The British captured French and
colonial possessions around the world
The British Navy
declined in the
years after the
Seven Years War .
France began to
rebuild its navy
after the war.
during the Seven
13 Colonies 1763
This decree, passed
in 1763 to pay off
war debts built up
during the French
and Indian War,
exports to the
The Revenue Act
King George III
The Stamp Act of 1765
It required that every
from legal documents,
and even playing
cards, carry a stamp
on it to raise money
for the defense of the
The Townshend Act
This act, passed in 1767, taxed paper,
lead, and tea.
British soldiers shot and killed several
people including Crispus Attucks. They
were the first casualties of the American
5 March 1770
Samuel Adams and
as Indians, dumped
British tea into the
harbor rather than
pay taxes on it.
Boston Tea Party - 1773
The Coercive Acts
• Passed in retribution for the
• Closed the port of Boston
• Abolished the right of the people of
Massachusetts to select their own
• Restricted other civil liberties
Lexington and Concord
19 April 1775
19 April 1775
Armed American merchant ships that
had helped the British win the French
and Indian War or Seven Years’ War
These ships carried coastal commerce,
attacked British supply boats, and kept
open the coastal lines of communication
on which so much of life in the colonies
The Coastal Cavalry
Congress was initially reluctant to
establish a Continental navy because
of the “coastal cavalry” force.
Congress bought, fitted out, and armed
the Andrew Doria and the Cabot to
intercept British supply ships.
Congress soon added
two larger ships, the
Alfred and the Columbus.
Privateers captured some 2,200
British vessels by war’s end, and
privateer captains would become
George Washington commissioned
seven ships to capture British
and in 1775, his “navy” took muskets,
Birth of the Marine Corps
10 November 1775
In the early days of
war, men were eager
As war continued,
it became difficult
to recruit because
of stricter discipline,
low pay, and rewards
Forcing men to serve in the Navy by taking
them on board ship against their will
Finding men to serve in the Navy would
be a problem throughout the war, and
ships were often unable to go to sea
because they lacked crews.
First Continental naval squadron was
composed of six small schooners, brigs,
and sloops assembled at Philadelphia.
Congress directs Hopkins
to neutralize loyalist craft
in the Virginia Capes.
Hopkins sailed to New Providence in the
Bahamas and overcame two British forts
and took more than eighty artillery pieces,
powder, and naval stores.
The Nassau expedition turned out to be
the last time American ships would put
to sea as a squadron during the war.
In a single month, August 1776, Jones
captured sixteen enemy vessels and
destroyed many others.
John Paul Jones would become
legendary among early American
in 1775 by
Battle of Lake
Stopped the British
advance, and allowed
the colonist to train
When British reinforcements arrived,
the American patriots retreated toward
By December 1776, the American forces
were reduced to only about 2,000 men
• Casualties and
• End of
• Men going home
to take care of
families for the
Washington crossed the Delaware on
Christmas Eve and surprised the
After the victory at
surprised the British
again, this time at
Princeton, for another
• British wintered
at New York, N.Y.
had saved the
tide was turning
in favor of the
Planned 3-Pronged British Attack
• General Burgoyne marches south from
Montreal with 8,000 men to the Hudson
• An army of pro-British Tories and
Indians march east from Lake Ontario.
• General Howe marches north from
The three forces
were to meet in
Albany, New York,
colonies in half.
British Campaigns - Summer 1777
General Burgoyne captured Fort
Ticonderoga in early July. In late
August, the Patriot militia beat the
Tories and Indians near Fort Stanwix.
Howe decided to
en route to
in Albany, NY.
The Americans were no match for the
superior British forces, and after a two-
day battle on 10 and 11 September, 1777,
the British marched into Philadelphia as
the Continental Congress fled.
Howe quartered his army in
for the winter, while Washington’s men
faced cold and hunger at Valley Forge.
By not following
the British plan,
to the eventual
defeat of the
British in the
By the summer of
forces were in
On 19 September,
his men, European
style, through an
open field to break
American lines near
The British made easy targets for
American sharpshooters, who were
firing from behind trees.
On 7 October,
Burgoyne led his
in a final attempt
to break through
Daniel Morgan’s riflemen mowed down the
British, and Benedict Arnold led a charge.
Daniel Morgan Benedict Arnold
General Burgoyne surrendered
at Saratoga, 1777.
The Turning Point
The Battle of
Significance of the
Battle of Saratoga
• The British government was less
willing to carry on the war.
• France, and later Spain and the
Netherlands, came into the war as
Treaty of Friendship with France
American naval efforts in the war were
mostly just a nuisance to Britain and
did not affect the outcome of the war.
• Hurt British trade in the West
• Delayed troop reinforcements
• Captured needed arms and
Role of the Privateers
Washington was right. Naval power would
decide the outcome of the war, but in the end,
it was French, not American, naval power that
made the difference.
Most Famous Officer
of the Continental Navy
John Paul Jones renamed the East
Indiaman the Bonhomme Richard
in honor of Benjamin Franklin, who
had written Poor Richard’s Almanac.
As the Bonhomme Richard slowly
began to sink, John Paul Jones was
asked if he was ready to strike.
He replied with the immortal words,
“I have not yet begun to fight!”
• Maintain the defensive in the
• Mount an offensive in the
• Take the war to the West Indies.
British Strategy in 1778
Sir Henry Clinton commanded British
forces in the colonies. He abandoned
Philadelphia to reinforce New York City.
Confident that Washington's troops
not a threat to New York City, Clinton set
sail for Charleston, South Carolina, and
surrounded the American forces.
Marquis de Lafayette
sent word to
Yorktown, on the
They commanded 5,000 militia in the
and kept Cornwallis under observation.
agreed to battle
superior troops in
New York even
not arrive in May,
Comte de Rochambeau
wrote the French
minister asking that
Admiral de Grasse
come north from
the West Indies to
help in the New York
Admiral de Grasse
Admiral de Grasse
drove the British fleet
from Chesapeake Bay
In September, 1781.
Cornwallis’ defeat at
Yorktown.Admiral de Grasse
August 14, 1781
General Washington’s 4,500 Americans,
with 5,500 French troops, marched from
New York to Yorktown to battle British
On 9 October 1781, 20,000 American
and French troops attacked the British
General Cornwallis surrendered his
army of 7,600 men on 19 October
England, tired of
war, now faced
of France, Spain,
and Holland in
The American Peace Delegation
• Benjamin Franklin
• John Jay
• John Adams
A group of people
chosen to represent
a political entity such
as a country or state