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American Revolution for Kids

The American Revolution was a time when the British colonists in America rebelled against the rule of Great Britain. There were many battles fought and the colonies gained their freedom and became the independent country of the United States. The American Revolutionary War lasted from 1775 until 1783.

13 Colonies

Before the American Revolution, there were several British Colonies in the Americas. Not all of them participated in the revolution. There were 13 colonies which ended up rebelling. These were Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island.

Declaration of Independence
The Signing of the Declaration of Independence


One of the main reasons that the colonists rebelled against Great Britain is that they felt they were not represented in the British government. The British government was making new laws and taxes on the colonies, but the colonies had no say. They wanted to have some say in the British government if they were going to pay high taxes and have to live by British law.


War didn't happen right away. First there were protests and arguments. Then some small skirmishes between the colonists and the local British army. Things just got worse and worse over the course of years until the colonies and Great Britain were at war.


Each colony had its own local government. In 1774 they each elected officials to represent them at the First Continental Congress. This was the first effort of the colonies to unite and make a single government. In 1776 the Second Continental Congress declared the independence of the United States from Great Britain.

New Government

The new government of the United States was different than the government of the colonist's homeland, Great Britain. They decided that they didn't want to be ruled by a king anymore. They wanted a government that was ruled by the people. The new government would be a democratic government with leaders elected by the people and balances of power to make sure that no one could become king.

Fun Facts about the American Revolution Recommended books and references:

  • The Revolutionary War : a sourcebook on colonial America edited by Carter Smith. 1991.
  • The American Revolution for Kids by Janis Herbert. 2002.
  • The Revolutionary War by Brendan January. 2000.
  • The Declaration of Independence: Our Government and Citizenship by Kevin Cunningham. 2005.
  • The American Revolution: Magic Tree House Reference Guide by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce. 2004.

  • Take a ten question quiz at the American Revolution questions page.

    Go here to test your knowledge with a Revolutionary War crossword puzzle or word search.

    Learn more about the Revolutionary War:


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