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Boston Campaign - American Revolutionary War

Updated on December 16, 2016
Phyllis Doyle profile image

Early American history is of special interest to Phyllis, for it is what shaped our country.

Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown

Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown
Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown | Source

Determination and Dedication

The Boston Campaign is where American Revolutionary War started.

When one visits the Appalachian regions it can bring home to the heart what happened there so very many years ago with the determination and dedication of the colonists.

They came to a new land to seek independence and their own way of life. They were willing to fight and die for it to give their children and future generations the right to stand strong in their own home land and know what freedom is.

The American Revolutionary War began with the Boston Campaign, 1774 - 1776. Many skirmishes between the colonists and the British occurred prior to and during the Boston Campaign over actions taken by Parliament and the presence of the British regiments.

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Boston Massacre

The Townshend Acts of 1767 by the British Parliament placed duties on such commodities as paper, glass, and paint that the American colonies had to import.

The Sons of Liberty, a political group whose aim was to protect the rights of the colonists, protested along with other patriotic organizations, and several actions were taken. Boycotts and protests of the imported items caused tensions to escalate and eventually led to the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770.

The Boston Massacre came about when several civilians began harassing a British sentry. Eight other British soldiers gathered to support the sentry and fired into the crowd at the civilians. Three people were killed and several others wounded -- two died later from wounds received in the incident.

Boston Massacre Engraved by Paul Revere

The bloody massacre perpetrated in King Street Boston on March 5th 1770 by a party of the 29th Regt. According to the Library of Congress
The bloody massacre perpetrated in King Street Boston on March 5th 1770 by a party of the 29th Regt. According to the Library of Congress | Source

Boston Tea Party

On December 16, 1773, another incident occurred which became known as the Boston Tea Party. This was another protest by the Sons of Liberty. Three ships were seized by colonists and all the tea was thrown into Boston Harbor.

This action taken by the Sons of Liberty has been considered the major incident that encouraged the American Revolution. Since this event led to Parliament enforcing the "Intolerable Acts", colonists responded with even more protests. Continued colonial resistance to acts of Parliament and the British regiments enforcing them, escalated tensions and the crisis led to the Revolutionary War.

Boston Tea Party by Nathaniel Currier

Boston Tea Party by Nathaniel Currier
Boston Tea Party by Nathaniel Currier | Source

Patriot Militia

By April 1775, the Patriot militia of the thirteen colonies were ready to fight and give their lives to defend their independence and new country. They were a powerful force that kept growing, but they lacked organization and strategic skills. To mobilize the many units of the militia, they had to be brought together as one army, with qualified leaders.

The man chosen to lead the growing army and bring organization and strategic skills to the Patriot militia units was General George Washington, who had been given command of the Continental Army in July of 1775 by the Second Continental Congress.

On April 19, 1775 the first open armed conflict between Great Britain and the American colonies were the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a memorial poem in 1837 which he titled the Concord Hymn. In the first stanza he wrote the phrase that became well-known as the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. "The shot heard 'round the world" over time became a phrase for other important events in wars, sports, cultural and social events.

Following the Lexington and Concord battles, the militia (Continental Army) laid siege to Boston. The Battle of Bunker Hill, one of the worst encounters for both sides, was during the "Siege of Boston". With Washington's skills of leadership, the ever growing militia became organized and battle ready.

Several other campaigns and numerous battles were fought till the colonies finally won their freedom and independence from the British monarch and no longer had to deal with Parliament.


General George Washington, 1732 - 1799

General George Washington at Trenton, by John Trumbull, 1792
General George Washington at Trenton, by John Trumbull, 1792 | Source

American Allies and a Turning Point in the war

If not for alliance of France, Spain, and the Republic of the United Netherlands (Dutch Republic), the outcome of the American Revolutionary War would certainly have meant a victory for Britain and no independence for America.

The Continental Army received weapons, ammunition and supplies from the allies. France was America's strongest supporter -- Spain and the Dutch Republic were allies of France. With Spain warring against Britain in west Florida, this kept America's southern flank secured. France and the Dutch Republic were at war with Britain and threatened to invade them. All this put a great strain on the British military.

King Louis XVI of France had previously sent support in secrecy to the Continental Army. Since the surrender of Burgoyne, which was a turning point in favor of the Americans, France sent more support in the form of soldiers, weapons and supplies. France had officially joined the war on America's side.


King Louis XVI of France, 1754 - 1793

Antoine-François Callet, King Louis XVI, 1779, in his Grand Royal apparel.
Antoine-François Callet, King Louis XVI, 1779, in his Grand Royal apparel. | Source

Confrontation at Bunker Hill and Breed's Hill

On June 17, 1775, the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought. This was the most fierce and bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War. The British had begun a wall to set up a battle line at Bunker Hill after their retreat from the Battles of Lexington and Concord, then abandoned the site in April, retreating further into the Boston area.

Having seen the beginning of a defense line, a detachment of colonial militia took it over and fortified the wall at Bunker Hill, and also on Breed's Hill, for their own battle line.

By this time of the war, General Gage had been recalled to England and had been replaced by General William Howe (5th Viscount Howe). When the colonial army had taken over the Bunker Hill fortification, General Howe attacked and seized Charlestown peninsula. Three attacks came from Howe's forces and, because the colonial militia ran out of ammunition supplies, they had to retreat to Cambridge, just north of Boston across the other side of Charles River. They had suffered heavy losses.

Although the victory was attributed to the British, their losses were even heavier, with 226 troops killed and over 800 wounded.

The seige continued however, with the British being more penned in to Boston with no way through the colonial forces.


Battle of Bunker Hill

The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill by John Trumbull
The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill by John Trumbull | Source

Surrender of Cornwallis

In October 1781, the battles were over. With the surrender of Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Yorktown, victory for America was fully realized. General George Washington of the Continental Army and John Baptiste Comte de Rochambeau of the French Army troops had led the last major battle on land.

The outcome of the Battle of Yorktown spurred negotiations in Britain to end the war. When it was also apparent that support of the war was dropping in London, the Commons voted to end the war in April 1782, one month after the resignation of British Prime Minister Lord North was received.

On November 25, 1783, British troops gave up their hold on New York City and returned to Britain. The official end of the war was on September 3, 1783, when the Treaty of Paris and the Treaties of Versailles were signed.


Jean-Baptiste Comte de Rochambeau, 1725 - 1807

Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, Marechal De France (1725-1807)
Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, Marechal De France (1725-1807) | Source

American Revolution

© 2013 Phyllis Doyle Burns

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    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Phyllis, it's so fine to see you starting the Revolutionary War's northern story. It is definitely fertile territory for writing on the struggle for America's attempt at independence and King George's determination to hold on to power over the 13 colonies.

      As to pertains to a part of this one it can fairly be said the beginning of the conflict truly started with the march to confiscate arms and ammo of the patriots at Concord.

      Much blessings and success with your new writing endeavors. You know there was a physical giant of a man/ patriot who covered himself in glory before being mortally wounded at the Battle of Brandywine that would make very interesting reading if you want to occasionally go in that direction; and the battle and chase of Lexington/Concord is much more exciting to read than I once thought. So, so much here waiting for you with to tell readers about my friend.:)

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
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      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Alastar, you have my blood pumping to get into the battles of the Revolutionary War more strongly now. I look back at the Patriots, the Continental Army and the leaders of the battles and my heart swells with pride for what they did for America.

      I try to follow the war in chronological order, yet find myself jumping ahead here and there, beginning a new article on yet another tense and infamous battle. It may take quite awhile for me to cover the northern theatre, but this I will do. The Seige of Boston, the Battles of Lexington and Concord are at my fingertips and I go back and forth trying to write and finish the articles in a timely manner -- right now, I am so pumped with excitement that it is hard to stop long enough to complete one battle. I must get some order within me for this. LOL

      Battle of Brandywine -- I have not yet read much about that, but, since you are my inspiration for writing on the Revolutionary War, I will look into it, thank you. You are a fine writer and keep me right on the edge of my chair as I read your battles. I feel like I am right in the midst of each battle you write about.

      Thank you, Alastar, for motivating and supporting me. I so enjoy fighting the war with you, my friend.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      This hub was revised a little to add some information on the "bloodiest battle" in the Revolutionary War. I hope you enjoy reading it.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Phyllis. Great history lesson on the American Revolutionary War. I've seen the reenactment of the Battle of Lexington and Concord and found it fascinating. We've also been to Bunker Hill many times, I didn't realize it was such a bloody battle. Great job, enjoyed the read.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Bill. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. It must be quite an experience to walk where those battles took place. Thanks again and have a great day, Bill.

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