High taxes, levied by a distant British government in which they had no representation, incited the growing desire for self rule among the American colonists. Resentment increased as Britain sent their redcoats to Boston, culminating with the colonists dumping tea off a British boat rather than paying its taxes.
The colonies, too, had their own militias, remnants of the ongoing skirmishes with Indians. Led by General George Washington, the Continental Army consisted of individuals from every colony. The colonies also had a Continental Navy.