American Patriots

Patriots (also known as Rebels, Revolutionaries, Continentals, or American Whigs) were those colonists of the Thirteen Colonies who violently rebelled against British control during the American Revolution and in July 1776 declared the United States of America an independent nation. Their rebellion was based on the political philosophy of republicanism, as expressed by spokesmen such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Thomas Paine.

As a group, Patriots represented a wide array of social, economic and ethnic backgrounds. They included lawyers like John Adams and Alexander Hamilton; planters like Thomas Jefferson and George Mason; merchants like Alexander McDougall and ordinary farmers like Daniel Shays and Joseph Plumb Martin.

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