Sea Power & Maritime Affairs Lesson 2 American Revolution 1763-1782
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Today’s Overview American Revolution • Causes • Battles • Outcomes • Role of Navies
Learning Objectives • Comprehend the American Revolution in the context of European politics and the regeneration of the struggle between Great Britain and France. • Know and be able to identify the causes of the American Revolution. • Comprehend the uses of sea power by the Americans, British and French.
Learning Objectives • Know the course of the war and representative campaigns. • Comprehend the relationship of military and naval policy, diplomacy, and strategy as demonstrated during the war.
Review 8 Key Themes • Navy as an instrument of foreign policy • Interaction between Congress and Navy • Interservicerelations • Technology • Leadership • Strategy & Tactics • Evolution of US Naval Doctrine • Future missions of Navy and USMC
Relevant Definitions • Strategy • Tactics • Guerre de Course • Guerre de Escadre • Commerce Raiding • Letters of Marque and Reprisal • Privateer • Piracy
American Revolution Video 22 minutes
Precursors to American Revolution Peace of Paris (1763) • Ends Seven Years War • Truce, not really a treaty Outcome • Advantage to the British • More land throughout the world • Dominant world navy • Advantage to Colonies • UK owns land from Atlantic to Mississippi River • Downside: UK Treasury is bankrupt • Britain cannot afford any more wars • They must pay for Seven Years War first
Precursors to American Revolution What do they do? • Maintain military force in the colonies • French & Native Americans still a threat • Royal Proclamation of 1763 • No colonization past Appalachian Mountains • Raise taxes on all British citizens Does this make sense?
Precursors to American Revolution What do they need from the Colonies? 300,000 ₤yearly military expense in Colonies • 100,000 ₤ yearly tax revenue from Colonies 200,000 ₤needed yearly Where will they get it? • Start enforce existing Colonial taxes • Impose new Colonial Revenue Acts Is this fair?
Precursors to American Revolution Revenue Acts • Molasses Act, Stamp Act, Townshend Acts, Intolerable Acts, Tea Act, etc. (1764-1777) Other British Measures • Royal Proclamation of 1763 (no westward expansion) • Quartering Act • Declaratory Act of 1766 • Parliament declared "full power and authority to make laws and statutes... to bind the colonies and people of America...in all cases whatsoever."
Precursors to American Revolution Why do the Colonies Care? • Departure from long-standing, implicit agreement: • Colonies self-govern, self-tax, and self-defend (militias) • Taxation without representation is unlawful • End to autonomy from Parliament • No more “Benign Neglect” • In the future, Parliament would be even more heavy handed
Rising Animosity Animosity Grows in all colonies • Especially in New England where taxes hurt merchant trade. • Boston & New York become hot-beds of confrontation • Philadelphia, Virginia, Charleston, SC
Rising Animosity • How does tension manifest itself? • Vocal criticism of the Crown • Patrick Henry: “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” • Thomas Paine: Common Sense • Protests • Peaceful • Violent • Organization of Colonial government • Continental Congress • Organization of rebellious groups • Sons of Liberty • Massachusetts Spy • Organization of militias • Minutemen • Stockpiling of arms
Rising Animosity Violence • Tar & Feathering • Boston Massacre (Mar 1770) • Boston Tea Party (Dec 1773) • And Tea Parties elsewhere
Rising Animosity Boston Tea Party Boston Massacre
Rising Animosity British reaction • More troops in Americas • Enforcement of taxes • Closing of Colonial assemblies and governors • New York, then Boston • Closing of ports • Boston, then New York Pressure is building for revolution.
April 1775 Outbreak of War • April 1775: GEN Gage plans to send 800 troops into countryside • Capture Sons of Liberty leaders • Sam Adams & John Hancock • Capture stockpile of weapons in Concord • Problem with plan • Expansive network of colonial militiamen • Advanced warning of operation • GEN Gage’s Wife (?), Paul Revere, “One if by land, two if by sea” Gen. Gage
Adams & Hancock Samuel Adams John Hancock
Paul Revere’s Ride Paul Revere William Dawes
April 1775 Lexington & Concord • British Regulars march into Massachusetts countryside. • Fire on Minutemen assembled in Lexington common: “Shot heard around the world” v Lexington Boston
April 1775 Lexington & Concord • Brits march onto Concord but find no cache • Ambushed on road back to Boston • Only 273 of 800 British Regulars return v Lexington Concord Boston
Siege of Boston • April 1775 – Mar 1776 • 15,000 in Continental Army • 6,500 in British Army • Battle of Bunker Hill • - 16 Jun 75 • - Brits use Navy for transport and • artillery against Colonists • Dorchester Heights Artillery Battery • British Unopposed Evacuation by Sea - 17 Mar 76
Revolutionary War Begins What should American Colonies do? What means do they have to resists? What are the conditions of their government and military?
American Colonies Advantages Disadvantages • Fighting on “home turf” • Ready market for raw resources • No specific center of gravity • Lots of territory to invade • Weak central government • Continental Congress • Economy designed to support Britain • mercantilist system • Disunity • Loyalists (Tories) make up 1/3 of population
Great Britain Advantages Disadvantages • Large economy • Large population • Well established government • Professional army • World’s strongest navy • Fighting ocean away • On foreign soil • Long lines of communication • Long supply lines • Hostilities in Europe • Unfamiliar with guerilla warfare • Not enough manpower to occupy all 13 colonies
State of Militaries David vs. Goliath Colonies Great Britain Government: • Scramble to create one • Reps to Continental Congress Army: • Rabble of militiamen • George Washington at CIC Navy: • Nothing • Just merchantmen Government: • Established and powerful Army: • Established and powerful • Large • Well trained & led Navy: • Powerhouse • Most powerful in world
What must Colonies do to win? • Organize • Continental Congress • Army • Navy • Leverage strengths and minimize weaknesses • Could they defeat the British navy? • If not, what should they do?
Naval Strategies American British • Survival • Win war of attrition • Guerre de Course • Commerce Raiding • Privateering • Diplomacy • Gain European allies with large navies - France. • Command of the Sea • Blockade American ports • Transport troops to areas of rebellion • Sustain supply chain • Divide & Conquer • Hudson River Valley Campaign • Cut off New England from middle and southern colonies.
Bottom Line American Navy: • Non-existent at beginning of war • Ineffective during war • Relied on French and Spanish • Disbanded after the war • NEVER TRULY CHALLENGED GREAT BRITAIN Few instances of success came down to individual bravery, heroism, and luck
Major Battles of the Revolution • How did the British • Navy contribute? British Trade Route
Major Battles of the Revolution • How did the British • Navy contribute? Blockade British Trade Route
Major Battles of the Revolution • How did the British • Navy contribute? • Troop Movement • Supply • Amphibious Costal Raids • Convoy escort for British commerce Blockade British Trade Route
Overview of the War On Land & Sea
Major Battles of the Revolution Evacuation of Boston Send announcement to France Canadian Campaign Battle of Quebec Battle of Valcour Island New York Campaign New Jersey Campaign Pennsylvania Campaign Battle of Saratoga French Arrive (Army & Navy) Navies battle in the West Indies Battle of Penobscot Bay Battle of Charleston Southern Campaign Siege of Yorktown Battle of the Capes
Navies of the American Colonies Too many to organize
Competing Naval Strategies • Washington’s Navy • Privateering (Guerre de Course) • Continental Navy • States Navies • French and Spanish Navies Problems • Fragmented organization and efforts • Mostly ineffective during war
Reason for Fragmentation • Sectionalism • States didn’t cooperate well • Continental Congress was indecisive • Lack of good administration • Lack of formal warfighting experience or training • Only one CAPT had ever been in British Navy • None familiar with fleet maneuvering • Privateering eroded effort • Very profitable • Stole ships, men and material
GEN George Washington • Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army • Appointed by 1st Continental Congress • Dispatched to Boston • Organize militia
1775-1777 Washington’s Navy • Problem: Continental Army needed supplies • Pleaded with Continental Congress for a Navy • Congress debated but did nothing • Washington dissatisfied: Starts his own. • Commissions 11 merchant schooners in 2 years • Manned by army personnel • Goal: capture unescorted British supply ships • Wants food, clothing, guns, ammunition, etc. • NEEDS gunpowder
1775-1777 Washington’s Navy Results • 55 British supply vessels taken in 11 months • Hannah (first vessel) • Lee • 22 prizes • Captured ordinance Brig Nancy • Muskets, flints, mortars, tec. • All decommissioned after Brits evacuated Boston • Success leads to stronger calls for Continental Navy
Throughout War Privateering • Letter of Marque and Reprisal • Began in New England • Colonial states issued them • Massachusetts (Nov 1775) • Rhode Island (Jan 1776) • 2000 state licenses in New England alone • Continental Congress authorizes it • Mar 1976 • 2000 continental licenses = 4,000 total letters issued
Throughout War Privateering Result • Annoyed and harassed British • 600 prizes worth $28 million • Increased British insurance rates • Forced British to disperse naval forces to protect supply convoys Problem • Lured skilled sailors away from army & navy • Devoured war supplies that the army and navy needed • War profiteering
Continental Navy (and Marines)
Fall 1775 Continental Navy 13 October 1775 - Navy Birthday • Learn of two unescorted British supply ships headed for the St. Lawrence River • Continental Congress approves purchase of two commercial vessels for conversion into warships. 10 November 1775 - Marine Corps Birthday • Continental Congress authorizes two battalions of Marines. • Tuns Tavern, Philadelphia • Capt. Samuel Nicholas first Marine • De facto 1st Commandant of Marine Corps
Continental Navy Administration: Unstable • Marine Committee (1775) • 13 delegates • Navy Boards to manage regions • Rules for the Regulation of the Navy • Adams plagiarizes British naval policy • Board of Admiralty (1789) • 2 delegates & 3 commissioners • Secretary of the Marine (1781) • Robert Morris interim “Agent of Marine” John Adams (Chairman) Robert Morris