On April 19, 1775, Great Britain’s “Bloody Butchery” at Concord and Lexington opened an eight-year war for political independence and representative republican government in America. Despite facing Europe’s greatest military power, Americans found, in the words of George Washington, that “Perseverance and Spirit could work wonders” on the battlefield and in the diplomatic theater.
While creating national military forces and a confederated government, Americans won notable victories in battles at Boston, Saratoga, Trenton, Princeton, Cowpens, and Yorktown. Although both sides suffered the many horrific aspects of eighteenth-century warfare, America’s critical military victories and her determined diplomacy won her independence and a western empire in the 1783 Treaty of Paris.
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