Throughout the war, the British were able to use their naval superiority to capture and occupy coastal cities, but control of the countryside (where 90% of the population lived) largely eluded them due to their relatively small land army. French involvement proved decisive, with a French naval victory in the Chesapeake leading to the surrender of a second British army at Yorktown in 1781. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west.
Image 23The official Navy officer uniform of 1776 had red lapels and a red waistcoat. The unofficial uniform of 1777, worn by many officers, had white lapels and a white waistcoat, and in addition non-regulation epaulets. (from Continental Navy)
Image 46A five-dollar banknote issued by the Second Continental Congress in 1775. (from American Revolution)
Image 47This postage stamp, which was created at the time of the bicentennial, honors Salem Poor, who was an enslaved African-American man who purchased his freedom, became a soldier, and rose to fame as a war hero during the Battle of Bunker Hill. (from American Revolution)
Washington became President of the United States in 1789 and established many of the customs and usages of the new government's executive department. Although never officially joining the Federalist Party, he supported its programs and was its inspirational leader. Washington's farewell address was a primer on republican virtue and a stern warning against involvement in foreign wars.
Washington is seen as a symbol of the United States and republicanism in practice. His devotion to civic virtue made him an exemplary figure among early American politicians. Washington died in 1799, and in his funeral oration, Henry Lee said that of all Americans, he was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." Washington has been consistently ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.