The American Revolution, also known as the Revolutionary War, officially ended on Sept. 3, 1783, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. However, the major hostilities in North America ended on Oct. 19, 1783, with the British surrender at Yorktown.
Despite General Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown, the British government initially pledged to continue the war. However, further reverses in the Caribbean and in Europe, where America's allies, France and Spain, continued to attack British forces, pushed the British government to reverse course and sue for peace. Negotiations for peace began in April 1782, and the British and American representatives signed the preliminary articles of peace in November 1782. After the formal signing on Sept. 3, 1783, the Continental Congress ratified the treaty on Jan. 14, 1784.