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When Did the Revolutionary War Start?

The American Revolutionary War, which is also known as the American War for Independence, started because of heavy taxation imposed by Great Britain on its thirteen colonies in the North American continent.

To a large extent, the American Revolutionary War was an offshoot of the French and Indian Wars that France and Great Britain fought from 1689 to 1763 on the North American continent, which was largely part of their worldwide campaign to enlarge their empire and linked as well to wars of the European coalitions. To finance its wars and maintain the defenses of its empire, the British government began to make its settlers in North America pay more taxes. What particularly aroused the resentment and anger of the settlers is that they were not allowed any representation in the British Parliament and, thus, could not voice their opinion or objection about these taxes.

Convinced that taxation without representation is an unjust and wrongful imposition on the colonies by a government located thousands of miles away, the settlers decided to boycott all products coming from Great Britain such as clothes, lead, glass, paper and tea. Henceforth, they took great pride in spinning and weaving their own clothing and took to drinking coffee as their patriotic substitute to English tea.

To emphasize their protest, a group of settlers–some disguised as Native Americans, surreptitiously boarded a British vessel docked at the Boston Harbor in Massachusetts and dumped its cargo of tea into the waters in a protest action known as the “Boston Tea Party.” This is one of the culminating events of the resistance in the colonies against British taxation. The British government retaliated by closing the Boston Port to trade until the citizens paid for the destroyed tea. However, this only served to gain for Massachussetts the sympathy of the other colonies. In September of 1774, representatives from all the colonies, except for Georgia, met in Philadelphia as the First Continental Congress.

While the Congress did not seek independence from Great Britain, it defined the rights of the settlers, placed limits on the power of the British government on the colonies and agreed on tactics on how to deal with unjust and coercive measures imposed by Britain on the colonies. More importantly, it declared that the right to taxation on the setters of the colonies rests solely on their duly elected representatives in the colonial assemblies and not on the British Parliament thousands of miles away which they believed wields only the power to regulate trade.

The following year, in 1775, the first shots were fired in Massachussetts. The American War for Independence had started.

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