Portal:American Revolutionary War

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

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.

Show new selections...

Selected event

Battle of Nassau.jpg
The Battle of Nassau (March 3–4, 1776) was a naval action and amphibious assault by American forces against the British port of Nassau in the Bahamas during the American Revolutionary War (also known as the American War of Independence). It is considered the first cruise and one of the first engagements of the newly established Continental Navy and the Continental Marines, the progenitors of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The action was also the Marines' first amphibious landing.

Departing from Cape Henlopen, Delaware, on February 17, 1776, the fleet arrived in the Bahamas on March 1, with the objective of seizing gunpowder and munitions that were known to be stored there. Two days later the marines went ashore and seized Fort Montagu at the eastern end of the Nassau harbor, but did not advance to the town, where the gunpowder was stored, that night, Nassau's governor had most of the gunpowder loaded aboard ships that then sailed for St. Augustine. On March 4, the colonial marines advanced and took control of the poorly-defended town, the colonial forces remained at Nassau for two weeks, and took away all the remaining gunpowder and munitions they could.

Featured content

Featured articles
Featured lists
A-Class articles

Selected picture

The death of general warren at the battle of bunker hill.jpg
The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill
Credit: John Trumbull

Completed in 1786, this painting depicts the death of Massachusetts militia general and politician Joseph Warren at the June 17, 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill. Depicting the nature of personal divisions the revolution created, Warren is cradled by John Small, a British Army officer who is preventing another British soldier from bayoneting Warren. General Israel Putnam, with whom Major Small served in the French and Indian War, is at the far left of the painting; portraits of other figures important in the battle are also included.

Selected biography

A 1792 portrait of La Fayette by Joseph Désiré Court
Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de la Fayette (or Lafayette) (September 6, 1757 – May 20, 1834) was a French military officer and former aristocrat who participated in both the American and French revolutions. Even though he was already adopted by George Washington, he was twice granted Honorary Citizenship of the United States, first in 1824 (along with his descendants in perpetuity), and again, posthumously in 2002; one of only six specific persons so honored.

Lafayette served in the American Revolutionary War both as a general and as a diplomat, serving entirely without pay in both roles. Later, he was to prove a key figure in the early phases of the French Revolution, serving in the Estates General and the subsequent National Constituent Assembly, he was a leading figure among the Feuillants, who tried to turn France into a constitutional limited-monarchy, and commander of the French National Guard. Accused by Jean-Paul Marat of responsibility for the "Champ de Mars massacre" (before which, Lafayette was nearly assassinated), he subsequently was forced out of a leading role in the Revolution by Jacobin-Terror anarchists, on August 19, 1792, the Jacobin Club seized control of Paris and the National Assembly, ordering Lafayette's arrest. He fled France and was arrested by the Austrian army in Rochefort, Belgium. Thereafter, he spent five years in various Prussian and Austrian Empire prisons, he was released in 1797; however, Napoleon Bonaparte would not allow his return to France for several years. He continued to be active in French and European politics until his death in 1834.

Selected ships and units

Riflemen engage the British at the Battle of Saratoga
The Maryland and Virginia Rifle Regiment, most commonly known as Rawlings' Regiment was a specialized light infantry unit of riflemen in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. It was one of a few rifle units that complemented the predominant, musket-equipped, line infantry forces of the army. Units of the regiment, with their long-range marksmanship capability, were typically deployed with the line infantry as forward skirmishers and flanking elements, and were loosely structured to provide flexibility in tactical situations. Scouting, escort, and outpost duties were also routine.

Organized in 1776, the Maryland and Virginia Rifle Regiment consisted of nine companies—four from Maryland and five from Virginia, and was managed as one of the Continental Army's Extra Continental regiments. Most of the newly formed regiment surrendered to British and German forces at the Battle of Fort Washington on November 16, 1776. Elements of the regiment served with George Washington's Main Army and participated in the army's major engagements of late 1776 through 1778. Select members of the regiment were also attached to Col. Daniel Morgan's elite Provisional Rifle Corps at its inception in mid-1777. The Maryland and Virginia Rifle Regiment was reorganized in January 1779 and was stationed at Fort Pitt in present-day western Pennsylvania primarily to help in the defense of frontier settlements from British-supported Indian raids, the unit was disbanded in January 1781; it was the longest serving Continental rifle unit of the war.

Things you can do

From the American Revolutionary War task force of the Military history WikiProject:

Attention needed
...to referencing and citation  • ...to coverage and accuracy  • ...to structure  • ...to grammar  • ...to supporting materials 
Popular pages
Full list
Cleanup needed  
Add an article here!
Requested articles 
Quebec in the American RevolutionMaritime provinces in the American Revolution
Expansion needed  
many existing "<State> in/during the American Revolution" articles
Images needed  
Category:Wikipedia requested photographs of the American Revolutionary War
Merging needed  
Add an article here!
Citations needed  
Battle of Monmouth • Battles in {{Campaignbox American Revolutionary War: Gulf Coast}}
Translation needed 
Add an article here!


Major topics

Related content