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American Revolution. Momentum Changing Battles. 1. Lexington and Concord, April 1775.

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American revolution

American Revolution

Momentum Changing Battles


1 lexington and concord april 1775
1. Lexington and Concord, April 1775

  • Although more a series of skirmishes than a pitched battle, this clash of arms was the result of tensions that had built over a long period and changed the conflict from politics and social unrest to open warfare.


2 bunker hill june 1775
2. Bunker Hill, June 1775

  • This costly British victory helped shape the early course of the war by proving that intimidating force alone would not bring about victory. It also proved that there was no going back: the war would be a long one with no immediate diplomatic solution.


Quebec december 1775
Quebec, December 1775

  • A series of American victories along the waterways from Lake Champlain into Canada ended at Quebec. Had Americans seized the city, the entire northern theater of the war would have been different.


4 charleston june 1776
4. Charleston, June 1776

  • Often disregarded as a minor action, the British failure to take this major seaport forced the war’s focus to be primarily in the north for the next several years.


5 trenton december 1776
5. Trenton, December 1776

  • The British army’s dramatic success in New York and New Jersey in 1776 was, arguably, predictable given its overwhelming size and skill. The sudden defeat at Trenton and the ten days of chaos that followed was not expected, and preserved American military will.


6 saratoga october 1777
6. Saratoga, October 1777

  • It wasn’t so much any single battle but the failure of the British campaign from the north that made this the war’s most significant military turning point. The surrender of a British army encouraged France to openly join the conflict.


7 rhode island august 1778
7. Rhode Island, August 1778

  • This failed American campaign, often overlooked as insignificant, not only stopped American military momentum gained from Saratoga and the recovery of Philadelphia, it showed that alliance with France would not bring a speedy end to the war. The northern theater remained in a stalemate for the rest of the war.


8 kings mountain october 1780
8. Kings Mountain, October 1780

  • The annihilation of loyalist militia on the South Carolina frontier forced the British to revise their southern strategy and demonstrated that their overextended forces could be defeated in detail.


9 cowpens january 1781
9. Cowpens, January 1781

  • This sudden defeat of a substantial British force stopped British offensive momentum in the south and renewed the spirits of American forces, initiating the campaign that brought the war to an end.


10 yorktown october 1781
10. Yorktown, October 1781

  • Not a pitched battle but a protracted siege that ended in the surrender of a substantial British army, this operation was the zenith of French-American cooperation and the end of major British military operations in America.


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