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American Revolution

1776-1783
by

Matt Frost

on 25 October 2012

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Transcript of American Revolution

The Early Years The War Expands The Path to Victory The Legacy of the War The American Revolution The issue of separating from the British was strongly split between the loyalists and the patriots. The loyalists vowed their allegiance to Great Britain, while the patriots fought for the American Revolution. Although it is difficult to measure popular support of the revolution, it seems 40 to 45% of the colonists were patriots. The French were bitter towards Great Britain after losing the French-Indian war, therefore, they and Spain allied with the colonial revolutionists to help defeat the British. The Patriots soon learned to use different tactics and began a style of fighting known as guerrilla warfare. This type of warfare allows a small number of troops to effectively ambush and destroy a group of enemies. Guerrilla warfare often incites chaotic situations, benefiting the attacker 1776-1783 George Washington became the commanding general of the Continental Army. His army was not well trained and was comprised primarily of untrained rebels who planned to take on the well trained and professional British army. Although Great Britain had a large army, they still sought the assistance of Hessian mercenaries who would fight alongside them throughout the remainder of the war. In the evening of December 25, 1776, General Washington and his army crossed the Delaware River and marched into Trenton, New Jersey where they surprised the Hessian mercenaries. They captured or killed 900 and gained needed supplies. The strategy of the British was to cut off all routes of supply to the patriot militia. They worked to capture the Hudson River Valley and eastern sea ports. Nevertheless, Washington's ragtag militia was able to consistently keep the Redcoats from achieving their militaristic goals William Lafayette of France quickly earned Washington's trust and became commander of his own army division. In addition, Baron von Steuben of Germany helped turn the inexperienced American militia into a trained and professional army. He taught them skills of hand to hand combat and trained them in the use of bayonets. In late 1777 Washington's army was pushed out of Philadelphia and into Southern Pennsylvania. They spent the arduous winter at Valley Forge. They were poorly supplied and many soldiers had no shoes and only one blanket to protect them from the cold. This type of guerrilla warfare gave the patriots the winning edge and the tide of the war began to turn in favor of the revolutionists. After the Battle of Yorktown in which the patriots defeated British General Cornwallis' troops of over 8,000; British leaders began to negotiate a peace treaty The Treaty of Paris 1783:
1) The United States was independent
2) Its boundaries would be the Mississippi River on the west, Canada on the north, and Spanish Florida on the south
3) The United States would receive the right to fish off Canada's Atlantic Coast, near Newfoundland and Nova Scotia
4) Each side would repay debts it owed to the other side
5) The British would return any enslaved persons they had captured
6) Congress would recommend the states return any property they had seized from the Loyalists
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