American Revolutionary War



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American Revolutionary War


  1. Second Continental Congress

  • All 13 colonies represented



  • George Washington Commander of the Continental Army.

  • Issue paper money, created army and navy



    • Pledge loyalty to crown; sought to restore peace

    • Appealed to George III to intercede with Parliament to reconsider the “Intolerable Acts”






  1. British Military Strengths

  • Large population



  • Professional army



  • Help in the New World

II. British Military Weaknesses



  • Enormous distance from England to the Colonies



  • America too large a region to effectively occupy (gained port cities mostly)



  • King George & Lord North inadequate

III. American Military Strengths





  • Economic aid from France; later military aid



  • Moral advantage from belief in a just cause



  • Tiny American navy

IV. American Military Weaknesses



  • Badly organized and lacked unity at first

  • Economic difficulties



  • Military challenges

    • supplies inadequate esp. firearms and gunpowder

    • Morale low



  • 40% neutral

V. The War: New England



  • Ft Ticonderoga (May 1775)

  • Bunker Hill (Breed’s Hill) June 1775

    • Viewed as American victory b/c of Brit loses

    • King proclaims colonists are rebels

VI. Thomas Paine



  • Wrote Common Sense (effective propanganda)

  • Main ideas:

    • Stripped kingship of justification. King the "Royal Brute of Great Britain“

    • Europe, not England, is the mother country

    • America had a moral obligation to the world to set up an independent, democratic republic

  • Persuaded ordinary folk to sever ties w/ G.B

VII. Declaration of Independence





    • Congress persuaded to vote for b/c:



  • Three major parts:

    • Preamble (heavily influenced by John Locke)

      • Stated rights of colonists to break away if natural rights were not protected: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (property)

      • Stated "all men are created equal”



    • Formal declaration of independence


VIII. War: The Middle



  • Battle of Trenton (Dec. 1776)

    • G.W crossed ice-clogged Delaware River


IX. The War: New England



  • Battle of Saratoga (Oct. 1777)



  • Washington retired to Valley Forge for winter



X. French Alliance



  • Revolution turned into a world war that stretched Britain’s resources.

    • 1779 Spain and Holland war with Britain

    • 1780 Russian’s Armed Neutrality

XI. The War: The South



  • GB now focus on taking the South

  • Francis "Swamp Fox" Marion

    • Marion's Brigade in 1780; they terrorized the British Army in South Carolina and Georgia with a series of hit and run raids

  • Battle of Yorktown

    • French Admiral de Grasse blockaded Chesapeake Bay; British ships unable to enter.

    • Oct. 19, 1781, General Cornwallis surrendered entire force of 7,000 men

    • War continued one more year (especial

XII. Loyalist (Tories) Dilemma Last Major Battle



  • 1/5 loyal to the king



  • Least numerous in New England



  • Patriots viewed them as traitors


XIII. Minorities



    • Natives



      • In 1784, the Iroquois leader Joseph Brant “Monster Brant” signed

        • Treaty of Fort Stanwix, 1st treaty between the U.S. and natives

          • Natives ceded most of their land.

            • Even in wartime, pioneers moved west



      • Kept economy afloat; fought in battle

        • Molly Pitcher, Sybil Ludington, Deborah Sampson

    • Many blacks fought with the Brits

XIV. Treaty of Paris



    • Britain formally recognized US independence



    • Retain a share in North Atlantic fisheries



    • Pay back debts to British creditors.


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