Events of the Revolution. Having been forced out of Boston (Breeds Hill and Bunker Hill), the British concentrated on the strategic center of the American resistance: New York and Philadelphia.
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Meanwhile, Gen. "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne led a separate invasion force of 9,000 British regulars down the St. Lawrence River from Canada, through Lake Champlain in upstate New York, South to Fort Ticonderoga, intending to reach the Hudson River and intersect with Howe.
He was stopped and defeated by a force of American solders commanded by generals Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold at Saratoga in October 1777, an important American victory and a key turning point in the war.
At that point the French, who had been sitting on the sidelines cheering for the Americans but reluctant to get involved, decided to form a Treaty of Alliance with the Americans.
Not only did Saratoga mark the failure of an important part of the British strategy; it also marked the entry of France as an American ally, bringing badly needed finances, weapons, troops, and warships.
since the beginning of the war the French had been secretly providing the Americans with arms, munitions, loans and volunteers.
Now the French recognized American independence, granted commercial privileges, and offered them a favourable alliance
Within a year after France officially entered the conflict in 1778, Spain added its support to the Americans, and the British found themselves in another major European war.
General Howe (who had replaced General Gage) was replaced by General George Clinton.
Benedict Arnold – his name is synonymous with "traitor."
was court-martialed in 1779 for misappropriating Pennsylvania state funds and Washington did not "go to bat" for him.
he thought Washington did not do enough to stand up for him and that it ruined his chances for promotion. – making him very bitter
His second wife, Peggy Shippen, was a Loyalist who had a close relationship (possibly an affair) with a British officer, Major John Andre.
General Clinton had encouraged Andre and others to try to recruit spies and traitors from the Patriots.
Working with Andre, Peggy persuaded her husband to "turn coat" and sell out the fort at West Point on the Hudson River to the British for $1 million and a position as a general in the British army.
In September 1780, just as Washington arrived at West Point to discover that the fort was strangely unguarded, Andre was caught with incriminating documents hidden in his boot, spoiling the plot in the nick of time.
Andre was hanged, Arnold escaped capture.
Arnold served in the British Army under General Lord Cornwallis, spent time in Canada, and eventually went to England with his wife and their four sons in 1792, where he died in 1801
Not a battle, but a holding location for Washington's troops
Located 40km (25miles) west of Philadelphia;
Campground for 11000 of Washington’s Continental Army from Dec. 1777 to June 1778;
The troops were hungry, poorly clothed, and badly housed;
2500 died in the winter; many others deserted;
Washington crossed the Delaware with this army, and proceeded to Trenton, where the Continentals were able to defeat the Hessian mercenaries and then on to Princeton, where the Continentals launched another successful attack.
This caused General Howe to rethink his plan of attack, but even more so, became a symbol of the Patriot’s renewed faith in the revolutionary cause.
Symbolized the heroism of the American revolutionaries;
Were eventually joined by the French, who brought the remaining troops much needed provisions, allowing them to regain morale;
Prior to leading them to battle, Washington read his troops The Crisis, by Thomas Paine – the first line of which he used to boost their morale "These are the times that try men's souls."
The army at Valley Forge was the one that continued to victory at Yorktown.
In the final stage of the war, the British pursued a Southern strategy.
Gen. Cornwallis, the British commander in the South, knew that to win the war the British would have to defeat the Patriot strongholds in Virginia.
Landing at Savannah GA in late 1778, then Charleston SC in 1780, British troops marched up through the Carolinas, fighting battles at Augusta, Camden, Charlotte, Cowpens [an important American victory and apparent setting for the big battle in Mel Gibson's movie, The Patriot] in January 1781, and Greensboro/ Hillsboro.
The main force of American troops in the South was led by General Gates. Gates was badly beaten in the Carolinas and replaced by Greene ("the Fighting Quaker").