97 percent compared with the previous year. Committees of observation and inspection were to be formed in each Colony to ensure compliance with the boycott. All of the Colonial Houses of Assembly approved the proceedings of the Congress, with the exception of New York. If the Intolerable Acts were not repealed, the Colonies would cease exports to Britain after September 10, 1775; the boycott was implemented, but its potential for altering British colonial policy was cut off by the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The second accomplishment of the Congress was to provide for a Second Continental Congress to meet on May 10, 1775. In addition to the Colonies which had sent delegates to the First Continental Congress, the Congress resolved on October 21, 1774, to send letters of invitation to Quebec, Saint John's Island, Nova Scotia, East Florida, West Florida.
However, letters appear to have been sent only to Quebec. None of these other colonies sent delegates to the opening of the Second Congress, though a delegation from Georgia arrived the following July. List of delegates to the Continental and Confederation congresses Papers of the Continental Congress Timeline of United States revolutionary history Bancroft, George. History of the United States of America, from the discovery of the American continent. Vol 4-10 online edition Burnett, Edmund C.. The Continental Congress. Greenwood Publishing. ISBN 0-8371-8386-3. Henderson, H. James. Party Politics in the Continental Congress. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-8191-6525-5. Launitz-Schurer, Loyal Whigs and Revolutionaries, The making of the revolution in New York, 1765-1776, 1980, ISBN 0-8147-4994-1 Ketchum, Divided Loyalties, How the American Revolution came to New York, 2002, ISBN 0-8050-6120-7 Miller, John C. Origins of the American Revolution online edition Puls, Samuel Adams, father of the American Revolution, 2006, ISBN 1-4039-7582-5 Montross, Lynn.
The Reluctant Rebels. Barnes & Noble. ISBN 0-389-03973-X. Primary sourcesPeter Force, ed. American Archives, 9 vol 1837-1853, major compilation of documents 1774-1776
The American Revolution was a colonial revolt that took place between 1765 and 1783. The American Patriots in the Thirteen Colonies won independence from Great Britain, becoming the United States of America, they defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War in alliance with others. Members of American colonial society argued the position of "no taxation without representation", starting with the Stamp Act Congress in 1765, they rejected the authority of the British Parliament to tax them because they lacked members in that governing body. Protests escalated to the Boston Massacre in 1770 and the burning of the Gaspee in Rhode Island in 1772, followed by the Boston Tea Party in December 1773, during which Patriots destroyed a consignment of taxed tea; the British responded by closing Boston Harbor followed with a series of legislative acts which rescinded Massachusetts Bay Colony's rights of self-government and caused the other colonies to rally behind Massachusetts. In late 1774, the Patriots set up their own alternative government to better coordinate their resistance efforts against Great Britain.
Tensions erupted into battle between Patriot militia and British regulars when the king's army attempted to capture and destroy Colonial military supplies at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. The conflict developed into a global war, during which the Patriots fought the British and Loyalists in what became known as the American Revolutionary War; each of the thirteen colonies formed a Provincial Congress that assumed power from the old colonial governments and suppressed Loyalism, from there they built a Continental Army under the leadership of General George Washington. The Continental Congress determined King George's rule to be tyrannical and infringing the colonists' rights as Englishmen, they declared the colonies free and independent states on July 2, 1776; the Patriot leadership professed the political philosophies of liberalism and republicanism to reject monarchy and aristocracy, they proclaimed that all men are created equal. The Continental Army forced the redcoats out of Boston in March 1776, but that summer the British captured and held New York City and its strategic harbor for the duration of the war.
The Royal Navy blockaded ports and captured other cities for brief periods, but they failed to defeat Washington's forces. The Patriots unsuccessfully attempted to invade Canada during the winter of 1775–76, but captured a British army at the Battle of Saratoga in October 1777. France now entered the war as an ally of the United States with a large army and navy that threatened Britain itself; the war turned to the American South where the British under the leadership of Charles Cornwallis captured an army at Charleston, South Carolina in early 1780 but failed to enlist enough volunteers from Loyalist civilians to take effective control of the territory. A combined American–French force captured a second British army at Yorktown in the fall of 1781 ending the war; the Treaty of Paris was signed September 3, 1783, formally ending the conflict and confirming the new nation's complete separation from the British Empire. The United States took possession of nearly all the territory east of the Mississippi River and south of the Great Lakes, with the British retaining control of Canada and Spain taking Florida.
Among the significant results of the revolution was the creation of the United States Constitution, establishing a strong federal national government that included an executive, a national judiciary, a bicameral Congress that represented states in the Senate and the population in the House of Representatives. The Revolution resulted in the migration of around 60,000 Loyalists to other British territories British North America; as early as 1651, the English government had sought to regulate trade in the American colonies. On October 9, the Navigation Acts were passed pursuant to a mercantilist policy intended to ensure that trade enriched only Great Britain, barring trade with foreign nations; some argue that the economic impact was minimal on the colonists, but the political friction which the acts triggered was more serious, as the merchants most directly affected were most politically active. King Philip's War ended in 1678, much of it was fought without significant assistance from England.
This contributed to the development of a unique identity from that of the British people. In the 1680s, King Charles II determined to bring the New England colonies under a more centralized administration in order to regulate trade more effectively, his efforts were fiercely opposed by the colonists, resulting in the abrogation of their colonial charter by the Crown. Charles' successor James II finalized these efforts in 1686, establishing the Dominion of New England. Dominion rule triggered bitter resentment throughout New England. New Englanders were encouraged, however, by a change of government in England that saw James II abdicate, a populist uprising overthrew Dominion rule on April 18, 1689. Colonial governments reasserted their control in the wake of the revolt, successive governments made no more attempts to restore the Dominion. Subsequent English governments continued in their efforts to tax certain goods, passing acts regulating the trade of wool and molasses; the Molasses Act of 1733 in particular was egregious to the colonists, as a significant part of colonial trade relied on the product.
The taxes damaged the N