The American Revolution 1175-1783Between 1775 and 1787, Americansstruggled to win a war, make a peace and create a sound and stable government on both the state and the national levels. At first the colonies were neither prepared fornor united behind fighting a war with England.
• In fact, the Revolution encompassed two struggles--a military conflict with Great Britain and a domestic political struggle.
The States United(?)• Defining Americas War Aim– Second Continental Congress• --Complete independence? Richard Henry Lee draws resolution• --Reconciliation? John Dickinson—Olive Branch Petition•
1776• Thomas Paine-- Changed peoples mind The King was the problem “the island kingdom of England was no more fit to rule the American continent, than a satellite was fit to rule the sun”
The Declaration of Independence 1776-Thomas Jefferson• America’s birth certificate• John Locke inspired• Jefferson states all men are equal, unalienable rights—governments get their power from the consent of the governed, purpose of government is to secure the rights of the people, people have the right to abolish government if government fails to protect rights
Divided America• Loyalists, Patriots and Neutrals• Articles of Confederation—first gov—loose alliance of states—weak central government— states not willing to give up power• Financing the War—very difficult—no power to tax• Created a Continental army-Washington in charge
Foreign Assistance• Marquis de Lafayette Baron F. Von Steuben
Advantages American BritishHome field advantage Largest army, navy, $, and Reason for fighting manufacturingSupport of the people
Goals & Strategies• The American Colonies:• --Defensive war• --militia• --home field• The British• --Offensive war• --largest army• --distant war
Breed’s Hill –Bunker Hill Boston• After the British withdrew from Concord and Lexington, American forces started in on British General Thomas Gage and Howe in Boston.• “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” American Gen. Prescott• http://youtu.be/yHkQCfu2cwc
• Br. General Gage reported to his superiors after the battle “These people show a spirit and conduct against us they never showed against the French”.• Up to this point, England thought this was perhaps a regional conflict, not a full scale war—after the battle, they thought differently.
Trenton and Princeton New Jerseyhttp://youtu.be/3PwtTKSU9AU
• The Significance: the tide turns, volunteers sign up, Washington becomes the hero
Saratoga• Hero is Benedict Arnold• French come to our Aid• http://youtu.be/BXBu2NpB8DI
The Final Phrase: The South• War was a stalemate—a war of attrition-Britain lost in the North East, lost in the Middle colonies—now the South• Strategy: Conquer an area and put Loyalists in charge -but they over estimated the loyalty of the Loyalists (?)—most were not interested in England, they just wanted to get even with Patriots—settle old scores—fighting becomes vicious (civil war)• British were constantly harassed by Patriot guerrillas—Francis Marion the “Swamp Fox”
The Great Irony• The British were ready to exploit the contradiction of the South• What Southerners were fighting for was freedom, while they enslaved a half million blacks• Page 170• Racial Manipulation would be used by the British to destabilize the South and yet in another ironic situation it caused the South to be united in opposition to the British
• The Revolutionary theme of Freedom and Independence meant, in the South, freedom to maintain their Slave system
Gen. Nathaniel Greene• Remarkable General—knows one doesn’t have to win battles in order to win the War.• The side that wins the hearts and minds of the South will prevail.• Military Strategy: make the British presence so unpleasant• Led the Br. Gen Cornwallis on a 6 month chase through the backwoods of the South