While ill feelings led to the Boston Massacre in 1770, the Gaspée affair in 1772, and the Boston Tea Party in 1773, the actual shooting war began on April 19, 1775 with the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. This was followed by the siege of Boston, and the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775. 

So hostilities were already underway for more than 14 months by the time independence was "declared" on July 4, 1776.
when was it ended?
The American Revolution was fought from 1775 to 1783.
It effectively ended in October, 1781 in Yorktown, VA after George Washington forced General Cornwallis to surrender after the siege there. But the Revolutionary War didn't officially end until the Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783.
the war ended in 1784...
1775 to 1783
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The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the American War of Independence,or simply the Revolutionary War in the United States, was the successful military rebellion against Great Britain ofThirteen American Colonies which joined together as the United States of America in July 1776. Originally limited to fighting in those colonies, after 1778 it also became a world war between Britain and France,Netherlands, Spain, and Mysore.