Counsel of Chalcedon
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The Causes of the War of Independence, The Economic Issues of the War

We should make it our practice to refer to the war with Britain as the War of (or for) Independence rather than the "Revolutionary War." Words sometimes change their meaning over the years and so it is with the word "revolution." The term "revolution" as it was used in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, merely meant a change of government. Today it implies an unlawful rebellion against legitimate authority. The "Revolutionary War" was not a "revolution" in the modern sense of the term (i.e., the forcible overthrow of traditional authority). The colonists sought to make it clear that they were not rebelling against law or the lawful exercise of authority -- they were defending themselves against an unlawful intrusion upon their constitutional liberties. It was therefore a war for freedom from tyranny and not a war aqainst law or lawfully ordained and exercised authority (as was the French Revolution, which was a true revolution in every sense).