The American Revolution was a political upheaval that took place between 1765 and 1783 during which colonists in the Thirteen American Colonies rejected the British monarchy and aristocracy, overthrew the authority of Great Britain, and founded the United States of America.
Starting in 1765, members of American colonial society rejected the authority of the British Parliament to tax them and to create other laws affecting them without colonial representatives in the government. During the following decade, protests continued to escalate by colonists (known as Patriots), as in the Boston Tea Party in 1773, during which patriots destroyed a consignment of taxed tea from the Parliament-controlled and favored East India Company. The British responded by imposing punitive laws on Massachusetts in 1774 known as the Coercive Acts, following which Patriots in the other colonies rallied behind Massachusetts. In late 1774, the Patriots set up their own alternative government to better coordinate their resistance efforts against Great Britain, while other colonists, known as Loyalists, preferred to remain aligned to the British Crown.
Tensions escalated to the outbreak of fighting between Patriot militia and British regulars at Lexington and Concord in April 1775. The conflict then developed into a global war, during which the Patriots (and later their French, Spanish, and Dutch allies) fought the British and Loyalists in what became known as the American Revolutionary War (17751783). Patriots in each of the thirteen colonies formed Provincial Congresses that assumed power from the old colonial governments and suppressed Loyalism, and from there built a Continental Army under the leadership of General George Washington. The Continental Congress determined King George III's rule to be tyrannical and infringing the colonists' "rights as Englishmen", and declared the colonies free and independent states in July 1776. The Patriot leadership professed the political philosophies of liberalism and republicanism to reject monarchy and aristocracy, and proclaimed that all men are created equal. Congress rejected British proposals requiring allegiance to the monarchy and abandonment of independence.