American Revolution (1763–1789)
Following many historians, we place the beginning of larger American Revolution era to 1763, right after the end of the French and Indian War. While the official conflict may have been settled, the costs of the war weighed heavily on the British, leading to new acts of taxation that set off a spark plug of resentment in the Colonies. Prior to the official start of the Revolution, we see increasing protests surrounding the issues of taxation, including a very active chapter of the Sons of Liberty in North Carolina who organized to protest the Stamp Act, as well as the Regulator Movement in Orange County. Echoing histories throughout the rest of the colonies, the passage of the American Revolution involved many competing ideas, splitting the residents of North Carolina. While the 1st Provincial Congress was quick to criticize the actions of the British government and elect delegates to the First Continental Congress in 1774, soon after in 1775 North Carolina loyalists and African-Americans answer the call of Virginia’s royal governor to help suppress the growing rebellion. The American Revolution also splits American Indian groups in North Carolina; the Coharie, Catawba, and ancestors of the Lumbee all decided to join the side of the Patriots, while the Cherokee decided to support the British. The American Revolution officially ended in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris, although technically the document was not ratified by the U.S. Congress of Confederation until January 14, 1784. We continue this historical era past the ending of the Revolution into the creation and acceptance of the U.S. Constitution. In 1788 the Continental Congress passed a resolution putting the Constitution into action in the 11 states that ratified it. North Carolina was not one of these states; at the time the U.S. Constitution did not include a bill of rights to ensure personal freedoms, so delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Hillsborough protested by deciding to neither ratify or reject the Constitution.