The American Revolution in One Tweet?


March 26, 2014
by Editors Also by this Author


Journal of the American Revolution is the leading source of knowledge about the American Revolution and Founding Era. We feature smart, groundbreaking research and well-written narratives from expert writers. Our work has been featured by the New York Times, TIME magazine, History Channel, Discovery Channel, Smithsonian, Mental Floss, NPR, and more. Journal of the American Revolution also produces annual hardcover volumes, a branded book series, and the podcast, Dispatches

Twitter is the enormously popular social networking tool that enables one user to send “tweets” to many followers, or subscribers. The text message-like tweets are limited to 140 characters. Hence, the question: How would you describe the American Revolution in 140 characters or less?


The American Revolution was a complex eight year semi-civil war that was won, in George Washington’s opinion, by divine providence.

Thomas Fleming


Chiefly about autonomy for economic reasons and republicanism, but for some it was to start the world anew by spreading democracy, equality.

John Ferling


The British colonial elite went all the way to war to keep things as they were, and ended up changing far more than they ever imagined.

J. L. Bell


Avoiding all the usual jingoistic hype, here’s the conflict in one simple phrase – America’s first civil war.

Gavin K. Watt


Britons were burdened after saving colonists from French. Colonists objected to any tax at all. Thus the colonists fought against the King.

Steven M. Baule


With sausage, sometimes it’s better to just eat and enjoy instead of taking a tour of the factory first.  🙂

Wayne Lynch


Dr. Franklin’s electrical rod smote the earth and out sprang Washington. These two conducted all the policies, negotiations, and war.

Don Glickstein [paraphrasing John Adams]


Popular sovereignty. That’s all that could pull together enough factions, classes, and regions to secure a victory.

Ray Raphael


It was a revolution of the mind.

John L. Smith, Jr.


An eight year civil war pitting independence seeking patriots supported by the French versus the British empire aided by American loyalists.

Gene Procknow


Teenage aggravation brought 2a fever pitch thanks 2an overbearing mother, at last forcing a violent split due to irreconcilable differences.

Derek W. Beck


A fateful event which changed the world, but not as many desired, and its results were mostly from circumstances beyond anyone’s control.

Jimmy Dick


Seesaw struggle for power escalates into war, results in new nation. And all the baggage that comes with it. #allthingsliberty

Todd Andrlik


Starting as a conservative reaction to British tightening control of their empire, it transformed into a societal shift emphasizing democracy and the common man.

Christian McBurney


Transforming political movement accomplished by war.

Jim Piecuch


In the Twitterverse, a retweet (RT) is the re-posting of someone else’s tweet, often to show support and re-circulate among your audience for added emphasis. Of this bunch, we’d most likely RT J. L. Bell and Derek W. Beck. Still confused by Twitter? Watch this video overview, then this one.

How would you summarize the American Revolution in a tweet? Which answers would you most likely retweet?


  • Britain was a control freak but the colonies wanted self-determination with their own representation.

  • Well done, all. Politically, a war of monarchy vs democracy; economically, a war of imperialist vs colony and socially, a war of friend vs friend

  • “Fabricated” and totally un-necessary war. We would have eventually gained our independence like the rest of England’s colonies without firing a shot.

  • 13 American colonies successfully resolve dispute with British re imperial constitution via force of arms. British reassess role of colonists what is left in empire

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