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This article is about political and social developments, and the origins and aftermath of the war. For military actions, see American Revolutionary War. For other uses, see American Revolution (disambiguation).
In this article, inhabitants of the Thirteen Colonies of British America that supported the American Revolution are primarily referred to as "Americans," with occasional references to "Patriots", "Whigs," "Rebels" or "Revolutionaries". Colonists who supported the British in opposing the Revolution are usually referred to as "Loyalists" or "Tories". The geographical area of the thirteen colonies is often referred to simply as "America".
John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence, showing the five-man committee in charge of drafting the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776 as it presents its work to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America. They first rejected the authority of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them from overseas without representation, and then expelled all royal officials. By 1774 each colony had established a Provincial Congress, or an equivalent governmental institution, to form individual self-governing states. The British responded by sending combat troops to re-impose direct rule. Through representatives sent in 1775 to the Second Continental Congress, the new states joined together at first to defend their respective self-governance and manage the armed conflict against the British known as the American Revolutionary War (1775–83, also American War of Independence). Ultimately, the states collectively determined that the British monarchy, by acts of tyranny, could no longer legitimately claim...