Explain what the two phases (1763–1776 and 1176–1783) of the American Revolution were about.

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I would personally qualify these two periodizations as follows: the first refers to the gradual increasing of tensions that led up to the Revolutionary War (1763–1776), while the second refers to the Revolutionary War itself (1776–1783). Ultimately, this entire history was influenced by the experience of the Seven Years' War and the changes that ensued as a result of it.

Traditionally, British policy toward the colonies was one of general autonomy. However, the experience of the Seven Years' War left Britain under considerable economic strain, and to repair its finances, it changed its approach toward colonial government. Thus, Britain began to more stringently enforce mercantile law as well as to levy taxes on the colonies. These policy changes resulted in considerable resentment and resistance among the colonists. As each side continued to assert the legitimacy of their positions, these tensions between the British government and its colonies continued to intensify over time. By the end of this time period, one can already see these tensions escalating into formal military conflict, with the battles of Lexington and Concord.

The formal start of the Revolutionary War, however, came on July 4, 1776, with the Declaration of Independence. From this point, the former colonies were in a state of war against Britain, trying to assert their independence from it. The Treaty of Paris, signed in 1783, would bring this war to a formal end, ensuring independence for the United States (and British recognition of said independence).

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