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War for Independence: England's Advantages (5)
1. population (11 million British vs. 2.5 million colonists)
2. England is the strongest economy in the world (over 38 colonies world-wide)
3. England has the strongest navy in the world, good for trade warfare
4. around 50,000 peacetime militia and Hessian (German) mercenaries
5. support of loyalists
British vs. Colonist weapons
British soldiers had muzzle-loaded weapons (which take a long time to load). They were fast at loading, but bad at aiming.
Colonist militiamen were great at aiming but slow at shooting due to hunting experience.
Colonists that were Pro-Britain
Loyalists: used as guides, spies, etc.
Cherokee (in the Carolina's)
Iroquois (4/5 tribes join Britain)
War for Independence: England's Disadvantages
1. Conflicts in other parts of the world, especially Ireland
2. England isn't popular amongst its European peers (France, Spain, and Holland)
3. England doesn't have amazing leadership (Lord North and George III)
4. 1700's: Fear of absolute monarch, so the Whigs decrease the king's power (if the king has sovereignty over colonies, he'll try and be strict in England, too)
War for Independence: Colonist's Advantages
1. The fact that the colonists don't have to win any battles, but stay alive and fighting in order to keep the fighting going.
2. British need tons of manpower to occupy all of the colonies
3. British have no modern transportation/communication with Britain and they're fighting 3,000 miles from home
4. The colonies don't have a "capital" or a "heart" that could be taken over
General George Washington
He was the leader of the Continental Army, who took a "defensive" stand to the war. He wanted to avoid a major defeat, but wasn't afraid of surrender.
General William Howe
Replaces Gage, and launches an attack on New York called the Battle of Long Island.
He was a man who thought mainly tactically and still wanted a compromise with the colonists. Didn't destroy his enemies, just made the surrender.
The Battle of Long Island
1776, Lord North instructs General William Howe to attack New York City because:
1. There are Loyalists there
2. To gain a huge port
3. He doesn't think there are people to protect NYC; the action is in New England
Washington goes down from New England and meets Howe, but *Britain wins.
The Continental Army
Led by General George Washington; consisted of men who were mostly farmers and couldn't leave their land to fight. When battles were near to home, they'd come out and help. Younger men without land, and older men immigrants were attracted by a bonus to sign up. No training.
Battle of Princeton
British halt their fighting for the winter after the Battle of Long Island, and Washington launches a surprise attack (1776) near Princeton; colonists win. Still, the British are clearly more superior.
Battle of Saratoga
Britain wanted to isolate New England so Lord North decides to launch attack on Albany, NY.
1. John Burgoyne would lead British from Quebec, north of NY. He needs more supplies as he's traveling south, and tries raiding but he's attacked and defeated by militiamen led by Horatio Gates.
2. Colonel Bary St. Ledger and Iroquois would attack from the West, but Patriot forces defeat Ledger's army.
3. General Howe would dispatch a force from the south but instead he attacked Philadelphia, home of the Continental Congress. By the time he gets there, the Congress has fled.
General Horatio Gates
General in the American army, who slowed Burgoyne's progress in the Battle of Saratoga and forced him to surrender.
Financial Affect of War on Colonies
Trade was basically halted because of British naval blockades; women began spinning cloth because merchants went out of business; states were afraid to tax citizens so they borrowed wealthy landowner money and then began printing paper bills which were worth nothing after a while.
The government's chief treasury official, a Philadelphia merchant who tried to deal with the finances of the Continental Congress by asking states for money. When that failed, he went to France and Holland for loans.
Washington's army rested in the winter of 1777, where three thousand died and one thousand fled because of poor conditions, malnutrition, and other money-related issues.
Baron von Steuben
A former Prussian military officer who helped the American cause. He made the American armies more professional and trained them into disciplined soldiers.
Comte de Vergennes
French foreign minister who persuaded King Louis XVI to help the American colonies. After Saratoga, he sought a formal alliance.
American diplomat who used France's rivalry with Britain to help fund the American War for Independence
Treaty of Alliance 1778
Specified that once France entered the war, neither partner would sign a separate peace without the "liberty, sovereignty, and independence" of the United States. In return, the Continental Congress would recognize any French conquests in the West Indies. (sugar islands)
Sir Henry Clinton
British military strategist who helped invade New York City and Savannah, Georgia and then worked his way around the South.
Marquis de Lafayette
An idealist aristocrat who supported the American cause. He persuaded King Louis XVI to send Comte de Rochambeau with reinforcements to Rhode Island, to protect New York City.
General Nathanael Greene
He was sent to recapture the Carolinas with poorly fed troops; took loyalists and tried to defeat them but failed because american guerrillas fought small but fierce battles.AKA "the fighting Quaker"
Fought on the American side in the battles of Fort Ticonderoga, and unsuccessfully attacked Quebec but was appointed various commands by Washington. In Fort Hudson River, he betrayed his country and was sent off to Britain.
Battle of Yorktown
General Cornwallis vs Lafayette; he comes in on the peninsula but Lafayette takes him down at Yorktown, and Cornwallis surrenders. Huge win.
Compte de Rochambeau
A French commander who came to help the Americans against the British and joined with Lafayette to defeat Cornwallis in Yorktown.
Paid the cost of the war in America; a few pennies were taken when currency was exchanged.
Benjamin Franklin and John Jay
American diplomats who wanted peace for America, regardless of France's plan to conquer more islands off the coast and Florida for sugar production. Ignored Treaty of Alliance and signed separate peace.
Treaty of Paris
1783, Great Britain recognizes independence of the states, relinquishes its claims on the West, granted fishing rights to colonists in Nova Scotia. America pays Britain back pre-war debts and agree to not punish Loyalists.
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