1 How did Washington successfully defeat the Hessians at Trenton and the British at Princeton?



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Unit 7 – The Revolutionary War

Lesson 1: The Colonies at War
Essential Questions for Lesson 1:

Copy these and label: RAP (Reviewing and Previewing)

1) How did Washington successfully defeat the Hessians at Trenton and the British at Princeton?

2) Why was the American victory at Saratoga a turning point in the war?

3) How did the European allies help the Continental Army achieve superiority?

TERMS TO KNOW – VOCABULARY & KEY PEOPLE


- blockade

- Lord George Germain

- Battle of Saratoga

- Treaty of Alliance

- Richard Montgomery

- retreat

- haven

- John Paul Jones

- Benedict Arnold

- General William Howe


- Long Island

- Nathan Hale

- Trenton

- Vincennes

- General John Burgoyne

- Colonel Barry St. Leger

- Fort Ticonderoga

- King Louis XVI

- Valley Forge

- firecakes

- Continental Dollars

- allies

- Miami

- Baron Friedrich von

Steuben

- Marquis de Lafayette

- Thaddeus Kosciuszko

- Casimir Pulaski

- Calvary

- Bernardo de Galvez

- Ohio River Valley

- frontier

- George Rogers Clark

- privateers

I The War in the North


  1. Review from Unit 6


1) Gen. Thomas Gage wrote in a letter to King George III: They are now spirited up by a rage and enthusiasm as

great as ever…”

2) Although the British were impressed w/the colonists’ DETERMINATION, they did not believe that a ragtag,

badly equipped group of rebels could beat a world power such as Gr. Britain. WRONG!!



  1. Battles in Canada (Review from Unit 6)


1) Continental Army moved into Canada hoping to win support from the French Canadians.

2) Richard Montgomery’s (Patriot) forces marched from Fort Ticonderoga into Canada and captured Montreal

in November, 1775.



3) Benedict Arnold led his troops through the wilderness of Maine where they encountered blizzards & freezing

temperatures.



4) Supplies were short and they survived by eating ANYTHING they could find – BARK, CANDLES, and EVEN

SHOE LEATHER!!!



5) Still, they continued toward Quebec and stormed the walled city on New Year’s Eve, 1775.

6) The attack was UNSUCCESSFULMONTGOMERY was KILLED & ARNOLD was WOUNDED.

7) Arnold’s troops = didn’t want to give up

aa) stayed outside Quebec for the next few months = harsh winter continued
bb) Spring = Arnold’s soldiers were tired, hungry, sick, & depressed

cc) admitted defeat in May when British reinforcements arrived, THUS LEAVING CANADA in the

HANDS OF THE BRITISH!

C) Dorchester Heights (Review from Unit 6)

1) Battle of Bunker Hill left the British short of forces and supplies

2) waited in Boston during the summer of 1775 for fresh supplies and reinforcement troops to arrive

3) Washington reached Boston = midsummer of 1775

4) began to train his troops

5) March 4, 1776, he placed the cannons from Fort Ticonderoga on Dorchester Heights and aimed them at the city!

6) British General William Howe realized he could not force the Americans to leave

7) Two weeks later, the entire British army and 1,500 Loyalists evacuated Boston by ship

8) General Howe moved his troops north to Halifax, Canada, LEAVING Boston under American control!

9) After the British RETREATED to Canada, King George set up a blockade of all the ports in the colonies, to

prevent goods and people from moving in and out of the area!




  1. British Plan



  1. Background on British Lord George Germain

  1. man chosen to direct the British troops

  2. no real sense of how to defeat the rebels

  3. never set foot in North America

  4. didn’t know what he was up against

  5. couldn’t be won by conquering a city or two

  6. To end the revolution = Germain’s forces would have to crush the Patriots’ will to fight, state by state

  7. HOWEVER: Germain kept changing plans and generals, hoping that some combination of the two would bring him an easy victory

  1. After abandoning Boston..

  1. spring of 1776

  2. Germain = came up with his first plan for winning the war

  3. British forces in America – led by General William Howe – ordered to capture New York City

  4. from that base = British troops would then move north to destroy the rebellion at its heart: Massachusetts



  1. Patriot Plan:

  1. Washington’s plan to block the invasion:

  1. hurried with his army from Boston to New York

  2. heard the good news: the Declaration of Independence was signed

  3. by signing the Declaration of Independence, Congress had finally declared the colonies to be “free and independent states”

  4. had the Declaration of Independence read aloud to his troop

F) African Americans and the War

  1. Declaration of Independence = raised both hopes and questions for African Americans

  2. Did Jefferson’s words “all men are created equal” apply to them? Would independence bring an end to slavery?

Should they join the revolution?

  1. Even before independence was declared, a number of African Americans had joined the Patriot cause.

  2. Black militiamen, both free and slave = fought at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill

  3. Early in war = blacks were banned from the Continental Army

  4. Washington = did not want the army to become a haven (safe place; refuge; sanctuary) for runaway slaves

  5. Contrast: British promised freedom to all slaves who took up arms for the king

  6. thousands of runaways became Loyalists = fought for Great Britain

  7. shortage of volunteers soon forced Washington to change his mind

  8. 1779 = 15 percent of Continental soldiers = African Americans

  9. Large numbers of black sailors = served in the Continental navy

  10. * As black Americans joined the war effort, some whites began to question their own beliefs.

  1. How could they accept slavery if they truly believed that all people are created equal, with the same rights to life, liberty, and happiness?

  2. ***** By the war’s end, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and

Pennsylvania had all taken steps to end slavery.

II The New York Campaign


  1. Goal:

  1. June 1776 = Gen. Howe and his troops returned from Canada and moved into New York City

  2. Howe thought this was the ideal location

  3. from here = easy to march troops south to Philadelphia or north into New England

  4. * * By overtaking New York City, he could also split the Northern and Southern colonies.



B) The Battle of Long Island


1) Washington = moved about 19,000 troops south to Long Island = to defend NY

  1. UNTRAINED RECRUITS = no match for Howe’s professional soldiers

  2. Washington had NO NAVY to challenge the British in the New York Harbor!

  3. Washington = tried to predict where the British troops would come ashore

  4. divided army

  1. 10,000 soldiers to Long Island

  2. 9,000 to Manhattan

6) August of 1776 = Howe landed at Long Island

7) During the battle, Washington’s troops fought bravely, but at least 1,500 were killed, injured, or taken

prisoner!

8) The Americans could not hold New York, and for weeks Washington was in danger of being captured!

aa) Washington’s quote: “I will not ask any man go further than I do. I will fight so long as I have a leg or an

arm.”


9) Washington and his men = retreated to New Jersey, then crossed the Delaware River into Pennsylvania.

10) He lost New York, but managed to escape the British.

11) Great Britain held New York for the rest of the war – SEVEN YEARS!

C) Spying on the Enemy


1) Spying = common

2) Captured spies = traitors = sentenced to death by hanging

3) dedicated Patriots = still spied for their country

4) Nathan Hale

aa) 24-yr-old American lieutenant

bb) spied for George Washington during the New York campaign

  1. disguised himself, slipped behind enemy lines, and returned with information

  2. British caught him

  3. swiftly condemned him to death

  4. Hale’s reported last words reflected his patriotic spirit: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country!”



III Victories at Trenton and Princeton


  1. Fading Hopes

  1. Washington and his men = now starving

  2. never seemed to have enough clothing or food

  3. hated having to retreat to Pennsylvania

  4. felt America was going to lose the war

  5. battle for New York City = first of many defeats for Americans




  1. One Last Plan

  1. a surprise attack on the British at Trenton, New Jersey

  2. some = gave up and went home

  3. some = renewed by the words of Thomas Paine in his pamphlet Common Sense:

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will,

in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the

love and thanks of every man and woman.”


C) Surprise Attack – Continental Army Victory!


1) December 25, 1776 = British and Hessian soldiers camped at Trenton, NJ to celebrate Christmas

2) 2,400 Patriots = crossed the icy Delaware River unseen

3) Hessian/British troops slept – AGAIN – after partying

4) 1 ½ hrs: Brits/Hessians SURRENDERED

5) General Howe = learned of the defeat at Trenton

6) sent General Charles Cornwallis to pursue Washington and his troops

7) Washington turned the situation to his advantage and defeated the British at Princeton, New Jersey, on

January 3, 1777.

8) Washington took 868 prisoners without losing even a single man

IV Turning the Tide

  1. GB = EMBARRASSED

  1. Great Britain’s losses = left country’s officials puzzled, embarrassed, and frustrated

  2. asked General John Burgoyne to stop the Americans

  3. drew up a plan to gain control of the Hudson River Valley in New York

  4. If successful = strategy would benefit the British by cutting New England off from the rest of the colonies.



B) The Battle of Saratoga


1) British planned out a wonderful attack to surround New England with the help of Colonel Barry St. Leger

2) failed miserably

3) the three commanders (Howe, Burgoyne, and Leger) neglected to notify each other of changes in the original

attack strategy



4) Benedict Arnold helped defeat St. Leger at Fort Stanwix

  1. Burgoyne’s troops did make it to the Hudson River Valley

  2. Brits managed to recapture Fort Ticonderoga

  3. BUT: managed to lose around 1,000 soldiers along the way

  4. HAD NO IDEA that Howe and St. Leger weren’t on their way to meet him

  5. Three weeks later = Americans attacked Burgoyne in the Battle of Saratoga

  6. Brits lost hundreds of soldiers

  7. tried to retreat to Canada

  8. Americans surrounded them = blocked every possible path to safety

  9. forced Brits to surrender on October 17, 1777

14) THIS WAS THE BIGGEST AMERICAN VICTORY TO THIS POINT!!

aa) OVER 6,000 BRITISH SOLDIERS WERE TAKEN PRISONER!

bb) Gen. Burgoyne was FIRED FROM HIS POST after being defeated at the Battle of Saratoga

*COOL FACT – LITERATURE CONNECTION*
- Gen. Burgoyne had a second career to fall back on: He was a successful PLAYWRIGHT!

His comedy, The Heiress, was very popular in England & was translated into several foreign languages!



C) The Treaty of Alliance

1) Until the American victory at Saratoga, neither France nor any other country had been willing to openly

Support the colonists.



2) The victory made clear that it was possible for the Americans to succeed!!
3) February 1778 = French King Louis XVI signed the Treaty of Alliance

aa) assured the Americans the support of the FRENCH
D) Brutal Winter at Valley Forge

1) Before French aid reached America = Washington’s army had to endure the harsh winter of 1777-78 at Valley

Forge, Pennsylvania
2) soldiers = shoeless, wore rags, lived in temporary cloth tents, and had little to eat—mostly firecakes made from

thin strips of dough made from a mixture of flour and water



3) Making money during war:

aa) Troops were hungry b/c many farmers preferred to sell food to the Brits b/c they paid in GOLD, whereas

Congress paid them in paper money = Continental dollars.



bb) As for uniforms and blankets, merchants had raised the prices for these items sky-high.
cc) This desire for profits at the army’s expense outraged Washington.

dd) He said, “No punishment is too great for the man who can build his greatness upon his country’s ruin.”
3) finally = temporary 14’ by 16’ huts = each housing around 12 soldiers

4) some slept on the hard mud floors

5) others = straw, lice-infested mattresses

6) many left from sickness

7) 2,500 died from disease, exposure to cold, and/or lack of food

8) some who left = came back in the spring healthy and ready to fight

V Help from Europe


A) European Aid

1) Throughout the American Revolution, Europeans provided help in the form of money and military expertise.

aa) France and Spain became Americans’ allies: nations that join another nation in some common effort, such

as fighting a war
2) Baron Friedrich von Steuben

  1. Prussian soldier

  2. spent the winter at Valley Forge helping Washington train the troops

  3. used military experience to teach the Continental soldiers how to work together as a unit

  4. helped Patriots learn to

(1) make advances

(2) how to retreat (properly)

(3) how to use their bayonets


  1. The comic von Steuben used his great sense of humor to keep the troops in good spirits throughout the horrid winter.

  2. quote from soldier: “The army grows stronger every day. There is a spirit of discipline among the troops that is better than numbers.”


3) Marquis de Lafayette

aa) young French soldier

bb) fought w/Washington in Pennsylvania

cc) became an American general at the age of 19

dd) enthusiastically supported the American cause

ee) received no payment for his military service

ff) only fought out of love for America


  1. Thaddeus Kosciuszko

  1. Polish soldier

  2. used his expertise in building trenches and forts to fight for the American cause




  1. Casimir Pulaski

aa) also from Poland

bb) trained and organized the FIRST AMERICAN CAVALRY – troops on horseback.


  1. Bernardo do Galvez

  1. was the governor of Spanish Louisiana

  2. helped the Americans even before Spain entered the war

  3. secretly provided supplies during the early years of the revolution

  4. Spain entered the war in 1779

  5. Galvez’s troops defeated the British at Baton Rouge and Natchez

  6. his army then marched throughout the Gulf Coast area

  7. captured British forts at Mobile in 1780 and Pensacola in 1781


  1. The Battle of Monmouth

  1. Now: Sir Henry Clinton had replaced General Howe as commander of the British forces in North America

  1. Clinton’s view = taking over Philadelphia had gained the British nothing

  2. ordered his army to retreat to New York City

  3. the Royal Navy could keep them supplied by sea



  1. Now = Washington’s turn to chase an army across New Jersey

  2. June 28, 1778 = caught up with the retreating British near Monmouth, New Jersey

  3. Washington seemed to be everywhere, constantly rallying his men to stand and fight

  4. late at night: British slipped across the Hudson River to safety in New York City

  5. Washington camped with his army nearby

  6. Neither army knew it yet, but the war in the North was over.

VI The War in the West

  1. Native Americans are recruited

1) Brits = recruited Nat. Ams to fight in the west while Rev. War is in east

2) at first = Nat. Ams. didn’t want to take sides

3) eventually sided w/the British

aa) thought Brits would help them keep the white settlers out of their territory
bb) fighting broke out in the Ohio River Valley

cc) British and Native American forces invaded the frontier (land between the ORV and the App. Mts.)



  1. George Rogers Clark

  1. from Virginia

  2. led volunteers on a raid against the British in the ORV

  3. captured British forts at Kaskaskia and Cohokia w/help from Nat.Ams. known as the Miami

  4. February 1779 = British were weakened again = Clark = surprise attack = Brit fort at Vincennes

(present-day Indiana)

  1. troops marched more than 100 miles through rain and icy weather to defeat Red Coats

  2. VERY successful

  3. damaged the British troops in the ORV

VII The War at Sea


  1. Continental Navy

  1. Congress established the Continental Navy = 1775

  2. few ships

  3. had little effect on the outcome of the war

  4. to protect their ports = hired armed private ships called privateers.



B) John Paul Jones

1) 1779

2) owned an American warship, the Bonhomme Richard

3) won a surprising victory in one of the war’s most famous sea battles

4) daring captain

5) sailed to the coast of Great Britain = attacked the British warship, Serapis, in the North Sea

6) fierce battle

7) cannonballs tore through the Bonhomme Richard

8) heavily damaged the ship = it caught fire

9) Brit commander demanded Jones to surrender

10) *** his reply: “ I have not yet begun to fight!”

11) sailors boarded the Serapis

12) fought one-on-one until the British were defeated

13) *** Later, John Paul Jones became known as the “Father of the American Navy”!
Assignment for Lesson 1

Directions:

- Review what we highlighted as the important information.

- Label and answer the following questions : R.A.P (due tomorrow)

- Answer in COMPLETE SENTENCES with LOTS OF DETAIL!!!

- One or two sentences WILL NOT be enough to explain these “Below the Surface” questions.

1) Comprehension: How did the American victory at Saratoga help the Continental Army?
2) Point of View: Why would Native Americans be interested in the outcome of the American

Revolution? Include info such as what would they hope for? gain? etc.


3) Citizenship: Imagine that you had friends at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-1778. Make a list

10 things you would send to them to assist their struggles. REMEMBER what time

period you are in for this activity!
4) Summarizing: Re-create the diagram , and use it to give some of the important details of

the Revolutionary War battles at Trenton and Princeton – AT LEAST 3 for each side.




BATTLES




TRENTON

PRINCETON





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