You may think that the American Revolutionary War commenced as a result of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. If that is the case, you need to go back and study colonial history again. The conflict between the colonies and England began well before the auspicious date, and there is plenty of documentary evidence, particularly in state and local archives, to attest to that.
History documents the dissatisfaction of the colonists with English rule extending back years before the beginning of armed conflict. The Boston Tea Party on 16 December 1773 was a manifestation of colonists’ anger at what they perceived as gouging taxation. There were numerous other incidents as well. In North Carolina, for example, a group of citizens in Mecklenburg County openly declared their independence from the Crown with their own Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence on 20 May 1775. And while a copy of this document no longer exists, there is plenty of documentary evidence to confirm its existence, including correspondence with men in Philadelphia who worked on the verbiage in the 1776 Declaration. The first armed conflict between colonists and English soldiers occurred at the Battles of Lexington and Concord on 19 April 1775. This event is well-documented historically, and colonial military records from this period provide documentary evidence of the event.
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