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Adrian Herrera

Revolution Continued
8th Grade US History
Goal: Standard 1: Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their
understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the
history of the United States and New York.
1. Students will analyze how many people had to change their lives on the
2. Students will increase their understanding of turning point battles.
3. Students will associate Benedict Arnold as a traitor but a patriot as well.
Materials Needed: Powerpoint
Detailed Lesson:
Warm up (5 Minutes):
The Homefront (10 Minutes):

People not involved in the war tried to maintain their lifestyles as much as

possible, but it was no easy task.

War always affects economies and population.
Many farmers would suffer destroyed land due to armies advancing through their

Although both sides were ordered not to plunder and destroy lands, they

disobeyed orders and plundered whatever they needed.

Often homes were burned if the owners were suspected of aiding the rebels.

The British military focus was to take the major cities such as Boston,

Philadelphia, and New York City.

In doing so, people fled to the countryside in search for food and work.
At this point, markets were disrupted and people who would normally sell to

Americans would have to sell to the British as well.

Anyone who relied on foreign markets were almost immediately out of work due

to the British Blockade.

Inflation became a big problem and the Continental Congress tried implementing

regulations to deal with it as best they could.

Often women played an important role when the men left to join the army.

Theyd take up looking after the farm and sometimes even businesses too.
Women were often left to fend for themselves as well and would look more kindly

to patriots asking for supplies rather than the British.

Women also served as spies, providing information of army advancements to the

colonial army.
Without women, many men would have come back to unfarmed lands and would
likely be forced into bankruptcy.

Washington at Valley Forge (10 Minutes):

The colonial spirit was wavering during the winter of 1777-78.

The Continental Congress fled the city of Philadelphia and the British began

occupying it instead.
Washington had been fighting many battles over the summer and was suffering

loss after loss after loss.

With very sporadic wins but were not able to keep the British out of Philadelphia.
In December, Washington and his troops stationed about 20 miles away from
Philadelphia in Valley Forge to keep an eye on the British and give his beaten
troops some rest.

The winter was harsh and the continental army was suffering from illness and did

not have the proper materials to accommodate them.

Slowly but surely, the enlistments were coming to a shortage and Washington was

unsure if hed even have an army to fight with come spring.

Farmers would often hoard their food to earn more money in the spring or sell

their crops to the British because they would pay more.

People, including his own men, were beginning to question Washingtons role as a

Prussian volunteer, Baron von Stueben came to Washingtons aid. He was

shocked by the lack of discipline and trained the Americans the Prussian way.
Slowly they became more professional and confidence began to grow amongst the

ones that stayed.

The turning point in the war, especially in terms of morale, swung while
Washington was freezing and Benjamin Franklin was negotiating with the French.

The Battle of Saratoga (10 Minutes):

The Battle of Saratoga was one of the turning points of the revolution.
Nearly 6,000 British troops surrendered on October 17, 1777.
The British had a plan of divide and conquer where theyd split their forces in the
north and the middle colonies. Troops would come down from Canada and up

from New Jersey to meet up and take Albany.

The goal of this plan was to isolate the New England colonies from the rest of

colonial America.
The first round went to the British with their win at Fort Ticonderoga and the

retreat of American forces.

The divide and conquer failed when the British from the south decided to attack

Philadelphia instead of marching north.

The further south the British marched, the harder it was for supplies to reach
British soldiers.

They resorted to capturing a colonial supply base but met heavy resistance and

they failed.
Americans realized what was happening to the British supplies so to guarantee
their reliance on supplies from Canada, Americans burned supplies and crops

before the British got to them.

General Horatio Gates arrived in New York to take command of the colonial

Winter was coming and the British knew they had to get as far south as they

In late September, the Battle of Saratoga began.
Americans won and 86 percent of British forces were captured.
With the fall of Philadelphia, this win was crucial for bringing up American

The French finally joined the American side.

Benedict Arnold (10 Minutes):

Best remembered for being a traitor who aided the British but theres more to him

than just that.

He was a great patriot when he was loyal and enthusiast of the cause during the

early years of the revolution.

He was a member of Washingtons Continental Army and named Brigadier

General in 1776.
Arnold has a significant triumph in Saratoga when it came to stopping the

advance of British forces.

In the Battle of Freemans Farm, Arnolds leg was severely wounded after being
pinned under his horse.

He continued to be a patriot for a couple more years but was dissatisfied and felt
he was unrecognized, Washington appointed him military commander in

Arnold fell for a loyalist who used to date a British spy, John Andre. He was

getting too comfortable with loyalists and his reputation was tarnished.
Arnold resigned from his post while maintaining good relationships with

Washington and continuing conversations with Andre.

Arnold handed over crucial information to Andre and agreed to hand him West

Point, an extremely important strategic base.

Arnold and Andre were caught, Arnold escaped to British occupied NY and

Andre was executed.

Arnold was named brigadier general by the British and led raids to Virginia. He
then fled to Britain with his family and lived out the rest of his life there.

Wrap up (5 Minutes):

Ask students how they felt about Arnolds promotion to military commander. Did
they feel it was just or simply to keep him happy as he was a good friend of