Many historians trace the beginnings of the modern world to the Revolutions of the late 1700's. The first of these was the American Revolution, in which 13 British Colonies in North America declared their independence from their mother country and successfully resisted British Military pressure for seven years (1775-1783). .
Even before the Declaration of Independence was signed, British troops began arriving to put down the rebellion. These troops would not leave for five years.
In 1775, the first military conflicts between the British and Americans occurred at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts as British soldiers attempted to capture a storehouse of American weapons. During this time the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and named George Washington commander of American troops fighting around Boston, which the British had under siege. Before Washington arrived, British and American troops clashed at Breed's Hill and Bunker Hill. .
In 1776, Thomas Paine, a writer arrived from Britain, and he published Common Sense, a pamphlet that urged the American colonies to throw off British rule. The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia after the Second Continental Congress decided that the colonies must break away from the British rule. The British finally left Boston but they captured New York City after fighting General Washington and his troops. The Americans retreated to Pennsylvania. .
Between 1776 and 1777 during a surprise move on the British and their Hessian mercenaries, Washington captured British garrisons at Trenton and Princeton, New Jersey taking weapons and ammunition. American troops defeated combined forces of the British at Saratoga, New York. A turning point in the war, this victory strengthened American morals and convinced the French to send military aid and supplies to the Americans.
During the bitter Winter of 1777-1778 American soldiers faced starvation and disease at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.