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Section 1

The Early Years


Opposing Sides
British British
Advantages Disadvantages
• Strongest Navy • Fighting long way
• Trained Army from home
• Wealth
• Larger • Have to ship
Population soldiers and
supplies
Opposing Sides
American American
Advantages Disadvantages
• Know the Land • No Regular
Army/Navy
• Fighting for
Freedom • Rely on Volunteers
• Gen. Washington • Lack Military
Experience
• Short Supply on
Weapons & Ammo
• Independence Not
Supported by All
Need for Troops
• British rely on
Mercenaries
(hired soldiers)
• Most are
Hessian –
German
mercenaries
fighting for the
British.
The Fighting Begins
• Battle of Long Island
– 1st Major Clash (32,000 vs. 20,000)
– Serious American Defeat, Forced to
retreat to New Jersey
– British use New York City as a base
for the remainder of War
Missed Opportunity
• General Howe
(British
Commander) lets
Washington
retreat
• Ignored advice
of others
• Could’ve
captured Army
and ended war
Washington’s Tactics
• Moves army into
New Jersey
(supposed to stop
fighting in Winter)
• Surprises British
on Christmas
– Captures 900
Hessians at
Trenton
• Holds off British
at Princeton
Importance of Trenton
• Renews American Confidence/Spirit
“A few days ago the Americans had
given up the cause for lost. Their
late successes have turned the
scale and now they are all liberty
mad again.”
- British Soldier, 1776.
British Plan for Victory
• Capture Albany,
NY and Hudson
River
• Split New England
from Middle
Colonies
• Howe promises to
move up from
NYC
Distractions/Blunders
• Howe captures Philadelphia
(winters there)
• Burgoyne slowed down by 30
wagons of luxury goods
• Green Mountain Boys (Vermont
Militia group) force Burgoyne to
Saratoga
Battle of Saratoga
• Burgoyne surrounded
• 5,700 British soldiers surrender
• Important Because
– Disrupts British Plan for Victory
– Encourages France to support America
Section 1
The Early Years
Section 2
The War
Continues
France Joins In
• Hated British to
begin with
• Saratoga
convinced them
Americans had a
chance at
winning
• Franklin
persuaded them
to help
Winter of 1777
• Washington 20
• Howe wintered
miles west in
in Philadelphia
Valley Forge
Valley Forge
• Time of Great
Suffering – lack
of food, clothing
and shelter
• Many deserted
(left without
permission)
Valley Forge
• Also time of
retraining and
rejuvenation
• Baron Von
Steuben trains
Army
– Practice Bayonet
• Marquis de
Lafayette
(French leader)
joins cause
Money Problems
• Continental
Congress couldn’t
raise $ (no power
to tax)
• Printed more
money
• Led to inflation –
took more and
more money to
buy the same
amount of goods.
Section 2
The War
Continues
Section 3
The War Moves
West and South
War at Sea
• British set up
Blockade
(prevented ships
from entering or
leaving harbors)
• American Congress
could only produce
2 ships to fight this
Citizens Respond
• Privateers -
2,000
privately
owned ships
are outfitted
with weapons
and
authorized to
attack the
blockade
John Paul Jones
• Famous Naval
Officer
• Attacked
British Ship
and won
• Famous for
saying, “I have
not yet begun
to fight”
British Move South
• Hope to use Loyalist
support in South to
their advantage
• Works well - Gen.
Clinton captures
Savannah and
Charlestown
Setbacks
• Encounter a new
style of fighting -
guerilla warfare -
small forces that
attack in a hit
and run style
• Francis Marion -
famous guerilla
leader, called the
“Swamp Fox”
Spain Lends a Hand
• Loaned Money
• Opened New Orleans port
• Declared war on Britain
• Galvez opened the South
“The most vital aid contributed by
any one man to the struggling
American colonies.”
• Buchanan Thomas, historian
Section 3
The War Moves
West and South
Section 4
The War is Won
Lead up to Yorktown
• Cornwallis
(British) had
been leaving
the South
• Lafayette
kept him
bottled up on
Yorktown
Peninsula
Victory at Yorktown
• Washington marches his troops (in
secret) 200 miles in 15 days to
reach Yorktown
• French ships also moved to
surround area
• Bombard area for over a month
Surrender at Yorktown
• British ran out of
supplies
• Cornwallis’s army
(7,500 men)
surrender on
October 19, 1781
• Yorktown made
the British realize
the war was too
costly
Independence
• Ben Franklin, John Adams & John
Jay sent to Paris to make treaty
with the British
Treaty of Paris - 1783
• Recognized U.S. as an independent
nation
• Set Boundaries (Mississippi)
• Withdrew British troops
• Granted Fishing Rights in Canada
• Allowed British merchants to
collect debt
• Said Loyalist land must be
returned
Why did we win?
• Geography - knew the terrain better
• British couldn’t control rural areas
• French & Spanish support
• ***Washington didn’t need an all out
victory - he just had to avoid defeat
Big Question

Who should be given the most


credit for the American
victory in the Revolution?
Section 4
The War is Won