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The Revolutionary War


The Revolutionary War. American Strengths ... After Spain entered the war, his troops defeated the British at Baton Rouge and Natchez. The War Moves West ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Revolutionary War

The Revolutionary War
American Strengths
  • Patriotism - People willingly gave their lives to
    defend their liberty.
  • Knowledge of the land.
  • Fighting tactics taught by Native Americans.
  • Aid from France - During the first two years of
    the war, France secretly supplied the rebels with
    90 of their gunpowder.
  • George Washington - Inspired courage and

American Weaknesses
  • Men - Continental Army never had more than 20,000
  • Many soldiers only enlisted for six months or a
  • Men were not trained for battle.
  • Guns and powered were in short supply.
  • Food shortages -
  • Uniforms.
  • Lack of money.

British Strengths
  • 50,000 troops (well-trained)
  • 30,000 Hessian Mercenaries hired to fight.
  • Loyalists
  • Food, uniforms, weapons and ammo.
  • Navy was strongest in the world.

British Weaknesses
  • Distance between Britain and America.
  • King George was never able to convince the
    British people that defeating the rebels was
    vital to their future.
  • Poor leadership in England - Lord George Germain
    was running the war but never stepped foot in
  • Britain was fighting in other areas.
  • Overconfidence.

The Colonies at WarThe War in the North
  • After battles in Mass. And New York the hopes of
    the Patriots were dim.
  • When Washington and his men retreated from NY and
    crossed the Delaware into Penn. They were in
    desperate shape.
  • Washington came up with a daring strategy. He
    planned to launch a surprise attack on the
    British at Trenton

The Colonies at WarThe War in the North
  • As his troops prepared for battle, Washington
    ordered Thomas Paines new pamphlet The Crisis to
    be read to them.
  • On Dec. 25, 1776, Washington led 2, 400 soldiers
    across the icy Delaware river. Under the cover
    of darkness, all men crossed unseen. The next
    morning they attacked the sleeping Hessians and
    defeated them.

The Colonies at WarThe War in the North
  • After they learned of the defeat at Trenton,
    General Cornwallis pursued Washington and his
    troops. One week later Washingtons troops
    defeated the British at Princeton.
  • The victories at Trenton and Princeton gave the
    Continental Army hope and confidence.

The Colonies at WarThe War in the North
  • Britain asked General John Burgoyne to come up
    with a plan to stop the Americans.
  • His plan was take control of the Hudson River
    valley in NY. If successful, the strategy would
    benefit the British by cutting NE off from the
    rest of the colonies.

The Colonies at WarThe War in the North
  • Burgoynes plan failed for several reasons and
    three weeks later, the American attacked Burgoyne
    in the Battle of Saratoga.
  • In the Battle of Saratoga the British lost
    hundreds of troops.
  • Until the victory at Saratoga, neither France nor
    any other country had been willing to openly
    support the colonists

  • The victory at Saratoga made it clear that it was
    possible for the Americans to succeed.
  • In February 1778, French King Louis XVI signed
    the Treaty of Alliance assuring the Americans the
    support they needed.
  • The French sent money, weapons, troops, and
    warships to the Americans.
  • Spain also entered the war against Britain.

Spying on the Enemy
  • Spying was common during the war.
  • When captured, spies were labeled as traitors and
    typically sentenced to death.
  • Nathan Hale, 24 years old spied for Washington.
    He was captured and sentenced to death. His
    reported last words reflect his Patriotic Spirit
  • I only regret that I have but one life to lose
    for my country.

Valley Forge, PA
  • Little protection from the freezing temps.
  • When complete, each dirt-floor hut measured and
    14 ft. by 16 ft. and slept about 12 soldiers.
  • Slept on either the cold muddy floors or the
    straw mattresses that were usually crawling with
  • might be tracked by the blood upon the rough,
    frozen ground.
  • About 2,500 died.

Other Help from Europe
  • Baron Friedrich von Steuben - A Prussian soldier,
    spent the winter at valley forge helping train
    the troops.
  • Marquis de Lafayett - French soldier who fought
    for the Americans.
  • Thaddeus Kosciuszko (kawsh-CHUSH-KOH) came from
    Poland and used his engineering experience to
    build trenches and forts for the Patriots.
  • Casimir Pulaski - came from Poland and trained
    the first American cavalry.
  • Bernardo de Galvez - Governor of Spanish
    Louisiana - Secretly provided supplies in early
    years of war. After Spain entered the war, his
    troops defeated the British at Baton Rouge and

The War Moves West
  • As the war continued in the East, the British
    recruited Native Americans to help them in their
    frontier campaign farther west.
  • At first, the Native Americans didnt want to
    take sides, but later most joined the British,
    believing it would help them turn back the white
    settlers moving into their land.

  • Fighting broke out in the Ohio Valley as British
    and Native American forces began their invasion
    of frontier settlements.
  • George Rogers Clark led volunteers on a raid
    against the British in the Ohio Valley. He made
    a surprise attack on the British fort at
    Vincennes. Clarks capture of Vincennes weakened
    the British in the Ohio valley.

The War at Sea
  • Navy was established in 1775.
  • Its very few ships had little effect on the
    outcome of the war.
  • The colonist relied mainly on armed private ships
    called privateers.
  • In 1779 an American warship, The Bonhomme Richard
    attacked the British ship the Serapis.

  • John Paul Jones sailed to the coast of Great
    Britain and attacked the British warship .
  • The Bonhomme Richard was torn with cannonballs.
    Seeing that the ship was on fire, the British
    commander ordered Jones and his men to surrender.
    Jones replied I have not yet begun to fight!
  • He and his men boarded the Serapis and fought
    one-on-one and defeated the British.
  • John Paul Jones became known as the father of the
    American Navy.

The War moves South
  • The British turned their attention to the
    Southern Colonies when France entered the war in
    1778. They believed they had more support in the
    South and that would help them win more battles.
  • Until 1778 only a few isolated conflicts had
    occurred between the Patriots and Loyalists in
    the South. But in one battle in 1776, Patriot
    forces crushed a Loyalist uprising at Moores
    Creek Bridge, NC. Although a small battle, the
    impact was great.

  • In the South, for almost three years the British
    marched through Georgia, the Carolinas, and
    Virginia without suffering a major defeat.
  • General Washington felt disheartened by the heavy
    losses in the South. At the same time, news of
    another loss added to his concern.
  • Benedict Arnold, one of Washingtons most trusted
    generals, had been caught spying for the British.
    Arnold tried to turn the American fort at West
    Point over to the British. Arnold escaped and
    became a General in the British Army.

  • SC Patriots felt angry about the defeat at
    Charleston. Looking for revenge, many of them
    took the situation into their own hands by
    forming bands and raiding British camps using
    hit-and run attacks.
  • One of the most famous of the raiders was Francis
    Marion, known as the Swamp Fox. He was known
    for his imaginative tactics and success in battle.

The Swamp Fox
  • Led troops in quick strikes, cutting off enemy
    supply lines.
  • Usually struck at night.
  • Never stayed at the same camp more than once.
  • His scouts perched in treetops and signaled when
    British troops were coming.
  • Covered bridges with blankets to soften the sound
    of the horses hooves as they crossed.

  • Another daring general was Daniel Morgan. In
    1781, Morgan defeated the British in SC at the
    Battle of Cowpens.
  • Following the victory at Cowpens, Morgan and
    other troops joined together with hopes of
    crushing Cornwalliss weakened force. The armies
    met in a bloody battle known as the Battle of
    Guilford Courthouse in NC. Although Cornwallis
    drove the Patriots from the battlefield, the
    Americans badly battered his troops.

Peter Francisco, Hero at Guilford Courthouse
  • Born in the Portuguese Azores, as a young child
    was taken from his family and abandoned on a dock
    in VA.
  • Join the Revolutionary War at age 16.
  • Was 6 6 tall and weighed 260 lbs.
  • Armed with a huge sword, he killed 11 British
    soldiers at Guilford Courthouse.
  • Was seriously wounded by a British bayonet, he
    collapsed and was left for dead.
  • Recovered and rejoined the troops for the
    Yorktown battle.
  • Earned reputation for bravery and dedication.

African Americans and the War
  • Nearly 1,000 enslaved joined the British and
    gained their freedom.
  • About 5,000 served as soldiers, minutemen,
    scouts, and other positions for the Continental
  • Salem Poor fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
    American commanders singled him out for his skill
    and valor.
  • Had to serve 1 year to gain freedom.

Women and the War
  • Ran the family farm or business.
  • Followed husbands to war and cooked, sewed,
    carried ammo and served as nurses.
  • A few took part in the battles
  • Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley - Spent seven years by
    her husbands side in battle. Soldiers called her
    Molly Pitcher because she carried water
    pitchers to the men during battles. - During the
    battle of Monmouth her husband was wounded. She
    took his place at the cannon firing at the

  • Deborah Sampson - Dressed in mens clothing and
    borrowed her brother Roberts name and joined the
    Continental Army. She was wounded a few times
    and treated her wounds herself so she wouldnt be
  • Lydia Darragh - Worked as a spy.
  • Mercy Otis Warren - Wrote newspaper articles in
    support of the Revolution.

Victory at Yorktown
  • Following the hit-and-run attacks in the South,
    Gen. Cornwallis led his 7,500 troops north to
  • On a peninsula formed by James River and
    Chesapeake Bay.
  • Thought this would be a great location. From
    here he could receive supplies from British

  • Aug. 29, 1781, the commander of the French fleet
    Admiral Francois de Grasse, anchored 29 warships
    in Chesapeake Bay. Blocked supplies and escape by
  • At the same time Washingtons army and 7,000
    French troops led by General Jean de Rochambeau
    hurried VA.
  • The armies and French navy trapped Cornwallis.
  • On October 17, 1781, Cornwallis wrote Washington,
    requesting a cease-fire.
  • Two days later the British officially surrendered.

The Surrender
  • The troops met at the river facing each other.
    Washington waited to accept General Cornwalliss
  • Cornwallis was not there. Instead, he had named
    Gen. Charles OHara to act in his place.
  • Learning this, Washington selected Gen. Benjamin
    Lincoln to represent the Americans.
  • As 7,000 British troops turned over their
    weapons, the British band played a tune titled
    The World Turned Upside Down.

Treaty of Paris
  • John Jay, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams
    traveled to Paris to meet and work out the
    details of the treaty.
  • September 3, 1783 the two sides signed the Treaty
    of Paris.
  • Treaty stated
  • Great Britain acknowledged the independence of
    colonist and remove all troops from American
  • Set new boundaries for the US - Included land
    West of the App. Mountains to the Miss. River.
  • Great Britain returned Florida to Spain.
  • Americans had to pay Loyalist for property lost.

General Washington
  • When the war ended, Washington returned to his
    home at Mount Vernon, VA, where he planned to
    live quietly with his family.
  • Washington knew there would be great challenges
    ahead for the young and promising country.