Lesson 9: What Happened during the American Revolution? How Did the Government Function?


"The shot heard 'round the world"  A line in a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson describing the effect of the outbreak of the American Revolution in April 1775. The American Revolution and its principles became extremely influential around the world. It was the first of many rebellions by countries against their colonial rulers.

Battle of Saratoga (1777)  An important battle of the Revolutionary War that lasted from June to October 1777, when the British surrendered in Saratoga, New York. The American victory prevented the British from splitting the colonies in two, increased American morale, and encouraged the French to sign a treaty with the Americans.

diplomacy  The practice of carrying on formal relationships with governments of other countries.

Quebec Campaign (1775-76)  A military expedition that was an attempt by the Americans to protect the American North and persuade the Canadians to join their rebellion against Britain. American forces invaded Canada and captured Montreal in late 1774. The British forced the Americans to retreat in the spring of 1776.

treason  Betrayal of one???s country, especially by giving aid to an enemy in wartime or by plotting to overthrow the government. Treason is carefully defined in the Constitution to ensure that government cannot abuse its powers against dissenters.

Treaty of Paris  The agreement signed on September 3, 1783, between Great Britain and the United States that ended the Revolutionary War. With the treaty, Great Britain recognized the independence of the United States. Also called the Peace of Paris.

Yorktown Surrender  The final military act that ended the Revolutionary War. In October 1781, American and French forces blocked a British escape from the Yorktown Peninsula in Virginia. On October 17???19, 1781, the British forces under Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown to the American army under George Washington.