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The American Revolution
Transcript of The American Revolution
He wanted to make a name for himself and believed that becoming an officer of the British army would be his best chance to do so.
But British soldiers believed that colonists made "lousy" soldiers... He proved them wrong.
The Ohio Valley expediton is proof. Coming across a french scouting party camping in the woods
Ordering your troops to fire
Easy Victory "I heard the bullets whistle...
And, believe me, there is something charming in the sound." His French and Indian War Experience:
"I had four Bullets through my coat and two horses shot under me" - Washington Thomas Paine He wrote a fiery pamphlet by the name of "Common Sense". "Ye that love man kind! Ye that dare oppose
not only tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth!...
The Sun never shined on a cause of greater worth!" "Of more worth is to one honest man to society, than all the crowned ruffians who ever lived" Within a few months, more than 120,00 copies of "Common Sense" were printed and Paine's arguments not only persuaded thousands of colonists, among these colonists were neutralists and loyalists along with patriots, that independence was sensible, but that it is the key to a brighter future. Washington was heartened by Paine's words so his men did not
"shrink from the service of their country" Thomas Jefferson When only 33 years old,
he had been given the
task of drafting the
Declaration of Independence He spoke little in congress,
but spoke brilliantly with a pen. "When in course of human events, a decent respect to the options of mankind" Translation:
"If one people finds it necessary to break ties with another, requires that they explain their actions" His explanation was simple, yet revolutionary. In contrast of loyalists, who believed the king's power was "god given", he believed all men are equal in the eye of God, therefore all are entitled to the same basic rights.
Here's what TJ had to say: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Jefferson stated that governments are formed to secure our rights and if they fail to protect them, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.
Then the people can create a new government that will protect their "safety and happiness". After listing all of King George's crimes and abuses, claiming that George III had shown that he was "unfit to be the ruler of a free people". He later made a bold statement:
"These united colonies are and of right ought to be, free and independent states. General William Howe British General:
Ordered attacks at Bunker Hill.
Didn't want to risk ANOTHER blood bath, so he abandoned the city of Boston. New York-
Satisfied that the war was nearly won, he ordered a halt to the attacks...
He figured that Washington would "lose honorably" and just give up... so Howe waited. Washington didn't have any intention to give up, but, for his army to survive they had to retreat. He didn't want to say such a shameful word as "retreat" but he knew it was his only choice other than allowing his army to get killed out in the battlefield. Offered to pardon the rebels who signed a statement promising to obey the king... Howe had other ideas on how to win the war:
Instead of marching to Albany, Howe headed for Philadelphia, the rebels' capital. There he hoped to lure Washington into another major battle. Howe hoped it would be the last one... General Burgoyne had a battle plan... By the time of The Battle of Monmouth,
Howe was replaced by Sir Henry Clinton Sir Henry Clinton General John Burgoyne General Burgoyne had a plan,
but his plan had issues... The route he wanted to take was that what looked like an easy invasion route on a map was anything but easy.. And to make matters worse, the troops were slowed by more than 600 wagons!
And most of them being PERSONAL baggage. And as mentioned before, Howe had other ideas on how to win the war. So he didn't agree with "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne.... The guy who still sips champagne with his supper IN THE WILDERNESS... Slow-moving Burgoyne finally made it to Saratoga Springs on the Hudson River. But.... His army was outnumbered by rebels.
And still, "Gentleman Johnny" ordered an attack. With the advantage of outnumbering the British troops, the rebels beat back the British troops.. So on October 17, 1777 Burgonye finally accept his defeat. Lord Cornwallis Sir Henry Clinton (Howe's Replacement) returned to New York, leaving Cornwallis to run the war in the south. Clinton started running the war in the south by taking "control" of the Carolinas and attacking Georgia, but... Cornwallis soon learned that he didn't really "control" the Carolinas after all. Since Cornwallis was now taking the South,
Washington sent General Greene to slow them down... General Greene's army was much to petite to meet Cornwallis in a major battle, so his successful technique was... "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again" Nathaniel Greene The Americans set a trap for Cornwallis... By the time Cornwallis was settling into Yorktown, the french had sent nearly 5,000 troops to join Washington's army in New York. No biggie.. Unless you don't mind being surround and trapped by american AND french soldiers who loathe and despise you... You can't even use the sea as an escape- French warships are there. You can't go undetected at all. But there is something you can do after you get defeated - Give up. Thats right, surrender. Why? Well for one, you're surrounded entirely by the enemy and obviously you are outnumbered terribly.
Second, your enemies have weapons- all of them. And they WILL use them against you. Convinced yet? Well Cornwallis obviously was. Hence his surrender at Yorktown.
He had been faithful that the British Navy would "come to his rescue" but they didn't, so he gave up. When his defeated troops left Yorktown, he pretended to be ill, probably yo avoid embarrasment. Ok, now that you've learned a bit about the
main characters, Lets take a look at the big picture... literally! The Revolutionary War 1775-1783 War Starts: Lexington and Concord, Bunkerhill, Ticonderoga/Boston, Retreat in New York, Crossing the Delaware/Trenton, Both sides re-evalute their plan, New British strategy to end the war, Why Washington was so good, Saratoga, Winter at Valley Forge, Battle at Monouth, Savannah Georgia, North and South Carolina, Greene saves the South, Yorktown Virgina, Cornwallis Surrenders, Treaty of Paris. Lexington and Concord: Just the Facts-
Gage was after a large supply of gunpowder and weapons in the nearby village of Concord.
Patriots moved the supplies, leaving Gage & troops to find an empty arsenal.
Out of rage they set Concord on fire.
Patriots proved that they are willing to fight for their freedom and liberty. Awesome claymation vividly showing us what had happened at Lexington and Concord. Bunker Hill: This event was misnamed; it is actually the battle of BREED'S Hill.
Putnam famous qoute: "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes."
Very short "battle". Summary-
Israel Putnam led a few hundred men up to Breed's Hill and they created a fort. This fort worried Howe, so he ordered an attack. The Americans didn't fire until they saw the whites of the British Soldier's eyes. It was a bloody mess. The british didn't see that coming but fought back fircely. At the end, the British won physically, only because the Americans had used up all of their gunpowder and pulled back. Washington recieved his gunpowder. Ticonderoga/Boston:
A month after Breed's Hill, Washington found that his army only had 36 barrels of gunpowder - enough for each soldier top fire just 9 shots. To decive the British, Washington started a rumor in Boston that he had 1,800 barrels of gunpowder and the gulible British believed that tall tale. Meanwhile, Washington had been sending letters to the colonies begging for gunpowder. Before he could attack, he needed artillery (heavy guns-cannons), so he sent Henry Knox to fort Ticonderoga to round up big guns. Ticonderoga-
Old British Fort located at the southern end of Lake Champlain in New York. Although Americans had little use for a fort that has been run-down, the fort was filled with guns proved priceless. Boston-
On March 4, 1776 the British soldiers awoke to an unpleasant surprise.. Well that is if you consider being surrounded by cannons that are handled by your enemy unpleasant, if not then it was a "delightful" surprise... As mentioned before, this is where Howe abandoned the city instead of risking another blood bath... Quiter... Within days, more than one hundred ships left the Boston Harbor and fled to Canda Ships carried 9,000 British Troops as well as 1,000 loyalists who preferred to leave their homes behind (instead of living with the "rebels"..) As the British left,
they were shouting two major things:
"Yay! We won the war!" and "The war is over". Unfortunately, This one was true.
The other... not so much... Although many hoped that the war had come to an end, Washington knew it was only the beginning... AMERICAN STRENTHS:
2.Help from overseas
Their commander, George Washington AMERICAN WEAKNESSES:
1.Always short of men (out of that small amount of men, few were trained for a battle.
2.Shortages on supplies Everything was scarce. Guns, gunpowder, clothing, food.
So in result of the shortages, Benjamin Franklin suggested arming the troops with bows and arrows. Shortages also made soldiers beg for food. Due to shortage of money, the American soldiers were forced to wear the same clothes everyday.
Eventually, their clothing got worn out. This led to soldiers entering the battlefield half-naked... BRITISH STRENGTHS:
1.Professional army of 50,000 (greatly outnumbered colonists) + 30,000 hired mercenaries + recruited loyalists, African Americans, and Native Americans.
2.Well supplied. BRITISH WEAKNESSES:
1.Distance between Britain and America.
2.Not being able to convince the British people that beating the rebels was vital to Britian's future.
3.Poor leadership. Sending troops and supplies across the Atlanic was slow and costly. When introducing you to General Howe, I mentioned the quarrel in New York... And how Washington had to swallow his pride and retreat. That all occured on August 27, 1776 at Brooklyn, New York Washington give the most heart-wrenching pep talks:
"Either we win... or WE DIE!" December 25, 1776-
Washington's army crossed the icy Delaware River in small boats. Pep talk Washington gave his troops to "lift their spirits": Its either victory or it is death. "As the Americans made their way toward Trenton, a driving snow chilled thwm through the bone" The Americans suffered quite a bit considering the fact that ice and rocks cut through their worn-out shoes. Due to the ice and conditions, the guns were too wet to fire so Washington suggested them to use the bayonets because the town MUST be taken down... Since it was Christmas, the Americans caught the Hessians completely off guard; sleepng off their christmas feasts. So... the mercenaries surrendered. Washington took 868 prisoners without losing a single man. A week later, Americans captured 300 other British troops! I guess Americans went with the option of "victory"... Definition: Hired soldiers; Mercenaries. Both sides revised their battle plan. Both started with the same military stategy.
-That strategy was to win one big battle.
- British "New Strategy" was to control Hudson river (cut off supplies of Americans) and to win one big battle.
- And as mentioned before, Burgoyne had a plan, but Howe didn't agree... Because it was ridiculous. (Burgoyne had 600 wagons of PERSONAL baggage and they had to pass through swamps and through trees... horrible route= traveling even slower.)
- They don't want to fight a big battle.
- Washington wants them to avoid big battles that would risk his troops. (They were low on men)
-Americans used their knowledge of the land. (Run British around; shift from offense to defense) Why was Washington so good? Because he used his knowledge of the land to his and his troop's advantage to beat the british. As mentioned, the Americans made the British run around and since the Americans knew the land, getting around was easy, butfor the British it was tough and bewildering. Saratoga- Recap of Saratoga-
- Reinforcements never arrived for Burgoyne.
-Rebels outnumbered Burgoyne's army, but still, he ordered an attack.
- The rebels beat the British troops again and again during this battle.
-On October 17th, 1777... "Gentleman Johnny" finally accepted defeat.
- Saratoga marked the turning point of the American Revolution.
- France and Spain soon became allies of the Americans.
- The American cause didn't llok hopeless after the battle of Saratoga. Washington was good because he used his & his troop's knowledge of the land to their advantage! Remember the American's new strategy "avoid major battles and run them around"? Well knowing the land helped carry out that strategy. If they didn't know the land, how would they run them around? Winter at Valley Forge- Although Saratoga was an extremely stunning victory, the war was far from over... Just The Facts-
-While Washington's army roamed the countryside, Howe's troops still occupied Philadelphia.
-Late in 1777, Congress declared a day of giving thanks.
-By the day of giving thanks, Washington and his army were on their way to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. To make camp for the winter.
-American troops were hunugry because farmers preferred to sell crops to British soldiers. (British=Pay in gold, American= Pay in paper money)
-Merchants raised items (blankets, uniforms, etc.) prices' sky-high, so American troops continued to be half-naked and freezing cold. Baron Friedrich von Steuben, a volunteer from Prussia, was put in charge of training by Washington. Training should distract the soldiers from their misery... The richest man in France, Marquis de Lafayette, also helped raise the soldiers' spirits. Even Though he was wealthy, he chose to share the hardships with the troops. He also bought warm clothing for the soldiers with his OWN money Battle of Monmouth- Just The Facts-
- Clinton believed taking over Philadelphia gained the British nothing.
-Clinton ordered his army to retreat to New York City, where the Royal Navy could keep it supplied by sea.
-It was Washington's turn to chase an army across New Jersey.
- He (Washington) caught up with the British near Monmouth, New Jersey on June 28, 1778. -During this battle, Washington was constantly rallying his men to stand and fight.
-Late that night, the British slipped across the Hudson River to safety.
-The war in the North was over, even though neither sides were aware of that. Extra!! Extra!!
The War Goes SOUTH! The British didn't conquer ANY state in the North-
EPIC FAIL. So they decide to change the strategy yet again. New Strategy #2-
Move the war to the South.
Why, you may ask? Well, the British believed that in the South there were thousands of Loyalists waiting to join the King's cause. Clinton began his "southern campaign" with a successful attack on... SAVANNAH GEORGIA! From Georgia he moved on to take "control" of North and South Carolina. At this point, Clinton went back to New York, leaving Cornwallis to run the war in the South. As mentioned before, Cornwallis soon relized Clinton did anything BUT "control" the people. The War Ends!!! When Lord North heard about Cornwallis's defeat, he said... "Oh god! It is all over!" The British public agreed. Yorktown was clearly the end to this bloody misery... But... King George had a hard time swallowing his pride and accepting defeat. Months dragged by before he finally accepted to say, "I surrender". Early in the year of 1783, representatives of the United States and Britain signed a historical peace treaty in Paris. Hence its name "The Treaty of Paris". Three Important Parts to the Document-
1. Great Britain agreed to reconize the the United States as an independent nation.
2. Britain gave up its claims to all lands between the Atlantic Coast and Mississippi River, from Canada south to Florida.
3. The United States agreed to return all rights and property taken from the loyalists during the war. The Loyalists didn't trust the agreement's promise of fair treatment...But they had a good reason not to. The Loyalists were treated horribly by the Patriots during the war... Thats probably why more than 80,000 Loyalists fled to British Canada... ~The Olive Branch Petition~ In July 1775, Congress sent a petition to King George III asking him to end the quarrel. John Adams called this petition the "olive branch" because olive tree branches were ancient symbols for peace. Note- This preceded the war. Unfortunately, George III wasn't a man of peace because by the time the petition reached London, he declared the colonies to be in "open and avowed rebellion" and then ordered his ministers to "bring the traitors to justice." Being called a traitor was enough to convice General Henry, who had long "looked with some degree of horror on the scheme of separation", that independence was the best idea. This decision caused him to say his famous quote- "We must be independent or slaves." Independence After the war was joy and celebration, but freedom came with a high price. During the long combat... -At least 6,200 Americans got killed in combat.
- An estimated 10,000 died of camp diseases.
-Another 8,500 died as British prisoners. "With our fate, will the destiny of unborn millions be involved"
- Washington,written at the end of the war. And thus,
the United States