Lesson 5 Bellringer: What was the OliveBranch Petition? How did it impactthe American Revolutionary War?
Quote"The hour is fast approaching, on which the Honor and Success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding Country depend. Remember officers and Soldiers, that you are free men, fighting for the blessings of Liberty -- that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men." -- George Washington, 1776
America vs. Great Britain• Britain seemed unbeatable; strongest military in the world – Beat out France and Spain – Odds were against the American colonists• British military was well-trained, well- equipped; British navy was dominant
• England had more money to give to the war effort than the American Continental Congress – Able to hire German soldiers (Hessians) – ... and the Hessians, who are allowed to be the best of the German troops, are by no means equal to the British in any respect. I believe them steady, but their slowness is of the greatest disadvantage in a country almost covered with woods, and against an Enemy whose chief qualification is agility in running from fence to fence and thence keeping up an irregular, but galling fire on troops who advance with the same pace as at their exercise. Light infantry accustomed to fight from tree to tree, or charge even in woods; and Grenadiers who after the first fire lose no time in loading again, but rush on, trusting entirely to that most decisive of weapons the bayonet, will ever be superior to any troops the Rebels can bring against them. Such are the British, and such the method of fighting which has been attended with constant success .... • – Lieutenant W. Hale, letter to unknown recipient (March 23, 1778) – Also recruited Native Americans by promising them land after winning the war
America’s Weaknesses• The Americans began the war with significant disadvantages compared to the British. They had no national government, no national army or navy, and no financial system, no banks, no established credit, and no functioning government departments, such as a treasury – In peacetime the colonies relied heavily on ocean shipping, but that was now shut down by the British blockade.
America’s Weaknesses• Small amount of volunteers(soldiers)• Few were trained• Shortages in supplies (clothes, food, weapons, etc.)
American Strength• Took a long time for supplies to reach the British in the Americas • When compared to other colonies, the Americans had a relatively large and prosperous population, and could rely on local production for food and other supplies, something the British could not rely on sufficiently – Vastness of the colonies proved detrimental for the British; could not gain enough land
American Strength• Guerilla warfare; British troops were unfamiliar with the terrain and fought an old fashioned style of war • Home court advantage – Despite the Americans lack of training, the leaders proved competent – Later, American gained an alliance with France and Spain – One could say America’s patriotism was inspirational to its soldiers
British Weaknesses• Distance from colonies and Britain• Lack of popular support in Britain. • British citizens were questioning the necessity of the war with America • Compared to the Americans, the British had no major supporters in the war, and only had troops provided by small German states, referred to as "Hessians", to bolster the strength of the British Army in North America.• Poor generals
Americans BritishStrengths Guerrilla warfare, Blockade, well- allies with France trained, strongest and Spain, military and navy in vastness of colonial world, more territory, money, more patriotism, made supplies own suppliesWeaknesses Few trained Long time to get soldiers, lack of supplies, lack of equipment, no support in Britain, national gov’t, no distance from credit, colonies, poor generals
Persuasion• Read “How the Revolution Against Britain Divided Families and Friends”• Persuade a Loyalist to join the Patriots• Write a one paragraph reason for an American still loyal to the crown should join the side of the Patriots
Historical Practice Activity on page 153
Homework• Students will be assigned either “British side” or “American side”• They must then write a letter to a friend convincing them to join the side they were assigned – Letter will be 3 paragraphs long; one paragraph should be a conclusion – Students should focus on the strengths of their side and the weaknesses of the opposition