April 19th 1775: American Revolutionary War begins
On this day in 1775, the war for independence of the thirteen American colonies from the British began with victories at the battles of Lexington and Concord. Desires for independence had been growing in America as the distant British King appeared increasingly tyrannical with his insistence on taxing the American colonists but denying them representation. War began when British appointed governor of Massachusetts Thomas Gage became aware the Americans were gathering weapons in Concord, Massachusetts and sent British troops to seize them. Riders such as Paul Revere alerted the people of the arrival of the British and a local militia gathered to battle the troops. With the first shot fired and the British forces defeated, the war began. The War for Independence led to America’s Declaration of Independence from Britain in 1776, but the war continued until official American victory in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris.
“By the rude bridge that arched the flood
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson’s ‘Concord Hymn’