Social Studies - 2018-19

USI.6c - Key Events and Roles of Key Individuals in the American Revolution

The student will apply social science skills to understand the causes and results of the American Revolution by:  

c) describing key events and the roles of key individuals in the American Revolution, with emphasis on George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and the Marquis de Lafayette

Adopted: 2015



Many individuals played important roles in shaping events of the American Revolution. 


Key individuals 

 King George III: British king during the Revolutionary era 

 Lord Cornwallis: British general who surrendered at Yorktown 

 John Adams: Promoted the cause of independence 

 George Washington: Commander of the Continental Army 

 Thomas Jefferson: Major author of the Declaration of Independence 

 Patrick Henry: Outspoken member of the House of Burgesses; inspired colonial patriotism with his “Give me liberty or give me death” speech 

 Thomas Paine: Wrote the pamphlet Common Sense, promoting American independence 

 Benjamin Franklin: Prominent member of the Continental Congress; helped frame the Declaration of Independence; helped gain French support for American independence 

 The Marquis de Lafayette: French nobleman who served in the Continental Army; worked with the king of France to send French troops, ships, and funds that assisted the colonists in the American Revolution and contributed to the victory at Yorktown 

Other important individuals 

 Phillis Wheatley: Enslaved African American who wrote poems and plays supporting American independence and who eventually gained her freedom 

 Paul Revere: Patriot who made a daring ride to warn colonists of British arrival 

Key events 

 Boston Massacre: Colonists in Boston were shot after taunting British soldiers. 

 Boston Tea Party: Samuel Adams and Paul Revere led patriots in throwing tea into Boston Harbor to protest tea taxes. 

 First Continental Congress: Delegates from all colonies except Georgia met to discuss problems with Great Britain and to promote independence. 

 Battles at Lexington and Concord: These were the first armed conflicts of the Revolutionary War. 

 Battle of Bunker Hill: This was the first major battle of the war. 

 Approval of the Declaration of Independence: The colonies declared independence from Great Britain (July 4, 1776). 

 Battle of Saratoga: This American victory was the turning point in the war and led to French support for the patriot cause. 

 Surrender at Yorktown: This was the colonial victory over forces of Lord Cornwallis that marked the end of the Revolutionary War. 

 Signing of the Treaty of Paris: Great Britain recognized American independence in this treaty. 


Updated: May 16, 2018