Historical Facts About America’s Fight for Independence

“The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation.”
- Woodrow Wilson

The American Revolutionary War was a war of independence by North America’s 13 British Colonies against Britain. The war began in 1775, and grew from increasing tensions between the colonies and the government representatives of the British Crown.

With the British surrender at Yorktown Virginia in 1781, the Americans had essentially won their independence, but the fighting didn’t officially end until 1783. So while Americans celebrate July 4th for Congress’s 1776 adoption of the Declaration of Independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks to parades and concerts, it's worth remembering that the document was not the end of the war.

Below are 58 facts that you may not have known about the Revolutionary War.

American Revolution Facts

1. The Mad King

King George III had a debilitating illness that caused abdominal pain, constipation, fever, insomnia, delirium, convulsions, and stupor. He would reportedly rip off his wig and around naked while at the peak of a fever.

This affliction began affecting the king as early as 1765, and historians have speculated that it was George’s madness which rendered him unable to quell the discontent in the Thirteen Colonies.

So maybe 4th of July celebrations should include some naked runs around the neighborhood, in honor of the man who inadvertently helped the revolutionary cause? Or, I guess, there should be more naked runs around the neighborhood.

Mad Kings and Queens facts

Wikimedia Commons

2. The Poisoned King?

A study of King George’s hair, a strand of which had been kept at a museum since shortly after his death, revealed extremely high levels of arsenic—17 times greater than the minimum threshold for arsenic poisoning.

This presents a darker alternative explanation of King George's ailment, previously thought to be caused by Porphyria.

Historians convinced of the theory that arsenic poisoning caused the king’s affliction have lamented their portrayal of King George as the insane king who “lost the Thirteen Colonies.”

Some recent scholars have painted a much kinder picture of a man who tried to be support his ministers and country, battling mental debilitation in a difficult time.

Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz facts

The Madness of King George (1994), The Samuel Goldwyn Company

3.“No Taxation Without Representation”

The Colonists were frustrated with the British because they were being forced to pay taxes, but had no representation in British Parliament. Colonists used the phrase “No Taxation Without Representation” as a rallying cry.

Paul Revere facts