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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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American Revolution

by Alan K. Lamm, 2006
Additional research provided by David K. Davis and Carolyn Sparks Whittenburg.

The American Revolution was fought on several critical battlefronts across North Carolina and near its borders, altering the lives of all North Carolinians and creating social and political upheaval within practically every community. The progression to full-scale war in North Carolina, as in other American colonies, was a slow process marked by years of emerging unrest among its citizens. Crises such as the violent resistance to the 1765 Stamp Act-as well as the adoption of anti-British documents, or "resolves," by some local political leaders who believed England's economic policies toward the colonies to be unfair and overly punitive-created a spirit of revolution well before any significant battles took place within the province. By the time war erupted after the bloodshed in Lexington and Concord, Mass., on 19 Apr. 1775, which left the British with 273 dead, wounded, or missing compared to 100 American casualties, many North Carolinians had already been anticipating the fight to gain their independence.



Keep reading  >> Part 2: First North Carolina Conflicts and the Establishment of a Provincial GovernmentKeep reading

Educator Resources:

Grade 8: “The Revolutionary Times” – News article assignment. NC Civic Education Consortium.

Grade 8: Revolutionary War People Project. NC Civic Education Consortium.

Grade 8: American Revolution: Events Leading to War. North Carolina Civic Education Consortium.

Grade 8: On the Road to Revolution:Creating a Living Timeline. North Carolina Civic Education Consortium.

Grade 8: Edenton Tea Party. North Carolina Civic Education Consortium.

Grade 8: Revolutionary War Era Project. NC Civic Eduation Consortium.

Grade 8: Loyalists and Patriots. North Carolina Civic Education Consortium.

Grade 8: Mecklenburg Resolves. North Carolina Civic Education Consortium.

Image Credit:

"First Recognition of the American Flag by a Foreign Government, 14 February 1778, painting by Edward Moran, 1898." Photo courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina, call #: N_71_3_9. Available from (accessed May 10, 2012).

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