American Revolution - Military Hostilities Begin

Military Hostilities Begin

Further information: Shot heard 'round the world, Boston campaign, and Invasion of Canada (1775)

The Battle of Lexington and Concord took place April 19, 1775, when the British sent a force of roughly 1000 troops to confiscate arms and arrest revolutionaries in Concord, Massachusetts. They clashed with the local militia, marking the first fighting of the American Revolutionary War. The news aroused the 13 colonies to call out their militias and send troops to besiege Boston. The Battle of Bunker Hill followed on June 17, 1775. While a British victory, it was at a great cost; about 1,000 British casualties from a garrison of about 6,000, as compared to 500 American casualties from a much larger force.

The Second Continental Congress convened in 1775, after the war had started. The Congress created the Continental Army and extended the Olive Branch Petition to the crown as an attempt at reconciliation. King George III refused to receive it, issuing instead the Proclamation of Rebellion, requiring action against the "traitors".

In the winter of 1775, the Americans invaded Canada. General Richard Montgomery captured Montreal but a joint attack on Quebec with the help of Benedict Arnold failed.

In March 1776, with George Washington as the commander of the new army, the Continental Army forced the British to evacuate Boston. The revolutionaries were now in full control of all 13 colonies and were ready to declare independence. While there still were many Loyalists, they were no longer in control anywhere by July 1776, and all of the Royal officials had fled.

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