Slide1: The Revolutionary War American Strengths: American Strengths Patriotism - People willingly gave their lives to defend their liberty.
Knowledge of the land.
Fighting tactics taught by Native Americans.
Aid from France - During the first two years of the war, France secretly supplied the rebels with 90% of their gunpowder.
George Washington - Inspired courage and confidence.
American Weaknesses: American Weaknesses Men - Continental Army never had more than 20,000 troops.
Many soldiers only enlisted for six months or a year.
Men were not trained for battle.
Guns and powered were in short supply.
Food shortages -
Lack of money. British Strengths: British Strengths 50,000 troops (well-trained)
30,000 Hessian Mercenaries hired to fight.
Food, uniforms, weapons and ammo.
Navy was strongest in the world. British Weaknesses: British Weaknesses Distance between Britain and America.
King George was never able to convince the British people that defeating the rebels was vital to their future.
Poor leadership in England - Lord George Germain was running the war but never stepped foot in America.
Britain was fighting in other areas.
Overconfidence. The Colonies at WarThe War in the North: The Colonies at War The War in the North After battles in Mass. And New York the hopes of the Patriots were dim.
When Washington and his men retreated from NY and crossed the Delaware into Penn. They were in desperate shape.
Washington came up with a daring strategy. He planned to launch a surprise attack on the British at Trenton The Colonies at WarThe War in the North: As his troops prepared for battle, Washington ordered Thomas Paine’s new pamphlet The Crisis to be read to them.
On Dec. 25, 1776, Washington led 2, 400 soldiers across the icy Delaware river. Under the cover of darkness, all men crossed unseen. The next morning they attacked the sleeping Hessians and defeated them. The Colonies at War The War in the North The Colonies at WarThe War in the North: After they learned of the defeat at Trenton, General Cornwallis pursued Washington and his troops. One week later Washington’s troops defeated the British at Princeton.
The victories at Trenton and Princeton gave the Continental Army hope and confidence. The Colonies at War The War in the North The Colonies at WarThe War in the North: Britain asked General John Burgoyne to come up with a plan to stop the Americans.
His plan was take control of the Hudson River valley in NY. If successful, the strategy would benefit the British by cutting NE off from the rest of the colonies. The Colonies at War The War in the North The Colonies at WarThe War in the North: Burgoyne’s plan failed for several reasons and three weeks later, the American attacked Burgoyne in the Battle of Saratoga.
In the Battle of Saratoga the British lost hundreds of troops.
Until the victory at Saratoga, neither France nor any other country had been willing to openly support the colonists The Colonies at War The War in the North Slide11: The victory at Saratoga made it clear that it was possible for the Americans to succeed.
In February 1778, French King Louis XVI signed the Treaty of Alliance assuring the Americans the support they needed.
The French sent money, weapons, troops, and warships to the Americans.
Spain also entered the war against Britain. Spying on the Enemy: Spying on the Enemy Spying was common during the war.
When captured, spies were labeled as traitors and typically sentenced to death.
Nathan Hale, 24 years old spied for Washington. He was captured and sentenced to death. His reported last words reflect his Patriotic Spirit:
“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”
Valley Forge, PA: Valley Forge, PA Little protection from the freezing temps.
When complete, each dirt-floor hut measured and 14 ft. by 16 ft. and slept about 12 soldiers.
Slept on either the cold muddy floors or the straw mattresses that were usually crawling with lice.
“might be tracked by the blood upon the rough, frozen ground.”
About 2,500 died. Other Help from Europe: Other Help from Europe Baron Friedrich von Steuben - A Prussian soldier, spent the winter at valley forge helping train the troops.
Marquis de Lafayett - French soldier who fought for the Americans.
Thaddeus Kosciuszko (kawsh-CHUSH-KOH) came from Poland and used his engineering experience to build trenches and forts for the Patriots.
Casimir Pulaski - came from Poland and trained the first American cavalry.
Bernardo de Galvez - Governor of Spanish Louisiana - Secretly provided supplies in early years of war. After Spain entered the war, his troops defeated the British at Baton Rouge and Natchez. The War Moves West: The War Moves West As the war continued in the East, the British recruited Native Americans to help them in their frontier campaign farther west.
At first, the Native Americans didn’t want to take sides, but later most joined the British, believing it would help them turn back the white settlers moving into their land. Slide16: Fighting broke out in the Ohio Valley as British and Native American forces began their invasion of frontier settlements.
George Rogers Clark led volunteers on a raid against the British in the Ohio Valley. He made a surprise attack on the British fort at Vincennes. Clarks capture of Vincennes weakened the British in the Ohio valley. The War at Sea: The War at Sea Navy was established in 1775.
Its very few ships had little effect on the outcome of the war.
The colonist relied mainly on armed private ships called privateers.
In 1779 an American warship, The Bonhomme Richard attacked the British ship the Serapis.
Slide18: John Paul Jones sailed to the coast of Great Britain and attacked the British warship .
The Bonhomme Richard was torn with cannonballs. Seeing that the ship was on fire, the British commander ordered Jones and his men to surrender. Jones replied “I have not yet begun to fight!”
He and his men boarded the Serapis and fought one-on-one and defeated the British.
John Paul Jones became known as the father of the American Navy. The War moves South: The War moves South The British turned their attention to the Southern Colonies when France entered the war in 1778. They believed they had more support in the South and that would help them win more battles.
Until 1778 only a few isolated conflicts had occurred between the Patriots and Loyalists in the South. But in one battle in 1776, Patriot forces crushed a Loyalist uprising at Moore’s Creek Bridge, NC. Although a small battle, the impact was great.
Slide20: In the South, for almost three years the British marched through Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia without suffering a major defeat.
General Washington felt disheartened by the heavy losses in the South. At the same time, news of another loss added to his concern.
Benedict Arnold, one of Washington’s most trusted generals, had been caught spying for the British. Arnold tried to turn the American fort at West Point over to the British. Arnold escaped and became a General in the British Army. Slide21: SC Patriots felt angry about the defeat at Charleston. Looking for revenge, many of them took the situation into their own hands by forming bands and raiding British camps using hit-and run attacks.
One of the most famous of the raiders was Francis Marion, known as the “Swamp Fox.” He was known for his imaginative tactics and success in battle. The “Swamp Fox”: The “Swamp Fox” Led troops in quick strikes, cutting off enemy supply lines.
Usually struck at night.
Never stayed at the same camp more than once.
His scouts perched in treetops and signaled when British troops were coming.
Covered bridges with blankets to soften the sound of the horses’ hooves as they crossed. Slide23: Another daring general was Daniel Morgan. In 1781, Morgan defeated the British in SC at the Battle of Cowpens.
Following the victory at Cowpens, Morgan and other troops joined together with hopes of crushing Cornwallis’s weakened force. The armies met in a bloody battle known as the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in NC. Although Cornwallis drove the Patriots from the battlefield, the Americans badly battered his troops. Peter Francisco, Hero at Guilford Courthouse: Peter Francisco, Hero at Guilford Courthouse Born in the Portuguese Azores, as a young child was taken from his family and abandoned on a dock in VA.
Join the Revolutionary War at age 16.
Was 6’ 6” tall and weighed 260 lbs.
Armed with a huge sword, he killed 11 British soldiers at Guilford Courthouse.
Was seriously wounded by a British bayonet, he collapsed and was left for dead.
Recovered and rejoined the troops for the Yorktown battle.
Earned reputation for bravery and dedication. African Americans and the War: African Americans and the War Nearly 1,000 enslaved joined the British and gained their freedom.
About 5,000 served as soldiers, minutemen, scouts, and other positions for the Continental Army.
Salem Poor fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill. American commanders singled him out for his skill and valor.
Had to serve 1 year to gain freedom. Women and the War: Women and the War Ran the family farm or business.
Followed husbands to war and cooked, sewed, carried ammo and served as nurses.
A few took part in the battles:
Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley - Spent seven years by her husband’s side in battle. Soldiers called her “Molly Pitcher” because she carried water pitchers to the men during battles. - During the battle of Monmouth her husband was wounded. She took his place at the cannon firing at the British. Slide27: Deborah Sampson - Dressed in men’s clothing and borrowed her brother Robert’s name and joined the Continental Army. She was wounded a few times and treated her wounds herself so she wouldn’t be detected.
Lydia Darragh - Worked as a spy.
Mercy Otis Warren - Wrote newspaper articles in support of the Revolution. Victory at Yorktown: Victory at Yorktown Following the hit-and-run attacks in the South, Gen. Cornwallis led his 7,500 troops north to Yorktown.
On a peninsula formed by James River and Chesapeake Bay.
Thought this would be a great location. From here he could receive supplies from British ships. Slide29: Aug. 29, 1781, the commander of the French fleet Admiral Francois de Grasse, anchored 29 warships in Chesapeake Bay. Blocked supplies and escape by sea.
At the same time Washington’s army and 7,000 French troops led by General Jean de Rochambeau hurried VA.
The armies and French navy trapped Cornwallis.
On October 17, 1781, Cornwallis wrote Washington, requesting a cease-fire.
Two days later the British officially surrendered. The Surrender: The Surrender The troops met at the river facing each other. Washington waited to accept General Cornwallis’s sword.
Cornwallis was not there. Instead, he had named Gen. Charles O’Hara to act in his place.
Learning this, Washington selected Gen. Benjamin Lincoln to represent the Americans.
As 7,000 British troops turned over their weapons, the British band played a tune titled “The World Turned Upside Down.” Treaty of Paris: Treaty of Paris John Jay, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams traveled to Paris to meet and work out the details of the treaty.
September 3, 1783 the two sides signed the Treaty of Paris.
Great Britain acknowledged the independence of colonist and remove all troops from American soil.
Set new boundaries for the US - Included land West of the App. Mountains to the Miss. River.
Great Britain returned Florida to Spain.
Americans had to pay Loyalist for property lost.
General Washington: General Washington When the war ended, Washington returned to his home at Mount Vernon, VA, where he planned to live quietly with his family.
Washington knew there would be great challenges ahead for the young and promising country.