Unit 4: The Struggle for North America
French control of the region surrounding the Mississippi River led to conflicts over land between France and Great Britain. These conflicts caused the French and Indian War. Great Britain's victory united English colonists for the first time as Americans.
After the war, colonists protested the taxes British leaders imposed to pay for the war. Colonists organized and conflicts arose in Boston. Delegates from the colonies formed the First Continental Congress to decide what action to take against Great Britain. Shortly after, the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired at Lexington and Concord. The British won some early victories. Colonial opinion was divided on the war.
The Second Continental Congress met and sent a peace petition to King George the III. He rejected the proposal, and in 1776 they approved the Declaration of Independence, which stated the colonies were free from British rule.
The British and Patriot armies both had strengths and weaknesses. General George Washington led the Patriot Army. Women and African Americans supported the war effort on the battlefield and at home. The Patriot victory at Saratoga was a turning point in the war. The British surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781. The Patriot Army had won independence.