What challenges did the American revolutionaries face at the start of the war?
Directions: As you read, complete a graphic organizer like the one below to list the challenges faced by the American revolutionaries at the start of the war.
War could not be avoided after the Declaration of Independence. The British had many advantages. They had the strongest navy in the world and a well-trained army. They also had a large and wealthy empire. The British thought their military would quickly put down the rebellion.
The Patriots had serious disadvantages. The colonies did not have a regular army or a strong navy. The army did not have enough weapons or ammunition, and not all Americans supported the Patriot struggle for independence. Some people did not take sides. Some enslaved African Americans joined the British army because they hoped to earn their freedom. Many other people stayed loyal to Britain. These people were called Loyalists or Tories.
The Patriots did have some advantages, however. Their biggest advantage was having George Washington as their leader. The Patriots were fighting for their own freedom.
They had a bigger stake in winning the war than did the mercenaries, or hired soldiers, who made up part of the British army. They were also fighting on their own land.
Both local militia and the Continental Army fought for the Patriot cause. The Continental Congress established the Continental Army. However, Congress relied on the states to recruit, or enlist, soldiers. Soldiers usually signed up for one year. Some women also fought with the Patriot forces. For example, Molly Pitcher joined her husband in battle, and Deborah Sampson dressed as a boy in order to join the army.