By the spring of 1775 the situation in Massachusetts reached such a pitch that the British decided on a preemptive strike. The “Redcoats” determined to seize war-making supplies outside of Boston, in the town of Concord. Battles over the next two months around this provincial center were the first incidents in what would be known as the Revolutionary War, which divided the colonies from Britain. For 150 years after the conflict, no one found fault with the epoch-making events of 1775 and the New England origin of what became the “United States.” Essayists echoed the popular culture of the nineteenth and much of the twentieth centuries and painted a heroic view of these tussles between the “Patriots,” as they were called, and their English persecutors. The United States identified themselves as the first new nation, emerging in a revolutionary conflict with a European empire.
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