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The American Revolution: 1775-1783
Transcript of The American Revolution: 1775-1783
On the eve of Revolution...who has the?
Continental Congress has no power to tax = No $ for Continental Army
Poorly trained soldiers
Faces vastly overwhelming odds
The colonists are fighting for independence
France will aide the colonies with weapons, supplies and their navy
"My brave fellows, you have done all I asked you to do and more than could reasonably be expected. But your country is at stake, your wives, your houses, and all that you hold dear. You have worn yourselves out with fatigues and hardships, but we know not how to spare you. If you will consent to stay only one month longer, you will render that service to the cause of liberty and to your country which you probably never can do under any other circumstances. The present is emphatically the crisis which is to decide our destiny.“
~General George Washington
Dec. 30th, 1776
The British have an experienced professional army
Far outnumber the Continental Army
The British army is well supplied with equipment and weapons
Not fighting for a cause
Officers are poor leaders
The British have to cross the Atlantic Ocean (long supply lines)
Support for the war in England is rather weak
War of Attrition
Guerilla Fighting Tactics
Long Supply Lines
Divide and Conquer
Overwhelm with #s and firepower
Blockade coast - strangle
Break the colonies in 1/2
Focus the fighting on one side
Use the Loyalists to their advantage
Crushing colonial resistance will send a message all around the world.
American Military Strategies
British Military Strategies
Lexington and Concord
Battle of Bunker Hill
The Second Continental Congress
In October the 1st CC adjourns leaving open the possibility of a future meeting of delegates if the need should arise.
May 10th, the Congress reconvenes after Shot, and Bunker Hill. This is the same day Fort Ticonderoga is taken by Ethan Allen
Richard Henry Lee
Many are the same as the 1st CC
Feel the rift can be healed
Feel nothing can be done to fix the divide
Not present at the first meeting and act as the go between for the other two groups
June 15th, assume control of army encamped around Boston. John Adams proves crucial to nominating Washington as Commander-in-Chief
Allow invasion of Canada to turn the French Canadians against the British and make Canada the 14th state.
In July, the Olive Branch Petition sent to the King identifying Parliament as the enemy of the colonists and promising loyalty for a restoration of rights
The legislature of Great-Britain, however, stimulated by an inordinate passion for a power not only unjustifiable, but which they know to be peculiarly reprobated by the very constitution of that kingdom, and desparate of success in any mode of contest, where regard should be had to truth, law, or right, have at length, deserting those, attempted to effect their cruel and impolitic purpose of enslaving these colonies by violence, and have thereby rendered it necessary for us to close with their last appeal from reason to arms.
Fought outside Boston. It is a fortified area on Breed’s Hill filled with several thousand colonists.
Famous order from Col. Prescott, "Don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes!"
The British suffer over 40% casualties.
American leader Benedict Arnold makes a plan to take Fort Ticonderoga by surprise
Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys carry out assault
Capture key route into Canada along with British cannons and gun powder, which are carried across the mountains to Boston
British attempt to capture Samuel Adams, John Hancock and weapons stockpile around Concord
The colonists are warned by Paul Revere and 40 other riders that “Redcoats are coming”
4,000 colonial “militia men” exchange fire with British troops along the main road
"The Shot Heard Round the World"
In June, Congress approves Richard Henry Lee's idea of a Declaration of Independence and chooses Thomas Jefferson and a committe of 5 (including Franklin and J. Adams) to draft the document
Franklin secures the Franco-American alliance
The 2nd CC ratifies the Articles of Confederation, which becomes the first official government of the new United States of America.
Document adopted July 2nd, 1776
Not signed until August 2nd, 1776
Battle of Quebec
Arnold and Montgomery combine forces to invade Canada
Try to turn the French Canadians against the British
Invasion fails - Montgomery killed, Arnold wounded, Canda will not be the 14th state
British safe to use Canada as northern invasion point
Battle of Long Island
British General William Howe tries to break colonies in 1/2 by taking NY
Washington attempts to stop Brits and Hessians
GW loses 25% of his entire army
Organizes a skillful retreat across the East River and keeps his army alive to fight another day
The British army proceeds to burn NYC
Battle of Trenton
"They make a great deal of Christmas in Germany, and no doubt the Hessians will drink a great deal of beer and have a dance tonight."
Battle of Princeton
"My brave fellows, you have done all I asked you to do and more than could reasonably be expected. But your country is at stake, your wives, your houses, and all that you hold dear. You have worn yourselves out with fatigues and hardships, but we know not how to spare you. If you will consent to stay only one month longer, you will render that service to the cause of liberty and to your country which you probably never can do under any other circumstances. The present is emphatically the crisis which is to decide our destiny."
After a series of crushing defeats GW writes to his brother that the Revolution was "a noble cause lost," and that "the game is pretty near up."
Plans to surprise attack Hessian garrison in the city of Trenton on Dec. 26th 1776.
Was told by an aide...
Achieves his 1st stunning victory
Battle of Saratoga
Battle of Cowpens
Battle of Yorktown
The Treaty of Paris
Help! I need somebody. Not just anybody.
Key to several American victories: Ticonderoga, and Saratoga (leg wound)
Had Washington’s complete trust
Lesser men were promoted ahead of him
Was not given appropriate credit or compensation
British offered generalship plus 10,000 lbs for surrendering West Point
French nobleman – 1st foreigner to join the war
Made an aide to Washington and was with him at Valley Forge
Inspired by the Declaration – “The future of America is closely bound up with the future of all mankind.”
Became close friends – named his son George Washington Lafayette
Marquis de Lafayette
Spanish governor of Louisiana
Provided military support along Gulf Coast
Opened New Orleans to American shipping
Sent aid and supplies to Western fighters like George Rogers Clark
Bernardo de Galvez
Achieved high rank in the Prussian army
Helped most at Valley Forge
Trained soldiers how to march and drill
Turned Patriots into a true fighting force
Friedrich von Steuben
George Rogers Clark
Leader of the Kentucky militia
Governor of VA, Patrick Henry, armed Clark and his men
Captured British forts in IL and IN, including Kaskaskia and Vincennes
Secured the NW Territory for the Americans
Helped to build fortifications
Polish military officer
Helped to train an American cavalry
Commander of French fighting units in America
Fought with 5,000 French soldiers at Yorktown
Comte de Rochambeua
Commander of French navy
Blocked Cornwallis’s escape by sea at Yorktown
Admiral Francios de Grasse
Just after Trenton, enlistments of the men are up
Another crucial loss would destroy morale
Approaching British army led by General Cornwallis, "I will finally bag the old fox!"
GW leaves fires burning at night and sneaks around behind British forces before an all out attack
Learns not to attack main forces, but to use guerilla tactics on supply lines
The British try for a three prong attack at Saratoga and end up stretching their supply lines
The British will surrender to the Colonial forces led by General Horatio Gates
Benedict Arnold plays a key role in the victory
Saratoga is important because it is a major defeat for the British and shows the French that the colonies may be able to win the war
"Turning Point of the war"
England tries to switch focus of the war to the South
Resources and Loyalists more plentiful there
Greene and Morgan set up a masterful plan to trick the British into an all out attack, which allowed the Americans to kill or capture a large chunk of Cornwallis' army
Leaders of the Continental Army in the South are Daniel Morgan and Nathaniel Greene
Francis "Swamp Fox" Marion keeps England from gaining control of the countryside (guerilla tactics)
The French are helping the Continental Army with men, weapons and warships
The Americans (led by GW) and the French (led by Rochambeau and Lafayette) corner the British on a small peninsula
Cornwallis surrenders which ends the Revolution
The colonists win the American Revolution with this victory.
Ben Franklin and John Adams sent to negotiate peace with England
England gives official recognition of “free, sovereign and independent states”
Boundaries of America set: North – Canada, East – Atlantic, West – Mississippi, South – Florida (Given back to Spain)
England must pull out all troops and all captured slaves must be returned
America will pay back loyalists who lost property during the war – we don’t follow this one
So...How is it received?
Final Draft approved July 4th, 1776