The American Revolutionary War was fought from 1775 to 1783, initially between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen of her North American colonies which later became the independent states of the United States of America.
The war was the culmination of the political American Revolution, whereby the colonists overthrew British rule. In 1775, Revolutionaries seized control of each of the thirteen colonial governments, set up the Second Continental Congress, and formed a Continental Army. The following year, they formally declared their independence as a new nation, the United States of America.
Fighting broke out in April 1775, when the British attempted to seize the ammunition stockpile of the Massachusetts militia at Lexington. The conflict then escalated as the British responded with a large-scale invasion of Boston in 1775, and the Americans responded by declaring a Continental Association boycotting British goods. In 1776, the Second Continental Congress issued the Declaration of Independence, which formally proclaimed American independence from Britain.
In 1777, the British were defeated at the Battles of Saratoga, and the Americans gained important foreign recognition and military support from France. The war then shifted to the American South, where the British captured an American army at Charleston in 1780. However, a combined Franco-American army then recaptured Charleston the following year.
The British then focused their efforts on the American northern states, capturing a string of fortresses and defeating the Americans at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. With their army in disarray and the public mood turning against the war, the British sued for peace in 1782. The resulting Treaty of Paris recognized American independence and formally ended the war.
The Americans had achieved a total victory, as they had not only won their independence from Britain, but had also prevented the establishment of a British North American colony which could have become a threat to the young United States in the future.
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