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Chapter 5 Notes The American Revolution

by: Sarah Morse

Chapter 5 Notes The American Revolution Hist

Marketplace > Northwest Missouri State University > 33155-01 > Hist > Chapter 5 Notes The American Revolution
Sarah Morse
Northwest Missouri State University

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Chapter 5 Notes Book Notes The American Revolution British, French, American Continental Army Articles of Confederation
US History to 1877
Dr. Ford
Class Notes
Chapter, 5, five, notes, american, revolution, british, french, continental, army, Articles, Of, confederation, history, United, States, America
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Date Created: 10/12/16
CHAPTER 5 THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION MOBILIZING FOR WAR BRITISH MILITARY POWER 1. British empire sent 35,000 soldiers, and half of its huge navy across the Atlantic. a. British also hire mercenaries. i. Foreign soldiers. b. Almost 30,000 Germans served in the British armies in America. c. Also recruited American Loyalists, Native Americans, and African Americans. d. Britain assumed that there would be enough food for their men and forage for their horses in America. i. Realized that most of the supplies would have to come from Britain. ii. Terribly expensive. 2. British strategies. a. Focused on blockading New England’s seaports in order to strangle American trade and force the Americans to give up. i. Failed. b. Sought to destroy George Washington’s Continental Army in New York. i. Failed to pursue. c. Tried to drive a wedge between New England and New York, splitting the colonies. i. Failed. d. Move their army to the south in hopes of rallying loyalists. THE CONTINENTAL ARMY 1. Home ground advantage. a. Knew terrain and people. 2. Had to create an army and navy from scratch with little money. 3. Citizen-soldiers a. Part-time non-professional soldiers, mostly poor farmers or recent immigrants who had been indentured servants. b. Played important role in the Revolutionary War. 4. Militiamen were primarily a home guard. a. Defend their local communities. b. Unreliable and ungovernable. 5. Needed a professional army. a. Continental army. DISASTER IN CANADA 1. July 1775, Continental Congress authorized an ill-fated attack against Quebec. a. General Richard Montgomery headed to Quebec along NY border. b. General Benedict Arnold headed westward through Maine. c. They arrived outside Quebec in September. i. Smallpox spread. ii. Could not wait until spring for the smallpox to subside. 1. Many were scheduled for discharge at the end of the year. d. Desperate attack during a blizzard, December 31, 1775. 2. New Year’s Eve assault was a disaster. a. Montgomery was killed early in battle. b. Benedict Arnold was wounded. c. 400 Americans taken prisoner. 3. Quebec was first military setback for revolutionaries. WASHINGTON’S NARROW ESCAPE 1. July 2, 1776 redcoats landed on undefended Staten Island. a. Summer of 1776, a British fleet of 427 warships carrying 32,000 British and German troops, 1,200 cannons, and 10,000 soldiers began landing on Long Island. b. Largest seaborne military expedition in history. 2. Washington could only gather 19,000 poorly trained militiamen and recruits. 3. Short of weapons and greatly outnumbered, the American army suffered a humiliating defeat at the Battle of Long Island. a. British could have trapped the entire army. b. The army escaped northward. 4. December 1776. a. Washington had 3,000 men under his command. b. Militiamen had gone home for the winter. c. General William Howe, commander and chief of British forces, waited out the winter. i. Lost opportunity to end revolution. A DESPERATE GAMBLE 1. Christmas night 1776, Washington led 2,400 men from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. a. Americans surprised 1,500 sleeping soldiers. b. 500 escaped. c. Two of Washington’s men were killed, four wounded. 2. One week later, battle at Princeton. WINTER IN MORRISTOWN 1. 1777, the army disintegrated as six-month contracts expired. a. Brutal weather, inadequate food, widespread disease. 2. Spring 1777, recruits began arriving. a. Enlist for three years. b. 9,000 troops. A STRATEGY OF EVASION 1. General Howe, hoped to maneuver the American army into one decisive battle. a. Washington refused to take the bait. b. Evade the British army and carefully select where and when to attack. c. Wear down enemy forces in a long war. 2. With each passing year, the war became more and more expensive for the British. 2 a. For the next 8 years, the Americans would use a strategy of evasion punctuated by selective confrontations. SETBACKS FOR THE BRITISH 1777 1. Three pronged assault on New York. a. Cut off New England. b. Called for British army, based in Canada, and led by General John Burgoyne. i. Advance southward from Quebec. ii. While other forces moved eastward from western New York. c. Failed in execution. i. Howe changed his mind last minute. 1. Decided to move southward to attack Philadelphia. ii. Washington withdrew from New Jersey to meet the British in Philadelphia. iii. September 11, 1777, British overpowered Americans and took Philadelphia. iv. Washington and army went to Valley Forge. THE CAMPAIGN OF 1777 1. June 1777, General Burgoyne led an army south from Canada toward New York. 2. General Horatio Gates met the army and forced Burgoyne back to the village of Saratoga. a. American army surrounded the outnumbered, and now stranded British army. 3. Three-week-long Battles of Saratoga. a. Decisive defeat of 5,000 British troops under General John Burgoyne in several battles near Saratoga, New York, in October 1777. b. The American victory helped convince France to enter the war on the side of the Patriots. 4. October 17, 1777, Burgoyne surrendered. a. 5,800 troops. b. 7,000 muskets. c. 42 brass cannons. ALLIANCE WITH FRANCE 1. American victory at Saratoga was a strategic turning point. a. It convinced the French to sign two crucial treaties in early 1778 that created an American alliance with France. 2. Treaty of Amity and Commerce a. France officially recognized the new United States and offered trade and concessions. 3. Treaty of Alliance a. Both parties agreed that if France entered the war, both countries would fight until American independence was won. b. Neither would conclude a truce or peace without the formal consent of the other. 3 c. That each would guarantee the other’s possessions in America from the present time and forever against all other powers. 4. French army and navy determined the outcome of the war. VALLEY FORGE AND STALEMATE 1. Valley Forge 1777-1778 a. American military encampment near Philadelphia, where more than 3,500 soldiers deserted or died from cold and hunger in the winter. 2. March 1778, Washington began a rigorous training program. a. Bring unity to soldiers. b. Friedrich Wilhelm, baron von Steuben, instructed troops in the fundamentals of close-order drill. i. How to march in formation. ii. How to handle their weapons properly. c. Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, offered to serve with no pay so long as he could be a general. i. Most trusted aide. WAR IN THE WEST 1. Frontier guerrilla war. a. Indians and loyalists v. American Patriots. b. 1778, George Rogers Clark took 175 Patriot frontiersmen. i. July 4, Americans captured Kaskaskia and then Cahokia. 1. No bloodshed. ii. Captured five Indians and killed them in sight of Fort Vincennes. iii. After watching the executions, the British surrendered. c. Military expedition in Pennsylvania to attack Iroquois. i. Washington sent 4,000 men under General John Sullivan to crush the hostile tribes. ii. August 29, 1779, soldiers burned 40 Indian villages. d. Daniel Boone v. Shawnees i. 1778, held off an assault of 400 Indians. THE WAR MOVES SOUTH 1. 1778, British General Sir Henry Clinton sent 3,000 soldiers to capture Savannah, Georgia. a. Support from Chief Dragging Canoe of the Cherokee. b. Initially, the strategy worked. i. Within 20 months, British had defeated three American armies. ii. Seized the strategic ports of Savannah and Charleston. iii. Occupied Georgia and much of South Carolina. c. Three developments. i. Loyalist strength was less than estimated. ii. British effort to unleash Indian attacks convinced many settlers to join the Patriots. iii. Some British and Loyalist soldiers behaved so harshly they drove loyalists to switch sides. WAR IN THE CAROLINAS 4 1. May 12, 1780, the American general surrendered Charleston and its 5,500 defenders to Clinton and Cornwallis. a. Single greatest Patriot loss of the war. 2. Cornwallis had Georgia and most of South Carolina under British control by 1780. BATTLE OF KING’S MOUNTAIN 1. Sir Banastre Tarleton and Major Patrick Ferguson were in charge of training Loyalist militiamen. a. British officers often let their men burn Patriot farms, liberate slaves, and destroy livestock. b. Major Ferguson threatened to march to the Blue Ridge Mountains and hang the frontier Patriot leaders and destroy their farms. 2. October 7, 1780, two sides clashed at King’s Mountain. a. Hour-long battle. b. Patriot sharpshooters devastated the Loyalist troops. c. Major Ferguson was riddled with seven bullet holes. d. 700 loyalists were captured and 25 hanged. 3. Extended family feud. a. 74 sets of brothers fought on both sides. b. 29 sets of fathers and sons. c. Five brothers. i. 3 loyalists. ii. 2 patriots. iii. 1 survived. 4. Crucial American victory. a. British forces retreated back to South Carolina and found it virtually impossible to recruit more Loyalists. THE TIDE TURNS IN THE SOUTH 1. Late 1780, Continental Congress chose a new commander for the Southern America Army. a. General Nathanael Greene. i. Was Washington’s ablest general. b. December 1780, he moved his army eastward. c. General Daniel Morgan swept west of Cornwallis’s headquarters with 700 men. i. Winnsboro, South Carolina. 2. January 17, 1781, Morgan’s force took up positions at Cowpens, South Carolina. a. Lured Tarleton’s army into a trap. i. Ambushed by cavalry. b. Tarleton escaped, 110 soldiers were killed, 700 taken prisoner. c. Most complete tactical victory. 3. Morgan’s army linked up with Greene’s troops in North Carolina. a. Greene lured Cornwallis’s army North. i. Attacked at Guilford Courthouse. ii. March 15, 1781. b. Americans lost but inflicted such heavy losses that Cornwallis left behind his wounded. 5 A WAR OF ENDURANCE 1. Americans held the advantage in time, men, and supplies. 2. September 1781, the Americans had narrowed British control in the South to Charleston and Savannah. 3. Cornwallis pushed his army northward. a. Believed that before the Carolinas could be subdued, Virginia needed to be eliminated. b. May 1781, British marched into southeastern Virginia. YORKTOWN 1. Cornwallis and army joined up with Arnold’s at Petersburg, Virginia. a. 7,200 men. 2. Cornwallis picked Yorktown as his base of operations. a. Small tobacco port. b. Washington’s army was occupied North. c. British Navy controlled American waters. 3. July 1780, French managed to land 6,000 soldiers in Rhode Island. 4. May 1781, Washington persuaded the commander of the French army to join in an attack. a. In New York. b. Two armies linked up in July, but they didn’t attack. 5. Word came from the West Indies. a. Admiral François-Joseph-Paul de Grasse was headed for the Chesapeake Bay with a large French fleet and 3,000 soldiers. b. Washington changed strategy and began moving his army to Yorktown. c. French ships slipped out of Rhode Island and headed south. 6. August 30. a. Admiral de Grasse’s fleet reached Yorktown. b. French troops landed to join the Americans confronting Cornwallis’s army. 7. September 6. a. De Grasse attacked and forced the British navy to abandon Cornwallis’s army. b. Leaving them with no way to get food or supplies. 8. The Battle of Yorktown commenced on September 28, 1781. a. Last major battle of the Revolutionary War. b. General Cornwallis, along with over 7,000 British troops, surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia, October 17, 1781. c. The combined American and French troops trapped the army and sieged British troops with artillery. THE TREATY OF PARIS (1783) 1. December 1781, King George decided to send no more troops to America. 2. February 27, 1782, Parliament voted to end the war. 3. March 20, Lord North resigned. 4. Continental Congress sent John Adams, John Jay, and Benjamin Franklin to negotiate. 5. September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed. a. Great Britain recognized the independence of the thirteen former colonies. 6 b. Agreed the Mississippi River was America’s western boundary. i. Doubled territory. ii. 900,000 square miles gained. AMERICAN SOCIETY AT WAR CHOOSING SIDES 1. The revolution was as much a brutal civil war among Americans as it was a prolonged struggle against Great Britain. a. Patriots i. Formed the continental army and fought in state militias. ii. Supported the war for independence. iii. Wanted to establish an American republic. 1. Subjects of a King. 2. Citizens with the power to elect their own government and pursue their own economic interests. b. Loyalists i. Tories ii. Less committed middle group swayed mostly by the better organized and more energetic Patriots. iii. 20% of American population. THE LOYALISTS FLEE 1. Loyalists suffered greatly for their support of King George. a. Homes, farms, and lands were confiscated. b. Many were assaulted and executed. 2. After Yorktown, tens of thousands of panicked Loyalists headed to seaports to board British ships to flee the new United States. a. 80,000 desperate refugees scattered throughout the British empire. 3. The departure of so many Loyalists from America was one of the most important social consequences of the Revolution. a. Their confiscated homes, vast tracts of land, and vacated jobs created new social, economic, and political opportunities for Patriots. WAR AS AN ENGINE OF CHANGE 1. The war secured American independence and created a unique system of governance. a. Also began a process of societal change that has remained a defining element in the American experiment in representative democracy. REPUBLICAN IDEOLOGY 1. American revolutionaries embraced a Republican Ideology instead of the monarchical outlook that had long dominated Europe. a. Political belief in representative democracy in which citizens govern themselves by electing representatives, or legislators, to make key decisions on the citizens’ behalf. b. Athenians practiced direct democracy. 7 i. Citizens voted on all major decisions affecting their society. c. The new United States was technically a representative democracy. i. Property holding white men governed themselves through the concept of republicanism. ii. They elected representatives, or legislators, to make key decisions on their behalf. 2. Revolutionary leaders believed that their new governments must protect the rights of individuals and states from being violated by the national government. a. State constitutions i. Charters that define the relationship between the state government and local governments and individuals, also protecting their rights from violation by the national government. STATE GOVERNMENTS 1. Written constitutions on the state level. a. Created governments like the colonial governments, but with elected governors and senates instead of royally appointed governors and councils. b. Also included a bill of rights that protected the time-honored rights of freedom of speech, trial by jury, freedom of self-incrimination, etc. c. Most limited the powers of the governors and strengthened the powers of the legislatures. THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION 1. Needed to form a national government as well as thirteen state governments in the midst of war. a. Articles of Confederation i. The first form of government for the United States. ii. Ratified by the original 13 states in 1781. iii. Weak in central authority, it was replaced by the US Constitution drafted in 1787. 2. The confederation government. a. Reflected the long-standing fears of monarchy by not even allowing for a president or chief executive. b. The confederation congress was given full power over foreign affairs and over disputes between the states. i. No courts and no power to enforce its resolutions and ordinances. ii. No power to levy taxes. iii. Rely on own budgetary needs on requisitions from the states. 1. Often ignored. 3. States were in no mood to create a strong central government. a. The confederation congress had less power than the colonists had once accepted in Parliament. i. Could not regulate interstate or foreign commerce. b. Nine states had to approve measures dealing with war, treaties, coinage, finances, and the army/navy. 8 c. Unanimous ratification was required to levy tariffs on imports and exports, and to amend the articles themselves. 4. The confederation had neither an executive or a judicial branch and no federal courts. EXPANSION OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION 1. The new political opportunities afforded by the creation of state governments led more ordinary citizens to participate. a. Property qualifications for voting were lowered after 1776. b. In Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, and Georgia, any male taxpayer could vote. c. A higher percentage of American males could vote. A SOCIAL REVOLUTION 1. Political revolutions often spark social revolutions. a. Many hoped the revolution would remove, not reinforce, the elite’s traditional political and social advantages. 2. The energy created by the concepts of liberty, equality, and democracy changed the dynamics of American social and political life. FREEDOM OF RELIGION 1. The revolution also tested traditional religious loyalities. a. Before, Americans tolerated religious dissent. b. After, Americans insisted on complete freedom of religion. c. Separation of church and state. 2. The Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom 1786 a. A Virginia law, drafted by Thomas Jefferson in 1777and enacted in 1786, that guarantees freedom of, and from, religion. EQUALITY AND ITS LIMITS THE PARADOX OF SLAVERY 1. The sharpest irony of the American Revolution is that Britain offered enslaved blacks more opportunities for freedom than did the new United States. a. In November 1775, the British promised freedom to slaves, as well as indentured servants, who would fight for the loyalist cause. 2. The British policy of recruiting slaves into the military backfired. a. The prospect of British troops arming slaves persuaded many southerners to join the Patriot cause. b. War to defend slavery. 3. End of 1775, Washington authorized the enlistment of free blacks. a. Southerners convinced the Continental Congress to instruct Washington in February 1776, to enlist no more African Americans. 4. In the end, the British army, which liberated 20,000 enslaved blacks during the war, was a far greater instrument of emancipation than the American forces. THE STATUS OF WOMEN 9 1. The legal status of women in the colonies was governed by British common law. a. Treat them like children. b. Limiting their roles to child-rearing and maintaining the household. c. Women could not vote or hold office. d. They could not preach. e. Few had access to a formal education. f. Girls were taught to read and sew. 2. Once a woman married, she became the property of her husband. a. Her goods became his. b. She had no right to buy, sell, or manage property. c. Any wages earned by the wife belonged to the husband. d. Could not sign contracts, or sue others, or testify in court. e. Divorces were extremely difficult to obtain. f. Required to obey their husbands. 3. Women supported the armies in various ways. a. They handled supplies, served as messengers or spies, and worked as camp followers, cooking, cleaning, and nursing the soldiers. b. Wives often followed their soldier-husbands to camp and occasionally took their place. CORE OBJECTIVES 1. Military challenges a. In 1776 the British had the mightiest army and navy in the world. b. The Americans had to create an army and sustain it. i. The Continental Army. c. To defeat the British, George Washington realized that the Americans had to turn unreliable citizen-soldiers into a disciplined fighting force. d. He decided to wage a long, costly war, wagering that the British army was fighting thousands of miles from its home base and would eventually give up in order to cut its losses. 2. Turning points. a. The French were likely allies for the colonies from the beginning of the conflict because they resented their losses to Britain in the Seven Years’ War. b. After the British defeat at the Battle of Saratoga the first major turning point, France agreed to fight with the colonies until independence was won. c. Washington’s ability to hold his ragged forces together despite daily desertions and two especially difficult winters in Morristown and Valley Forge, the second and third major turning points. d. The British lost support on the frontier and in their southern colonies when terrorist tactics backfired. e. The Battle of King’s Mountain drove the British into retreat, and the alliance with France meant that French supplies and the French fleet would tip the balance and ensure the American victory at the Battle of Yorktown, which were the final turning points. 3. Civil war 10 a. The American Revolution was also a civil war, dividing families and communities. b. There were at least 100,000 Loyalists in the colonies. c. They included royal officials, Anglican ministers, wealthy southern planters, and the elite in large seaport cities. d. They also included humble people, especially recent immigrants. e. After the hostilities ended, many loyalists, including slaves who had fled their plantations to support the British cause, left for Canada, the West Indies, or Great Britain. 4. A political and social revolution a. The American Revolution disrupted and transformed traditional class and social relationships. b. American revolutionaries embraced a Republican ideology in contrast to a monarchy, and more white men gained the right to vote as property requirements were removed. c. But fears of a monarchy being re-established led colonists to vest power in the states rather than a powerful national government under the Articles of Confederation. d. The states wrote new state constitutions that instituted more elected positions. e. Most included bills of rights that protected individual liberties. f. The Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom led the way in guaranteeing the separation of church and state, and religious toleration was transformed into religious freedom for all, including Roman Catholics and Jews. 5. African Americans, women, and Native Americans. a. Northern states began to free slaves after the Revolutionary War, but southern states refused to do so. b. Although many women had undertaken nontraditional roles during the war, afterward they remained largely confined to the domestic sphere, with no changes to their legal or political status. c. The revolution had catastrophic effects on Native Americans, regardless of which side they had embraced during the war. d. During and after the Revolution, American settlers seized Native American land, often in violation of existing treaties. KEY TERMS  Citizen-Soldiers  Battles of Saratoga (1777)  Alliance with France  Valley Forge (1777-1778)  Battle of Yorktown (1781)  Republican Ideology  State Constitutions  Articles of Confederation  Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom (1786) 11 CHRONOLOGY  1776, British forces seize New York City. o General Washington’s troops defeat British forces at the Battle of Trenton. o States begin writing new constitutions.  1777, American forces defeat British in a series of battles at Saratoga, New York.  1778, American and French form a crucial military alliance. o George Rogers Clark’s militia defeats British troops in the Mississippi Valley. o American forces defeat the Iroquois Confederacy at Newtown, New York. o British seize Savannah and Charleston.  1780, Patriots defeat Loyalists, at the Battle of King’s Mountain.  1781, British invasion of southern colonies turned back at the Battles of Cowpens and Guilford Courthouse. o American and French forces defeat British at Yorktown, Virginia.  1781, articles of Confederation are ratified. o Continental Congress becomes Confederation Congress.  1783, Treaty of Paris is signed, formally ending the Revolutionary War.  1786, Virginia adopts the Statute of Religious Freedom. 12


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