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Questions tagged [american-revolution]

pertaining to the American Revolutionary War (1775-1781) and its era, where the 13 North American colonies fought and won independence from Great Britain.

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What happened to the colonial estates belonging to loyalists after the American Revolution?

What happened to the colonial estates of the rich, elite Loyalist families after the American Revolution? I assume they were just broken up and sold off to small farmers to appease some of the land ...
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Was the US debt free in 1776, as Thomas Paine claimed in “Common Sense”?

In the pamphlet's fourth chapter “Of the Present Ability of America, with Some Miscellaneous Reflections” Paine wrote that the US had no debt. However, "Common Sense" was published in 1776, by which ...
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Why was John Paul Jones pardoned in Whitehaven in 1999?

The Wikipedia page for John Paul Jones states that he was pardoned in Whitehaven in 1999 for his raid, but doesn't state why. So far, the article I have found that seems to contain the most ...
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What is the history of the Molly, which became the USS Reprisal

According to Wikipedia, the USS Reprisal ...was the first ship of what was to become the United States Navy to be given the name promising hostile action in response to an offense. Originally ...
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Was there any distinction between the 13 Colonies and the Canadian provinces prior to the American Revolution?

Was there any distinction between the 13 Colonies that became the United States and the Canadian colonies/provinces prior to the American Revolution? For example, did New Brunswick and New Hampshire ...
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What social relationships existed between the popular mobility and the political elites in the revolutionary American colonies?

What social relationships existed between the popular mobility and the political elites in the revolutionary and potentially revolutionary British American colonies? For those unfamiliar with 18th ...
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What started the American Revolution?

I’ve read that the American Revolution started at Lexington and Concord with what Ralph Waldo Emerson called, “the shot heard around the world”. Battles of Lexington and Concord The Battles of ...
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What was the Victorian opinion of the American Revolution?

BACKGROUND It's pretty remarkable to me, though perhaps it shouldn't be, how much British popular debate there was about the American Revolution. It was often condemned, but sometimes openly ...
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Did Washington like or dislike the monarchical styles of address proposed by John Adams?

In high school history class a teacher taught us that George Washington desired and sought nobility/monarchy-like titles for his office of President, such as ones involving "Highness", "Majesty", and "...
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What was the perception of the average British person of the Boston Tea Party?

Do we have any record of the reaction of the average British person to the Boston Tea Party? Would the proverbial man on the street have been aware of the event? If so, what was their perception of it ...
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How does the terrain around Saratoga compare to that of Forts Clinton and Montgomery?

Saratoga, where the Americans won a major battle against Britain's General John Burgoyne during the American Revolution, was 30 miles north of Albany, New York. During the same campaign, the British ...
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Did any country threaten war on the US because they didn't pay their debt after the Revolutionary War?

Ok, I am in 8th grade and we had a history test. One of the questions on the test was: Why did Hamilton want to pay off war debt? a) If he didn't, other countries might not want to do business with ...
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Which of Ben Franklin's grandsons was blessed by Voltaire?

I've seen this image and I was curious if anyone knows which grandson of Ben Franklin's this is receiving Voltaire's blessing: https://www.wikitree.com/genealogy/Franklin-Descendants-1
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Why did Loyalists go to Canada during the American Revolution

I am currently learning about the American Revolution and I have some questions about the loyalists. I know that they were supportive of the British Empire, but why did they leave the U.S. and, when ...
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Why was the Declaration of Independence handwritten, rather than printed with a printing press?

The United States' Declaration of Independence was handwritten by Thomas Jefferson. Why was this done instead of being printed with a printing press? The Dunlap broadside was the first printed copy ...
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Who attributed to King George II the quote “Will someone please remove these infernal chains?”

The quote is from Pirates of the Caribbean, but I'm certain an author from the American Revolution era wrote something very similar, and hence the irony of the King George II character's quote (...
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In the Revolutionary War, why did General Howe attack Philadelphia, instead of continuing his march to join General Burgoyne?

General Howe, had previously captured New York City and originally proposed to move north, where Burgoyne was. What caused the change of plan?
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Why did European people settle in America and later create another nation of their own? [closed]

Now, in North America, mostly white people live. They are not the real natives—it's the American Indians. They are mostly from England and other powerful European nations at that time who were ...
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Was “Mad Anthony” Wayne of the Continental Army really that cruel like shown in this video?

In the TV show "Turn: Washington's Spies" (which I like to recommend throughly), there are some scenes in the 4th season which show Brigadier General Anthony Wayne of the Continental Army, who earned ...
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Are any Liberty Poles around today?

My American Revolutionary War research has led to an investigation of the Sons of Liberty (SAR). This organization was known to erect Liberty Poles (see picture) as a way of angering Britain in a show ...
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What is the London Enemies List 1775?

This London Enemies List 1775 has come up in American Revolutionary War research regarding Paul Revere and other revolutionaries. I believe it is a document of some sort and find a referenced source (...
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Is the “refuse” side of this American Revolutionary War document really empty?

I am doing genealogy work (not a genealogy question) and noticed my ancestors on a list regarding who would agree to fight the Britain in the American Revolutionary War. The document is from people ...
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Why was Independence Day in America established on July 4?

July 4 is the date that the Declaration of Independence was ratified. Why was that the date chosen for Independence Day, rather than any of these dates (not to the exclusion of others; these just seem ...
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Was the Somerset Decision in 1772 in England the real underlying cause of the American Revolutionary war?

I had a discussion with a Brit the other day and naturally the topic drifted to our historic break from the UK in 1776 and I boasted of our noble fight for liberation and freedom. The Brit was amused ...
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Was there a time when George Washington discovered some of his soldiers absolutely refused to swear loyalty and obedience to the Continental Congress?

I'm trying to pin down the details of something which I believe once happened to George Washington, before the end of the American War of Independence. Back around the late 1980s, I was reading a book ...
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Why was Lafayette imprisoned after the French Revolution?

I have read books about the American and French revolutions, but in all my reading it was never made clear why exactly Lafayette was imprisoned by the Austrians. It's clear that he angered the radical ...
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Were there any British traitors during the American revolutionary war?

I'm looking for any instances where a British soldier voluntarily changed sides mid conflict and fought for the colonies. People who were as infamous as Benedict Arnold but for the British.
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Between the 7 Years War and 1776, was there any effort to have the colonies represented in Parliament?

I've now read a couple books about the American Revolution and the founding fathers. I don't think, however, I read anything about colonial assemblies or the continental congresses pushing for ...
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What was the ratio of French to English speakers in Upper Canada before and after the American Revolution?

Immediately before the American Revolution, the area that would become Upper Canada (modern-day Ontario) was largely French-speaking, having been a French colony until 1763 when the British took over. ...
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Britain's Vietnam - the US Revolt?

When Great Britain brought its land and naval forces to the American shores to enforce its rule there, before and after the American's declaration of independence, Great Britain's motives seem clear: ...
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Why is Crispus Attucks the one who gets all the attention? [closed]

The only name most people from the Boston Massacre is Crispus Attucks, when in fact there were five Crispus Attucks, Samuel Gray, James Caldwell, Samuel Maverick and Patrick Carr So what ...
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What were the names of the spy rings besides Culper during the Revolutionary War?

I want to know the names of spy rings beyond the Culper spy ring, that operated during the American Revolutionary War. Beyond just the name, it would be helpful to know where the spies operated as ...
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Did American colonist soldiers learn guerrilla fighting tactics from the Native Americans?

I don't know everything about the revolutionary war, but what I remember from high school history was that the colonists used a kind of guerrilla fighting, while England's army used inflexible battle ...
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Why were Civil War battle techniques so bloody, if the US had learned guerrilla fighting in the Revolutionary War?

My understanding (which could be wrong) is that armies in the U.S. civil war were "bloody" in the sense that soldiers did not retreat or were sent directly into fire, until one side was wiped out. If ...
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How harmful was the Tea Act of 1773 to the American colonies?

The Tea Act of 1773 was passed by the Parliament to rescue the East India Company. However, I read somewhere that it would have actually made tea cheaper everywhere in the Empire1. By this argument, ...
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In 1700-1850 warfare, would infantry still march in formation while retreating?

At the 31:20 juncture of Episode 20 in total (Episode 10 of Season 2) of the AMC TV show Turn, because the British infantry march slowly in formation (rather than running) to leave the battlefield at ...
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How can you see what rank a British redcoat is?

This page displays 'U.S. ARMY RANK INSIGNIA The Later Revolutionary War Era - 1780'. Is there a similar guide for the British as Wikipedia's rank insignia for the Continental Army? I know of the ...
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Did colonists “resign the power of voting” and have no more right to govern themselves than the Cornish people?

What exactly made the Americans believe they were different than the Cornish people besides the distance which divided them from England? Wasn't it the settlers' own free decision to move from ...
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How would British counterfeiting efforts in the revolutionary war have inflated the American currency? [closed]

During the revolutionary war one of the British's espionage tactics was to flood the American market with counterfeit currency to cause mass runaway inflation. But how would that have worked? I don't ...
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Why didn't British colonists in Canada join the American revolution? [duplicate]

Many of the British colonists living in Quebec and Nova Scotia had the same complaints as the American British colonists. Why they did not join in the American Revolution?
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What was said about Vermont in the Paris negotiations of 1782?

In November 1782 the Preliminary Articles of Peace between Britain and the United States were signed. They specified where the boundaries of the United States were. I have two questions: (1) Did ...
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The nature of the Preliminary Articles of Peace of 1782

The Preliminary Articles of Peace appear to be identical to the peace treaty usually said to be dated 1783 and ratified in 1784. Since they are verbatim the same, what is the difference between the "...
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Why didn't Great Britain give the colonies voting rights?

The thirteen colonies rebelled after "No Taxation without Representation", and Great Britain probably could have appeased them for quite some time the same way they did Canada (who stayed with Great ...
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What did Ben Franklin mean when he said “The sun of liberty is set; you must light up the candle of industry & economy”?

The sun of liberty is set; you must light up the candle of industry and economy. I've seen this quote in various places, cited simply as "a correspondence". Looking for more context, I only find: ...
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What economic incentives (if any) did France have to aid the American army during the revolution?

Most history texts only state France had a desire to seek revenge for their defeat in the 7 Years War and that a Treaty of Alliance (1778) was signed. I'm having a hard time convincing myself that ...
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What does 'a long train' mean in the Declaration of Independence

As a child I always imagined a bunch railroad cars, yet from my understanding the railway system didn't really appear until the 1800's. And, if there was no steam engine to pull the cars, the only ...
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What was the relationship between the Tories and Quakers?

During the period of the American Revolution, most Quakers supported the British cause. But unlike many of the Tories, they were strict pacifists. What was the relationship between the British ...
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New York City as “the greatest city in the world” in 1776?

In the musical "Hamilton," the Schuyler sisters sing of New York City as "the greatest city in the world." The scene is set in 1776, I believe. This feels like an anachronism. Was New York regarded ...
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When was the American War of Independence first called a 'Revolution'?

What happened in America seems to be nothing of the kind that happened in France a few years later. American Independence was all about a group of Englishmen exercising their rights under the 1688 ...
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What was the difference in taxation amounts before and after the American Revolution?

I would like to know the difference in the amount Americans were taxed before and after the revolution. Did taxes go up or down (or stay the same)? How did an average citizen's taxation amount change ...