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George Washington

had great high morale character not necessarily great military skills; head officer of the colonial army; saved the war in 1776 with suprise winter attacks by crossing the Delaware River and a small attack on Princton,NJ afterwards

William Howe

Main Bristish military leader; not reputable as a military genius, especially after defeat at Bunker Hill; could have easily crushed Washington's troops in winter 1776 but backed off as Washington was plagued with low food and harsh weather

Nathanael Green

Patriot Quaker-reared general who exhausted the enemy in the South by standing and retreating repeatedly; won campaigns, not battles in the South which cleared out the British who had taken over the area

Benedict Arnold

one of most capable colonial military leader; tried to take Canada in two way attack with Montgomery- held up Lake Champlain and Hudson river thru winter 1776 which kept Britain back from dominating the area, eventually lost but was extremely significant holding for the war; he eventually turned traitor in 1780

John Burgoyne

leader of mission to capture Hudson River Valey to cut off America geographically and paralyze American cause; was a main leader throughout the war and a strong force for the Brits

Charles Cornwallis

British leader in the Southern colonies under Burgoyne and was driven out by General Greene of the Patriots

Thomas Paine

started off as poor apprentice; published the pamphlet "Common Sense"- tilte referred to the colonists' unified ideas of independece,etc as common sense; he had a radical view of political society

Barry St. Leger

Back up to Burgoyne in Hudson River Valley mission, if Burgoyne failed, he would come from the west thru Lake Ontario and General Howe would come up the Hudson to meet Burgoyne in Albany

George Rogers Clark

Frontiersman that realized to eliminate bloodshed in Illinois, they must attack the British forts that were located there in a surpise mission; floated down Ohio and captured three of the forts and gained that small chunk of western land for the colonies

Richard Henry Lee

on 6/7/1776- declared the colonies should be considered independent, free states; this Virginian's ideas would later be adopted for the Declaration

Horatio Gates

American general who after many victories over the Brits, was surrendered to by Burgoyne and his entire command at Saratoga on 8/17/1777; considered one of the most decisive colonial victories of the entire war

John Paul Jones

Scottish naval officer of the young colonial navy who helped in the war by destroying British merchant shipping which brought the war closer to the British Isles

Thomas Jefferson

33 year old Viriginian lawyer assigned to write Lee's idea into a formal statement of seperation which became the Declaration; had a reputation of a brilliant write

Admiral de Grasse

French general who took advantage of Cornwallis's lax attitude and came up from the West Indies to attack Cornwallis at Yorktown; Washington and Rochambeau victored on land while this Admiral blocked the sea from the British fleet--> Cornwallis surrendered and was a major victory for the colonies

Patrick Henry

a very influential Patriot leader alongside Samuel Adams- quoted by the Virginia Assembly "Give me liberty or give me death!"

Comte de Rochambeau

led a powerful French army 6,000 strong in summer of 1780 to New Port, Rhode Island; Americans somewhat suspicious of French (who were once eneimes but now allies)

John Jay

representative for New England's interests at Treaty of Paris meeting; he was deeply suspicious of Old World ways to try to intrigue enemies into peaceful terms- wouldn't go with France's ideas of a non-independent of America to keep it weak for French interests


professional soldiers hired to serve in a foreign army; German Hessians were hired by Britain- colonists angered

natural rights

invoked by Jefferson in the Declaration; some include "all men created equal", "inalienable rights", "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"


patriots sent out private armed ships out to search for enemy shipping; diverted man power away from mainland which was bad for Pats and proved not overly successful but did bring in gold

Second Continental Congress

met on 5/10/1775 all 13 colonies were present- biggest sucess was drafting Washington as officer for the army; also drafted new appeals and took measures to raise funds for an army and navy

"Common Sense"

widly popular pamphlet written by Thomas pain in 1776- stated a little island of Britain should never control a huge continent like America and that these thoughts were regarded as common sense; called for a republic politial system

Declaration of Independence

Put into motion after Lee's initial ideas of free and independent states and then later was written formally by Jefferson


colonists still loyal to the King and fought the rebel colonists; got nickname due to dominant political factions in Britain; 16% of population was this political group-mostly made up of older generations who were just fine with the way things were


colonists rebelling against the crown and fighting both loyalists and british redcoats; got nickname due to radical political faction that was suspicious of British rule & execution of its power; typically made up of younger generations who were energetic for change

Treaty of Paris of 1783

Britain formally recognized America's independence; gave America bigger boundaries (from Great Lakes to MS River to Florida) and got Newfoundland fishing rights; America also couldn't persecute loyalists and had to pay back British debt in return

Ethan Allen & Benedict Arnold

what two colonial leaders captured Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point for gunpowder and artillery?

Bunker Hill

this was taken by colonial forces in June 1775

Falmouth and Norfolk

what two towns were attacked by the British and disturbed colonists into turning from the crown


what colonial town in 1776 did the British evacuate to focus more on controlling New York as their base of operation?

Battle of Trenton and Battle of Princeton

what two battles were major victories for Washington in the winter of 1776 after the blowing defeat of the Battle of Long Island


in the Hudson River Valley mission, what British general was planned to push down Lake Champlain to route from Canada


in the Hudson River Valley mission, what British general was planned to push up the Hudson River from New York and meet Burgoyne but instead dropped down to Philadelphia to try to defeat Washington's troops to make a clear path for Burgoyne & settles there

St. Ledger

in the Hudson River Valley mission, what British general was planned to come from the west by Lake Ontario and the Mohawk Valley

showed the French that the colonies could possibly win, so they joined the war to seek revenge against Britain

why was the battle of Saratoga important?

a measure giving America home rule w/out independence

what did the British offer America after the defeat at Saratoga?


in 1779 what European power joined the Americans fight against the British?

Catharine the Great of Russia

in 1780, who organized the Armed Neutrality that brought all of Europe's neutrals against Britain

the South

in 1778 what area of the colonies did British decide to try to attack from?

Joseph Brandt

Mohawk chief who sided with Britain

Treaty of Fort Standwix

the first treaty between the US and an Indian nation paseed in 1784 where Indians had to give up most of their land

Battle of Yorktown

the last large deciding battle where Admiral de Grasse, Washington, and Rochambeau took advantage of Cornwallis' lax position while waiting for British supplies- Pats converge on Cornwallis and he is forced to surrender

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