Chapter 6 The War for Independence 1774–1783
Key Questions: • Why did tensions mount with Britain? • How and why was independence declared? • What were the contending forces in the war for independence? • What were the major campaigns of the Revolution? • What characterized the alliance with France? • What characterized the peace settlement?
FRENCH & INDIAN WAR • North America by 1750s • Wars • Treaty of Paris of 1763
I. North America by 1750s • Most colonist favor being part of Britain • Salutary Neglect • Threat of New France
II. Wars • One of a series of Colonial/European Wars • Why a war in North America? • French & Indian War (1754-1763) OR Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) • Fort Duquesne 1754 • Albany Plan 1754 • Braddock’s Defeat • Louisbourg 1758 • Quebec 1759
ROAD TO REVOLUTION • Royal Proclamation of 1763 • Begin to Enforce Navigation Acts • Stamp Act (1765) • Colonial Reaction • British Reaction • Tea Problems • Britain Reacts
II. Begin to Enforce Navigation Acts • Before were too busy • Sugar Act (1764) • George Grenville weights options
III. Stamp Act (1765) • What it does • Quartering Act • British underestimate reaction
IV. Colonial Reaction • Riots • Non-importation • Sons of Liberty and Samuel Adams • Stamp Act Congress (1765)
V. British Reaction • Repeal Stamp Act in 1766 • Declaratory Act (1766) • Charles Townshend & Townshend Duties (1767) • Colonials respond • Massachusetts Circular Letter • Non-Importation • Boston Massacre (March 5, 1770) • Lord North Repeals almost all Townshend Duties • Burning of Gaspee & Committees of Correspondence
VI. Tea Problems • 1773 new tea tax • British East India Company (BEI) • Colonists react • Boston Tea Party (Dec 1773)
VII. British React • Intolerable Acts or Coercive Acts (1774) • Quebec Act (1774) • First Continental Congress (1774) • Lord North tries reconciliation
AMERICAN REVOLUTION • Revolution Begins • 2nd Continental Congress (1775-1781) • Declaration of Independence • Advantages • French Alliance • The War 1775-83 • Victory
I. Revolution Begins • British in Boston decide to take local action • March on Lexington & Concord • Sons of Liberty react: Revere, Dawes & Prescott • April 19, 1775 Lexington shots fired and war begins
II. 2nd Continental Congress (1775-1783) • Army & George Washington • Finances • Olive Branch Petition • De Facto Government • Thomas Paine Common Sense (1776) • Committee on Independence
III. Declaration of Independence (1776) • Thomas Jefferson writes – much from John Locke • What it says • Purposes: • Propaganda • Courting international sympathy • Unity • Create confidence and optimism • Voted and approved on July 4
V. French Alliance • Revenge • Early aid is secret • Ben Franklin works on them hard • Battle of Saratoga (1777) • Carlisle Peace Plan • Treaty of Alliance (1778) • French Contributions • Financial • Troops • Occupy the British attention
VI. The War 1775-83 • 1775 • After Lexington & Concord • Attack on Fort Ticonderoga • Try Canada • Siege of Boston until Spring 1776 • 1776 • British attack in north • Staten Island (July) and Long Island (Aug) • White Plains (Oct) • Trenton (Dec)
VI. The War 1775-83 • 1777 • Burgoyne’s plan • Bennington (Aug) • Saratoga (Oct) • Brandywine Creek (Nov) • Winter in Valley Forge • 1778 – Monmouth Courthouse • 1779 British move south: Lord Cornwallis
VI. The War 1775-83 • 1780-81 • Benedict Arnold • Camden (Aug) • King’s Mountain (Oct) • Cowpens (Jan 1781) • Guilford Courthouse (Mar 1781) • Battle of Capes (Sept 1781) • Yorktown
VII. Victory • Why did colonists win? • Peace Commission = Franklin, Adams, Jay • Treaty of Paris (1783)
The Outbreak of War and the Declaration of Independence, 1774–1776 • Mounting tensions • In May 1774, General Gage replaced Thomas Hutchinson as governor of Massachusetts and dissolved the Massachusetts legislature which met anyway as a Provincial Congress. • The Provincial Congress formed a Committee of Safety and many local communities had formed militia. • The Loyalists’ Dilemma • The Loyalists comprised about 20 percent of the colonial population and came from all walks of life and social classes.
The Outbreak of War and the Declaration of Independence, 1774–1776, cont’d. • British coercion and conciliation • Lord North proposed a Conciliatory Proposition that replaced taxes with voluntary colonial contributions in an amount decided by the British. • The Battles of Lexington and Concord • Under orders to arrest rebel leaders and destroy military supplies at Concord, the British army marched toward Lexington and Concord. At both towns, violence erupted. At Concord, the colonial militia hounded the British forces back to Boston. • Map: The Battles of Lexington and Concord, p.151.
The Outbreak of War and the Declaration of Independence, 1774–1776, cont’d. • The Second Continental Congress, 1775–1776 • The Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia on May 10, 1775. It organized the Continental Army, authorized commission of a navy, established a post office, and authorized the printing of paper currency. • Congress sent the Olive Branch petition to King George III asking protection from Parliament but also approved the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms.
The Outbreak of War and the Declaration of Independence, 1774–1776, cont’d. • Commander in Chief George Washington • John Adams nominated George Washington to head the Continental Army to help make the quarrel with Britain a unifying conflict.
The Outbreak of War and the Declaration of Independence, 1774–1776, cont’d. • Early fighting: Massachusetts, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Canada • After months of standoff, Washington brought heavy cannons to bear on Boston and the British evacuated the city. • In the Carolinas, a patriot force defeated the British at Moore’s Creek Bridge and the patriots repulsed a British attack on Charleston. • In Canada, one patriot army captured Montreal but a siege of Quebec failed. • Map: Early Fighting, 1775–1776, p. 153
The Outbreak of War and the Declaration of Independence, 1774–1776, cont’d. • Independence • The early military success raised the patriots’ confidence but attempts at reconciliation with Britain failed. • Newly arrived in America, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense fueled the movement for independence. • On June 7, 1776, Virginian Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution in Congress stating the colonies were free and independent. A committee was appointed to draft a declaration of independence. • Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration which was passed on July 2 and announced July 4, 1776.
The Outbreak of War and the Declaration of Independence, 1774–1776, cont’d. • Republicanism • The ideology of the Declaration of Independence was republicanism. • Republicanism drew on the contract theory of government and supported self-government by a virtuous, public-spirited citizenry. • The mid-17th century English Commonwealth government of the Puritans provided an example.
The Combatants • Professional soldiers • Washington worked to develop a professional, disciplined army that could defeat British soldiers in large engagements. • Many foreign soldiers of fortune and idealists offered their services to the United States. The British hired German mercenaries. • Living a tough life under harsh conditions, the Continental Army felt they were outcasts from an uncaring society and formed their community. At times, the soldiers let their dissatisfaction get out of hand. Distinguished General Benedict Arnold became a traitor and at Newburgh, New York in 1783, some officers threatened an armed uprising.
The Combatants, cont’d. • Women participation in the war • Women accompanied military forces on both sides performing important services. • African American participation in the War • Both sides employed African Americans. Approximately, 5000 fought against the British. • Native Americans and the War • Both sides sought Native American allies, but more groups backed the British. The war promoted greater unity among Native Americans.
The War in the North, 1776–1777 • The British Army hesitates: battles in New York and New Jersey • With the British army and navy headquartered in New York, Washington moved his troops there in spring 1776 but was defeated by the British in a series of battles. The Americans retreated to Pennsylvania. • The American war effort seemed lost after several setbacks. Washington launched a bold attack at Trenton, New Jersey and then followed up that victory with another at Princeton, New Jersey boosting morale and saving the American cause.
The War in the North, 1776–1777, cont’d. • The year of the hangman: victory at Saratoga and winter at Valley Forge • In 1777, the British mounted an effort to end the rebellion by sending a force south from Canada to join the Howes in New York, separating New England from the rest of the states. The effort failed when American forces defeated the British at Saratoga, New York. • General Howe moved toward Philadelphia hoping to defeat Washington’s army. The American defeat at Brandywine Creek led to Howe’s capture of Philadelphia. • The Continental Army suffered through a harsh winter at Valley Forge yet emerged as a disciplined professional army.
The War Widens, 1778–1781 • The United States gains an ally • The French signed a commercial treaty and a military alliance with United States • Other European nations also combined to hamper British efforts. Spain declared war on Britain. A league of European nations formed a League of Armed Neutrality to protect their trade with the United States and other warring nations against British interference. • Britain changed commanders and an inconclusive battle at Monmouth proved to be the last major engagement in the North
The War Widens, 1778–1781, cont’d. • Fighting on the frontier and at sea • The British post at Detroit was the headquarters for coordinating attacks on American frontier settlements. • Facing a much stronger British navy, American naval officers engaged in a guerilla war at sea. The United State Navy was supplemented by the commissioning of privateers. • Map: The War on the Frontier, 1778–1779, p. 164.
The War Widens, 1778–1781, cont’d. • The land war moves south • In 1778, the British sought to mobilize what they considered to be strong loyalist support in the South. • The worst American defeat of the war took place at Charleston in 1780. • Having won several victories, the British prepared to sweep through the South but British atrocities inflamed anti-British feelings.
The War Widens, 1778-1781, cont’d. • American counterattacks • An American defeat led to Nathanael Greene assuming command of American force. • The British hold on the South weakened. • General Cornwallis moved north to Virginia and encamped at Yorktown. Washington moved his army, supported by French troops to encircle Cornwallis. A French naval force left Cornwallis surrounded. The British army surrendered ending the war.
The American Victory, 1782–1783 • The Peace of Paris • The United States peace negotiators ignored instruction from Congress and worked out an arrangement with the British. • In the Peace of Paris, the British acknowledged United States independence, extended United States territory to the Mississippi and established the northern borders with Canada. British forces were to leave American property, including slaves, behind when they left. American fishermen gained access to waters off eastern Canada • Spain received the British provinces of East and West Florida. But the United States was not provided with access to the Gulf of Mexico. • Map: North America after the Peace of Paris, 1783, p. 168.
The American Victory, 1782–1783, cont’d. • The components of success • Washington’s leadership, French support, and British mistakes contributed to the American victory. • In proportion to total population, the American casualty rate was the highest of any United States war.
War and Society, 1775–1783 • The components of success • Women assumed new private and public roles during the war. They had greater financial and other responsibilities at home.Women formed organizations to raise money. • Effect of the war on African Americans • The war helped end slavery in the North but ultimately strengthened the institution in the South. • The War’s impact on Native Americans • The war was disastrous for most Native Americans, who suffered heavy casualties and faced an onslaught of white settlers encroaching on their land.
War and Society, 1775–1783, cont’d. • Economic disruption • The war demand for supplies on both sides disrupted the normal distribution of goods and raised real prices drastically. As paper currency depreciated in value, severe inflation occurred. • The economic conditions proved demoralizing and divisive, stimulating speculation and unscrupulous profiteering. • The price of victory • Brutality on both sides wreaked havoc on the local populations.
Conclusion • The American Revolution had tremendous repercussions. • It sowed the seeds for future revolutions. France suffered a severe financial crisis in the 1780s that created a political crisis culminating in the French Revolution. • The North American continent became the site of a grand experiment in republicanism.
MAP 6–1 The Battles of Lexington and Concord, April 19, 1775 This map shows the area around Boston, where in April 1775 British and American forces fought the first military engagements of the Revolution.
MAP 6–2 Early Fighting, 1775–1776 As this map clearly reveals, even the earliest fighting occurred in widely scattered areas, thereby complicating Britain’s efforts to subdue the Americans.
MAP 6–3 The War in the North, 1776–1777 Most of the fighting between the British and Americans during the first part of the war occurred in the North, partly because the British commanders assumed that the New England colonies were the most rebellious.
MAP 6–4 The War on the Frontier, 1778–1779 Significant battles in the Mississippi Valley and the frontiers of the seaboard states added to the ferocity of the fighting and strengthened some American claims to western lands.
MAP 6–5 The War in the South, 1778–1781 During the latter part of the war, most of the major engagements occurred in the South. British forces won most of the early ones but could not control the immense territory involved and eventually surrendered at Yorktown.
MAP 6–6 North America after the Peace of Paris, 1783 The results of the American Revolution redrew the map of North America, confining Britain to Canada and giving the United States most of the area east of the Mississippi River, though Spain controlled its mouth for most of the next 20 years.