Beginning in the fall of 1775, colonial troops sought to
take control of CANADA. Their efforts ultimately
failed, and CANADA remained in British hands.
Throughout the summer of 1776, British and American
troops fought for control of NEW YORK. After fierce
fighting, the BRITISH forced WASHINGTON to retreat
and seized control of NEW YORK.
As soon as the war started, so too did spying.
Captured spies were often put to death. NATHAN
HALE, who spied for GEORGE WASHINGTON during
the New York campaign, was executed shortly after
being captured by the British.
On December 25, 1776, WASHINGTON
defeated the British at TRENTON in a
A week later, WASHINGTON’S troops
defeated the British at PRINCETON.
In October 1777, the CONTINENTAL
ARMY defeated the British at the BATTLE
OF SARATOGA in New York. It is
considered a TURNING POINT of the war.
The victory made it clear that the
Americans could win the war. As a result,
FRANCE joined the war on the side of the
Despite their string of victories, the colonists
had run low on SUPPLIES AND AMMUNITION.
Until FRENCH aid arrived, WASHINGTON and
his army endured a harsh winter at VALLEY
FORGE. As many as 2,500 soldiers died from
disease, exposure to cold, and lack of food.
While FRANCE aided the colonists during
the war, so too did a number of
Europeans from various countries.
BARON FRIEDRICH VON STEUBEN of
Prussia helped to train soldiers at VALLEY
FORGE; Casimir Pulaski of Poland trained
and organized the first American
cavalry; Bernardo Galvez of Spain
provided supplies to the colonists.
The REVOLUTIONARY WAR raged on the
frontier, where many NATIVE AMERICANS
fought alongside the British.
Despite the alliance between the NATIVE
AMERICANS and the British, the colonists
won decisive battles in the West and soon
gained control of the region.
Meanwhile, JOHN PAUL JONES won a
daring sea battle against the British navy in
1779 that helped to inspire the colonists.