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The American Revolution, a war waged between Great Britain and 13 of its North American colonies, began in 1775 and ended in 1783 with the British recognition of the independent United States. The conflict originated in a decade-long dispute over the extent of the British Parliament’s authority over the colonies. The political debate eventually escalated to armed hostilities, as the British government used force in an effort to impose obedience on the colonists, while the colonists first fought to retain control over their domestic affairs and later for independence. Despite suffering numerous military defeats, the Americans won several key victories and gained crucial assistance from France in 1778. A year later, Spain entered the war as an ally of France, and the Netherlands joined the ...

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