Week 5 Part 1 Notes
Week 5 Part 1 Notes History 221
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Popular in History of the United States to 1877
Popular in History
This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Landry Notetaker on Tuesday September 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to History 221 at University of Louisiana at Lafayette taught by Ian W. Beamish in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see History of the United States to 1877 in History at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
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Date Created: 09/20/16
Lecture Guide – Week 5 Class 1 – The American Revolution (17751783) Questions: • How did the Revolution shape the early years of the United States? • Revolution ends with the United States gaining independence, but having no clear idea of what it will look like going forward • Why were the Patriots able to defeat the most powerful military in the world? • Fighting on the Homefront • Fighting for a cause they felt strongly about • Had strong allies The Second Continental Congress (1775) • Shortly after Lexington and Concord • The American revolution is underway • Debate bigger issues • Declare independence? • Decide to take step, they are committing treason according to British law • Will be hung if they lost • How radical? • Virtual representation • British answer to complaints about taxation without representation • Parliament has your best interests at heart • Need actual, tangible elected representation • Continue showing displeasure • Ease up on taxation • Demand a degree of independence • More local government • Start behaving as though they are already independent • Raise an army (continental army) • Form of government (continental congress) • Issue currency • Not fully committed to independence George Washington Leader of the Continental Army o Most admired men Extensive military experience Man of very strong character Not from New England Truly national cause o From Virginia Building a government • Issue 2 million dollars in currency • Needed some sort of government for: • Military • Currency • Not backed by gold or silver and no trust for government • Issue more money but value is decreasing even more • Has NO value • Now Backed by faith in government • Declaring war Bunker Hill (June 1775) • Location: o Outside of Boston • Important: o Completely realigns British perception of American army • British regulars (professional soldiers) • Thought sweeping aside Americans will be easy • Stomp out American resistance at its heart (Boston hot bed for resistance) • After taking Boston they move to Charlestown • Americans make a stand at bunker hill o British decide to directly charge into American sources (confidence) o In three waves o Push Americans off hill (British victory) • British start to realize they are going to fight hard because they are defending their own territories • They don’t push their advantage o Continental army survives Olive Branch Petition • Trying to smooth over all the differences o Get what they want and end conflict • no problem with the king only people under him • want to stay with you • want own government o remain part of British government • hoping will persuade the king he has an easy way out of this conflict • enrages George o calls them traitor o ready to more strongly crack down on colonists • final attempt to avoid war Thomas Paine, Common Sense • colonists need some persuasion • Paine had been in the US for less than two years when he wrote this • makes clear that Americans needs to declare independence o ridiculous for a king across an ocean to rule you o only right that these colonies should rule themselves • becomes a huge bestseller • 150,000 copies in around 3 weeks • Big fan: o Abigail Adams Married to john Adams Liked the ideas that Paine stated about freedom Need to extend freedom further o Extend to women as well Seeds of a women rights movement Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) • Decides to declare independence • Every state agrees • Fairly revolutionary • Majority of text is a list of grievances against King George • Justification for why the US should be allowed to be independent • Best known part is “We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” • Itemized every grievance they felt • Emphasized tyranny and taxation • Declaration had lasting, global importance • Inspire many independent movements around the world over a long period of time • Movements in Belgium, China, and Vietnam (17891940s) • Significant independence document Unique Challenges for British • Feel confident in the power of their navy o Blockade the American coast quite effectively o Land their troops in all major American ports • Despite the power of this navy, it is NOT doing a lot o Most people do NOT live in cities Having trouble capturing American forces to do much of anything • Fighting far away from home • Fight differently o Use navy o Cant seize food, land, supplies No point in fighting the war • Americans are fighting with everything they have, British can’t anger the local population a huge amount o Constantly send huge supplies to the Americans • Measuring victory o Conquering capitals American capital moves around constantly o What will get the Americans to surrender? Capture American army Still doesn’t work The British War • British had most powerful military in the world • Faced some serious obstacles in this conflict • Far from home/supply • Did not want to alienate colonists, as if they won, would still have to govern Military Aspect • Americans generally avoid open battle early in the war • Early stages go very poorly for Patriots • Eventually Americans get aid from French and Spanish, making the war broader and stretching British forces • British struggle with a generally unfriendly local population • By 1781, the Americans have won the military aspect of the war, after a series of victories in southern colonies • British surrender fairly easily • Concerned with protecting Caribbean colonies The Continental Army • Few, lack discipline • Believes in a hierarchically army system • Instill respect for officials • More traditional, quick moving army • Despite Washington’s efforts • Real challenges • Based on militias • Did not expect a long, drawn out war • Camp followers • Thousands of women and children • One camp follower for every ten to fifteen soldiers • Washed clothes, domestic chores Early Hostilities • British can’t conquer a city • Washington having trouble in having any success in battle o The British will consistently beat Americans militarily but fail to capture his army entirely Early Stages of War • How do you measure victory? o Difficult for the British to figure out Can’t totally defeat the colonists because they want the colonists to remain as Britain colonies • How could the British win the war? o British want to hit the hot spots of the colonies o Need to take out New England (and Virginia) Easy to win after the defeat Cut off new England entirely from the rest of the world o Use navy so ships can’t get out of harbor Americans have to get supplies over land Cut off new England from New York o Hudson River British control Cut off new England Blocking river and ocean Use military to hem them in Americans issue a presumptive strike o Find another way out of the two ways the British think Head north into British Canada Americans attack Canada o Take the city of Montreal American Invasion of Canada • Benedict Arnold is unable to capture Quebec o March for many miles in unforgiving territory Half of soldiers died or turned back Americans are forced to retreat o Caught in the British trap Washington flees New York City • Meets troops in Long Island where he gets defeated but British do not capture • Washington retreats to upstate new York o Lose but escapes: pattern in the beginning of the war Americans frustrated because they are not getting any victories Washington Attempts to Keep Army Together • Everyone American desperately needs a victory • Delaware river (each on one side) o Washington forces Contracts are up on December 31 st British think army will disband and won’t have to fight December 26, 1776 o Attack forces from across Delaware river Revitalizes moral of the war Forces a new lease on life Minor victory o Completes first year of war with most of his army intact Loyalists • Significant pockets of resistance • 40% of Americans did NOT want to take a side • 40% strongly supported the cause • 20% wanted to stay loyal to Britain o 2 to 1 for patriots Keep power by popular support and power Form committees to investigate loyalists o Loyalists flee country • Loyalist strongholds o Every are away from the coast is patriot or contests o Most of the major cities with the exemption of Boston is pro Britain o Over the coast of the war, it will change as Americans start to drive loyalists out Prisoners of War • Reason revolution gets popular • British are committing war crimes • When u capture officers and soldiers o Treat humanly • Americans treat British soldiers well • British don’t view them as officers and soldiers o Treason rebels Put them aboard prison ships Series new cities 15,000 American soldiers will go aboard this prison ships o Only 5,000 will get off Conditions are terrible Ships held 2x more than supposed to Convincing many loyalists to stay out of war or switch sides o 10,000 Americans die aboard them o 5,000 die in combat Native Americans and the Revolution • The US manages to secure alliances with a few native American groups • Native American support goes to the British o Based on where they think outcomes will be best for themselves and their people o The Americans are the ones that are most eager to take their land • US seems in deep trouble o Washington losing battles o Thrown on ships o Pockets of loyal resistance o Little native American support o Little hope France France • gets involved o largely because they have troubles with Britain • things change completely because the French have a navy • bring Spanish to the war • Britain can’t devote so many resources to the Americans • provide money, weapons, skilled military advisers o become heroes after the war Southern Strategy • British start to wonder if they need to rethink their strategy o move south o colonies they see as most valuable are the southern colonies (plantations) more loyal take the Carolinas and Georgia then move into Virginia o north won’t be able to fight on their own • British win some victories o As they attempt to extend control of the south moving toward Virginia Southern strategy doesn’t work British army soon fleeing through North Carolina into Virginia British Confidence • Remains strong despite fleeing to Yorktown • Confidence they will win war Yorktown, Virginia (1781) • British driven too to make final stand in the south • Major military defeat • Defeated by the combination of the French navy on the coast and the American forces on land • Cornwallis surrenders Yorktown, Britain military hopes are over • Surrender very easily o Because France and Spain are involved in the war Made it too costly to protect the colonies Treaty of Paris (1783) • Two years where the country is in limbo • British still occupy New York and other parts of the country • Fighting (17751781) • Ends the war and recognizing American independence • Signed between the thirteen colonies the new US and Britain • The American allies are not part of this peace treaty • Washington resigns o Huge development Signals that the US will operate differently Make clear that the US will be a democracy and that there will NOT be any militarily war Surrendering= symbolic • Americans keep property • British leave • Independence • Ignores Native Americans Slavery and the Revolution • 1776, 20% of population was enslaved o Central standard unchallenged part of colonial life o Strange for many people when language of liberty was appropriated for the war • Language of liberty • Used the language of slavery • Content to ignore slavery • Enslaved people used language of the founding father to make own claims British Emancipators • Fear; slaves going over to British o Get freedom • Former slaves fought on both sides o 5,000 for Americans o US would eventually get them freedom • Georgia o Most slaves fled to British Most slaves recapture By wars end: 20,0000 slaves still lived in British • British would return all property o Americans want slaves returned British ignored this part of treaty 15,000 left to go to the British (Canada, Jamaica, West Africa) • Rough Crossings After the War: • US controls almost all east of miss river o Exemption of east and west Florida o Does not regain east and west Florida Takeaways: • Americans need to be persuaded to fight the Revolution • Despite military superiority, the British face obstacles of distance from their home, hostile local population, and difficulty getting Patriots to give up • Revolution ends with the United States gaining independence, but having no clear idea of what it will look like going forward
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