The American Revolution was a war of independence fought by those living in the 13 colonies of North America against Great Britain. Those living in the colonies were especially angry about taxes the British were forcing them to pay. People felt taxes were unfair because there was no colonial representation in the British parliament. One tax was the stamp tax, which taxed printed materials such as newspapers. The colonists called this "taxation without representation". Colonists who wanted freedom from English rule were known as Patriots. Those who supported British rule were known as Loyalists. Before full scale war broke out, there were many acts of protest by patriots, like the Boston Tea Party when Bostonians boarded British ships and dumped 342 chests of tea into the harbor because of a tea tax. On April 19 the first shots were fired in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, which officially started the war.
Many people were involved in the struggle for independence. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams worked together to write the Declaration of Independence. On July 4, 1776, patriots declared themselves free. Most people know George Washington was the first president of the United States. Before that he was the commander-in-chief of the patriot army. Most of the battles in the American Revolution were fought in the northeast in places near Boston, and New York.
The British, known as redcoats because of their red uniform jackets, had help from German mercenary soldiers called Hessians. Patriots had support from other Europeans. France entered the American Revolution on the side of the colonists in 1778. This helped force the British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1779. However, fighting would not formally end until 1783 with the Treaty of Paris when Great Britain recognized the United States as an independent nation.