Which Countries Fought in the Revolutionary War?

British General Charles Cornwallis surrenders to General George Washington in 1781.
British General Charles Cornwallis surrenders to General George Washington in 1781.

The Revolutionary War was a series of battles fought in North America between the original thirteen British Colonies and Great Britain. The thirteen colonies, with the help of other powers like France, defeated Great Britain and became independent. After the battle ended, the colonies became the first states of the United States. The war took place between 1775 and 1783. Some of the countries which took part in the American Revolutionary War include:

Great Britain

The Indian and French War left Great Britain with a huge debt. Therefore, they introduced new taxes like the Stamp Act on their colonies. The thirteen colonies protested the new taxes and the British responded by increasing the military presence in this region. Great Britain introduced the Intolerance Act that claimed that the thirteen colonies were rebellious; therefore they ordered their army to use any means to suppress these rebellions. The law made it clear that the British government was not willing to find a way to resolve the dispute; therefore, the colonies declared their independence from the British Empire.

The Thirteen Colonies

The Stamp Act stipulated that the colonists were to purchase stamps for newspapers, and legal papers like the other British citizens. The cash was meant to go to the King, but the colonies did not follow the law. The Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and the Intolerance Act angered the colonists causing them to cut ties with the British Empire. The continental congress declared their independence on July 4, 1776, and then Benjamin Franklin together with a group of commissioners traveled overseas to discuss an alliance with the French.


France became involved in the Revolutionary War in 1775 when they shipped supplies secretly to the Continental Army. The thirteen colonies and the French signed the Alliance Treaty in 1778 resulting in the shipment of materials and money to the United States. The French accumulated a debt of about one billion livres after participating in the American Revolutionary War. After losing the Seven Years War, the French lost some of their territories in North America; therefore they were looking for a way to weaken the British.


Spain’s role in the revolutionary war was part of a dispute with the British over colonial superiority. They declared war on the United Kingdom as France’s ally and provided ammunition and supplies to the Continental Army. The Spanish financed the battle of Yorktown in 1781. They viewed the revolution as a way of weakening the British who had caused them substantial losses during the Seven Years War. The Spanish joined the war as allies of France and not the United States. King Charles III didn’t sign the Alliance treaty with the colonists, but he signed the Aranjuez Treaty with the French in 1779. Under the Aranjuez Treaty, Spain agreed to help the French recover their previous possessions of Floridas, Gibraltar, and Menorca.

Other Countries and Tribes

The Dutch Merchants started sending war materials to North America in 1774. An Amsterdam company shipped gunpowder to the colonists in August 1774 and some few months later an American ship anchored at the Amsterdam harbor, and it was filled with firearms, cannonballs, and gunpowder. Other tribes like the Cherokee, Choctaw, and even the loyalists sided with the British on the war.


More in World Facts