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Republican Experiment. What concepts shaped the early government of United States of America?. Objectives. Students will be able to describe major events in the Revolutionary War and their impacts on the formation of government in the American colonies.

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republican experiment

Republican Experiment

What concepts shaped the early government of United States of America?

  • Students will be able to describe major events in the Revolutionary War and their impacts on the formation of government in the American colonies.
  • Students will be able to describe the philosophical roots and goals of the branches of the U.S. government.
  • Students will be able to identify which governmental principles made the U.S. government more responsive to the needs of the American people.
the trials of war 1776 1778
The Trials of War, 1776-1778
  • By the time the Declaration of Independence appeared, the British had an advantage over the Continental Army.
  • Britain’s population was over 11 million; the American colonies was only 2.5 million
      • 20 percent of whom were slaves
  • In August 1776, Lord North sent General William Howe to capture New York City forcing Washington’s troops across the Hudson into New Jersey.
war in the north
War in the North
  • Following 18c. customs the British set up camp to wait out the winter months before resuming their attacks.
  • Christmas night 1776, Washington lead a surprise attack across the Delaware River and forced the surrender of 1,000 German soldiers fighting for the British.
  • In January 1777, another small victory of the Continental Army demonstrated their willingness to fight against the vastly superior British Army.
armies and strategies
Armies and Strategies
  • Luckily for the Continental Army, Howe had opposed the Coercive Acts of 1774 and sympathized with the Patriots attempting only to demonstrate his military superiority instead of destroying the weaker Continental Army.
  • Washington opted for a defensive strategy with his vastly outnumbered, poorly compensated, and less than qualified troops.
  • The undersupplied, underpaid army was also held under suspicion by the Radical Whig Patriots who saw a standing army as a threat to liberty.
victory at saratoga
Victory at Saratoga
  • The Battle of Saratoga was a major turning point in the war.
  • The British army launched a second military campaign to attempt to “cut off” New England from the other colonies.
  • Howe continued to try an alternate way of ending the war by capturing the rebel’s capital of Philadelphia (home to the Continental Congress), which he did in September.
  • Howe’s slow campaign contributed to the defeat of Burgoyne’s army at Saratoga.
victory at saratoga1
Victory at Saratoga
  • Burgoyne had advanced quickly from Quebec across Lake Champlain overwhelming American defenses at Fort Ticonderoga in early June then heading south towards the Hudson River.
  • General Horatio Gates lead American troops who felled huge trees in the path of the British and conducted coordinated raids on British supply lines from Canada.
  • 6,000 British troops, Loyalists, and Iroquois became overwhelmed by 2,000 American militiamen when British reinforcements were diverted to Howe in Philadelphia.
social and financial perils
Social and Financial Perils
  • The Patriots’ triumph at Saratoga was tempered by wartime difficulties when the British naval blockade cut off supplies of European manufactured goods and disrupted the New England fishing industry.
  • Trade was further reduced by British occupation of Boston, Philadelphia, and New York (the three major trading ports of the American colonies).
  • As unemployed artisans and laborers left these cities to the countryside, New York’s population decreased by more than half.
social and financial perils1
Social and Financial Perils
  • Tabaco exports from the Chesapeake region were also drastically reduced by the blockades.
  • Goods became scarce and many of the farmers economies depended on selling grains to feed the British armies.
  • Americans began to view one another as competitors for scarce goods and shopkeepers as extortionists.
  • Many communities became divided and taxes to raise funds for the Continental Army went into effect on farmers across the colonies.
financial crises
Financial Crises
  • Patriot mobs began to pressure loyalist and seize their lands without government consent, which demonstrated the weakness of the Patriot governments.
  • Bonds were issued to secure gold or silver from wealthy individuals and then began printing paper money that lost its worth once outside of the state issuing it.
  • The finances of the Continental Army collapsed and the government’s chief treasury official, Robert Morris, was forced to secure loans from France and Holland to raise funds for the army.
valley forge
Valley Forge
  • Winter 1777, Washington’s troops had retreated to Valley Forge (12,00 soldiers and hundreds of camp followers) where they were suffering terribly with little food and supplies in harsh weather.
  • By spring 3,000 were dead and 1,000 deserted the army.
  • However, Baron von Steuben had helped shape soldiers into leaders and in 1778 a stronger Continental Army emerged.
war in the south
War in the South
  • In 1778, France created an alliance with the colonial government in hopes of seizing British sugar islands.
  • In 1779, Spain created an alliance with the colonial government in hopes of taking back Florida.
  • Britain had mobilized the Cherokees and Delawares against the land hungry Americans; they hoped to use Scottish Highlanders in the Carolinas to maintain control over the region once it was captured.
southern battles
Southern Battles
  • In 1779, British troops captured Savannah, GA and eventually the capital of Augusta.
  • In 1780, Charleston, SC was taken and the two major ports in the southern colonies were now under British control.
  • Hundreds of African Americans fled to freedom behind British lines as parts of the south continued to fall.
  • However, the Marquis de Lafayette dispatched French troops to America to assist the southern colonists.
guerrilla warfare in the carolinas
Guerrilla Warfare in the Carolinas
  • The army had been weakened because poor Patriots refused to fight in place of the rich who were less likely to join the armies since the beginning of the war.
  • The war of attrition (cut off supplies to weaker opponent) had significantly weakened the Continental Army.
  • Untrained fighters prone to plundering and without discipline were set on British troops in the Carolinas by General Nathanael Greene.
  • This drastic action worked and the Franco-American forces recaptured the Carolinas and weakened the British.
the patriot advantage
The Patriot Advantage
  • Parliament was furious at the lack of coordination between Howe and Burgoyne; along with Howe’s sympathy in sparing colonial forces devastation on several occasions.
  • However, the Patriots had a “home field” advantage and the will of the American people behind them, which lead to victory.
diplomatic triumph
Diplomatic Triumph
  • It took two years to from the time of the final battle (Yorktown) to conclude a peace treaty with Britain.
  • The Treaty of Paris (1783) gave Americans extremely favorable terms and Great Britain relinquished its claims to the colonies and their territories.
  • In September 1783, Britain officially recognized the American independence and the sovereignty of the United States of America.