General Washington's Regret formerly known as The State of Nova Scotia In 1776, Nova Scotia was a frontier colony, not as developed or established as the "Thirteen Colonies" to its south. It had been a French colony, Acadia, until 1758, less than two decades before the Revolution. It is often reported that George Washington's greatest regret was not supporting Nova Scotia revolutionaries during the American Revolution. This timeline explores what may have been had the Revolutionary War come to Nova Scotia. ~-~-~-~-~-~ Chapter I: The American Revolution Origins of the Revolution, 1763-1776 The origins of the revolution can be said to have begun as the French-Indian War ended. With the French military threat gone, Britain adopted the view that colonies should pay a substantial part of the costs that kept them a part of the British Empire. As a series of taxes and other laws were imposed, many Colonial Englishmen felt that the taxes violated their rights as Englishmen, because they had no Parliamentary representation. A popular response to these taxes was to boycott British goods. In 1773, Boston officials refused to return three shiploads of tea to Britain after Massachusetts colonists had boycotted the goods. In response, a group of colonists boarded the ships and threw the tea into the harbor. Parliament's reaction was the Coercive Acts, a series of actions intended to show the Colony of Massachusetts that British authority would be enforced. To the colonists, however, these became known as the Intolerable Acts. Beginning with so-called Committees of Correspondence, many colonies had developed unofficial Provincial Congresses, as a means of relaying and discussing news and ideas. This development would lead to a Continental Congress in 1774. In the First Continental Congress, colonists from each of the thirteen colonies, minus New York, agreed to boycott all British goods. The congress also published a list of complaints against Parliament and petitioned King George III to rectify their grievances. In 1775, imports from Britain had dropped by 97%. However the Intolerable Acts were not repealed, so in September of that year, all exports to Britain were halted. In the years prior, revolutionary colonists had already considered British government in the colonies dissolved as colonial congresses were established. Chief among those that held this view was Patrick Henry, who had proposed a legislative body for the Colonies in the First Continental Congress. However, he and his supporters had been ignored in favor of seeking reconciliation with Britain. The members of these respective camps would come to be called Patriots and Loyalists. But, in 1775, when the Second Continental Congress convened, many now felt that their attempts at reconciliation had been ignored. By this point, fighting had already begun between patriot militias and British forces stationed in the Colonies. The Battles of Lexington and Concord, fought in Massachusetts on April 19th, were the first military engagements of the American War of Independence, also known as the Revolutionary War. The Continental Congress placed itself in control of the war, creating the Continental Army in June, with George Washington as its Commander-in-Chief, and publishing the Declaration of Causes in July. As a final attempt to maintain the British colonies, the Olive Branch Petition was sent to King George III, but was rejected. Expressing their frustration with British government, the members of the Congress in 1776 adopted the Declaration of Independence, authored primarily by Thomas Jefferson and signed on July 4th. The declaration explained that the thirteen colonies were now independent states and no longer a part of the British Empire. The Revolutionary War, 1776-1783 After the Battles of Lexington and Concord, in which patriot militiamen mustered to defend against the seizure of military stores in Concord, Massachusetts by British regulars, most of the British Army in New England retreated to Boston, where they were besieged by Patriot forces. George Washington, recently appoint Major General and Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, arrived in June to command the Siege of Boston. British forces withdrew from Boston on March 17, 1776. In August, the British and the Continental Armies faced off at the Battle of Long Island. New York City, and nearly Washington's life, were seized by the British who easily defeated the poorly trained and armed Patriot army. Washington and his Continental Army were chased through New Jersey until reaching Pennsylvania in December. Washington then took the offensive, crossing the Delaware river and surprising the British at the Battle of Trenton on Christmas day. Another success at Princeton on January 7th provided new hope for the Patriot cause. The Continental Army at this point had dwindled to a mere 1,400 men, although these victories would convince more men to join the fight. A failed British Attempt to take Charleston, South Carolina in June further bolstered the Patriot cause and after the Battle of Saratoga, a decisive victory for the Americans in New York, the war appeared to be turning in favor of the Americans. For much of 1777, the British under General William Howe, focused on capturing the seat of the Revolutionary government in Philadelphia. Despite maneuvering by Washington, the Continental Congress abandoned the city ahead of the British Army, who took the city on September 11th. Philadelphia captured, Washington encamped his Army at Valley Forge for the next 6 months. In the spring of 1778, the Continental Army emerged in good condition. Under supervision of Baron von Steuben, the Army had been introduced to modern Prussian tactics and organization and the French had learned of the victory at Saratoga and were prepared to enter the war. The chief target for the French was the British naval station in Newport, Rhode Island and later the French-speaking Quebec, a colony the Americans were eager to convince to join the Revolution. With the involvement of the French, Canada would become the next point of contention in the war. While the naval superiority of the British prevented Newport from being taken, French forces were reorganized for the Canadian campaign. French forces landed in Nova Scotia on July 14th. Surrounding Halifax by land and blockading her by sea, a siege was prepared against the city. When British reinforcements arrived from New York and Quebec however, these forces were repelled. The mainland of Nova Scotia, unprotected by British forces in Halifax, was under Patriot control by that October. With the French moving into Quebec from the East, and the Americans from the South, the British were caught fighting against two fronts while growing local support for the Revolution made things rough for the British in every aspect. In early June, 1779, Quebec City was captured by Patriot forces, effectively ending British rule in Canada. In 1777 and '78, Brigadier General George Rogers Clark had made headway against the British in the Ohio and Illinois Countries and finally would neutralize the British with the capture of General Henry Hamilton in early 1779. What remained of the British Army in the North was concentrated in New York under General Henry Clinton, who had abandoned Philadelphia to defend New York when the French entered the war. On December 29th, a British expeditionary force captured Savannah, Georgia. An attempt to recapture Savannah failed the next October, and British forces moved on to besiege Charleston, South Carolina, capturing it May 12, 1780. Over the course of the year, the Continental Army in the South collapsed as North Carolina was forfeited and Virginia became a contest. By now, the Americans had garnered support from other European powers. Britain was fighting simultaneously America, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. King George III was frustrated at the situation. New England and Pennsylvania seemed unconquerable, and colonial assets in Florida, the Caribbean and India were being contested by European powers. The availability of British forces in America was becoming more and more an issue. On August 2nd, the British naval station in Newport was surrendered. On February 3, 1782, the British position at New York was surrendered to Franco-American forces. By June, support for the war in Britain was non-existent and preliminary peace terms were prepared in Paris. The Treaty of Paris, which formally ended all conflict was signed on August 14, 1783. The last British troops left New Jersey in November. According to the terms of the treaty, Britain surrendered claims to the colonies of Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Nova Scotia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Georgia, ceded territory West of the Appalachian Mountains and Canada to the United States and ceded East and West Florida to Spain. Timeline of the Revolutionary War 1775 April 19 – First armed conflict of the Revolutionary War takes place as colonial militiamen defeat British forces at the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. May 10 -American forces led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold capture Fort Ticonderoga in New York, securing military supplies and cannons. June 17 – The siege of Boston becomes a standoff after the British capture the Charlestown Peninsula at the Battle of Bunker Hill. July 3 – Washington arrives outside Boston to command the siege there. July 5 – The Continental Congress drafts the Olive Branch Petition, expressing hopes for reconciliation. August – King George III refuses reconciliation and issues a Proclamation of Rebellion. November 28 – The Continental Congress approves the construction of a navy. 1776 January 9 – Thomas Paine publishes Common Sense. March 17 - British forces flee Boston as heavy cannon is used by the Americans to end the siege. The Continental Army begins it's move to fortify New York. June 28 – British forces fail to take the port city of Charleston, South Carolina. July 2 – The Continental Congress adopts Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. August 27 – General Howe deploys British forces to New York City. The Battle of Long Island, the largest of the war, ensues. September 11 – John Adams and Benjamin Franklin meet with General Howe in a failed peace conference. September 15 – New York City is taken by British forces under General Howe. December 11- Philadelphia is abandoned due to fears of a British attack. December 26 – General Washington captures 1,000 Hessians at the Battle of Trenton. 1777 January 7 – General Washington defeats British forces led by General Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Princeton. British retreat to New York City. June 14 - The flag of the United States is mandated by the Continental Congress. July 27 – The Marquis de Lafayette arrives in Philadelphia. September 26 – The British, under General Howe, occupy Philadelphia. October 7 – The first decisive American victory occurs at the Battle of Saratoga as Generals Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold defeat General Burgoyne. November 17 – The Continental Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation as the government of the newly united States of America. 1778 February 6 – The Treaty of Alliance confirms France's support for America. February 28 – Baron von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge to help organize the Continental Army. March 16 – The Continental Congress rejects a peace offer sans-independence offered by the British. June 18 – Fearing a blockade by French naval forces, General Clinton returns his troops to New York. Philadelphia is reoccupied by American forces. July 10 – France declares war on Britain August 16 – Franco-American forces are repelled at the Battle of Scott Manor, an eager attempt to undermine British naval superiority in Halifax, Nova Scotia. August 21 – French forces take Louisborg, the chief British naval base in Canada. September 14 – Benjamin Franklin is appointed to be the ambassador to the French. December 29 – British forces begin the South Campaign with the capture of Savannah, Georgia. 1779 June 16 – Spain declares war on Britain, but does not provide support for America directly. June 20 – American forces led by General Benedict Arnold capture Quebec City. The British begin their retreat from Canada. September 27 – John Adams is appointed by congress to negotiate peace with Britain. 1780 May 12 – General Clinton's forces capture Charleston, South Carolina, America's chief port in the South. May 25 – An attempted mutiny against General George Washington is put down by Pennsylvania militiamen. October 11 – General Cornwallis begins his march into North Carolina. Benedict Arnold replaces Horatio Gates as Commander in the South, and begins his campaign against Cornwallis. December 1 – General Arnold's forces are defeated at the Battle of Cowan's Ford. 1781 January 7 – Several regiments of the Continental Army threaten to mutiny and demand payment from General Washington, in what becomes known as the New Jersey Mutiny. About half of the Army leaves after not receiving pay. January 18 – American resistance in the South is eliminated in the Battle of Fayetteville, as General Cornwallis defeats General Arnold, who is captured. March 5 – Marquis de Lafayette and Baron von Steuben are placed in charge of the defense of Virginia against General Cornwallis's force. May 21 – Washington convinces the French to aid in an assault against New York. August 14 – Washington changes plans abruptly and organizes an attack on Yorktown, where Cornwallis has made base. September 28 – Washington, Lafayette, Arnold, and von Steuben begin the siege on Yorktown, while the French bombard the city from sea. October 24 – A victory at Yorktown for the Americans ends Cornwallis' campaign in the South. October 30 – British forces retake Philadelphia with reinforcements originally intended for Cornwallis in Virginia. 1782 April 12 – General Nathaniel Greene routes British forces from Philadelphia. June 11- General Washington arrives in Philadelphia and begins redrawing plans for a siege of New York. June 20 – British forces in the South are driven back to Charleston, South Carolina by General Arnold and Baron von Steuben. August 27 – A combined land-sea siege of New York begins, led by General Washington. December 15 – Washington grants British forces besieged in New York a chance to evacuate, which is not taken. 1783 February 3 – New York is surrendered by General Clinton. March 10 – John Adams appeals to the British to end the war. A reluctant agreement yields Britain ordering an end to hostilities. June 1 – British forces evacuate Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia. June 3 – The Continental Congress officially declares the end of the war. August 14 – The Treaty of Paris is signed, officially ending the Revolutionary War and granting the United States independence.