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The American Revolution. Chapter 6. Choosing Sides. 1/3 American Loyalists (Tories) Often lived in urban and coastal areas. 1/3 Patriots ( actively supported ) 1/3 Did not care enough to fight Not just a war between the British and Americans; truly a civil war . Military Resources.

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The American Revolution

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The american revolution l.jpg

The American Revolution

Chapter 6

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Choosing Sides

  • 1/3 American Loyalists (Tories)

    • Often lived in urban and coastal areas.

  • 1/3 Patriots (actively supported)

  • 1/3 Did not care enough to fight

  • Not just a war between the British and Americans; truly a civil war.

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Military Resources

  • British (far more resources)

    • Manpower

    • Navy

    • Professional armies

    • and mercenaries

  • Colonial

    • Short supply lines

    • Familiarity with area

    • George Washington

    • French

    • Willing to sustain war

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The Revolutionary War

  • Congress struggled to provide the army with adequate supplies.

    • Inability to control colonies, raise money, draft men, etc.

  • “Regulars” versus the militia

    • Washington designed a defensive strategy to compensate for weakness.

    • The Americans lost most of the battles in the Revolutionary War.

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Turning Points

  • On Christmas night, 1776, Washington slipped across the Delaware River at Trenton (New Jersey) with 2,400 men and surprised the drunken Hessians, killing or capturing over a thousand.

  • 6 American casualties.

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Turning Points

  • Victory at Saratoga (October 1777)

    • Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold capture John Burgoyne and 9,500 British

    • Saratoga changed


    • Franco-American


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Turning Points:Alliance with France

  • In Paris, the French celebrated the Battle of Saratoga as a French victory.

    • The French had already been sending military supplies to the colonists

      • Most gunpowder in the first years of the war came from France.

  • On February 6, 1778, France and America signed two treaties:

    • A Treaty of Amity and Commerce (Recognition of U.S.)

    • A Treaty of Alliance

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Turning Points

  • The American Revolution became a global war.

  • Britain was fighting wars with America, France, Spain, and Dutch

    • Other theaters of war included India, the West Indies, and Florida.

    • British realized the rest of the empire at stake

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The Struggle in the South

  • English politicians & generals believed that the war could be won in the South.

    • Loyalists were numerous in the backcountry

    • Planters could not afford to turn their guns away from their slaves

  • Capture Savannah (1778) & Charleston (1779)

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The Struggle in the South

  • Neighbors and even families fought and killed one another.

    • Both sides burned farms, tortured prisoners, etc.

    • White fears of rebellion

      • African American quests for liberty (1/3 of population)

      • Disagreement among British over freeing slaves

  • Kings Mountain (1780)

    • American victory over British

    • Turning point of war in the South

    • Followed by victory at Cowpens (January 1781)

    • British became convinced that they could not put down the rebellion in the South.

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Turning Points

  • Battle of Yorktown (Virginia)

    • October 19, 1781

    • Lord Charles Cornwallis surrounded by French fleet and surrenders to Washington

    • Over 7,000 British and Hessians became prisoners

  • Added to setbacks in other parts of the world, the British decided to end the war.

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Peace of Paris (1783)

  • An important factor in the conclusion of peace negotiations with Britain was the American decision to negotiate separately with the British.

  • Terms

    • U.S. political independence recognized

    • Mississippi River recognized as western border of the United States

    • Congress would not prevent the British merchants from collecting debts owed to them by Americans

    • Florida was given to Spain

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Results of the American Revolution: Social effects

  • Spirit of equality weakened old habits of deference

    • Example: voting qualifications were lowered

  • Higher education increased

    • Example: 14 colleges founded in 1780s and 90s to go with the 9 before Revolution

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Results of the American Revolution: Social effects

  • Complete freedom of religion

    • Transition from the toleration of religious dissent to a complete freedom of religion in the separation of church and state

  • Legislative representation for the backcountry was increased

  • Weakened the major Indian tribes along the frontier / cleared the way for rapid settlement of the trans-Appalachian West

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Results of the American Revolution: Slavery

  • British army freed thousands of slaves; others escaped

    • 55,000 slaves fled to freedom during the Revolution

  • Slaves who fought for the colonies were given their freedom

  • Northern states began to outlaw slavery

    • Only Georgia and South Carolina continued to import.

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Results of the American Revolution: Political

  • Most political experimentation between 1776 and 1787 occurred at the state level with new state constitutions

    • The Articles of Confederation were ratified by the states in 1781; before then the Continental Congress operated as an extralegal body

  • Articles of Confederation (1781)

    • Weak central government with little authority

    • Congress was not intended as a legislature, nor as a sovereign entity unto itself, but as a collective substitute for the monarch – a plural executive rather than a parliamentary body

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