Merrick is the highest mountain in the Southern Uplands of southern Scotland and is part of the Range of the Awful Hand. The line of sight from Merrick to Snowdon is theoretically the longest in the British Isles; the 144-mile view between Merrick and Snowdon is the longest line of sight in the British Isles, but for geometrical reasons Merrick would be difficult to observe from Snowdon. An interesting feature on the mountain is the presence of several large buried granite boulders at about 800 m on the broad west ridge, they are glacial erratics, but the exact mechanism is unclear that has brought them to rest close to the highest point of the Southern Uplands and over 200 m higher than any currently-occurring granite in the Galloway Hills. The shortest route of ascent is from the car park in Glen Trool; the car park is located near Bruce's Stane, a monument commemorating the victory of Robert the Bruce over the English forces of Edward II at the Battle of Glen Trool in 1307. The Merrick is a straightforward and easy hill walk from the car park near Bruces Stone.
The route climbs past the restored Culsharg bothy up on to Benyellary. After dropping the final climb to the summit trig-point is made. Be aware that if descending in poor visibility a common mistake is to walk down the west ridge into remote terrain; the total round-trip distance from Glen Trool to the summit and back is just under 8 miles. Because of the nature of the rock no good rock climbing has been recorded on the Merrick. However, in winter after a good freeze there are a number of good ice climbs of up to 200 m on the Black Gairy, which lies west of the summit. Galloway Hills Southern Uplands The Merrick routes map, tourist trail and large images Link to computer-generated virtual panoramas from Merrick North South
The Scottish Borders is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders the City of Edinburgh and Galloway, East Lothian, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian and, to the south-west and east, the English counties of Cumbria and Northumberland; the administrative centre of the area is Newtown St Boswells. The term Scottish Borders is used to designate the areas of southern Scotland and northern England that bound the Anglo-Scottish border; the Scottish Borders are in the eastern part of the Southern Uplands. The region is hilly and rural, with the River Tweed flowing west to east through it. In the east of the region, the area that borders the River Tweed is flat and is known as'The Merse'; the Tweed and its tributaries drain the entire region with the river flowing into the North Sea at Berwick-upon-Tweed, forming the border with England for the last twenty miles or so of its length. The term Central Borders refers to the area in which the majority of the main towns of Galashiels, Hawick, Earlston, Newtown St. Boswells, St Boswells, Peebles and Tweedbank are located.
Two of Scotland's 40 national scenic areas lie within the region: The Eildon and Leaderfoot National Scenic Area covers the scenery surrounding Eildon Hill, extends to include the town of Melrose and Leaderfoot Viaduct. The Upper Tweeddale National Scenic Area covers the scenery surrounding the upper part of the River Tweed between Broughton and Peebles. 2011 Galashiels: 14,994 Hawick: 14,294 Peebles: 8,376 Selkirk: 5,784 Kelso: 5,639 Jedburgh: 4,030 Eyemouth: 3,546 Innerleithen: 3,031 Duns: 2,753 Melrose: 2,307 Coldstream: 1,946 Earlston: 1,779 The term Borders has a wider meaning, referring to all of the counties adjoining the English border including Dumfriesshire and Kirkcudbrightshire – as well as Northumberland and Westmorland in England. Roxburghshire and Berwickshire bore the brunt of the conflicts with England, both during declared wars such as the Wars of Scottish Independence, armed raids which took place in the times of the Border Reivers. Thus, across the region are to be seen the ruins of many castles and towns.
The council area was created in 1975, by merging the historic counties of Berwickshire, Peeblesshire and Selkirkshire and part of Midlothian, as a two-tier region with the districts of Berwickshire and Lauderdale, Tweeddale within it. In 1996 the region became the districts were wound up; the region was created with the name Borders. Following the election of a shadow area council in 1995 the name was changed to Scottish Borders with effect from 1996. Although there is evidence of some Scottish Gaelic in the origins of place names such as Innerleithen and Longformacus, which contain identifiably Goidelic rather than Brythonic Celtic elements and are an indication of at least a Gaelic-speaking elite in the area, the main languages in the area since the 5th century appear to have been Brythonic and Old English, the latter of which developed into its modern forms of English and Scots. There are two British Parliamentary constituencies in the Borders. Berwickshire and Selkirk covers most of the region and is represented by John Lamont of the Conservatives.
The western Tweeddale area is included in the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale constituency and is represented by David Mundell of the Conservatives. At Scottish Parliament level, there are two seats; the eastern constituency is Ettrick and Berwickshire, represented by Conservative Rachael Hamilton. The western constituency is Midlothian South and Lauderdale and is represented by SNP Christine Grahame. Following the 2012 local elections, the council administration was a coalition of Independents, Scottish National Party and Liberal Democrats. Prior to the election a coalition of Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Independents ruled; the Conservatives were the biggest party on the council with 10 seats, the Liberal Democrats had six. The SNP had nine seats and the Independents had seven. Two councillors form the Borders Party. Following the 2017 local elections, the council is now a coalition of Independents and Conservatives; the Conservatives became the largest party on the council with 15, an increase of 5.
At the Census held on 27 March 2011, the population of the region was 114,000, an increase of 6.78% from the 106,764 enumerated at the previous Census. The region had until September 2015 no working railway stations. Although the area was well connected to the Victorian railway system, the branch lines that supplied it were closed in the decades following the Second World War. A bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament to extend the Waverley Line, which aimed to re-introduce a commuter service from Edinburgh to Stow and Tweedbank; this section of the route re-opened on 6 September 2015, under the Borders Railway branding. The other railway route running through the region is the East Coast Main Line, with Edinburgh Waverley and Berwick being the nearest stations on that line, all of which are outwith the Borders. Since 2014 there has been discussion of re-opening the station at Reston, within the region and would serve Eyemouth. To the west, Carlisle and Lockerbie are the nearest stations on the West Coast Main Line.
The area is served by buses. Express bus services link the main towns with rail stations at Edinburgh and
The Southern Uplands are the southernmost and least populous of mainland Scotland's three major geographic areas. The term is used both to describe the geographical region and to collectively denote the various ranges of hills and mountains within this region. An overwhelmingly rural and agricultural region, the Southern Uplands are forested and contain many areas of open moorland; the Southern Uplands consist of Silurian sedimentary deposits deposited in the Iapetus Ocean from 500–400 million years ago. These rocks were pushed up from the sea bed into an accretionary wedge during the Caledonian orogeny 400 million years ago, when the continents and terranes of Laurentia and Avalonia collided; the Caledonian orogeny is named for a Latin name for Scotland. The majority of the rocks are weakly metamorphosed coarse greywacke; the tectonic processes involved in the formation of the accretionary wedge, where sediment is scraped off the seafloor as a tectonic plate is subducted, has led to the formation of multiple, east-west faults that are now exploited by rivers and define valleys across the Southern Uplands.
Levels of deformation associated with these faults is variable, but is pervasive in the finer-grained sediments. Secondary mineralisation has further altered these Lower Panlaeozoic rocks which are hosts for some distinctive springs, some of which have been exploited for tourism, such as those around Moffat; the Southern Uplands lie south of the Southern Uplands Fault line that runs from Ballantrae on the Ayrshire coast northeastwards to Dunbar in East Lothian on the North Sea coast, a distance of some 220 km. There are several ranges of mountains within the Southern Uplands. From east to west these are: Cheviot Hills straddling the eastern end of the Anglo-Scottish border. Lammermuir Hills south of Dunbar. Moorfoot Hills south of Edinburgh. Tweedsmuir or Manor Hills south of Tweedsmuir. Culter Hills south of Biggar. Moffat Hills north-east of Moffat. Ettrick Hills south of Moffatdale. Lowther Hills between Clydesdale/Annandale and Nithsdale. Carsphairn and Scaur Hills between Nithsdale and the Glenkens.
Galloway Hills west of the Glenkens. This is a large hill area lying between Loch Doon in the north and the Solway Firth to the south and having the sub-ranges The Awful Hand, Dungeon Hills, Rhinns of Kells, Minnigaff Hills and the range around Cairnsmore of Fleet near the Solway coast. Although the summits are not as high as many in the Scottish Highlands nor other famous mountain regions, parts of the Southern Uplands are remote and mountainous, containing about 120 Marilyns; some of the more notable peaks in the Southern Uplands are: Merrick: the highest in the south of Scotland at 843 m Broad Law: 840 m White Coomb: 822 m The Cheviot: 815 m Corserine: 814 m Cairnsmore of Carsphairn: 797 m Kirriereoch Hill: 786 m Shalloch on Minnoch: 769 m Lamachan Hill: 717 m Cairnsmore of Fleet: 711 m Tinto: 711 m Craignaw: 645 m The Southern Uplands are home to the UK's second highest, Scotland's highest, Wanlockhead, 430 m above sea level. The region is drained by numerous rivers, the most important of which are Scotland's third and fourth longest, the River Clyde at 106 mi and the River Tweed at 97 mi respectively.
Several significant rivers drain southwards into the Solway Firth and Irish Sea including the River Cree, River Dee, River Nith, River Annan and the River Esk. There are numerous lochs in the Southern Uplands in the west; the largest is Loch Ken. Several other lochs in Galloway are dammed such as Loch Doon, Loch Bradan and Clatteringshaws Loch though many smaller ones remain in a more natural state such as Loch Dee, Loch Enoch, Loch Grannoch and Loch Trool. To the east of Moffat is the largest natural body of water in the Southern Uplands, St. Mary's Loch together with the adjacent Loch of the Lowes and nearby Loch Skeen. There are several other reservoirs in the vicinity including Megget Reservoir, Talla Reservoir and Fruid Reservoir whilst Daer Reservoir lies among the Lowther Hills; the area has a wide diversity of habitats. The uplands support black and red grouse, mountain hares, raptors such as golden eagles and hen harriers, some unusual plant species; the western hills are home to roe deer and feral goats.
The western forests have one fifth of the Scottish population of red squirrels. Ospreys are present along the River Tweed. Brown trout are common in many burns and a number of the rivers in the area have populations of sea trout and otters; the two unitary authorities of Dumfries and Galloway in the west and the Scottish Borders in the east cover all of the Southern Uplands. Along its northern margins, the councils of South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire and East Lothian extend into the region. After local government reorganisation in 1974 and prior to further reorganisation in 1996, the Southern Uplands were administered by the two'regions' of Dumfries & Galloway and Borders along with the southern margins of the regions of Strathclyde and Lothian. Within each of these regions were districts with their own district councils. I.e. prior to 1974, the region comprised the counties of Wigtown, Dumfries, Peebles and Berwick together with parts of Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and East Lothian.
Agriculture and forestry are the main forms of land use in the Southern Uplands. Sustainable power has been in production for several decades: the Galloway hydro-elect
The Gaels are an ethnolinguistic group native to northwestern Europe. They are associated with the Gaelic languages: a branch of the Celtic languages comprising Irish and Scottish Gaelic; the ethnonyms Irish and Scots referred to the Gaels in general, but the scope of those nationalities is today more complex. Gaelic language and culture originated in Ireland. In antiquity the Gaels traded with the Roman Empire and raided Roman Britain. In the Middle Ages, Gaelic culture became dominant throughout the rest of Scotland and the Isle of Man. There was some Gaelic settlement in Wales and Cornwall. In the Viking Age, small numbers of Vikings raided and settled in Gaelic lands, becoming the Norse-Gaels. In the 9th century, the Scots Gaels of Dál Riata merged with Pictland to form the Gaelic Kingdom of Alba. Meanwhile, Gaelic Ireland was made up of several kingdoms, with a High King claiming lordship over them. In the 12th century, Normans conquered parts of Ireland. However, Gaelic culture remained strong throughout the Scottish Highlands and Galloway.
In the early 17th century, the last Gaelic kingdoms in Ireland fell under English control. James I sought to wipe out their culture. In the following centuries the Gaelic language was suppressed and supplanted by English. However, it continues to be the main language in Scotland's Outer Hebrides; the modern descendants of the Gaels have spread throughout the Americas and Australasia. Gaelic society traditionally centred around the clan, each with its own territory and king, elected through tanistry; the Irish were pagans who worshipped the Tuatha Dé Danann, venerated the ancestors and believed in an Otherworld. Their four yearly festivals – Samhain, Imbolc and Lughnasa – continued to be celebrated into modern times; the Gaels have a strong oral tradition, traditionally maintained by shanachies. Inscription in the ogham alphabet began in the 4th century, their conversion to Christianity accompanied the introduction of writing in the Roman alphabet, Irish Gaelic has the oldest vernacular literature in western Europe.
Irish mythology and Brehon law were preserved, albeit Christianised. Gaelic monasteries were renowned centres of learning and played a key role in developing Insular art, while Gaelic missionaries and scholars were influential in western Europe. In the Middle Ages, most Gaels lived in ringforts; the Gaels had their own style of dress, which became the belted kilt. They have distinctive music and sports. Gaelic culture continues to be a major component of Irish and Manx culture. Throughout the centuries and Gaelic-speakers have been known by a number of names; the most consistent of these have been Gael and Scots. The latter two have developed more ambiguous meanings, due to the early modern concept of the nation state, which encompasses non-Gaels. Other terms, such as Milesian, are not as used. An Old Norse name for the Gaels was Vestmenn. Informally, archetypal forenames such as Tadhg or Dòmhnall are sometimes used for Gaels; the word Gaelic is first recorded in print in the English language in the 1770s, replacing the earlier word Gathelik, attested as far back as 1596.
Gael, defined as a "member of the Gaelic race", is first attested in print in 1810. The name derives from the Old Irish word Goídel/Gaídel spelled Gaoidheal in pre-spelling reform Modern Irish, but today spelled Gaeil or Gael. In early modern Irish, the words Gaelic and Gael were spelled Gaoidhealg and Gaoidheal; the more antiquarian term Goidels came to be used by some due to Edward Lhuyd's work on the relationship between Celtic languages. This term was further popularised in academia by John Rhys. According to the scholar John T. Koch, the Old Irish form of the name, Goídel, was borrowed from a Primitive Welsh form Guoidel meaning'forest people','wild men' or, later,'warriors'. Old Welsh Guoidel is recorded as a personal name in the Book of Llandaff; the root of the name is cognate at the Proto-Celtic level Old Irish fíad'wild', Féni, derived from the Proto-Indo-European *weidh-n-jo-. This latter word is the origin of Fenian. A common name, passed down to the modern day, is Irish; the ultimate origin of this word is thought to be from the Old Irish Ériu, from Old Celtic *Iveriu associated with the Proto-Indo-European term *pi-wer- meaning "fertile".
Ériu is mentioned as a goddess in the Lebor Gabála Érenn as a daughter of Ernmas of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Along with her sisters Banba and Fódla, she is said to have made a deal with the Milesians to name the island after her; the ancient Greeks. This group has been associated with the Érainn of Irish tradition by others; the Érainn.
The Highlands is a historic region of Scotland. Culturally, the Highlands and the Lowlands diverged from the Middle Ages into the modern period, when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout most of the Lowlands; the term is used for the area north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault, although the exact boundaries are not defined to the east. The Great Glen divides the Grampian Mountains to the southeast from the Northwest Highlands; the Scottish Gaelic name of A' Ghàidhealtachd means "the place of the Gaels" and traditionally, from a Gaelic-speaking point of view, includes both the Western Isles and the Highlands. The area is sparsely populated, with many mountain ranges dominating the region, includes the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis. Before the 19th century the Highlands was home to a much larger population, but from circa 1841 and for the next 160 years, the natural increase in population was exceeded by emigration and migration to the industrial cities of Scotland and England.
The area is now one of the most sparsely populated in Europe. At 9.1 per km2 in 2012, the population density in the Highlands and Islands is less than one seventh of Scotland's as a whole, comparable with that of Bolivia and Russia. The Highland Council is the administrative body for much of the Highlands, with its administrative centre at Inverness. However, the Highlands includes parts of the council areas of Aberdeenshire, Angus and Bute, North Ayrshire and Kinross, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire; the Scottish highlands is the only area in the British Isles to have the taiga biome as it features concentrated populations of Scots pine forest: see Caledonian Forest. Between the 15th century and the 20th century, the area differed from most of the Lowlands in terms of language. In Scottish Gaelic, the region is known as the Gàidhealtachd, because it was traditionally the Gaelic-speaking part of Scotland, although the language is now confined to The Hebrides; the terms are sometimes used interchangeably but have different meanings in their respective languages.
Scottish English is the predominant language of the area today, though Highland English has been influenced by Gaelic speech to a significant extent. The "Highland line" distinguished the two Scottish cultures. While the Highland line broadly followed the geography of the Grampians in the south, it continued in the north, cutting off the north-eastern areas, Eastern Caithness and Shetland, from the more Gaelic Highlands and Hebrides; the major social unit of the Highlands was the clan. Scottish kings James VI, saw clans as a challenge to their authority. Following the Union of the Crowns, James VI had the military strength to back up any attempts to impose some control; the result was, in 1609, the Statutes of Iona which started the process of integrating clan leaders into Scottish society. The gradual changes continued into the 19th century, as clan chiefs thought of themselves less as patriarchal leaders of their people and more as commercial landlords; the first effect on the clansmen who were their tenants was the change to rents being payable in money rather than in kind.
Rents were increased as Highland landowners sought to increase their income. This was followed in the period 1760-1850, by agricultural improvement that involved clearance of the population to make way for large scale sheep farms. Displaced tenants were set up in crofting communities in the process; the crofts were intended not to provide all the needs of their occupiers. Crofters came to rely on seasonal migrant work in the Lowlands; this gave impetus to the learning of English, seen by many rural Gaelic speakers to be the essential "language of work". Older historiography attributes the collapse of the clan system to the aftermath of the Jacobite risings; this is now thought less influential by historians. Following the Jacobite rising of 1745 the British government enacted a series of laws to try to suppress the clan system, including bans on the bearing of arms and the wearing of tartan, limitations on the activities of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Most of this legislation was repealed by the end of the 18th century as the Jacobite threat subsided.
There was soon a rehabilitation of Highland culture. Tartan was adopted for Highland regiments in the British Army, which poor Highlanders joined in large numbers in the era of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Tartan had been abandoned by the ordinary people of the region, but in the 1820s, tartan and the kilt were adopted by members of the social elite, not just in Scotland, but across Europe; the international craze for tartan, for idealising a romanticised Highlands, was set off by the Ossian cycle, further popularised by the works of Walter Scott. His "staging" of the visit of King George IV to Scotland in 1822 and the king's wearing of tartan resulted in a massive upsurge in demand for kilts and tartans that could not be met by the Scottish woollen industry. Individual clan tartans were designated in this period and they became a major symbol of Scottish identity; this "Highlandism", by which all of Scotland was identified with the culture of the Highlands, was cemented by Queen Victoria's interest in the country, her adoption of Balmoral as a major royal retreat, her interes
Fife is a council area and historic county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire. By custom it is held to have been one of the major Pictish kingdoms, known as Fib, is still known as the Kingdom of Fife within Scotland. Fife is one of the six local authorities part of the South East Scotland city region, it is a lieutenancy area, was a county of Scotland until 1975. It was occasionally known by the anglicisation Fifeshire in old documents and maps compiled by English cartographers and authors. A person from Fife is known as a Fifer. Fife was a local government region divided into three districts: Dunfermline and North-East Fife. Since 1996 the functions of the district councils have been exercised by the unitary Fife Council. Fife is Scotland's third largest local authority area by population, it has a resident population of just under 367,000, over a third of whom live in the three principal towns of Dunfermline and Glenrothes.
The historic town of St Andrews is located on the northeast coast of Fife. It is well known for the University of St Andrews, one of the most ancient universities in the world and is renowned as the home of golf. Fife, bounded to the north by the Firth of Tay and to the south by the Firth of Forth, is a natural peninsula whose political boundaries have changed little over the ages; the Pictish king list and De Situ Albanie documents of the Poppleton manuscript mention the division of the Pictish realm into seven sub-kingdoms or provinces, one being Fife, though this is now regarded as a medieval invention. The earliest known reference to the common epithet The Kingdom of Fife dates from only 1678, in a proposition that the term derives from the quasi-regal privileges of the Earl of Fife; the notion of a kingdom may derive from a misinterpretation of an extract from Wyntoun. The name is recorded as Fib in A. D. 1150 and Fif in 1165. It was associated with Fothriff; the hill-fort of Clatchard Craig, near Newburgh, was occupied as an important Pictish stronghold between the sixth and eighth centuries AD.
Fife was an important royal and political centre from the reign of King Malcolm III onwards, as the leaders of Scotland moved southwards away from their ancient strongholds around Scone. Malcolm had his principal home in Dunfermline and his wife Margaret was the main benefactor of Dunfermline Abbey; the Abbey replaced Iona as the final resting place of Scotland's royal elite, with Robert I amongst those to be buried there. The Earl of Fife was until the 15th century considered the principal peer of the Scottish realm, was reserved the right of crowning the nation's monarchs, reflecting the prestige of the area. A new royal palace was constructed at Falkland the stronghold of Clan MacDuff, was used by successive monarchs of the House of Stuart, who favoured Fife for its rich hunting grounds. King James VI of Scotland described Fife as a "beggar's mantle fringed wi gowd", the golden fringe being the coast and its chain of little ports with their thriving fishing fleets and rich trading links with the Low Countries.
Wool, linen and salt were all traded. Salt pans heated by local coal were a feature of the Fife coast in the past; the distinctive red clay pan tiles seen on many old buildings in Fife arrived as ballast on trading boats and replaced the thatched roofs. In 1598, King James VI employed a group of 12 men from Fife, who became known as the Fife adventurers, to colonise the Isle of Lewis in an attempt to begin the "civilisation" and de-gaelicisation of the region; this endeavour lasted until 1609 when the colonists, having been opposed by the native population, were bought out by Kenneth Mackenzie, the clan chief of the Mackenzies. Fife became a centre of heavy industry in the 19th century. Coal had been mined in the area since at least the 12th century, but the number of pits increased ten-fold as demand for coal grew in the Victorian period. Rural villages such as Cowdenbeath swelled into towns as thousands moved to Fife to find work in its mines; the opening of the Forth and Tay rail bridges linked Fife with Dundee and Edinburgh and allowed the rapid transport of goods.
Modern ports were constructed at Methil and Rosyth. Kirkcaldy became the world centre for the production of linoleum. Postwar Fife saw the development of Glenrothes. To be based around a coal mine, the town attracted a high number of modern Silicon Glen companies to the region. Fife Council and Fife Constabulary centre their operations in Glenrothes. There are numerous notable historical buildings in Fife, some of which are managed by the National Trust for Scotland or Historic Scotland, they include Dunfermline Abbey, the palace in Culross, Ravenscraig Castle in Kirkcaldy, Dysart Harbour area, Balgonie Castle near Coaltown of Balgonie, Falkland Palace, Kellie Castle near Pittenweem, Hill of Tarvit, St. Andrews Castle, St. Andrews Cathedral and St. Rule's Tower. Fife is represented by five constituency members of the Scottish Parliament and four members of the United Kingdom parliament who are sent to Holyrood and the British Parliament respectively. Following the 2015 General Election, all four of the MPs constituencies were held by the Scottish National Party.
In the 2017 General Election Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath was regained by Labour. At the same election, the seat of North East Fife became the closest seat in the country with the SNP holding a majority of 2 over the Liberal Democrats Three of
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