American Revolution - Key Events [UPSC]

The UPSC Civil Service Mains exam has nine papers. The General Studies Paper I deals with World History. American Revolution is an important part of World History. This article gives the key terms and events of the American Revolution that took place while fighting for independence from the British Monarchy.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

American Revolution – War & Treaties

Most significant treaties and wars are mentioned below.

Treaty of Paris 1783

  • A treaty signed by both Britain and the United States that ended the Revolutionary War.


  • Last battle of the war of independence in 1781 where the British surrendered.

War of Independence (1775-1783)

  • War fought by American colonials against Britain for independence.

American Revolution – Taxation & Related Events

The taxes imposed by the British through different Acts are listed below. It also gives details of consequences which were historically very significant in the American fight against the British Monarch.

Townshend Acts

  1. It is a series of four acts passed by the British Parliament.
  2. Taxes imposed by the British in America on things such as glass paint and paper.
  3. The British American colonists named the acts after Charles Townshend who supported them.

Stamp Act of 1765

  1. It was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain that levied a direct tax on the colonies of British America.
  2. Legal documents, Papers of Ship, licenses, other publications, and playing cards were taxed.

Tea Act of 1773

  1. It was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain.
  2. This law made American companies pay tax on tea to the British.
  3. It is considered as the catalyst of the Boston Tea Party.

No Taxation without Representation

  1. It is a slogan shouted by Americans angry at the British as they had to pay tax but had no say in how the country was run.

Boston Tea Party

  1. It was an incident that took place on 1773.
  2. Around 342 trunks of tea belonging to the British East India Company were thrown away from ships into the Boston Harbour by American nationalists camouflaged as Mohawk Indians.

Check out in detail the Significance of the Boston Tea Party on the given link.

Boston Massacre

  1. It is also known as ‘Incident on King Street’ by the British.
  2. It took place on March 5, 1770.
  3. It refers to the killing of five Americans protesting against British taxes.


  1. It is another name for the nationalists who battled against the British government for independence.

Candidates preparing for the upcoming Civil Services exam must go through the following links to prepare comprehensively for the examination-


Various concepts or terminologies related to monarchy are listed below. Before the onset of democracy in the USA, it was ruled by British Monarchy. Aspirants can read the difference between Democracy and Monarchy on the page linked here.

Absolute Monarchy

  1. When a King or Queen has whole control over the administration of a nation.
  2. The King and Queen were not restricted by any written laws, legislature, or customs.

Limited Monarchy

  1. When a King or Queen has certain power but must work with a parliament to decide how the country is run.

Divine Right of Kings

  1. The belief that kings obtain their power from God and are answerable only to God.

Important Events Preceding American Independence

Many important meetings were held, agreements were signed, bills and laws were passed to make a transition towards complete freedom from the British.

Continental Congress

  1. It is a cluster of delegates from each state or colony.
  2. It turned into the first governing body of the United States of America.

First Continental Congress

  1. Meeting of the 13 American colonies to discuss how they would deal with the British.

Second Continental Congress

  1. The second meeting of the 13 American colonies where their army was created.

Articles of Confederation

  1. It is a contract between the 13 colonies to form a single government under the United States of America.
  2. It served as the first Constitution of the nation.

Bill of Rights

  1. It refers to the first 10 amendments to the Constitution that assured the rights of the individual.
  2. It was drafted by James Madison.

Declaration of Independence

  1. A document that proclaimed that the American colonies now regarded themselves as independent states and they would no longer be responsible to the authority of Great Britain.

Practice previous years’ history questions of UPSC Mains GS 1 from the linked article.

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2022.

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