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American Revolutionary War

1775 - 1783
by

Mark Sukraw

on 27 October 2015

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Transcript of American Revolutionary War

American Revolution
1775 - 1783
What differences do you see in
these two armies?
40%
Patriot
40 %
Neutral
20%
Loyalist
American Colonists Divided

Loyalists were in favor of English rule
Most lived in cities, New York State and the South
Patriots were in favor of a rebellion against England
Most lived in New England Colonies and Virginia
Many colonists were neutral, or undecided during the war
African Americans in the Revolutionary War

Many enslaved Africans joined the side of the British during the war
The British offered freedom to Africans

At first, George Washington was not willing to let Africans serve in the war for fear of slave revolts
Later, Africans were allowed to fight for the patriots to earn freedom - 5,000 - 8,000 Africans fought for the patriots
Whites in many colonies questioned if slavery allowed a human to pursue life, liberty and happiness.
African Americans
Native Americans
The war divided native tribes too . . . .

The Iroquois sided with the British
They were afraid American Patriots would take land beyond the Appalachian Mountains
Some Native tribes did side with the Patriots
American Weaknesses
small army under or @ 20,000
soldiers only enlist for 6 months to a year
untrained, likely to run under fire
supply shortages
ammunition, food, uniforms, shoes, blankets
Congress lacked power to raise taxes to pay for supplies
American Strengths
Patriotism - willingness to fight for a cause and for their homeland
foreign aid - mainly from France and Spain
Great commander - George Washington
Washington inspired courage and confidence among his men
knowledge of the land
Patriot
Redcoat
British Strengths
British Weaknesses
Army of 50,000 + trained British soldiers, largest army Great Britain had ever sent overseas
Additional 30,000 hired mercenaries (paid soldiers)
Hessians from the Hesse-Cassel area of Germany
Professionally trained army
lots of supplies
allies were loyalist colonists, some African slaves seeking freedom, and the Iroquois natives
experienced with fighting large battles and using artillery(cannons)
supply lines were slow across the Atlantic Ocean from England to America
Tax payers in England were unhappy about paying for another war in America
This lead to low morale with citizens opinion of Parliament
Poor Leadership
Lord George Germain, top British general in the war, never set foot in America
to win, England would need to crush the American Patriot's will to fight
Would England's citizens be willing for this much bloodshed?
Washington's Strategy
Long war
make England's citizens tired of paying taxes and seeing soldiers die
NO large battles early in the war
Use hit and run tactics called guerrilla warfare
British Strategy
Short war
Divide and conquer New York
Three British armies planned to invade from the west, north and south
British General Burgoyne's objective
Attack New York from Canada
(troops will move from north to south)
rendezvous(meeting) in Albany, New York w/ British General's Howe and St. Leger
Captured Fort Ticonderoga from the Patriots
Picked a bad route south to reach the Hudson River
through a forest, then a swamp
Even with delays, Burgoyne's army was in position to attack Saratoga in the fall of 1777
British General St. Leger's objective
Attack New York from Fort Oswego near Lake Ontario
(troops move from west to east)
St. Leger was supposed to follow the Mohawk River to the Hudson River - location of Albany
British ally = Iroquois Chief named Joseph Brant
Lead a siege at Fort Stanwix
Took to long, around 20 days, and lost the support of his Iroquois allies
NEVER made it to the rendezvous with Howe and Borgoyne
Patriot General Benedict Arnold

stops British advance
August, 1777
His goal was to defend Patriot Fort Stanwix
Spread rumors that he had a large army
Trick worked, British General St. Leger's men were afraid for their lives
British left their supplies and tents and retreated back to Fort Oswego
Patriot General Stark wins the Battle of Bennington, Vermont
British General Burgoyne
sent
Lt. General Baum
on a mission to capture supplies in nearby Vermont
Baum's
forces included British and German soldiers, Canadian and Loyalist volunteers, and 100 American Indians = totaling 1,200
Patriot General Stark
commanded 2,200 New Hampshire and Vermont militiamen
Hessian mercenaries meet resistance from Patriots at the Battle of Bennington, August 16, 1777
Hessians had to retreat without supplies
Mr. Sukraw's hometown, Bennington, Nebraska is named after this battle
The street where I live is named Stark Street
Bennington, NE also has streets named Vermont, Allen, and Molley
Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys
Vermont's militia
Captured Fort Ticonderoga in 1775
Sent supplies to Boston for the Battle of Bunker Hill
Patriots lost Fort Ticonderoga to British General Burgoyne's army in 1777
Battle of Saratoga
TURNING POINT OF THE REVOLUTION!
Saratoga, New York - September - October 1777
British General Burgoyne
was moving his army to Albany like planned (Howe and St. Leger did not make it)
North of Albany, the British army meet resistance
Patriot General Heratio Gates
defeated the British in a series of battles known as the Battles of Saratoga
British soldiers were tired from the long march from Canada
No reinforcements came to aid General Burgoyne
Patriot victory!
TURNING POINT of the war
France, Spain and the Netherlands were willing to send aid to American Patriots after the Continental Army proved it could win a major battle over the British
Patriots
Redcoats
SARATOGA
COMPARISON
Horatio Gates
Benedict Arnold
General Burgoyne
COMMANDERS
ARMY STRENGTH
CASUALTIES
1st battle = 9,000
2nd battle = 12,000
3rd battle = 15,000 (vicotry)
1st battle = 7,200
2nd battle = 6,600
90 killed
240 wounded
440 killed
695 wounded
6,222 captured
Pep Talk to keep interest
By the end of 1776 British thought the war was almost won
General Howe offered to pardon all rebels that promised "peaceful obedience to the King
1,000 + took him up on this offer
Washington did NOT want to loose troops
He read from the new pamphlet by Thomas Paine entitled "The Crisis"
"The Crisis" by Thomas Paine
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine Patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service from their country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Surprise Attack
Washington motivated his men with Paine's words
They planned a daring attack on Christmas, December 25, 1776
Washington's army crept across the ice choked Delaware River from Pennsylvania into New Jersey
The secret password for the night was "victory or death"
When they reached Trenton, NJ they found the Hessian mercenaries sleeping off their Christmas feast

Caught by surprise, the Hessian army had to surrender
Washington took 868 prisoners without loosing a single man
A week later, Washington captured another 300 British troops at Princeton
These victories gave Patriots hope and told the British it was going to be a long war
Valley Forge
Howe's forces occupied Philadelphia, PA
Washington and his men had to build a make shift winter camp in the countryside near Valley Forge, PA
They lacked food, shelter, clothing, boots, blankets and other supplies
They suffered from frost bite, amputations, small pox, and other ailments
While the war was in the northern colonies winter encampments continued to be problematic for the Continental Army
Winter Quarters 1777 - 1778
Foreign Aid to the Patriots
French
at first France secretly gave money and supplies - not convinced Patriots could win
hate the British - want land back in North America from loss in French and Indian War
AFTER the Patriots win Saratoga, the French make the alliance public
They send soldiers, ships and commanders
Continue with supplies and money

Spanish
gave secret aid in the beginning of the war
AFTER Saratoga, the Spanish help fight the British along the Mississippi River in the west
This took soldiers away from fighting the Patriots in the east

Dutch
gave secret aid with money and supplies

Other people that helped the Patriots
Marquis de Lafayette - French 19 year old that helped Washington
Baron Friedrich von Steuben - German drill instructor at Valley Forge
Baron de Kalb - German born Patriot general
Casimir Pulaski - Polish - "father" of the American Cavalry or horse soldiers
James Forten
14 year old privateer (legal pirate)
Son of a free African American sail maker
worked on a Patriot ship, "The Royal Lewis", after his father died
Forten's ship was captured by the British - refuses to betray his country
Released after the war - dedicates the rest of his life to ending slavery
War at Sea
Privateer - privately owned ships used for "legalized" piracy by a government
John Paul Jones
Patriot ship commander
1779 Captain of the Bonhomme Richard (named after Ben Franklin aka Poor Richard)
The ship came from France
Sails along the British coastline attacking vessels and towns
In September, Jones' ships attacked British warships guarding supply ships
Famous battle between the British warship called "Serapis" and Jones ship the "Bonhomme Richard"
British Captain hollered for Jones to surrender
Jones replied, "I have not yet begun to fight!"
Both ships were so close their guns were touching
After a 3 hour battle the main mast of the "Serapis" cracked, forcing the British to surrender
The Bonhomme Richard was so full of holes that it sank
Jones captured the Serapis and sailed away

Victory inspired the Americans - England was angered that the war was too close to home!
British General Howe's objective
rendezvous with British General's Burgoyne and St. Leger in Albany
Was supposed move up the Hudson River from New York
(troops move from south to north)
Decided to disobey the plan and attacked Pennsylvania to capture George Washington
Defeated General Washington at Brandywine and Germantown in 1777
Captured Philadelphia forcing Washington's army to winter at Valley Forge.
British General Howe NEVER made it to Albany - left Burgoyne high and dry
War moves to the South

Savannah, Georgia and Charles Town, South Carolina
The British decided to move the war to the South
British high command felt that more Loyalists lived in the Southern Colonies, like South Carolina and Georgia
The British also expected large numbers of slaves to join the British army. The slaves could fight in exchange for freedom.
Unfortunately, most of the slaves that joined the British were betrayed and not set free.
In 1778, a British Army led by General Henry Clinton invaded and captured Savannah Georgia
Two years later, by 1780, Charles Town, South Carolina was captured
Charles Town had been the largest city in the South. 5,000 Patriot soldiers surrendered at Charles Town. Nearly the entire Continental Army in the Southern Colonies.
Nancy Hart
5 armed Loyalist neighbors broke into her home in Georgia
They demanded that she prepare them a meal
She waited until they were seated eating their meal
Nancy then grabbed one of their loaded muskets and shot and killed one of the men
She then held the remaining loyalists hostage
Her daughter ran for help from the Patriot neighbors
When the Patriots arrived the Loyalists were hanged
Hart county Georgia is named after her today
Feuds between neighbors and families over being Patriot or Loyalist were common during the American Revolution.
Trap at Yorktown

British General Cornwallis sets up camp in Yorktown, VA with 8,000 troops
Washington learns that 29 French warships will be sailing to Virginia and 3,000 French infantry soldiers would arrive to reinforce Washington's 5,000 men
The trap was sprung on October 6, 1781 when the French fleet arrived to cut off the British retreat
Washington then laid siege to Yorktown with cannons from land and sea
The battle was over on October 19, 1781
Cornwallis and the British army had to surrender to Washington - Cornwallis was disgraced and refused to take part in the ceremonial surrender
The War Ends
The American Revolution officially ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1783
There were three main parts to the treaty that were actually followed:
The USA was now recognized by the British as an independent country
The boundaries of the USA were established: From the Mississippi River in the west to the Atlantic in the east and from British Canada in the north to Spanish Florida in the south
The USA was given fishing rights off of the eastern coast of Canada - The Grand Banks of the Atlantic

There were three other main parts that were not followed:
Stolen Loyalist property was to be returned
Slaves that had signed up to be in the British army were supposed to be returned
Each side would repay war debts owed

Costs of the American Revolution - 1775 - 1783

Nobody knows the exact causualty count, but 8 years of fighting took a terrible toll.
Patriot/American deaths = 26,000
British/Redcoat deaths = 10,000
Many soldiers didn't get paid for their service
Some recieved land claims west of the Appalachain Mountains as payment
The new nation, USA, was 27 million dollars in debt
60,000 - 100,000 loylaists left the USA after and during the war, including loyalist Joseph Brandt

Reasons for the American Victory over the British
Better leadership (George Washington), knowledge of the land, foreign aid and motivation
The Swamp Fox and Guerrilla Fighting in South Carolina
Francis Marion, nicknamed the Swamp Fox, used hit and run tactics to fight in the south
Marion's men were instrumental in disrupting British supply lines
Their knowledge of the swamp lands allowed them to strike the British and then retreat back to the swamps to regroup
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