The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War in the United States, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, but gradually grew into a world war between Britain on one side and the newly formed United States, France, Netherlands and Spain on the other. The main result was an American victory and European recognition of the independence of the United States, with mixed results for the other powers.
The war was the result of the political American Revolution. The British Parliament insisted it had the right to tax colonists to finance the colonies' military defense, which had become increasingly expensive due to the French and Indian Wars. The colonies argued that they already spent much through local government to maintain their place in the British Empire, with Benjamin Franklin appearing before the British Parliament testifying "The Colonies raised, clothed, and paid, during the last war, near twenty-five thousand men, and spent many millions." The colonists claimed that, as they were British subjects, imposing laws in Parliament upon the colonists, and particularly taxation without representation, was illegal. The American colonists formed a unifying Continental Congress and a shadow government in each colony, though at first wishing to remain in the Empire and loyal to the Crown.