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History of the U.S. (1774-1783): The War for Independence

Updated on June 19, 2012

Get Schoolless Credit.

This is a resource for those studying for the History of the United States I CLEP exam, or simply for those who love to study history. The History of the Unites States I CLEP exam covers U.S. history from early colonization to 1877. This lens is one in a series of lenses that will be developed.

How to Use This Lens

Study Chapter 6 of the college text book listed. Review any sections that you need to work on either in the book or the links provided. Additional recommended reading and lectures are provided to enhance your learning experience. Once you're comfortable with the material, move on to chapter 7.

Declaration of Independence

If this doesn't make you want to study U.S. History, I'm not sure I can help you.

The College Level Text Book You'll Need

This is the text book that we are using as a basis for the lectures and study guides. The resources here are not a substitute for reading, but rather to augment your studies. This is the book we are using in our study group, but feel free to substitute any college text book on the subject.

See what it was like

The HBO mini-series, based on David McCullough's novel, is a well researched imagining of what it was like to live in Revolutionary America.

A clip from the John Adams HBO Mini-Series

Chronology

1775

April 19: Battles of Lexington and Concord.

May 10: Second Continental Congress meets.

June 17: Battle of Bunker Hill.

December 31: American attack on Quebec.

1776

January 9: Thomas Paine's Common Sense.

July 4: Declaration of Independence.

September 15: British take New York City.

December 26: Battle of Trenton.

1777

January 3: Battle of Princeton.

September 11: Battle of Brandywine Creek.

October 17: American victory at Saratoga.

Runaway inflation begins.

Continental Army winters at Valley Forge.

1778

February 6: France and the United States sign an alliance.

June 17: Congress refuses to negotiate with British peace commissioners.

July 4: George Rogers Clark captures British post in the Mississippi Valley.

December 29: British capture Savannah.

Death of the great French Enlightenment writer, François-Marie Arouet Voltaire.

1779

June 21: Spain declares war on Britain.

Americans devastate the Iroquois country.

September 23: John Paul Jones captures the British ship Serapis.

1780

May 12: Fall of Charleston, South Carolina.

October 7: Americans win Battle of Kings Mountain.

December 3: Nathanael Greene takes command in the South.

1781

January 17: Americans defeat British at the Battle of Cowpens.

March 15: Battle of Guilford Court House.

October 19: Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown.

Influential German philosopher Immanuel Kant publishes his first major work, The Critique of Pure Reason.

1783

March 15: Washington quells the Newburgh "Conspiracy."

September 3: Peace of Paris signed.

November 21: British begins evacuating New York.

First manned balloon flight, in France.

Quakers present first anti-slavery petition to the British parliament.

1784

Unites states vessel opens trade with Canton, China.

1788

Britain transports convicts to Australia.

Source: The American Journey

Academic Lectures

You may have to download RealPlayer (it's free) to view these lectures.

Additional Revolutionary Reading

Forests have been leveled publishing books about the American Revolution. Here are a few of my favorites.

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