The American Revolutionary War is how this country began. (We started this party off with a bang.) The colonies banded together and fought against the massive British army and emerged victorious. If you think about it, it’s pretty crazy that teeny tiny colonies were able to rebel against their own empire to start a new country. (It’s a good thing the Atlantic Ocean is mighty big.)
There are some lesser known facts about our humble beginnings, though, and we are going to explore some of those now:
1.) John Adams was the defense attorney who got the British soldiers who attacked civilians during the Boston Massacre acquitted. He successfully defended all but 2 of them, and those 2 were spared the death penalty due to his magnificent judicial skills.
2.) There were actually 2 Boston Tea Parties. The famous one carried out by the Sons of Liberty in 1773, and a year later in 1774 by commoners of the colonies. It cost the British a load of money too, the modern equivalent of $3 million.
3.) Benedict Arnold was actually one of the best generals in the American army before becoming a “turncoat.” He led the Americans to a decisive victory at Saratoga which was pivotal to the French involvement in the war. Interestingly enough, the reason Arnold decided to fight for the British was because he opposed the French involvement.
4.) Benjamin Franklin actually wrote the first Declaration of Independence in 1775, but the Continental Congress did not approve of it.
5.) One of the most genius moves in the war was Washington inoculating his forces with smallpox. This rapidly decreased death by the disease from 17% to as low as 1% of all deaths in the war.
6.) Since there was no established Continental Army at the beginning of the war, there were no uniforms for the Americans to wear, so many of them just wore civilian clothing or hunting garb.
7.) About 20% of the colonists opposed the revolution and fought alongside the British army.
8.) Paul Revere never actually said, “The British are coming!” during his famous midnight ride. It wouldn’t have made sense considering everyone at the time was still a British citizen. Eyewitness accounts have him saying, “The regulars are coming out!” Which is much less heroic sounding.
9.) King George III realized that the British weren’t going to win the war very early on, but decided to prolong the conflict as punishment to the colonies and wished to destroy as much of the coastline as possible.
And to think, I never heard about any of this in my History classes. Share this post using the buttons below.