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The colonists in the thirteen colonies were at least nominally Englishmen, and for 150 years, most did not deny allegiance to the British king. The colonial militias fought alongside the British during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). It was only after laws passed by Parliament in the wake of that war, and the increased efforts by Britain to control the internal affairs of the colonies, that the Americans sought to extend the limited independence that had long been allowed.

The reason that the rebellion was not technically a "civil war" (even before the Declaration in 1776) is that the colonies were never adopted as an insular part of the British Kingdom, given representation in Parliament and all of the same legal considerations. Instead, like Canada and the later colonies in Australia and New Zealand, they remained a mercantile dominion under the Empire.

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The colonists in the thirteen colonies were at least nominally Englishmen, and for 150 years, most did not deny allegiance to the British king. The colonial militias fought alongside the British during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). It was only after laws passed by Parliament in the wake of that war, and the increased efforts by Britain to control the internal affairs of the colonies, that the Americans sought to extend the limited independence that had long been allowed.

The reason that the rebellion was not technically a "civil war" (even before the Declaration in 1776) is that the colonies were never adopted as an insular part of the British Kingdom, given representation in Parliament and all of the same legal considerations. Instead, like Canada and the later colonies in Australia and New Zealand, they remained a mercantile dominion under the Empire.

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Q: Why can the American Revolution be considered a civil war?
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It was a Civil War only because the Americans were divided between Loyalist and Patriot. The American Revolution is not considered a civil war.


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The American Revolution is sometimes considered a civil war because it involved colonists who were divided in their loyalties between remaining under British rule and seeking independence. Families and communities were split in their support for either side, leading to internal conflict within the colonies. This aspect of internal division and conflict is why the American Revolution can be seen as a civil war in addition to a war for independence.


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