American Revolutionary War

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This article is about military actions primarily. American Revolutionary War_sentence_0

For origins and aftermath, see American Revolution. American Revolutionary War_sentence_1

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence or the Revolutionary War, was initiated by delegates from the thirteen American colonies in Congress against Great Britain over their objection to Parliament's taxation policies and lack of colonial representation. American Revolutionary War_sentence_2

From their founding in the 1600s, the colonies were largely left to govern themselves. American Revolutionary War_sentence_3

The cost of victory in the 1754 to 1763 French and Indian War and 1756 to 1763 Seven Years' War left the British government deeply in debt; attempts to have the colonies pay for their own defense were vigorously resisted. American Revolutionary War_sentence_4

The Stamp Act and Townshend Acts provoked colonial opposition and unrest, leading to the 1770 Boston massacre and 1773 Boston Tea Party. American Revolutionary War_sentence_5

When Parliament imposed the Intolerable Acts upon Massachusetts, twelve colonies sent delegates to the First Continental Congress to draft a Petition to the King and organize a boycott of British goods. American Revolutionary War_sentence_6

Fighting broke out on 19 April 1775: the British garrison at Boston was harassed by Massachusetts militia at Lexington and Concord after destroying colonial Assembly powder stores. American Revolutionary War_sentence_7

In June the Second Continental Congress appointed George Washington to create a Continental Army and oversee the capture of Boston. American Revolutionary War_sentence_8

The Patriots sent their Olive Branch Petition to the King and Parliament, both of whom rebuffed it. American Revolutionary War_sentence_9

In response they invaded British Quebec but were repulsed. American Revolutionary War_sentence_10

In July 1776, Congress unanimously passed the Declaration of Independence. American Revolutionary War_sentence_11

Hopes of a quick settlement were supported by American sympathizers within Parliament who opposed Lord North's "coercion policy" in the colonies. American Revolutionary War_sentence_12

However, the new British commander-in-chief, General Sir William Howe, launched a counter-offensive and captured New York City. American Revolutionary War_sentence_13

Washington retaliated with harassing fire at the Battle of Trenton and Battle of Princeton. American Revolutionary War_sentence_14

Howe's 1777–1778 Philadelphia campaign captured the city, but the British lost the Battles of Saratoga in October 1777. American Revolutionary War_sentence_15

At Valley Forge during the winter of 1777–1778, Prussian emigrant General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben trained the Continental Army with a system of progressive training. American Revolutionary War_sentence_16

French Foreign Minister Vergennes saw the war as a way to create an America economically and militarily dependent on France, not Britain. American Revolutionary War_sentence_17

Although talks on a formal alliance began in late 1776, they proceeded slowly until Patriot victory at Saratoga in October 1777. American Revolutionary War_sentence_18

Fears Congress might come to an early settlement with Britain resulted in France and the United States signing two treaties in February 1778. American Revolutionary War_sentence_19

The first was a commercial treaty, the second a Treaty of Alliance; in return for a French guarantee of American independence, Congress agreed to join the war against Britain and defend the French West Indies. American Revolutionary War_sentence_20

Although Spain refused to join the Franco-American alliance, in the 1779 Treaty of Aranjuez they agreed to support France in its global war with Britain, hoping to regain losses incurred in 1713. American Revolutionary War_sentence_21

In other fronts in North America, Governor of Spanish Louisiana Bernardo Gálvez routed British forces from Louisiana. American Revolutionary War_sentence_22

The Spanish, along with American privateers supplied the 1779 American conquest of Western Quebec (later the US Northwest Territory). American Revolutionary War_sentence_23

Gálvez then expelled British forces from Mobile during the Battle of Fort Charlotte and the Siege of Pensacola, cutting off British military aid to their American Indian allies in the interior southeast. American Revolutionary War_sentence_24

Howe's replacement, General Sir Henry Clinton, then mounted a 1778 "Southern strategy" from Charleston. American Revolutionary War_sentence_25

After capturing Savannah, defeats at the Battle of Kings Mountain and the Battle of Cowpens forced Cornwallis to retreat to Yorktown, where his army was besieged by an allied French and American force. American Revolutionary War_sentence_26

An attempt to resupply the garrison was repulsed by the French navy at the Battle of the Chesapeake, and Cornwallis surrendered in October 1781. American Revolutionary War_sentence_27

Although their war with France and Spain continued for another two years, Yorktown ended the British will to continue the war in North America. American Revolutionary War_sentence_28

The North Ministry was replaced by Lord Rockingham, who accepted office on the basis George III agreed to American independence. American Revolutionary War_sentence_29

Preliminary articles were signed in November 1782, and in April 1783 Congress accepted British terms; these included independence, evacuation of British troops, cession of territory up to the Mississippi River and navigation to the sea, as well as fishing rights in Newfoundland. American Revolutionary War_sentence_30

On September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed between Great Britain and the United States, then ratified the following spring. American Revolutionary War_sentence_31

Prelude to revolution American Revolutionary War_section_0

Main article: American Revolution American Revolutionary War_sentence_32

See also: Colonial History of the United States and Thirteen Colonies American Revolutionary War_sentence_33

The French and Indian War and the wider conflict known as the Seven Years' War ended with the 1763 Peace of Paris, which expelled France from North America. American Revolutionary War_sentence_34

At the same time, the British rescinded provisions of colonial charters claiming to extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific; the Mississippi River became the dividing line between British and Spanish possessions in the Americas, with free navigation on it "to the open sea". American Revolutionary War_sentence_35

More American territory changed hands in 1763 than any settlement before or after, destabilising existing alliances and trade networks, and leading to conflict between settlers and American Indians. American Revolutionary War_sentence_36

The Proclamation Line of 1763 was intended to refocus colonial expansion north into Nova Scotia or south into Florida, while separating American Indians and colonials by restricting settlement in the west. American Revolutionary War_sentence_37

Both sides agreed with the principle but disagreed on where to set the border; keeping the peace required garrisons of regular troops along the frontier, and led to disputes with the colonial legislatures over who should bear the expense. American Revolutionary War_sentence_38

Taxation and legislation American Revolutionary War_section_1

Although directly administered by the Crown, acting through a local Governor, the colonies were largely governed by native-born property owners. American Revolutionary War_sentence_39

While external affairs were managed by London, colonial militia were funded locally but with the ending of the French threat in 1763, the legislatures expected less taxation, not more. American Revolutionary War_sentence_40

At the same time, the huge costs of the Seven Years' War meant Parliament expected the colonies to fund their own defense. American Revolutionary War_sentence_41

The outcome was a series of disputes as to how these expenses should be paid. American Revolutionary War_sentence_42

The 1763 to 1765 Grenville ministry began by instructing the Royal Navy to clamp down on smuggled goods and enforce customs duties levied in American ports. American Revolutionary War_sentence_43

The most important was the 1733 Molasses Act; routinely ignored prior to 1763, it had a significant economic impact since 85% of New England rum exports were manufactured from imported molasses. American Revolutionary War_sentence_44

These measures were followed by the Sugar Act and Stamp Act, which imposed additional taxes on the colonies to pay for defending the western frontier. American Revolutionary War_sentence_45

In July 1765, the Whigs formed the First Rockingham ministry, which repealed the Stamp Act and reduced tax on foreign molasses to help the New England economy, but re-asserted Parliamentary authority in the Declaratory Act. American Revolutionary War_sentence_46

However, this did little to end the discontent; in 1768, a riot started in Boston when the authorities seized the sloop Liberty on suspicion of smuggling. American Revolutionary War_sentence_47

Tensions escalated further in March 1770 when British troops fired on rock-throwing civilians, killing five in what became known as the Boston massacre. American Revolutionary War_sentence_48

The Massacre coincided with the partial repeal of the Townshend Acts by the Tory-based North Ministry, which came to power in January 1770 and remained in office until 1781. American Revolutionary War_sentence_49

North insisted on retaining duty on tea to enshrine Parliament's right to tax the colonies; the amount was minor, but ignored the fact it was that very principle Americans objected to. American Revolutionary War_sentence_50

Tensions escalated following the destruction of a customs vessel in the June 1772 Gaspee Affair, then came to a head in 1773. American Revolutionary War_sentence_51

A banking crisis led to the near collapse of the East India Company, which dominated the British economy; to support it, Parliament passed the Tea Act, giving it a trading monopoly for North America. American Revolutionary War_sentence_52

Since most American tea was smuggled by the Dutch, the Act was opposed by those who managed the illegal trade, while being seen as yet another attempt to impose the principle of taxation by Parliament. American Revolutionary War_sentence_53

After the December 1773 Sons of Liberty protest known as the Boston Tea Party, Parliament passed the so-called Intolerable Acts. American Revolutionary War_sentence_54

While aimed specifically at Massachusetts, many in America and within the Whig opposition considered them a threat to liberty in general; it led to increased sympathy for the Patriot cause locally, as well as in Parliament and the London press. American Revolutionary War_sentence_55

Break with the British Crown American Revolutionary War_section_2

Over the course of the 18th century, the elected lower houses in the colonial legislatures gradually wrested power from their Royal Governors. American Revolutionary War_sentence_56

Dominated by smaller landowners and merchants, these Assemblies now established ad hoc provincial legislatures, variously called Congresses, Conventions, and Conferences, effectively replacing Royal control. American Revolutionary War_sentence_57

With the exception of Georgia, twelve colonies sent representatives to the First Continental Congress to agree a unified response to the crisis. American Revolutionary War_sentence_58

Many of the delegates feared that an all out boycott would result in war and sent a Petition to the King calling for repeal of the Intolerable Acts. American Revolutionary War_sentence_59

However, after some debate, on September 17, 1774, Congress endorsed the Massachusetts Suffolk Resolves and on October 20 passed the Continental Association; based on a draft prepared by the First Virginia Convention in August, this instituted economic sanctions against Britain. American Revolutionary War_sentence_60

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  • Colonial responseAmerican Revolutionary War_item_0_0
  • American Revolutionary War_item_0_1
  • American Revolutionary War_item_0_2

While denying its authority over internal American affairs, a faction led by James Duane and future Loyalist Joseph Galloway insisted Congress recognise Parliament's right to regulate colonial trade. American Revolutionary War_sentence_61

Expecting concessions by the North administration, Congress authorized the extralegal committees and conventions of the colonial legislatures to enforce the boycott; this succeeded in reducing British imports by 97% from 1774 to 1775. American Revolutionary War_sentence_62

However, on February 9 Parliament declared Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion and instituted a blockade of the colony. American Revolutionary War_sentence_63

In July, the Restraining Acts limited colonial trade with the British West Indies and Britain and barred New England ships from the Newfoundland cod fisheries. American Revolutionary War_sentence_64

The increase in tension led to a scramble for control of militia stores, which each Assembly was legally obliged to maintain for defense. American Revolutionary War_sentence_65

On April 19, a British attempt to secure the Concord arsenal culminated in the Battles of Lexington and Concord which began the war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_66

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  • North America, showing European colonial boundaries and American Indians language groupsAmerican Revolutionary War_item_1_3
  • American Revolutionary War_item_1_4
  • American Revolutionary War_item_1_5

Political reactions American Revolutionary War_section_3

Main articles: Olive Branch Petition and United States Declaration of Independence American Revolutionary War_sentence_67

After the Patriot victory at Concord, moderates in Congress led by John Dickinson drafted the Olive Branch Petition, offering to accept royal authority in return for George III mediating in the dispute. American Revolutionary War_sentence_68

However, since it was immediately followed by the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, Colonial Secretary Dartmouth viewed the offer as insincere; he refused to present the petition to the king, which was therefore rejected in early September. American Revolutionary War_sentence_69

Although constitutionally correct, since George could not oppose his own government, it disappointed those Americans who hoped he would mediate in the dispute, while the hostility of his language annoyed even Loyalist members of Congress. American Revolutionary War_sentence_70

Combined with the Proclamation of Rebellion, issued on August 23 in response to the Battle at Bunker Hill, it ended hopes of a peaceful settlement. American Revolutionary War_sentence_71

Backed by the Whigs, Parliament initially rejected the imposition of coercive measures by 170 votes, fearing an aggressive policy would simply drive the Americans towards independence. American Revolutionary War_sentence_72

However, by the end of 1774 the collapse of British authority meant both North and George III were convinced war was inevitable. American Revolutionary War_sentence_73

After Boston, Gage halted operations and awaited reinforcements; the Irish Parliament approved the recruitment of new regiments, while allowing Catholics to enlist for the first time. American Revolutionary War_sentence_74

Britain also signed a series of treaties with German states to supply additional troops. American Revolutionary War_sentence_75

Within a year it had an army of over 32,000 men in America, the largest ever sent outside Europe at the time. American Revolutionary War_sentence_76

However, the use of German mercenaries and Catholics was opposed by many in Parliament and the Protestant-dominated colonial assemblies; combined with the lack of activity by Gage, it allowed the Patriots to take control of the legislatures. American Revolutionary War_sentence_77

Support for independence was boosted by Thomas Paine's pamphlet Common Sense, which was widely reprinted. American Revolutionary War_sentence_78

To draft a Declaration of Independence, Congress appointed the Committee of Five, consisting of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston. American Revolutionary War_sentence_79

Identifying the inhabitants of the thirteen colonies as "one people", it simultaneously dissolved political links with Britain, while including a long list of alleged violations of "English rights" committed by George III. American Revolutionary War_sentence_80

On July 2, Congress voted for independence and published the declaration on July 4, which Washington read to his troops in New York City on July 9. American Revolutionary War_sentence_81

At this point, the Revolution ceased to be an internal dispute over trade and tax policies and became a civil war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_82

The states as represented in Congress were engaged in struggle with Britain, but each in turn was split between Patriots and Loyalists. American Revolutionary War_sentence_83

Patriots generally supported independence from Britain and a new national union in Congress, while Loyalists remained faithful to British rule. American Revolutionary War_sentence_84

Estimates of numbers vary, one suggestion being the population as a whole was split evenly between committed Patriots, committed Loyalists and those who were indifferent. American Revolutionary War_sentence_85

Others calculate the spilt as 40% Patriot, 40% neutral, 20% Loyalist, but with considerable regional variations. American Revolutionary War_sentence_86

At the onset of the war, the Congress realized defeating Britain required foreign alliances and intelligence-gathering. American Revolutionary War_sentence_87

The Committee of Secret Correspondence was formed for "the sole purpose of corresponding with our friends in Great Britain and other parts of the world". American Revolutionary War_sentence_88

From 1775 to 1776, it shared information and built alliances through secret correspondence, as well as employing secret agents in Europe to gather intelligence, conduct undercover operations, analyze foreign publications and initiate Patriot propaganda campaigns. American Revolutionary War_sentence_89

Paine served as secretary, while Silas Deane was instrumental in securing French aid in Paris. American Revolutionary War_sentence_90

War breaks out American Revolutionary War_section_4

As the American Revolutionary War unfolded in North America, there were two principal campaign theaters within the thirteen states, and a smaller but strategically important one west of the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River and north to the Great Lakes. American Revolutionary War_sentence_91

The full-on military campaigning began in the states north of Maryland, and fighting was most frequent and severest there between 1775 and 1778. American Revolutionary War_sentence_92

Patriots achieved several strategic victories in the South, the British lost their first army at Saratoga, and the French entered the war as an American ally. American Revolutionary War_sentence_93

In the expanded Northern theater and wintering at Valley Forge, General Washington observed British operations coming out of New York at the 1778 Battle of Monmouth. American Revolutionary War_sentence_94

He then closed off British initiatives by a series of raids that contained the British army in New York City. American Revolutionary War_sentence_95

The same year, Spanish-supplied Virginia Colonel George Rogers Clark joined by Francophone settlers and their Indian allies conquered Western Quebec, the US Northwest Territory. American Revolutionary War_sentence_96

Starting in 1779, the British initiated a southern strategy to begin at Savannah, gather Loyalist support, and reoccupy Patriot-controlled territory north to Chesapeake Bay. American Revolutionary War_sentence_97

Initially the British were successful, and the Americans lost an entire army at the Siege of Charleston, which caused a severe setback for Patriots in the region. American Revolutionary War_sentence_98

But then British maneuvering north led to a combined American and French force cornering a second British army at Battle of Yorktown, and their surrender effectively ended the Revolutionary War. American Revolutionary War_sentence_99

Early engagements American Revolutionary War_section_5

On April 14 1775, Sir Thomas Gage, who was Commander-in-Chief, North America from 1763 to 1775 and appointed Governor of Massachusetts in 1774, received orders from London to take action against the Patriots. American Revolutionary War_sentence_100

His plan was to secure militia ordnance stored at Concord and Lexington; based on speed and secrecy, it was intended to begin shortly after midnight on April 19 and surprise the militia before they could respond. American Revolutionary War_sentence_101

However, Patriot intelligence learned of Gage's intentions, and Paul Revere alerted Captain John Parker, commander of the Concord militia. American Revolutionary War_sentence_102

The first action of the war was a brief skirmish at Lexington, followed by a full scale battle during the Battles of Lexington and Concord. American Revolutionary War_sentence_103

After suffering some 300 casualties, British troops withdrew to Boston, followed by local militia who laid siege to the city. American Revolutionary War_sentence_104

The next month 4,500 British reinforcements arrived with generals William Howe, John Burgoyne, and Sir Henry Clinton. American Revolutionary War_sentence_105

On June 17, they seized the Charlestown Peninsula at the Battle of Bunker Hill, a frontal assault in which they suffered over 1,000 casualties. American Revolutionary War_sentence_106

Dismayed at the costly attack which had gained them little, Gage appealed to London to send a large army to suppress the revolt, but instead they replaced him and Howe took command. American Revolutionary War_sentence_107

On June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress officially assumed command of patriot forces in Boston, giving birth to the Continental Army, which now needed a Commander-in-Chief. American Revolutionary War_sentence_108

At this time the delegates were so impressed with Washington that his appointment was considered a done deal. American Revolutionary War_sentence_109

To lead Patriot forces surrounding Boston, Congressional leader John Adams of Massachusetts nominated Virginia delegate George Washington for commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in June 1775. American Revolutionary War_sentence_110

On June 16, John Hancock officially announced that Washington was henceforth "General and Commander in Chief of the army of the United Colonies." American Revolutionary War_sentence_111

Washington had previously commanded Virginia militia regiments in British combat commands during the French and Indian War. American Revolutionary War_sentence_112

He proceeded to Boston to assume field command of the ongoing siege on July 3. American Revolutionary War_sentence_113

Howe did not engage in a standoff with Washington, and Washington made no plan to assault the city; instead, the Americans fortified Dorchester Heights. American Revolutionary War_sentence_114

In early March 1776, Colonel Henry Knox arrived with heavy artillery captured from a raid on Fort Ticonderoga. American Revolutionary War_sentence_115

Under the cover of darkness Washington placed his artillery atop Dorchester Heights March 5, threatening Boston and the British ships in the harbor. American Revolutionary War_sentence_116

Howe feared another battle like Bunker Hill, so he evacuated Boston. American Revolutionary War_sentence_117

The British were permitted to withdraw without further casualties on March 17 (known as Evacuation Day), and they sailed to Halifax, Nova Scotia. American Revolutionary War_sentence_118

Washington then moved his army south to New York. American Revolutionary War_sentence_119

Beginning in August 1775, American privateers began raiding villages in Nova Scotia, first at Saint John, then Charlottetown and Yarmouth. American Revolutionary War_sentence_120

In 1776, John Paul Jones and Jonathan Eddy raided Canso and assaulted Fort Cumberland respectively. American Revolutionary War_sentence_121

British officials in Quebec began negotiating with the Iroquois for their support, while the Americans urged them to maintain neutrality. American Revolutionary War_sentence_122

Aware of Native American leanings toward the British and fearing an Anglo-Indian attack from Canada, Congress authorized an invasion of Quebec in April 1775. American Revolutionary War_sentence_123

The second American expedition into the former French territory was defeated at the Battle of Quebec on December 31, and after a loose siege the Americans withdrew on May 6, 1776. American Revolutionary War_sentence_124

A failed American counter-attack at Trois-Rivières on June 8 ended their operations in Quebec. American Revolutionary War_sentence_125

However, British pursuit was blocked by American ships on Lake Champlain until they were cleared on October 11 at the Battle of Valcour Island. American Revolutionary War_sentence_126

The American troops were forced to withdraw to Fort Ticonderoga, ending the campaign. American Revolutionary War_sentence_127

In November 1776, a Massachusetts-sponsored uprising in Nova Scotia during the Battle of Fort Cumberland was dispersed. American Revolutionary War_sentence_128

The cumulative failures cost the Patriots support in local public opinion, and aggressive anti-Loyalist policies in the New England colonies alienated the Canadians. American Revolutionary War_sentence_129

The Patriots made no further attempts to invade north. American Revolutionary War_sentence_130

In Virginia, Royal Governor Lord Dunmore attempted to disarm the Assembly's militia as tensions increased, although no fighting broke out. American Revolutionary War_sentence_131

He issued a proclamation on November 7, 1775, promising freedom for slaves who fled their Patriot masters to fight for the Crown. American Revolutionary War_sentence_132

Dunmore's troops were repulsed at the Battle of Great Bridge, and Dunmore fled to British ships anchored off the nearby port at Norfolk. American Revolutionary War_sentence_133

The Third Virginia Convention refused to disband its militia or accept martial law. American Revolutionary War_sentence_134

In the last Royal Virginia Assembly session, speaker Peyton Randolph did not respond to Lord Dunmore concerning Parliament's Conciliatory Resolution. American Revolutionary War_sentence_135

Negotiations failed in part because Randolph was also president of the first Virginia Conventions of Burgesses, and he deferred to the First Continental Congress, where he was also President. American Revolutionary War_sentence_136

Dunmore ordered the ship's crews to burn Norfolk on January 1, 1776. American Revolutionary War_sentence_137

The Siege of Savage's Old Fields began on November 19 in South Carolina between Loyalist and Patriot militias, and the Loyalists were subsequently driven out of the colony in the Snow Campaign. American Revolutionary War_sentence_138

Loyalists were recruited in North Carolina to reassert colonial rule in the South, but they were decisively defeated in the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge and Loyalist sentiment was subdued. American Revolutionary War_sentence_139

A troop of British regulars set out to reconquer South Carolina, and launched an attack on Charleston during the Battle of Sullivan's Island on June 28, 1776, but it failed and left the South in Patriot control until 1780. American Revolutionary War_sentence_140

Shortages in Patriot gunpowder led Congress to authorize an expedition against the Bahamas in the British West Indies to secure additional ordnance there. American Revolutionary War_sentence_141

On March 3, 1776, the Americans landed and engaged the British at the Raid of Nassau, but the local militia offered no resistance. American Revolutionary War_sentence_142

The expedition confiscated what supplies they could and sailed for home on March 17. American Revolutionary War_sentence_143

A month later after a brief skirmish at the Battle of Block Island with the Royal Navy frigate HMS Glasgow, the squadron returned to the base of American naval operations during the Revolution at New London, Connecticut. American Revolutionary War_sentence_144

British New York counter-offensive American Revolutionary War_section_6

Main article: New York and New Jersey campaign American Revolutionary War_sentence_145

After regrouping at Halifax, Nova Scotia, William Howe was determined to take the fight to the Americans. American Revolutionary War_sentence_146

He sailed for New York in June 1776 and began landing troops on Staten Island near the entrance to New York Harbor on July 2. American Revolutionary War_sentence_147

The Americans rejected Howe's informal attempt to negotiate peace on July 30; Washington knew that an attack on the city was imminent and realized that he needed advance information to deal with disciplined British regular troops. American Revolutionary War_sentence_148

On August 12, 1776, Patriot Thomas Knowlton was given orders to form an elite group for reconnaissance and secret missions. American Revolutionary War_sentence_149

Knowlton's Rangers, which included Nathan Hale, became the Army's first intelligence unit. American Revolutionary War_sentence_150

When Washington was driven off Long Island he soon realized that he would need more than military might and amateur spies to defeat the British. American Revolutionary War_sentence_151

He was committed to professionalize military intelligence, and with the aid of Benjamin Tallmadge, they launched the six-man Culper spy ring. American Revolutionary War_sentence_152

The efforts of Washington and the Culper Spy Ring substantially increased effective allocation and deployment of Continental regiments in the field. American Revolutionary War_sentence_153

Over the course of the war Washington spent more than 10 percent of his total military funds on intelligence operations. American Revolutionary War_sentence_154

Washington split his army to positions on Manhattan Island and across the East River in western Long Island. American Revolutionary War_sentence_155

On August 27 at the Battle of Long Island, Howe outflanked Washington and forced him back to Brooklyn Heights, but he did not attempt to encircle Washington's forces. American Revolutionary War_sentence_156

Through the night of August 28, General Henry Knox bombarded the British. American Revolutionary War_sentence_157

Knowing they were up against overwhelming odds, Washington ordered the assembly of a war council on August 29; all agreed to retreat to Manhattan. American Revolutionary War_sentence_158

Washington quickly had his troops assembled and ferried them across the East River to Manhattan on flat-bottomed freight boats without any losses in men or ordnance, leaving General Thomas Mifflin's regiments as a rearguard. American Revolutionary War_sentence_159

General Howe officially met with a delegation from Congress at the September Staten Island Peace Conference, but it failed to conclude peace as the British delegates only had the authority to offer pardons and could not recognize independence. American Revolutionary War_sentence_160

On September 15, Howe seized control of New York City when the British landed at Kip's Bay and unsuccessfully engaged the Americans at the Battle of Harlem Heights the following day. American Revolutionary War_sentence_161

On October 18 Howe failed to encircle the Americans at the Battle of Pell's Point, and the Americans withdrew. American Revolutionary War_sentence_162

Howe declined to close with Washington's army on October 28 at the Battle of White Plains, and instead attacked a hill that was of no strategic value. American Revolutionary War_sentence_163

Washington's retreat isolated his remaining forces and the British captured Fort Washington on November 16. American Revolutionary War_sentence_164

The British victory there amounted to Washington's most disastrous defeat with the loss of 3,000 prisoners. American Revolutionary War_sentence_165

The remaining American regiments on Long Island fell back four days later. American Revolutionary War_sentence_166

General Sir Henry Clinton wanted to pursue Washington's disorganized army, but he was first required to commit 6,000 troops to capture Newport, Rhode Island to secure the Loyalist port. American Revolutionary War_sentence_167

General Charles Cornwallis pursued Washington, but Howe ordered him to halt, leaving Washington unmolested. American Revolutionary War_sentence_168

The outlook was bleak for the American cause: the reduced army had dwindled to fewer than 5,000 men and would be reduced further when enlistments expired at the end of the year. American Revolutionary War_sentence_169

Popular support wavered, morale declined, and Congress abandoned Philadelphia for Baltimore. American Revolutionary War_sentence_170

Loyalist activity surged in the wake of the American defeat, especially in New York state. American Revolutionary War_sentence_171

In London, news of the victorious Long Island campaign was well received with festivities held in the capital. American Revolutionary War_sentence_172

Public support reached a peak, and King George III awarded the Order of the Bath to Howe. American Revolutionary War_sentence_173

Strategic deficiencies among Patriot forces were evident: Washington divided a numerically weaker army in the face of a stronger one, his inexperienced staff misread the military situation, and American troops fled in the face of enemy fire. American Revolutionary War_sentence_174

The successes led to predictions that the British could win within a year. American Revolutionary War_sentence_175

In the meantime, the British established winter quarters in the New York City area and anticipated renewed campaigning the following spring. American Revolutionary War_sentence_176

Two weeks after Congress withdrew to safer Maryland, Washington crossed the ice-choked Delaware River about 30 miles upriver from Philadelphia on the night of December 25–26, 1776. American Revolutionary War_sentence_177

His approach over frozen trails surprised Hessian Colonel Johann Rall. American Revolutionary War_sentence_178

The Continentals overwhelmed the Hessian garrison at Trenton, New Jersey, and took 900 prisoners. American Revolutionary War_sentence_179

The celebrated victory rescued the American army's flagging morale, gave new hope to the Patriot cause, and dispelled much of the fear of professional Hessian "mercenaries". American Revolutionary War_sentence_180

Cornwallis marched to retake Trenton but was repulsed at the Battle of the Assunpink Creek; in the night of January 2, Washington outmaneuvered Cornwallis and defeated his rearguard in the Battle of Princeton the following day. American Revolutionary War_sentence_181

The two victories helped to convince the French that the Americans were worthwhile military allies. American Revolutionary War_sentence_182

Washington entered winter quarters from January to May 1778 at Morristown, New Jersey, and he received the Congressional direction to inoculate all Continental troops against smallpox. American Revolutionary War_sentence_183

Although a Forage War between the armies continued until March, Howe did not attempt to attack the Americans over the winter of 1776–1777. American Revolutionary War_sentence_184

British northern strategy fails American Revolutionary War_section_7

Main articles: Saratoga campaign and Philadelphia campaign American Revolutionary War_sentence_185

In December 1776, General John Burgoyne returned to London to plan strategies with Lord George Germain: Burgoyne's plan was to isolate New England by establishing control of the Great Lakes from New York to Quebec. American Revolutionary War_sentence_186

Efforts could then concentrate on the southern colonies, where it was believed that Loyalist support was widespread and substantial. American Revolutionary War_sentence_187

The Saratoga campaign strategy called for two armies to maneuver by different routes to rendezvous at Albany, New York; the maneuver would also clear the Americans from British-allied Iroquois territory. American Revolutionary War_sentence_188

Burgoyne set out along Lake Champlain on June 14, 1777, and capturing Fort Ticonderoga on July 5. American Revolutionary War_sentence_189

The Continentals under General Horatio Gates blocked roads, destroyed bridges, dammed streams, and stripped the area of food. American Revolutionary War_sentence_190

Meanwhile, Barry St. Leger's diversionary column along the Mohawk River laid siege to Fort Stanwix. American Revolutionary War_sentence_191

Following a British pyrrhic victory at the Battle of Oriskany, St. Leger withdrew to Quebec on August 22 after his Indian allies abandoned him. American Revolutionary War_sentence_192

On August 16, a Brunswick foraging expedition was defeated in the Battle of Bennington where more than 700 troops were captured. American Revolutionary War_sentence_193

The vast majority of British Indian allies then abandoned the field in the northern advance, but even without Burgoyne's support from upper state New York, Howe continued his planned advance on Philadelphia. American Revolutionary War_sentence_194

Early feints failed to bring Washington to battle in June 1777. American Revolutionary War_sentence_195

Howe then declined to attack towards Philadelphia on that front and considered another approach: either overland via New Jersey or by sea at the Delaware Bay. American Revolutionary War_sentence_196

Burgoyne's northern advance then attempted to flank Gates at Freeman's Farm on September 19 in the First Battle of Saratoga. American Revolutionary War_sentence_197

The British won, but at the cost of 600 casualties. American Revolutionary War_sentence_198

Burgoyne dug trenches to bolster his troop's defenses, but he still suffered constant desertion and critical supplies ran low. American Revolutionary War_sentence_199

On October 7, a reconnaissance in force against the Continentals failed with heavy British losses during the second Battle of Saratoga. American Revolutionary War_sentence_200

Burgoyne withdrew, but Gates' pursuit surrounded the British by October 13. American Revolutionary War_sentence_201

With supplies exhausted and no hope of relief, Burgoyne surrendered his army on October 17, and 6,222 British soldiers became prisoners of war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_202

Howe renewed his Philadelphia campaign later in the fall with additional supplies and arrived at Wilmington by sea. American Revolutionary War_sentence_203

Advancing on September 11, he outflanked Washington south of Philadelphia and defeated him at the Battle of Brandywine, but failed to pursue and destroy the defeated American force. American Revolutionary War_sentence_204

The British victory at the Battle of Paoli left Philadelphia defenseless, and Howe captured Willistown unopposed on September 26. American Revolutionary War_sentence_205

He then transferred 9,000 men to Germantown just north of Philadelphia, where Washington launched a surprise attack but was repulsed on October 4. American Revolutionary War_sentence_206

Once again, Howe did not follow up on his victory. American Revolutionary War_sentence_207

After several days of probing and an inconclusive end to the Battle of White Marsh, Howe did not pursue the vulnerable American rear for their baggage train and supplies. American Revolutionary War_sentence_208

The British commander had not previously anticipated Washington's counterattack, but Howe inexplicably ordered his army to withdraw directly onto Philadelphia and into winter quarters this time. American Revolutionary War_sentence_209

Howe had failed to pursue and destroy the defeated Americans at the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown. American Revolutionary War_sentence_210

Although Washington's surprise at Germantown failed to result in another Trenton, European commanders including Frederick the Great were impressed with the American regiments' fighting prowess. American Revolutionary War_sentence_211

On December 19, Washington's army entered winter quarters at Valley Forge. American Revolutionary War_sentence_212

Poor conditions and supply problems resulted in the deaths of some 2,500 American troops. American Revolutionary War_sentence_213

During the 1777–1778 encampment, Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben introduced the latest Prussian methods of drilling and infantry tactics to the entire Continental Army by training "model companies" for each regiment, who then instructed their home units. American Revolutionary War_sentence_214

While the Americans wintered only twenty miles away, Howe made no effort to attack their camp, which some critics argued could have ended the war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_215

At the end of the campaign Howe resigned his commission and was replaced by Sir Henry Clinton on May 24, 1778. American Revolutionary War_sentence_216

Clinton received orders from Westminster to abandon Philadelphia and fortify New York following France's entry into the war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_217

On June 18, the British departed Philadelphia with the reinvigorated Americans in pursuit. American Revolutionary War_sentence_218

The two armies fought at the Battle of Monmouth Court House on June 28, 1778, with the Americans holding the field and boosting Patriot morale. American Revolutionary War_sentence_219

Foreign intervention American Revolutionary War_section_8

Main articles: France in the American Revolutionary War, Spain in the American Revolutionary War, and Carlisle Peace Commission American Revolutionary War_sentence_220

Like his predecessors, French foreign minister Vergennes considered the 1763 Peace a national humiliation and viewed the American revolt as an opportunity to weaken Britain. American Revolutionary War_sentence_221

He initially avoided open warfare, but allowed American ships to take on cargoes in French ports, a technical violation of neutrality. American Revolutionary War_sentence_222

Although public opinion favored the Patriot cause, Finance Minister Turgot argued the Americans did not need help to gain independence and France could not afford war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_223

Vergennes persuaded Louis XVI to secretly fund a government front company to purchase munitions, carried in neutral Dutch ships and imported through Sint Eustatius in the Carribean. American Revolutionary War_sentence_224

Despite general backing for a trade agreement with France, many Americans opposed a military treaty, fearing to "exchange one tyranny for another"; this changed when they appeared to be losing the war in early 1776. American Revolutionary War_sentence_225

Since France had nothing to gain from the colonies reconciling with Britain, this left three choices; making peace on British terms, continuing the struggle on their own or securing French military assistance by proclaiming independence. American Revolutionary War_sentence_226

This led to the Declaration of Independence in July 1776; although widely supported, over 20% of Congressmen voted against and Adams himself was reluctant to pay the price of an alliance with France. American Revolutionary War_sentence_227

Congress agreed to the treaty out of desperation, and as the war moved in their favor increasingly lost interest in it. American Revolutionary War_sentence_228

Silas Deane was sent to Paris to begin negotiations with Vergennes, whose key objectives were replacing Britain as the United States' primary commercial and military partner, while securing the French West Indies from American expansion. American Revolutionary War_sentence_229

These islands were extremely valuable; in 1772, the value of sugar and coffee produced by Saint-Domingue on its own exceeded that of all American exports combined. American Revolutionary War_sentence_230

Talks progressed slowly until October 1777, when British defeat at Saratoga and their apparent willingness to negotiate peace convinced Vergennes only a permanent alliance could prevent the "disaster" of Anglo-American rapprochement. American Revolutionary War_sentence_231

Assurances of formal French support allowed Congress to reject the Carlisle Peace Commission and insist on nothing short of complete independence. American Revolutionary War_sentence_232

On February 6 1778, France and the United States signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce regulating trade between the two countries, followed by a defensive military alliance against Britain, the Treaty of Alliance. American Revolutionary War_sentence_233

In return for French guarantees of American independence, Congress undertook to defend their interests in the West Indies, while both sides agreed not to make a separate peace; conflict over these provisions would lead to the 1798 to 1800 Quasi-War. American Revolutionary War_sentence_234

Charles III of Spain was invited to join on the same terms but refused, largely due to concerns over the impact of the Revolution on Spanish colonies in the Americas. American Revolutionary War_sentence_235

Spain had complained on multiple occasions about encroachment by American settlers into Louisiana, a problem that could only get worse once the United States replaced Britain. American Revolutionary War_sentence_236

Although Spain ultimately made important contributions to American success, in the Treaty of Aranjuez (1779), Charles agreed only to support France's war with Britain outside America, in return for help in recovering Gibraltar, Menorca and the Floridas. American Revolutionary War_sentence_237

The terms were confidential since several conflicted with American aims; for example, the French claimed exclusive control of the Newfoundland cod fisheries, a non-negotiable for colonies like Massachusetts. American Revolutionary War_sentence_238

One less well-known impact of this agreement was the abiding American distrust of 'foreign entanglements'; the US would not sign another treaty until the NATO agreement in 1949. American Revolutionary War_sentence_239

This was because the US had agreed not to make peace without France, while Aranjuez committed France to keep fighting until Spain recovered Gibraltar, effectively making it a condition of US independence without the knowledge of Congress. American Revolutionary War_sentence_240

To encourage French participation in the struggle for independence, the US representative in Paris, Silas Deane promised promotion and command positions to any French officer who joined the Continental Army. American Revolutionary War_sentence_241

Although many proved incompetent, one outstanding exception was Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, whom Congress appointed a major General. American Revolutionary War_sentence_242

In addition to his military ability, Lafayette showed considerable political skill in building support for Washington among his officers and within Congress, liaising with French army and naval commanders, and promoting the Patriot cause in France. American Revolutionary War_sentence_243

When the war started, Britain tried to borrow the Dutch-based Scots Brigade for service in America, but pro-Patriot sentiment led the States General to refuse. American Revolutionary War_sentence_244

Although the Republic was no longer a major power, prior to 1774 they still dominated the European carrying trade, and Dutch merchants benefitted from neutrality by shipping French-supplied munitions to the Patriots. American Revolutionary War_sentence_245

This ended when Britain declared war in December 1780, a conflict that proved disastrous to the Dutch economy. American Revolutionary War_sentence_246

The Dutch were also excluded from the First League of Armed Neutrality, formed by Russia, Sweden and Denmark in March 1780 to protect neutral shipping from being stopped and searched for contraband by Britain and France. American Revolutionary War_sentence_247

The British government failed to take into account the strength of the American merchant marine and support from European countries, which allowed the colonies to import munitions and continue trading with relative impunity. American Revolutionary War_sentence_248

While well aware of this, the North administration delayed placing the Royal Navy on a war footing for cost reasons; this prevented the institution of an effective blockade and restricted them to ineffectual diplomatic protests. American Revolutionary War_sentence_249

Traditional British policy was to employ European land-based allies to divert the opposition, a role filled by Prussia in the Seven Years War; in 1778, they were diplomatically isolated and faced war on multiple fronts. American Revolutionary War_sentence_250

Meanwhile, George III had given up on subduing America while Britain had a European war to fight. American Revolutionary War_sentence_251

He did not welcome war with France, but he believed the British victories over France in the Seven Years' War as a reason to believe in ultimate victory over France. American Revolutionary War_sentence_252

Britain could not find a powerful ally among the Great Powers to engage France on the European continent. American Revolutionary War_sentence_253

Britain subsequently changed its focus into the Caribbean theater, and diverted major military resources away from America. American Revolutionary War_sentence_254

Stalemate in the North American Revolutionary War_section_9

Main articles: Northern theater of the American Revolutionary War after Saratoga and Western theater of the American Revolutionary War American Revolutionary War_sentence_255

Following defeat at Saratoga in October 1777 and French entry into the war, Clinton abandoned Philadelphia and consolidated his forces in New York. American Revolutionary War_sentence_256

In April 1778, a French naval force under Admiral Charles Henri Hector d'Estaing was sent to assist Washington; deciding New York was too formidable a target, in August they launched a combined attack on Newport, with General John Sullivan commanding land forces. American Revolutionary War_sentence_257

The resulting Battle of Rhode Island was indecisive; badly damaged by a storm, the French withdrew to avoid putting their ships at risk. American Revolutionary War_sentence_258

Further activity was limited to British raids on Chestnut Neck and Little Egg Harbor in October. American Revolutionary War_sentence_259

In July 1779, the Americans captured British positions at Stony Point and Paulus Hook. American Revolutionary War_sentence_260

Clinton unsuccessfully tried to tempt Washington into a decisive engagement by sending General William Tryon to raid Connecticut. American Revolutionary War_sentence_261

In July, a large American naval operation, the Penobscot Expedition, attempted to retake Maine (Massachusetts), but was defeated. American Revolutionary War_sentence_262

The high frequency of Iroquois raids compelled Washington to mount the punitive Sullivan Expedition that destroyed a large number of Iroquois settlements, which failed to stop the raids. American Revolutionary War_sentence_263

During the winter of 1779–1780, the Continental Army suffered greater hardships than at Valley Forge. American Revolutionary War_sentence_264

Morale was poor, public support fell away in the long war, the Continental dollar was virtually worthless, the army was plagued with supply problems, desertion was common, and mutinies occurred in the Pennsylvania Line and New Jersey Line regiments over the conditions in early 1780. American Revolutionary War_sentence_265

In June 1780, Clinton sent 6,000 men under Wilhelm von Knyphausen to retake New Jersey, but they were halted by local militia at the Battle of Connecticut Farms; although the Americans withdrew, Knyphausen felt he was not strong enough to engage Washington's main force and retreated. American Revolutionary War_sentence_266

A second attempt two weeks later ended in a British defeat at the Battle of Springfield, effectively ending their ambitions in New Jersey. American Revolutionary War_sentence_267

In July, Washington appointed Benedict Arnold commander of West Point; his attempt to betray the fort to the British failed due to incompetent planning, and the plot was revealed when his British contact John André was captured and later executed. American Revolutionary War_sentence_268

Arnold escaped to New York and switched sides, an action justified in a pamphlet addressed "To the Inhabitants of America"; the Patriots condemned his betrayal, while he found himself almost as unpopular with the British. American Revolutionary War_sentence_269

The war to the west of the Appalachians was largely confined to skirmishing and raids. American Revolutionary War_sentence_270

In February 1778, an expedition of militia to destroy British military supplies in settlements along the Cuyahoga River was halted by adverse weather. American Revolutionary War_sentence_271

Later in the year, a second campaign was undertaken to seize the Illinois Country from the British. American Revolutionary War_sentence_272

Virginia militia, Canadien settlers, and Indian allies commanded by Colonel George Rogers Clark captured Kaskaskia on July 4 then secured Vincennes, though Vincennes was recaptured by Quebec Governor Henry Hamilton. American Revolutionary War_sentence_273

In early 1779, the Virginians counterattacked in the Siege of Fort Vincennes and took Hamilton prisoner. American Revolutionary War_sentence_274

Clark secured western British Quebec as the American Northwest Territory in the Treaty of Paris concluding the war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_275

On May 25, 1780, British Colonel Henry Bird invaded Kentucky as part of a wider operation to clear American resistance from Quebec to the Gulf coast. American Revolutionary War_sentence_276

Their Pensacola advance on New Orleans was overcome by Spanish Governor Gálvez's offensive on Mobile. American Revolutionary War_sentence_277

Simultaneous British attacks were repulsed on St. American Revolutionary War_sentence_278 Louis by the Spanish Lieutenant Governor de Leyba, and on the Virginia county courthouse at Cahokia by Liutenant Colonel Clark. American Revolutionary War_sentence_279

The British initiative under Bird from Detroit was ended at the rumored approach of Clark. American Revolutionary War_sentence_280

The scale of violence in the Licking River Valley, such as during the Battle of Blue Licks, was extreme "even for frontier standards". American Revolutionary War_sentence_281

It led to men of English and German settlements to join Clark's militia when the British and their auxiliaries withdrew to the Great Lakes. American Revolutionary War_sentence_282

The Americans responded with a major offensive along the Mad River in August which met with some success in the Battle of Piqua, but did not end Indian raids. American Revolutionary War_sentence_283

French soldier Augustin de La Balme led Canadien militiamen in an attempt to capture Detroit, but they dispersed when Miami Indians led by Little Turtle attacked the encamped settlers on November 5. American Revolutionary War_sentence_284

The war in the west had become a stalemate with the British garrison sitting in Detroit and the Virginians expanding westward settlements north of the Ohio River in the face of British-allied Indian resistance. American Revolutionary War_sentence_285

War in the South American Revolutionary War_section_10

Main article: Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War American Revolutionary War_sentence_286

The "Southern Strategy" was developed by Lord Germain, based on input from London-based Loyalists like Joseph Galloway. American Revolutionary War_sentence_287

They argued it made no sense to fight the Patriots in the north where they were strongest, while the New England economy was reliant on trade with Britain, regardless of who governed it. American Revolutionary War_sentence_288

On the other hand, duties on tobacco made the South far more profitable for Britain, while local support meant securing it required small numbers of regular troops. American Revolutionary War_sentence_289

Victory would leave a truncated United States facing British possessions in the south, Canada to the north and Ohio on their western border; with the Atlantic seaboard controlled by the Royal Navy, Congress would be forced to agree terms. American Revolutionary War_sentence_290

However, assumptions about the level of Loyalist support proved wildly optimistic. American Revolutionary War_sentence_291

Germain accordingly ordered Augustine Prévost, British commander in East Florida, to advance into Georgia in December 1778. American Revolutionary War_sentence_292

Lieutenant-Colonel Archibald Campbell, an experienced officer taken prisoner earlier in the war before being exchanged for Ethan Allen, captured Savannah on December 29 1778. American Revolutionary War_sentence_293

He recruited a Loyalist militia of nearly 1,100, many of whom allegedly joined only after Campbell threatened to confiscate their property. American Revolutionary War_sentence_294

Poor motivation and training made them unreliable troops, as demonstrated in their defeat by Patriot militia at the Battle of Kettle Creek on February 14 1779, although this was offset by British victory at Brier Creek on March 3. American Revolutionary War_sentence_295

In June, Prévost launched an abortive assault on Charleston, before retreating to Savannah, an operation notorious for widespread looting by British troops that enraged both Loyalists and Patriots. American Revolutionary War_sentence_296

In October, a joint French and American operation under Admiral d'Estaing and General Benjamin Lincoln failed to recapture Savannah. American Revolutionary War_sentence_297

Prévost was replaced by Lord Cornwallis, who assumed responsibility for Germain's strategy; he soon realised estimates of Loyalist support were considerably over-stated, and he needed far larger numbers of regular forces. American Revolutionary War_sentence_298

Reinforced by Clinton, his troops captured Charleston in May 1780, inflicting the most serious Patriot defeat of the war; over 5,000 prisoners were taken and the Continental Army in the south effectively destroyed. American Revolutionary War_sentence_299

On May 29, Loyalist regular Banastre Tarleton defeated an American force of 400 at the Battle of Waxhaws; over 120 were killed, many allegedly after surrendering. American Revolutionary War_sentence_300

Responsibility is disputed, Loyalists claiming Tarleton was shot at while negotiating terms of surrender, but it was later used as a recruiting tool by the Patriots. American Revolutionary War_sentence_301

Clinton returned to New York, leaving Cornwallis to oversee the south; despite their success, the two men left barely on speaking terms, with dire consequences for the future conduct of the war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_302

The Southern strategy depended on local support, but this was undermined by a series of coercive measures. American Revolutionary War_sentence_303

Previously, captured Patriots were sent home after swearing not to take up arms against the king; they were now required to fight their former comrades, while the confiscation of Patriot-owned plantations led formerly neutral "grandees" to side with them. American Revolutionary War_sentence_304

Skirmishes at Williamson's Plantation, Cedar Springs, Rocky Mount, and Hanging Rock signalled widespread resistance to the new oaths throughout South Carolina. American Revolutionary War_sentence_305

In July, Congress appointed General Horatio Gates commander in the south; he was defeated at the Battle of Camden on August 16, leaving Cornwallis free to enter North Carolina. American Revolutionary War_sentence_306

Despite battlefield success, the British could not control the countryside and Patriot attacks continued; before moving north, Cornwallis sent Loyalist militia under Major Patrick Ferguson to cover his left flank, leaving their forces too far apart to provide mutual support. American Revolutionary War_sentence_307

In early October, Ferguson was defeated at the Battle of Kings Mountain, dispersing organized Loyalist resistance in the region. American Revolutionary War_sentence_308

Despite this, Cornwallis continued into North Carolina hoping for Loyalist support, while Washington replaced Gates with General Nathanael Greene in December 1780. American Revolutionary War_sentence_309

Greene divided his army, leading his main force southeast pursued by Cornwallis; a detachment was sent southwest under Daniel Morgan, who defeated Tarleton's British Legion at Cowpens on January 17 1781, nearly eliminating it as a fighting force. American Revolutionary War_sentence_310

The Patriots now held the initiative in the south, with the exception of a raid on Richmond led by Benedict Arnold in January 1781. American Revolutionary War_sentence_311

Greene led Cornwallis on a series of counter marches around North Carolina; by early March, the British were exhausted and short of supplies and Greene felt strong enough to fight the Battle of Guilford Court House on March 15. American Revolutionary War_sentence_312

Although victorious, Cornwallis suffered heavy casualties and retreated to Wilmington, North Carolina seeking supplies and reinforcements. American Revolutionary War_sentence_313

The Patriots now controlled most of the Carolinas and Georgia outside the coastal areas; after a minor reversal at the Battle of Hobkirk's Hill, they recaptured Fort Watson and Fort Motte on April 15. American Revolutionary War_sentence_314

On June 6, Brigadier General Andrew Pickens captured Augusta, leaving the British in Georgia confined to Charleston and Savannah. American Revolutionary War_sentence_315

The assumption Loyalists would do most of the fighting left the British short of troops and battlefield victories came at the cost of losses they could not replace. American Revolutionary War_sentence_316

Despite halting Greene's advance at the Battle of Eutaw Springs on September 8, Cornwallis withdrew to Charleston with little to show for his campaign. American Revolutionary War_sentence_317

Western campaign American Revolutionary War_section_11

When Spain joined France's war against Britain in 1779, their treaty specifically excluded Spanish military action in North America. American Revolutionary War_sentence_318

However, from the beginning of the war, Bernardo de Gálvez, the Governor of Spanish Louisiana, allowed the Americans to import supplies and munitions into New Orleans, then ship them to Pittsburgh. American Revolutionary War_sentence_319

This provided an alternative transportation route for the Continental Army, bypassing the British blockade of the Atlantic Coast. American Revolutionary War_sentence_320

The trade was organized by Oliver Pollock, a successful merchant in Havana and New Orleans who was appointed US "commercial agent". American Revolutionary War_sentence_321

It also helped support the American campaign in the west; in the 1778 Illinois campaign, militia under General George Rogers Clark cleared the British from what was then part of Quebec, creating Illinois County, Virginia. American Revolutionary War_sentence_322

Despite official neutrality, Gálvez initiated offensive operations against British outposts. American Revolutionary War_sentence_323

First, he cleared British garrisons in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Fort Bute, and Natchez, Mississippi, and captured five forts. American Revolutionary War_sentence_324

In doing so, Gálvez opened navigation on the Mississippi River north to the American settlement in Pittsburg. American Revolutionary War_sentence_325

In 1781, Galvez and Pollock campaigned east along the Gulf Coast to secure West Florida, including British-held Mobile and Pensacola. American Revolutionary War_sentence_326

The Spanish operations crippled the British supply of armaments to British Indian allies, which effectively suspended a military alliance to attack settlers between the Mississippi River and Appalachian Mountains. American Revolutionary War_sentence_327

British defeat in America American Revolutionary War_section_12

Main article: Yorktown campaign American Revolutionary War_sentence_328

Clinton spent most of 1781 based in New York City; he failed to construct a coherent operational strategy, partly due to his difficult relationship with Admiral Marriot Arbuthnot. American Revolutionary War_sentence_329

In Charleston, Cornwallis independently developed an aggressive plan for a campaign in Virginia, which he hoped would isolate Greene's army in the Carolinas and cause the collapse of Patriot resistance in the South. American Revolutionary War_sentence_330

This was approved by Lord Germain in London, but neither of them informed Clinton. American Revolutionary War_sentence_331

Washington and Rochambeau now discussed their options; the former wanted to attack New York, the latter Virginia, where Cornwallis' forces were less well-established and thus easier to defeat. American Revolutionary War_sentence_332

Washington eventually gave way and Lafayette took a combined Franco-American force into Virginia, but Clinton misinterpreted his movements as preparations for an attack on New York. American Revolutionary War_sentence_333

Concerned by this threat, he instructed Cornwallis to establish a fortified sea base where the Royal Navy could evacuate his troops to help defend New York. American Revolutionary War_sentence_334

When Lafayette entered Virginia, Cornwallis complied with Clinton's orders and withdrew to Yorktown, where he constructed strong defenses and awaited evacuation. American Revolutionary War_sentence_335

An agreement by the Spanish navy to defend the French West Indies allowed Admiral de Grasse to relocate to the Atlantic seaboard, a move Arbuthnot did not anticipate. American Revolutionary War_sentence_336

This provided Lafayette naval support, while the failure of previous combined operations at Newport and Savannah meant their co-ordination was planned more carefully. American Revolutionary War_sentence_337

Despite repeated urging from his subordinates, Cornwallis made no attempt to engage Lafayette before he could establish siege lines. American Revolutionary War_sentence_338

Even worse, expecting to be withdrawn within a few days he abandoned the outer defenses, which were promptly occupied by the besiegers and hastened British defeat. American Revolutionary War_sentence_339

On August 31, a British fleet under Thomas Graves left New York for Yorktown. American Revolutionary War_sentence_340

After landing troops and munitions for the besiegers on August 30, de Grasse had remained in Chesapeake Bay and intercepted him on September 5; although the Battle of the Chesapeake was indecisive in terms of losses, Graves was forced to retreat, leaving Cornwallis isolated. American Revolutionary War_sentence_341

An attempted breakout over the York River at Gloucester Point failed due to bad weather. American Revolutionary War_sentence_342

Under heavy bombardment with dwindling supplies, Cornwallis felt his situation was hopeless and on October 16 sent emissaries to Washington to negotiate surrender; after twelve hours of negotiations, these were finalized the next day. American Revolutionary War_sentence_343

Although Britain's global conflict with France and Spain continued for another two years, Yorktown was the final engagement of the American war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_344

Responsibility for defeat was the subject of fierce public debate between Cornwallis, Clinton and Germain. American Revolutionary War_sentence_345

Despite criticism from his junior officers, Cornwallis retained the confidence of his peers and later held a series of senior government positions; Clinton ultimately took most of the blame and spent the rest of his life in obscurity. American Revolutionary War_sentence_346

Strategy and commanders American Revolutionary War_section_13

In the American Revolutionary War, the national strategies for victory and the commander operational choices for success were different for the two sides. American Revolutionary War_sentence_347

The Continental Congress had to field an army to outlast the will of the British Crown and its Parliament while maintaining its republican governance among constituent states. American Revolutionary War_sentence_348

In London, the British government had a track record of successfully subduing a rebelling countryside in both Scotland and Ireland by enlisting local landowners to administer county government of the realm, and admitted local Members of Parliament for the Scots after 1704. American Revolutionary War_sentence_349

To win the "American war", the British Ministry would have needed to defeat the Continental Army early in the war and force the dissolution of Congress to allow the King's men to retake local colonial administration. American Revolutionary War_sentence_350

The revolt for and against colonial independence between British subjects in the Thirteen Colonies of North America can be seen as three kinds of ongoing and interrelated warfare. American Revolutionary War_sentence_351

First, there was an economic war between a European state and its territory that was settled for its own economic strength, and Great Britain against France and Spain over the balance of power in North America. American Revolutionary War_sentence_352

By 1775, British American colonies supplied raw materials for British ships and one-third of its sailors and they purchased British-manufactured goods that maintained its industrial growth. American Revolutionary War_sentence_353

Newly enforced and expanded mercantile regulation restricted previous international Caribbean trade and colonial laissez-faire smuggling. American Revolutionary War_sentence_354

Second, there was a political civil war: a British constitutional war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_355

Across 1000 miles of Atlantic coastline, settled as much as 300 miles into the continental frontier, thirteen British colonies proclaimed themselves to be independent states from Parliament and united in a Congress of their delegates to declare their independence as "one people" in a political revolution from monarchy to republic. American Revolutionary War_sentence_356

This initiated a political struggle for British recognition assisted by the Whigs in Parliament, a military struggle assisted by state militias and the creation of George Washington's national Continental Army, and an economic struggle for international free trade that threatened European systems of mercantilism. American Revolutionary War_sentence_357

It also began thirteen civil wars in every state, as there were in every colony and county, a mix of Patriots (Whigs) and Loyalists (Tories) who went to war among their neighbors. American Revolutionary War_sentence_358

These divided variously in each state along both ethnic and religious lines. American Revolutionary War_sentence_359

Every faction and element had veterans from the conflict between Britain and France fifteen years before, and there were officers and sergeants on every side that were practiced in the arts of both Indian frontier warfare and European infantry line formations of musketry. American Revolutionary War_sentence_360

Third, there was another conflict between the British and the French in the Second Hundred Years' War that intervened in and influenced the revolution. American Revolutionary War_sentence_361

France played a key role in assisting the Americans with money, weapons, soldiers, and naval vessels. American Revolutionary War_sentence_362

French troops fought under US command in the states, and Spanish troops in its territory west of the Mississippi River and on the Gulf of Mexico defeated British forces. American Revolutionary War_sentence_363

From 1778 to 1780, more countries with their own colonial possessions worldwide went to war against Britain for their own reasons, including the Dutch Republic for its right to trade with its former colony in New York, and the French and Spanish to regain lost empire and prestige in the Caribbean, India, and Gibraltar. American Revolutionary War_sentence_364

Alternatively, nations in the League of Armed Neutrality including Russia, Austria, and Prussia defended the right of their merchant convoys to trade with the rebel Americans, enforced by Russian squadrons in the Mediterranean, North Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea. American Revolutionary War_sentence_365

American strategy American Revolutionary War_section_14

Congress had multiple advantages if the rebellion turned into a protracted war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_366

Their prosperous state populations depended on local production for food and supplies rather than on imports from their mother country that lay six to twelve weeks away by sail. American Revolutionary War_sentence_367

They were spread across most of the North American Atlantic seaboard, stretching 1,000 miles. American Revolutionary War_sentence_368

Most farms were remote from the seaports, and controlling four or five major ports did not give British armies control over the inland areas. American Revolutionary War_sentence_369

Each state had established internal distribution systems. American Revolutionary War_sentence_370

Each former colony had a long-established system of local militia, combat-tested in support of British regulars thirteen years before to secure an expanded British Empire. American Revolutionary War_sentence_371

Together they took away French claims in North America west to the Mississippi River in the French and Indian War. American Revolutionary War_sentence_372

The state legislatures independently funded and controlled their local militias. American Revolutionary War_sentence_373

In the American Revolution, they trained and provided Continental Line regiments to the regular army, each with their own state officer corps. American Revolutionary War_sentence_374

Motivation was also a major asset: each colonial capital had its own newspapers and printers, and the Patriots had more popular support than the Loyalists. American Revolutionary War_sentence_375

British hoped that the Loyalists would do much of the fighting, but they fought less than expected. American Revolutionary War_sentence_376

American Revolutionary War_description_list_2

Main article: Continental Army American Revolutionary War_sentence_377

See also: Militia (United States) § American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), and Minutemen American Revolutionary War_sentence_378

When the war began, Congress lacked a professional army or navy, and each colony only maintained local militias. American Revolutionary War_sentence_379

Militiamen were lightly armed, had little training, and usually did not have uniforms. American Revolutionary War_sentence_380

Their units served for only a few weeks or months at a time and lacked the training and discipline of more experienced soldiers. American Revolutionary War_sentence_381

Local county militias were reluctant to travel far from home and they were unavailable for extended operations. American Revolutionary War_sentence_382

The new Continental Army suffered significantly from the lack of an effective training program and from largely inexperienced officers and sergeants, of which the latter was somewhat offset by a few senior officers. American Revolutionary War_sentence_383

Each state legislature appointed officers for both county and state militias and their regimental Continental Line officers, and although Washington was required to accept Congressional appointments, he was otherwise permitted to choose and command his own generals. American Revolutionary War_sentence_384

When properly employed, the militias' numbers helped the Continental Army overwhelm smaller British forces, as at Concord, Boston, Bennington, and Saratoga. American Revolutionary War_sentence_385

Both sides used partisan warfare, but the state militias effectively suppressed Loyalist activity when British regulars were not in the area. American Revolutionary War_sentence_386

Congress established a regular army on June 14, 1775, and appointed Washington as commander-in-chief. American Revolutionary War_sentence_387

The development of the Continental Army was always a work in progress and Washington used both his regulars and state militia throughout the war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_388

Washington designed the overall military strategy of the war in cooperation with Congress, established the principle of civilian supremacy in military affairs, personally recruited his senior office corps, and kept the states focused on a common goal. American Revolutionary War_sentence_389

For the first three years until after Valley Forge, the Continental Army was largely supplemented by local state militias. American Revolutionary War_sentence_390

Initially, Washington employed the inexperienced officers and untrained troops in Fabian strategies rather than risk frontal assaults against Britain's professional soldiers and officers. American Revolutionary War_sentence_391

Over the course of the entire war, Washington lost more battles than he won, but he maintained a fighting force in the face of British field armies and never gave up fighting for the American cause. American Revolutionary War_sentence_392

The American armies were small by European standards of the era, largely attributable to limitations such as lack of powder and other logistics. American Revolutionary War_sentence_393

At the beginning of 1776, Washington commanded 20,000 men, with two-thirds enlisted in the Continental Army and the other third in the various state militias. American Revolutionary War_sentence_394

About 250,000 men served as regulars or as militia for the Revolutionary cause over eight years during wartime, but there were never more than 90,000 men under arms at one time. American Revolutionary War_sentence_395

As a whole, American officers never equaled their opponents in tactics and maneuvers, and they lost most of the pitched battles. American Revolutionary War_sentence_396

The great successes at Boston (1776), Saratoga (1777), and Yorktown (1781) were won from trapping the British far from base with a greater number of troops. American Revolutionary War_sentence_397

Nevertheless, after 1778, Washington's army was transformed into a more disciplined and effective force, mostly by Baron von Steuben's training. American Revolutionary War_sentence_398

Immediately after the Army emerged from Valley Forge, it proved its ability to match the British troops in action at the Battle of Monmouth, including a black Rhode Island regiment fending off a British bayonet attack then counter-charging for the first time in Washington's army. American Revolutionary War_sentence_399

Here Washington came to realize that saving entire towns was not necessary, but preserving his army and keeping the revolutionary spirit alive was more important in the long run. American Revolutionary War_sentence_400

Washington informed Henry Laurens "that the possession of our towns, while we have an army in the field, will avail them little." American Revolutionary War_sentence_401

Although Congress was responsible for the war effort and provided supplies to the troops, Washington took it upon himself to pressure the Congress and state legislatures to provide the essentials of war; there was never nearly enough. American Revolutionary War_sentence_402

Congress evolved in its committee oversight and established the Board of War, which included members of the military. American Revolutionary War_sentence_403

Because the Board of War was also a committee ensnared with its own internal procedures, Congress also created the post of Secretary of War, and appointed Major General Benjamin Lincoln in February 1781 to the position. American Revolutionary War_sentence_404

Washington worked closely with Lincoln to coordinate civilian and military authorities and took charge of training and supplying the army. American Revolutionary War_sentence_405

American Revolutionary War_description_list_3

Main articles: Continental Navy and Continental Marines American Revolutionary War_sentence_406

Further information: Naval battles of the American Revolutionary War American Revolutionary War_sentence_407

During the first summer of the war, Washington began outfitting schooners and other small seagoing vessels to prey on ships supplying the British in Boston. American Revolutionary War_sentence_408

Congress established the Continental Navy on October 13, 1775, and appointed Esek Hopkins as the Navy's first commander. American Revolutionary War_sentence_409

The following month, Marines were organized on November 10, 1775. American Revolutionary War_sentence_410

The Continental Navy was a handful of small frigates and sloops throughout the Revolution for the most part. American Revolutionary War_sentence_411

American Revolutionary War_unordered_list_4

  • American Revolutionary War_item_4_6
  • American Revolutionary War_item_4_7

John Paul Jones became the first American naval hero by capturing HMS Drake on April 24, 1778, the first victory for any American military vessel in British waters. American Revolutionary War_sentence_412

The last was by the frigate USS Alliance commanded by Captain John Barry. American Revolutionary War_sentence_413

On March 10, 1783, the Alliance outgunned HMS Sybil in a 45-minute duel while escorting Spanish gold from Havana to Congress. American Revolutionary War_sentence_414

After Yorktown, all US Navy ships were sold or given away; it was the first time in America's history that it had no fighting forces on the high seas. American Revolutionary War_sentence_415

Congress primarily commissioned privateers to reduce costs and to take advantage of the large proportion of colonial sailors found in the British Empire. American Revolutionary War_sentence_416

Overall, they included 1,700 ships that successfully captured 2,283 enemy ships to damage the British effort and to enrich themselves with the proceeds from the sale of cargo and the ship itself. American Revolutionary War_sentence_417

About 55,000 sailors served aboard American privateers during the war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_418

American Revolutionary War_description_list_5

Main article: France in the American Revolution American Revolutionary War_sentence_419

Further information: History of the French Navy § Louis XVI, and Military history of France § Ancien Régime American Revolutionary War_sentence_420

To begin with, the Americans had no major international allies, as most nation-states watched and waited to see developments unfold in British North America. American Revolutionary War_sentence_421

Over time, the Continental Army acquitted itself well in the face of British regulars and their German auxiliaries known to all European great powers. American Revolutionary War_sentence_422

Battles such as the Battle of Bennington, the Battles of Saratoga, and even defeats such as the Battle of Germantown, proved decisive in gaining the attention and support of powerful European nations such as Bourbon France and Spain and the Dutch Republic; the latter moved from covertly supplying the Americans with weapons and supplies to overtly supporting them. American Revolutionary War_sentence_423

The decisive American victory at Saratoga spurred France to offer the Americans the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. American Revolutionary War_sentence_424

The two nations also agreed to a defensive Treaty of Alliance to protect their trade and also guaranteed American independence from Britain. American Revolutionary War_sentence_425

To engage the United States as a French ally militarily, the treaty was conditioned on Britain initiating a war on France to stop it from trading with the US. American Revolutionary War_sentence_426

Spain and the Dutch Republic were invited to join by both France and the United States in the treaty, but neither made a formal reply. American Revolutionary War_sentence_427

On June 13, 1778, France declared war on Great Britain, and it invoked the French military alliance with the US, which ensured additional US privateer support for French possessions in the Caribbean. American Revolutionary War_sentence_428

Washington worked closely with the soldiers and navy that France would send to America, primarily through Lafayette on his staff. American Revolutionary War_sentence_429

French assistance made critical contributions required to defeat General Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781. American Revolutionary War_sentence_430

British strategy American Revolutionary War_section_15

American Revolutionary War_unordered_list_6

  • British political landscape in its 1775 American EmpireAmerican Revolutionary War_item_6_8
  • American Revolutionary War_item_6_9
  • American Revolutionary War_item_6_10

The British military had considerable experience of fighting in North America, most recently during the Seven Years' War which forced France to relinquish New France in 1763. American Revolutionary War_sentence_431

However, in previous conflicts they benefited from local logistics, as well as support from the colonial militia, which was not available in the American Revolutionary War. American Revolutionary War_sentence_432

Reinforcements had to come from Europe, and maintaining large armies over such distances was extremely complex; ships could take three months to cross the Atlantic, and orders from London were often outdated by the time they arrived. American Revolutionary War_sentence_433

Prior to the conflict, the colonies were largely autonomous economic and political entities, with no centralized area of ultimate strategic importance. American Revolutionary War_sentence_434

This meant that unlike Europe where the fall of a capital city often ended wars, that in America continued even after the loss of major settlements such as Philadelphia, seat of Congress, New York and Charleston. American Revolutionary War_sentence_435

British power was reliant on the Royal Navy, whose dominance allowed them to resupply their own expeditionary forces while preventing access to enemy ports. American Revolutionary War_sentence_436

However, the majority of the American population was agrarian, rather than urban; supported by the French navy and blockade runners based in the Dutch Caribbean, their economy was able to survive. American Revolutionary War_sentence_437

The geographical size of the colonies and limited manpower meant the British could not simultaneously conduct military operations and occupy territory without local support. American Revolutionary War_sentence_438

Debate persists over whether their defeat was inevitable; one British statesman described it as "like trying to conquer a map". American Revolutionary War_sentence_439

While Ferling argues Patriot victory was nothing short of a miracle, Ellis suggests the odds always favored the Americans, especially after Howe squandered the chance of a decisive British success in 1776, an "opportunity that would never come again". American Revolutionary War_sentence_440

The US military history speculates the additional commitment of 10,000 fresh troops in 1780 would have placed British victory "within the realm of possibility". American Revolutionary War_sentence_441

British Army American Revolutionary War_section_16

Main article: British Army during the American Revolutionary War American Revolutionary War_sentence_442

See also: Loyalist (American Revolution) § Military service American Revolutionary War_sentence_443

The expulsion of France from North America in 1763 led to a drastic reduction in British troop levels in the colonies; in 1775, there only 8,500 regular soldiers among a civilian population of 2.8 million. American Revolutionary War_sentence_444

The bulk of military resources in the Americas were focused on defending sugar islands in the Caribbean; Jamaica alone generated more revenue than all thirteen American colonies combined. American Revolutionary War_sentence_445

With the end of the Seven Years' War, the permanent army in Britain was also cut back, which resulted in administrative difficulties when the war began a decade later. American Revolutionary War_sentence_446

Over the course of the war, there were four separate British commanders-in-chief, the first of whom was Thomas Gage; appointed in 1763, his initial focus was establishing British rule in former French areas of Canada. American Revolutionary War_sentence_447

Rightly or wrongly, many in London blamed the revolt on his failure to take firm action earlier, and he was relieved after the heavy losses incurred at Bunker Hill. American Revolutionary War_sentence_448

His replacement was Sir William Howe, a member of the Whig faction in Parliament who opposed the policy of coercion advocated by Lord North; Cornwallis, who later surrendered at Yorktown, was one of many senior officers who initially refused to serve in North America. American Revolutionary War_sentence_449

The 1775 campaign showed the British overestimated the capabilities of their own troops and underestimated the colonial militia, requiring a reassessment of tactics and strategy. American Revolutionary War_sentence_450

However, it allowed the Patriots to take the initiative and British authorities rapidly lost control over every colony. American Revolutionary War_sentence_451

Howe's responsibility is still debated; despite receiving large numbers of reinforcements, Bunker Hill seems to have permanently affected his self-confidence and lack of tactical flexibility meant he often failed to follow up opportunities. American Revolutionary War_sentence_452

Many of his decisions were attributed to supply problems, such as the delay in launching the New York campaign and failure to pursue Washington's beaten army. American Revolutionary War_sentence_453

Having lost the confidence of his subordinates, he was recalled after Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga. American Revolutionary War_sentence_454

Following the failure of the Carlisle Commission, British policy changed from treating the Patriots as subjects who needed to be reconciled to enemies who had to be defeated. American Revolutionary War_sentence_455

In 1778, Howe was replaced by Sir Henry Clinton, appointed instead of Carleton who was considered overly cautious. American Revolutionary War_sentence_456

Regarded as an expert on tactics and strategy, like his predecessors Clinton was handicapped by chronic supply issues. American Revolutionary War_sentence_457

As a result, he was largely inactive in 1779 and much of 1780; in October 1780, he warned Germain of "fatal consequences" if matters did not improve. American Revolutionary War_sentence_458

In addition, Clinton's strategy was compromised by conflict with political superiors in London and his colleagues in North America, especially Admiral Mariot Arbuthnot, replaced in early 1781 by Rodney. American Revolutionary War_sentence_459

He was neither notified nor consulted when Germain approved Cornwallis' invasion of the south in 1781, and delayed sending him reinforcements believing the bulk of Washington's army was still outside New York City. American Revolutionary War_sentence_460

After the surrender at Yorktown, Clinton was relieved by Carleton, whose major task was to oversee the evacuation of Loyalists and British troops from Savannah, Charleston, and New York City. American Revolutionary War_sentence_461

Hessians and German Troops American Revolutionary War_section_17

Main article: Hessian (soldier) American Revolutionary War_sentence_462

During the 18th century, all states commonly hired foreign soldiers, especially Britain; during the Seven Years' War, they comprised 10% of the British army and their use caused little debate. American Revolutionary War_sentence_463

When it became clear additional troops were needed to suppress the revolt in America, it was decided to employ mercenaries. American Revolutionary War_sentence_464

There were several reasons for this, including public sympathy for the Patriot cause, an historical reluctance to expand the British army and the time needed to recruit and train new regiments. American Revolutionary War_sentence_465

An alternate source was readily available in the Holy Roman Empire, where many smaller states had a long tradition of renting their armies to the highest bidder. American Revolutionary War_sentence_466

The most important was Hesse-Cassell, known as "the Mercenary State". American Revolutionary War_sentence_467

The first supply agreements were signed by the North administration in late 1775; over the next decade, more than 40,000 Germans fought in North America, Gibraltar, South Africa and India, of whom 30,000 served in the American War. American Revolutionary War_sentence_468

Often generically referred to as "Hessians", they included men from many other states, including Hanover and Brunswick. American Revolutionary War_sentence_469

Sir Henry Clinton recommended recruiting Russian troops whom he rated very highly, having seen them in action against the Ottomans; however, negotiations with Catherine the Great made little progress. American Revolutionary War_sentence_470

Unlike previous wars their use led to intense political debate in Britain, France, and even Germany, where Frederick the Great refused to provide passage through his territories for troops hired for the American war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_471

In March 1776, the agreements were challenged in Parliament by Whigs who objected to "coercion" in general, and especially the use of foreign soldiers to subdue "British subjects". American Revolutionary War_sentence_472

This was reflected in North America, where the employment of 'foreign mercenaries' was one of the charges levelled against George III in the Declaration of Independence. American Revolutionary War_sentence_473

American newspapers covered the parliamentary debates in detail, reprinting key speeches; when copies of the actual treaties were smuggled into the US, it confirmed fears that these mercenaries would be used against the Patriots. American Revolutionary War_sentence_474

By apparently showing Britain was determined to go to war, it made hopes of reconciliation seem naive and hopeless; combined with the Hessian reputation in Germany for rapaciousness, it led many German-American immigrants to renounce their allegiance to Britain, while increasing enlistment into the Continental Army. American Revolutionary War_sentence_475

Both sides felt Germans might be persuaded to desert, given the presence of over 150,000 German-Americans; one reason Clinton suggested employing Russians was because he felt they were less likely to defect. American Revolutionary War_sentence_476

When the first German troops arrived on Staten Island in August 1776, Congress approved the printing of "handbills" promising land and citizenship to any willing to join the Patriot cause. American Revolutionary War_sentence_477

The British launched a counter-campaign claiming deserters could well be executed for meddling in a war that was not theirs. American Revolutionary War_sentence_478

German regiments were central to the British war effort; of the estimated 30,000 sent to America, some 13,000 became casualties. American Revolutionary War_sentence_479

Their service was commemorated in Washington Irving's short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which features a headless Hessian soldier. American Revolutionary War_sentence_480

Revolution as civil war American Revolutionary War_section_18

Loyalists American Revolutionary War_section_19

Main article: Loyalist (American Revolution) American Revolutionary War_sentence_481

See also: American Legion and Prince of Wales' American Regiment American Revolutionary War_sentence_482

Wealthy Loyalists convinced the British government that most of the colonists were sympathetic toward the Crown; consequently, British military planners relied on recruiting Loyalists, but had trouble recruiting sufficient numbers as the Patriots had widespread support. American Revolutionary War_sentence_483

Nevertheless, they continued to deceive themselves on their level of American support as late as 1780, a year before hostilities ended. American Revolutionary War_sentence_484

Approximately 25,000 Loyalists fought for the British throughout the war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_485

Although Loyalists constituted about twenty percent of the colonial population, they were concentrated in distinct communities. American Revolutionary War_sentence_486

Many of them lived among large plantation owners in the Tidewater region and South Carolina who produced cash crops in tobacco and indigo comparable to global markets in Caribbean sugar. American Revolutionary War_sentence_487

When the British began probing the backcountry in 1777–1778, they were faced with a major problem: any significant level of organized Loyalist activity required a continued presence of British regulars. American Revolutionary War_sentence_488

The available manpower that the British had in America was insufficient to protect Loyalist territory and counter American offensives. American Revolutionary War_sentence_489

The Loyalist militias in the South constantly defeated by neighboring Patriot militia. American Revolutionary War_sentence_490

The most critical combat between the two partisan militias was at the Battle of Kings Mountain; the Patriot victory irreversibly crippled any further Loyalist militia capability in the South. American Revolutionary War_sentence_491

When the early war policy was administered by General William Howe, the Crown's need to maintain Loyalist support prevented it from using the traditional revolt suppression methods. American Revolutionary War_sentence_492

The British cause suffered when their troops ransacked local homes during an aborted attack on Charleston in 1779 that enraged both Patriots and Loyalists. American Revolutionary War_sentence_493

After Congress rejected the Carlisle Peace Commission in 1778 and Westminster turned to "hard war" during Clinton's command, neutral colonists in the Carolinas often allied with the Patriots whenever brutal combat broke out between Tories and Whigs. American Revolutionary War_sentence_494

Conversely, Loyalists gained support when Patriots intimidated suspected Tories by destroying property or tarring and feathering. American Revolutionary War_sentence_495

A Loyalist militia unit—the British Legion—provided some of the best troops in British service that it received a commission in the British Army: it was a mixed regiment of 250 dragoons and 200 infantry supported by batteries of flying artillery. American Revolutionary War_sentence_496

It was commanded by Banastre Tarleton and gained a fearsome reputation in the colonies for "brutality and needless slaughter". American Revolutionary War_sentence_497

In May 1779 the British Legion was one of five regiments that formed the American Establishment. American Revolutionary War_sentence_498

Women American Revolutionary War_section_20

Main article: Women in the American Revolution American Revolutionary War_sentence_499

Women played various roles during the Revolutionary War; they often accompanied their husbands when permitted to do so. American Revolutionary War_sentence_500

For example, throughout the war Martha Washington was known to visit and provide aid to her husband George at various American camps, and Frederika Charlotte Riedesel documented the Saratoga campaign. American Revolutionary War_sentence_501

Women often accompanied armies as camp followers to sell goods and perform necessary tasks in hospitals and camps. American Revolutionary War_sentence_502

They were a necessary part of eighteenth-century armies, and numbered in the thousands during the war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_503

Women also assumed military roles: aside from auxiliary tasks like treating the wounded or setting up camp, some dressed as men to directly support combat, fight, or act as spies on both sides of the Revolutionary War. American Revolutionary War_sentence_504

Anna Maria Lane joined her husband in the Army and wore men's clothes by the time the Battle of Germantown happened. American Revolutionary War_sentence_505

The Virginia General Assembly later cited her bravery: she fought while dressed as a man and "performed extraordinary military services, and received a severe wound at the battle of Germantown ... with the courage of a soldier". American Revolutionary War_sentence_506

On April 26, 1777, Sybil Ludington rode to alert militia forces of Putnam County, New York, and Danbury, Connecticut, to warn them of the British's approach; she has been called the "female Paul Revere". American Revolutionary War_sentence_507

A few others disguised themselves as men. American Revolutionary War_sentence_508

Deborah Sampson fought until her gender was discovered and discharged as a result; Sally St. Clair was killed in action during the war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_509

African Americans American Revolutionary War_section_21

Main article: African Americans in the Revolutionary War American Revolutionary War_sentence_510

When war began, the population of the Thirteen Colonies included an estimated 500,000 slaves, predominantly used as labor on Southern plantations. American Revolutionary War_sentence_511

In November 1775, Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of Virginia, issued a proclamation that promised freedom to any Patriot-owned slaves willing to bear arms. American Revolutionary War_sentence_512

Although the announcement helped to fill a temporary manpower shortage, white Loyalist prejudice meant recruits were eventually redirected to non-combatant roles. American Revolutionary War_sentence_513

The Loyalists' motive was to deprive Patriot planters of labor rather than to end slavery; Loyalist-owned slaves were returned. American Revolutionary War_sentence_514

The 1779 Philipsburg Proclamation issued by Clinton extended the offer of freedom to Patriot-owned slaves throughout the colonies. American Revolutionary War_sentence_515

It persuaded entire families to escape to British lines, many of which were employed on farms to grow food for the army by removing the requirement for military service. American Revolutionary War_sentence_516

While Clinton organized the Black Pioneers, he also ensured fugitive slaves were returned to Loyalist owners with orders that they were not to be punished for their attempted escape. American Revolutionary War_sentence_517

As the war progressed, service as regular soldiers in British units became increasingly common; black Loyalists formed two regiments of the Charleston garrison in 1783. American Revolutionary War_sentence_518

Estimates of the numbers who served the British during the war vary from 25,000 to 50,000, excluding those who escaped during wartime. American Revolutionary War_sentence_519

Thomas Jefferson estimated that Virginia may have lost 30,000 slaves in total escapes. American Revolutionary War_sentence_520

In South Carolina, nearly 25,000 slaves (about 30 percent of the enslaved population) either fled, migrated, or died, which significantly disrupted the plantation economies both during and after the war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_521

Black Patriots were barred from the Continental Army until Washington convinced Congress in January 1778 that there was no other way to replace losses from disease and desertion. American Revolutionary War_sentence_522

The 1st Rhode Island Regiment formed in February included former slaves whose owners were compensated; however, only 140 of its 225 soldiers were black and recruitment stopped in June 1788. American Revolutionary War_sentence_523

Ultimately, around 5,000 African-Americans served in the Continental Army and Navy in a variety of roles, while another 4,000 were employed in Patriot militia units, aboard privateers, or as teamsters, servants, and spies. American Revolutionary War_sentence_524

After the war, a small minority received land grants or Congressional pensions in old age; many others were returned to their masters post-war despite earlier promises of freedom. American Revolutionary War_sentence_525

As a Patriot victory became increasingly likely, the treatment of Black Loyalists became a point of contention; after the surrender of Yorktown in 1781, Washington insisted all escapees be returned but Cornwallis refused. American Revolutionary War_sentence_526

In 1782 and 1783, around 8,000 to 10,000 freed blacks were evacuated by the British from Charleston, Savannah, and New York; some moved onto London, while 3,000 to 4,000 settled in Nova Scotia, where they founded settlements such as Birchtown. American Revolutionary War_sentence_527

White Loyalists transported 15,000 enslaved blacks to Jamaica and the Bahamas. American Revolutionary War_sentence_528

The free Black Loyalists who migrated to the British West Indies included regular soldiers from Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment, and those from Charleston who helped garrison the Leeward Islands. American Revolutionary War_sentence_529

American Indians American Revolutionary War_section_22

Main page: :Category:Native Americans in the American Revolution American Revolutionary War_sentence_530

Most American Indians east of the Mississippi River were affected by the war, and many tribes were divided over how to respond to the conflict. American Revolutionary War_sentence_531

A few tribes were friendly with the colonists, but most Indians opposed the union of the Colonies as a potential threat to their territory. American Revolutionary War_sentence_532

Approximately 13,000 Indians fought on the British side, with the largest group coming from the Iroquois tribes who deployed around 1,500 men. American Revolutionary War_sentence_533

Early in July 1776, Cherokee allies of Britain attacked the short-lived Washington District of North Carolina. American Revolutionary War_sentence_534

Their defeat splintered both Cherokee settlements and people, and was directly responsible for the rise of the Chickamauga Cherokee, who perpetuated the Cherokee–American wars against American settlers for decades after hostilities with Britain ended. American Revolutionary War_sentence_535

Creek and Seminole allies of Britain fought against Americans in Georgia and South Carolina. American Revolutionary War_sentence_536

In 1778, a force of 800 Creeks destroyed American settlements along the Broad River in Georgia. American Revolutionary War_sentence_537

Creek warriors also joined Thomas Brown's raids into South Carolina and assisted Britain during the Siege of Savannah. American Revolutionary War_sentence_538

Many Indians were involved in the fight between Britain and Spain on the Gulf Coast and along the British side of the Mississippi River. American Revolutionary War_sentence_539

Thousands of Creeks, Chickasaws, and Choctaws fought in major battles such as the Battle of Fort Charlotte, the Battle of Mobile, and the Siege of Pensacola. American Revolutionary War_sentence_540

The Iroquois Confederacy was shattered as a result of the American Revolutionary War, whatever side they took; the Seneca, Onondaga, and Cayuga tribes sided with the British; members of the Mohawks fought on both side; and many Tuscarora and Oneida sided with the Americans. American Revolutionary War_sentence_541

To retaliate against raids on American settlement by Loyalists and their Indian allies, the Continental Army dispatched the Sullivan Expedition on a punitive expedition throughout New York to cripple the Iroquois tribes that had sided with the British. American Revolutionary War_sentence_542

Mohawk leaders Joseph Louis Cook and Joseph Brant sided with the Americans and the British respectively, which further exacerbated the split. American Revolutionary War_sentence_543

In the western theater of the American Revolutionary War, conflicts between settlers and Indians led to lingering distrust. American Revolutionary War_sentence_544

In the 1783 Treaty of Paris, Great Britain ceded control of the disputed lands between the Great Lakes and the Ohio River, but the Indian inhabitants were not a part of the peace negotiations. American Revolutionary War_sentence_545

Tribes in the Northwest Territory joined together as the Western Confederacy and allied with the British to resist American settlement, and their conflict continued after the Revolutionary War as the Northwest Indian War. American Revolutionary War_sentence_546

Britain's "American war" and peace American Revolutionary War_section_23

Changing Prime Ministers American Revolutionary War_section_24

Lord North, Prime Minister since 1770, delegated control of the war in North America to Lord George Germain and the Earl of Sandwich, who was head of the Royal Navy from 1771 to 1782. American Revolutionary War_sentence_547

Defeat at Saratoga in 1777 made it clear the revolt would not be easily suppressed, especially after the Franco-American alliance of February 1778, and French declaration of war in June. American Revolutionary War_sentence_548

With Spain also expected to join the conflict, the Royal Navy needed to prioritize either the war in America or in Europe; Germain advocated the former, Sandwich the latter. American Revolutionary War_sentence_549

British negotiators now proposed a second peace settlement to Congress. American Revolutionary War_sentence_550

The terms presented by the Carlisle Peace Commission included acceptance of the principle of self-government. American Revolutionary War_sentence_551

Parliament would recognize Congress as the governing body, suspend any objectionable legislation, surrender its right to local colonial taxation, and discuss including American representatives in the House of Commons. American Revolutionary War_sentence_552

In return, all property confiscated from Loyalists would be returned, British debts honored, and locally enforced martial law accepted. American Revolutionary War_sentence_553

However, Congress demanded either immediate recognition of independence, or the withdrawal of all British troops; they knew the Commission were not authorized to accept these, bringing negotiations to a rapid end. American Revolutionary War_sentence_554

When the commissioners returned to London in November 1778, they recommended a change in policy. American Revolutionary War_sentence_555

Sir Henry Clinton, the new British Commander-in-Chief in America, was ordered to stop treating the rebels as enemies, rather than subjects whose loyalty might be regained. American Revolutionary War_sentence_556

Those standing orders would be in effect for three years until Clinton was relieved. American Revolutionary War_sentence_557

North backed the Southern strategy hoping to exploit divisions between the mercantile north and slave-owning south, but after Yorktown accepted this policy had failed. American Revolutionary War_sentence_558

It was clear the war was lost, although the Royal Navy forced the French to relocate their fleet to the Caribbean in November 1781 and resumed a close blockade of American trade. American Revolutionary War_sentence_559

The resulting economic damage and rising inflation meant the US was now eager to end the war, while France was unable to provide further loans; Congress could no longer pay its soldiers. American Revolutionary War_sentence_560

On February 27, 1782 a Whig motion to end offensive war in America was carried by 19 votes. American Revolutionary War_sentence_561

North now resigned, obliging the king to invite Lord Rockingham to form a government; a consistent supporter of the Patriot cause, he made commitment to US independence a condition of doing so. American Revolutionary War_sentence_562

George III reluctantly accepted and the new government took office on March 27, 1782; however, Rockingham died unexpectedly on July 1, and was replaced by Lord Shelburne who acknowledged American independence. American Revolutionary War_sentence_563

American Congress signs a peace American Revolutionary War_section_25

American Revolutionary War_description_list_7

  • See also Treaty of Paris (1783) for the Anglo-American Preliminary Treaty in November 1782, and its conclusive treaty September 1783. Additional reading in European diplomatic history at Peace of Paris (1783) for preliminary British treaties signed at Paris in January 1783 with France 1783, Spain 1783 with their respective conclusive treaties signed at Versailles September 1783, and the British preliminary treaty with the Dutch Republic in September 1783 at Paris, then conclusively signed in May 1784.American Revolutionary War_item_7_11

When Lord Rockingham, the Whig leader and friend of the American cause was elevated to Prime Minister, Congress consolidated its diplomatic consuls in Europe into a peace delegation at Paris. American Revolutionary War_sentence_564

All were experienced in Congressional leadership. American Revolutionary War_sentence_565

The dean of the delegation was Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania. American Revolutionary War_sentence_566

He had become a celebrity in the French Court, but he was also an Enlightenment scientist with influence in the courts of European great powers in Prussia, England's former ally, and Austria, a Catholic empire like Spain. American Revolutionary War_sentence_567

Since the 1760s he had been an organizer of British American inter-colony cooperation, and then a colonial lobbyist to Parliament in London. American Revolutionary War_sentence_568

John Adams of Massachusetts had been consul to the Dutch Republic, and was a prominent early New England Patriot. American Revolutionary War_sentence_569

John Jay of New York had been consul to Spain and was a past president of the Continental Congress. American Revolutionary War_sentence_570

As consul to the Dutch Republic, Henry Laurens of South Carolina had secured a preliminary agreement for a trade agreement. American Revolutionary War_sentence_571

He had been a successor to John Jay as president of Congress and with Franklin was a member of the American Philosophical Society. American Revolutionary War_sentence_572

Although active in the preliminaries, he was not a signer of the conclusive treaty. American Revolutionary War_sentence_573

The Whig negotiators for Lord Rockingham and his successor, Prime Minister Lord Shelburne, included long-time friend of Benjamin Franklin from his time in London, David Hartley and Richard Oswald, who had negotiated Laurens' release from the Tower of London. American Revolutionary War_sentence_574

The Preliminary Peace signed on November 30 met four key Congressional demands: independence, territory up to the Mississippi, navigation rights into the Gulf of Mexico, and fishing rights in Newfoundland. American Revolutionary War_sentence_575

British strategy was to strengthen the US sufficiently to prevent France regaining a foothold in North America, and they had little interest in these proposals. American Revolutionary War_sentence_576

However, divisions between their opponents allowed them to negotiate separately with each to improve their overall position, starting with the American delegation in September 1782. American Revolutionary War_sentence_577

The French and Spanish sought to improve their position by creating a US dependent on them for support against Britain, thus reversing the losses of 1763. American Revolutionary War_sentence_578

Both parties tried to negotiate a settlement with Britain excluding the Americans; France proposed setting the western boundary of the US along the Appalachians, matching the British 1763 Proclamation Line. American Revolutionary War_sentence_579

The Spanish suggested additional concessions in the vital Mississippi River Basin, but required the cession of Georgia in violation of the Franco-American alliance. American Revolutionary War_sentence_580

An Anglo-American Preliminary Peace was formally entered into in November 1782, and Congress endorsed the settlement on April 15, 1783. American Revolutionary War_sentence_581

It announced the achievement of peace with independence; the "conclusive" treaty was signed on September 2, 1783 in Paris, effective the next day September 3, when Britain signed its treaty with France. American Revolutionary War_sentence_582

John Adams, who helped draft the treaty, claimed it represented "one of the most important political events that ever happened on the globe". American Revolutionary War_sentence_583

Ratified respectively by Congress and Parliament, the final versions were exchanged in Paris the following spring. American Revolutionary War_sentence_584

On 25 November, the last British troops remaining in the US were evacuated from New York to Halifax. American Revolutionary War_sentence_585

Aftermath American Revolutionary War_section_26

Main article: American Revolution American Revolutionary War_sentence_586

Washington expressed astonishment that the Americans had won a war against a leading world power, referring to the American victory as "little short of a standing miracle". American Revolutionary War_sentence_587

The conflict between British subjects with the Crown against those with the Congress had lasted over eight years from 1775 to 1783. American Revolutionary War_sentence_588

The last uniformed British troops departed their last east coast port cities in Savannah, Charleston, and New York City, by November 25, 1783. American Revolutionary War_sentence_589

That marked the end of British occupation in the new United States. American Revolutionary War_sentence_590

On April 9, 1783, Washington issued orders that he had long waited to give, that "all acts of hostility" were to cease immediately. American Revolutionary War_sentence_591

That same day, by arrangement with Washington, General Carleton issued a similar order to British troops. American Revolutionary War_sentence_592

British troops, however, were not to evacuate until a prisoner of war exchange occurred, an effort that involved much negotiation and would take some seven months to effect. American Revolutionary War_sentence_593

As directed by a Congressional resolution of May 26 1783, all non-commissioned officers and enlisted were furloughed "to their homes" until the "definitive treaty of peace", when they would be automatically discharged. American Revolutionary War_sentence_594

The US armies were directly disbanded in the field as of Washington's General Orders on Monday June 2, 1783. American Revolutionary War_sentence_595

Once the conclusive Treaty of Paris was signed with Britain, Washington resigned as commander-in-chief at Congress, leaving for his Army retirement at Mount Vernon. American Revolutionary War_sentence_596

Territory American Revolutionary War_section_27

The expanse of territory that was now the United States was ceded from its colonial Mother country alone. American Revolutionary War_sentence_597

It included millions of sparsely settled acres south of the Great Lakes Line between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. American Revolutionary War_sentence_598

The tentative colonial migration west became a flood during the years of the Revolutionary War. American Revolutionary War_sentence_599

Virginia's Kentucky County counted 150 men in 1775. American Revolutionary War_sentence_600

By 1790 fifteen years later, it numbered over 73,000 and was seeking statehood in the United States. American Revolutionary War_sentence_601

Britain's extended post-war policy for the US continued to try to establish an Indian buffer state below the Great Lakes as late as 1814 during the War of 1812. American Revolutionary War_sentence_602

The formally acquired western American lands continued to be populated by a dozen or so American Indian tribes that had been British allies for the most part. American Revolutionary War_sentence_603

Though British forts on their lands had been ceded to either the French or the British prior to the creation of the United States, Indians were not referred to in the British cession to the US. American Revolutionary War_sentence_604

While tribes were not consulted by the British for the treaty, in practice the British refused to abandon the forts on territory they formally transferred. American Revolutionary War_sentence_605

Instead they provisioned military allies for continuing frontier raids and sponsored the Northwest Indian War (1785–1795). American Revolutionary War_sentence_606

British sponsorship of local warfare on the United States continued until the Anglo-American Jay Treaty went into effect. American Revolutionary War_sentence_607

At the same time, the Spanish also sponsored war within the US by Indian proxies in its Southwest Territory ceded by France to Britain, then Britain to the Americans. American Revolutionary War_sentence_608

Of the European powers with American colonies adjacent to the newly created United States, Spain was most threatened by American independence, and it was correspondingly the most hostile to it. American Revolutionary War_sentence_609

Its territory adjacent the US was relatively undefended, so Spanish policy developed a combination of initiatives. American Revolutionary War_sentence_610

Spanish soft power diplomatically challenged the British territorial cession west to the Mississippi and the previous northern boundaries of the Floridas. American Revolutionary War_sentence_611

It imposed a high tariff on American goods, then blocked American settler access to the port of New Orleans. American Revolutionary War_sentence_612

Spanish hard power extended war alliances and arms to Southwestern Indians to resist American settlement. American Revolutionary War_sentence_613

A former Continental Army General, James Wilkinson settled in Kentucky County Virginia in 1784, and there he fostered settler secession from Virginia during the Spanish-allied Chickamauga Cherokee war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_614

Beginning in 1787, he received pay as Spanish Agent 13, and subsequently expanded his efforts to persuade American settlers west of the Appalachians to secede from the United States, first in the Washington administration, and later again in the Jefferson administration. American Revolutionary War_sentence_615

Casualties and losses American Revolutionary War_section_28

The total loss of life throughout the conflict is largely unknown. American Revolutionary War_sentence_616

As was typical in wars of the era, diseases such as smallpox claimed more lives than battle. American Revolutionary War_sentence_617

Between 1775 and 1782, a smallpox epidemic broke out throughout North America, killing an estimated 130,000 among all its populations in those revolutionary war years. American Revolutionary War_sentence_618

Historian Joseph Ellis suggests that Washington's decision to have his troops inoculated against the disease was one of his most important decisions. American Revolutionary War_sentence_619

Up to 70,000 American Patriots died during active military service. American Revolutionary War_sentence_620

Of these, approximately 6,800 were killed in battle, while at least 17,000 died from disease. American Revolutionary War_sentence_621

The majority of the latter died while prisoners of war of the British, mostly in the prison ships in New York Harbor. American Revolutionary War_sentence_622

The number of Patriots seriously wounded or disabled by the war has been estimated from 8,500 to 25,000. American Revolutionary War_sentence_623

The French suffered 2,112 killed in combat in the United States. American Revolutionary War_sentence_624

The Spanish lost a total of 124 killed and 247 wounded in West Florida. American Revolutionary War_sentence_625

A British report in 1781 puts their total Army deaths at 6,046 in North America (1775–1779). American Revolutionary War_sentence_626

Approximately 7,774 Germans died in British service in addition to 4,888 deserters; of the former, it is estimated 1,800 were killed in combat. American Revolutionary War_sentence_627

Legacy American Revolutionary War_section_29

The American Revolution established the United States with its numerous civil liberties and set an example to overthrow both monarchy and colonial governments. American Revolutionary War_sentence_628

The United States has the world's oldest written constitution, and the constitutions of other free countries often bear a striking resemblance to the US Constitution – often word-for-word in places. American Revolutionary War_sentence_629

It inspired the French, Haitian, Latin American Revolutions, and others into the modern era. American Revolutionary War_sentence_630

Although the Revolution eliminated many forms of inequality, it did little to change the status of women, despite the role they played in winning independence. American Revolutionary War_sentence_631

Most significantly, it failed to end slavery which continued to be a serious social and political issue and caused divisions that would ultimately end in civil war. American Revolutionary War_sentence_632

While many were uneasy over the contradiction of demanding liberty for some, yet denying it to others, the dependence of southern states on slave labour made abolition too great a challenge. American Revolutionary War_sentence_633

Between 1774 to 1780, many of the states banned the importation of slaves, but the institution itself continued. American Revolutionary War_sentence_634

In 1782, Virginia passed a law permitting manumission and over the next eight years more than 10,000 slaves were given their freedom. American Revolutionary War_sentence_635

With support from Benjamin Franklin, in 1790 the Quakers petitioned Congress to abolish slavery; the number of abolitionist movements greatly increased, and by 1804 all the northern states had outlawed it. American Revolutionary War_sentence_636

However, even many like Adams who viewed slavery as a 'foul contagion' opposed the 1790 petition as a threat to the Union. American Revolutionary War_sentence_637

In 1808, Jefferson passed legislation banning the importation of slaves, but allowed the domestic slave trade to continue, arguing the federal government had no right to regulate individual states. American Revolutionary War_sentence_638

Commemorations of the Revolutionary War American Revolutionary War_section_30

After the first U.S. postage stamp was issued in 1849 the U.S. Post Office frequently issued commemorative stamps celebrating the various people and events of the Revolutionary War. American Revolutionary War_sentence_639

The first such stamp was the 'Liberty Bell' issue of 1926. American Revolutionary War_sentence_640

See also American Revolutionary War_section_31

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Revolutionary War.