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People of the American Revolution

When the Revolution broke out, many people had to make a choice. Would they join the Continental Army and help George Washington fight against the powerful British? Would they stay home to protect their families and towns from destruction? Would they use the Revolution as an opportunity to protect lands, or gain freedom? Scroll to learn more about the people of the American Revolution.

The People of the American Revolution

1775
1781
George Washington becomes Commander-in-Chief
Washington takes command
Congress approves the Declaration of Independence
The Battle of Trenton
The Battle of Saratoga
Valley Forge
The Battle of Monmouth
Benedict Arnold betrays the Continental Army
The Battle of Yorktown

June 15, 1775

George Washington becomes Commander-in-Chief

George Washington was appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army at the Second Continental Congress. He was wearing a military uniform.

Washington takes command

After he was appointed commander in chief, Washington traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts to take command of the Continental Army.

Congress approves the Declaration of Independence

The Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence. Copies were printed and given to different state assemblies, conventions, and Continental Army officers. 

The Battle of Trenton

Washington crossed the icy Delaware River on Christmas Day. He then led the army to attack Hessian troops in Trenton, New Jersey - and won. This helped improve the morale of the Continental Army.

The Battle of Saratoga

The Continental Army fought and won the Battle of Saratoga. This was a turning point in the war - it showed that the Continental Army was legitimate and that the colonists might actually have a chance of winning the war. General William Howe - leader of the British Army - stepped down shortly after the loss.

Valley Forge

The Continental Army stayed at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, for the winter of 1777 - 1778. It was really cold, and a lot of people didn't have the food, shelter, or clothing to live comfortably. 

The Battle of Monmouth

George Washington's army attacked the British (led by Henry Clinton) in New Jersey. The Continental Army believed that they had won the battle, even though the British troops escaped to New York without heavy losses.

Benedict Arnold betrays the Continental Army

Benedict Arnold - a General in the Continental Army - agreed to help the British capture West Point. The Continental Army discovered this plot and tried to arrest Arnold. He was almost captured but managed to run away. He then fought for the British for the rest of the war.

The Battle of Yorktown

The Continental, French, British, and Hessian forces fought the Battle of Yorktown for almost a month. The Continental Army and their French allies won, and British leader Charles Cornwallis agreed to surrender the British and Hessian forces.

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