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The American Revolution. “A World Turned Upside Down”. Britain and Its American Colonies. The American Colonies Grow American colonies grow large and populous during the 1600s and 1700s Colonies thrive economically through trade with Europe

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The american revolution

The American Revolution

“A World Turned Upside Down”

The american revolution

Britain and Its American Colonies

The American Colonies Grow

  • American colonies grow large and populous during the 1600s and 1700s

  • Colonies thrive economically through trade with Europe

    • Britain’s Navigation Act restricts that trade (1651)

    • Other trade laws add restrictions and taxes

  • Colonists identify less and less as British subjects

The american revolution

  • British-Colonial Tensions Arise

    • Britain and American colonies win the French and Indian War in 1763

    • Britain taxes colonists to help pay the war debts

    • Colonists argue that British cannot tax them without their consent:

    • Secret protest societies

    • “No taxation without representation”

The american revolution

  • Growing Hostility Leads to War

    • Colonists protest tea tax with “Boston Tea Party” in 1773

    • Colonists meet in Philadelphia to address British policies (1774)

    • British and Americans exchange fire at Lexington and Concord in 1775

American strengths and weaknesses
American Strengths and Weaknesses

  • The colonists are fighting for independence

  • George Washington can inspire his men to fight

  • France will aide the colonies with weapons, supplies and their navy

Patriots and loyalists
Patriots and Loyalists

  • Patriots were colonists who supported the break from England.

  • Loyalists are colonials support the England.

  • Colonists are divided as to whether or not they should rebel against England!

American strengths and weaknesses1
American Strengths and Weaknesses

  • The colonists are not a trained army

  • Colonists enlist for months instead of years

  • Short on money, weapons and supplies to fight a war

British strengths and weaknesses
British Strengths and Weaknesses

  • The British have an experienced professional army

  • Outnumber the Continental Army

  • The British army is well supplied with equipment and weapons

British strengths and weaknesses1
British Strengths and Weaknesses

  • The British are not fighting for a cause

  • British officers are careless and poor leaders

  • The British have a to cross the Atlantic Ocean to send men and supplies for the war

  • The support at homes is rather weak

The american revolution

Washington’s Headaches

  • Only 1/3 of the colonists were in favor of a war for independence the other third were Loyalists, and the final third were neutral.

  • State/colony loyalties.

  • Congress couldn’t tax to raise money for the Continental Army.

  • Poor training, until the arrival of Baron von Steuben.

American colonies vs britains
American Colonies vs Britains


  • Seeks to destroy the Colonial Army

  • Regain control of the colonies by region

  • Take the fight to the Colonial Army using European war tactics

  • Use loyalists support against the colonies

American Colonies

  • Keep the Colonial Army together

  • Washington seeks to stretch the British army away from supply lines

  • Harass the enemy, defeat the British in a major battle

The american revolution

Military Strategies

American Colonies


  • Attrition [the Brits had a long supply line].

  • Guerilla tactics [fight an insurgent war; you don’t have to win a battle, just wear the British down]

  • Make an alliance with one of Britain’s enemies.

  • Break the colonies in half by getting between the No. & the So.

  • Blockade the ports to prevent the flow of goods and supplies from an ally.

  • “Divide and Conquer”  use the Loyalists.

Lexington and concord april 1777
Lexington and Concord, April 1777

  • British attempt to capture Samuel Adams and weapons stockpile around Concord

  • The colonists are warned by Paul Revere and 40 other riders that “The British are coming”

  • 4,000 colonial “militia men” exchange fire with British troops along the main road

  • This battle is considered the beginning of the American Revolution

A personal view of the american revolution
A personal view of the American Revolution

“ The men that was wounded in the thigh or leg, they dashed out their brains with their muskets and run them through with their bayonets, made them like sieves. This was barbarity to the utmost.”

Sergeant New Jersey Regiment, 1778