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Week 2- Colonial Wars & the American Revolution, 1675-1783

by: Austin McManus

Week 2- Colonial Wars & the American Revolution, 1675-1783 HIST 370

Marketplace > George Mason University > History > HIST 370 > Week 2 Colonial Wars the American Revolution 1675 1783
Austin McManus
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War in American Society
Zayna Bizri

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About this Document

This week's notes touch on a select few wars and conflicts that occurred in colonial North American during the late 17th and 18th centuries and their role, either minor or major, in the political a...
War in American Society
Zayna Bizri
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Austin McManus on Wednesday September 9, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 370 at George Mason University taught by Zayna Bizri in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 144 views. For similar materials see War in American Society in History at George Mason University.


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Date Created: 09/09/15
HIST 370 Notes Week 1 The Colonial Wars amp the American Revolution 16751783 A King Philip s War 16751676 Metacomet otherwise known as King Philip despises the presence of the British colonists on Wampanoag land and thus attempts to unite native tribes who historically dislike one another in this effort to expel the New Englanders from the land During the con ict these tribes were disorganized because of the historic distrust of one another and thus perpetrated a fairly weak war effort against the English settlers Once the settlers caught onto this and in addition to realizing that they would be unable to defeat hostile Native American tribes without gaining some native allies respond by making alliances with tribes historically hostile to the Wampanoag Thus Metacomet lost against the colonists B Bacon s Rebellion 1676 Nathaniel Bacon a frontiersman in Virginia shared the angered sentiment of Metacomet but against the Native Americans rather than the English and tried to convince Governor William Berkeley to use any means necessary including forced relocation or mass extermination to remove the Native Americans from English land Since Berkeley was uncooperative and wholly unresponsive to Bacon s demands Bacon ended up organizing settlers for his cause and began attacking both hostile tribes and friendly tribes Eventually however Bacon s forces attack only friendly tribes causing major distrust and loss of alliances between the Virginia settlers and the regional tribes On the whole King Philip s War and Bacon s Rebellion had a major impact on colonial perception of Native Americans as they solidified the reputation of Native Americans in the minds of a majority of the colonists as people of brutality and savagery who lack any sense or form of civilized society C Quebec Expedition 1711 Having figured out the need to ally with local Native American tribes the English colonists ended up allying with the tribes Oneida Onondaga Seneca Cayuga amp Mohawk of the Iroquois Confederation of New York while the French settlers of presentday Canada end up allying with the Algonquin tribes These alliances culminate into two attempted raids by a coalition of English militiamen and Iroquois allies on Quebec in 1711 which failed due to Parliament not holding up their side of the bargain with the colonials to provide military support this some historians argue planted the seeds of intercolonial cooperation as well as discontent with and distrust of the British D The French and Indian War 17541763 Important aspects of the French and Indian War in North America include 0 Land British victory in the war resulted in the massive expansion of its colonial territory in North American conquering all former French colonial possessions east of the Mississippi including presentday Canada and Florida Money Additionally fighting a longterm war with France not only in North America but in Europe Central America and India as well Great Britain came out of the war with France in massive financial debt Public Relations The war saw a sharp increase in Native American hostilities towards the English in North America due to shifting alliances with and betrayals of said alliances with various tribes during their war effort against the French hostilities are also explained by the ever encroaching on indigenous lands by the British colonists E The American Revolution 17631783 Following the results of the war with France in North America the British government simultaneously required the means to effectively administrate its newly expanded empire begin paying off its war debt and prevent any further hostilities with Native Americans in the region for the time being Parliament bore much of the responsibility and therefore cost of the war with France on the colonists in North America since they fought the war in North America primarily to gain the resources in French territories for the colonists as well as Great Britain This mindset resulted in a series of acts by British Parliament that began building colonial frustration and anger with Great Britain that would culminate into the outbreak of war in 1775 0 Navigation Acts 17th century series of acts that imposed regulation of colonial trade based on the economic theory of mercantilism favoring Britain s economy and disadvantaging the colonial American economies Molasses Act of 1733 tax on molasses by Parliament loosely enforced allowing colonial merchants to smuggle untaxed molasses into North America from the Caribbean Proclamation Act of 17 63 imposed a temporary boundary for the colonists lining the Appalachian Mountains attempted to be enforced with British troops largely ignored by the colonists Sugar Act of 1764 despite halving the tax on molasses Parliament implemented an extremely despised tax on sugar a staple good of the colonies at the time repealed within a year Stamp Act of 17 65 in some respect a replacement for the Sugar Act that was highly protested and eventually repealed Quartering Act of 17 65 replaced the Stamp Act which highly angered the colonists Tea Act of 1773 unlike past taxes imposed by Parliament on the colonies Parliament refused to repeal the Tea Act resulted in the Boston Tea Party and subsequently the blockading of Boston MA by the British Royal Navy Colonial outrage at Great Britain s incessant taxation during these years culminated into colonial governments regimenting their regional militias as well as cooperating with their North American neighbors other colonial governments in fighting what many settlers viewed as an unjustified infringement on their way of life This frustration brought about armed con ict in April of 1775 at Lexington and Concord Massachusetts bringing about American War for Independence Fighting continued until a coalesced AmericanFrench victory at the Battle of Yorktown Virginia in 1781 although official peace terms were not agreed upon until September of 1783 in Paris between the British and the colonials The questions remains of how can the colonists victory be explained It remains obvious that Great Britain was the most formidable fighting force in the world at that time both on land and at sea Yet the colonists had several distinct advantages that primarily played off of Britain s disadvantages 0 Military Tactics By the mid18th century British military theory unanimously agreed that the guerrilla tactics of Native Americans in North America were uncivilized and therefore un t in any form to be used by the gentlemanly British armed forces The colonists however conceded that while it was necessary to have a standing army to fight the British in their Europeanstyle warfare militiamen were useful in that they were much more open to adopting guerrilla tactics of war Therefore while the Continental Army fought British troops in open fields lined up sidebyside utilizing volley fire colonial militias ambushed British supply lines in uneven forest and swamp terrain throughout both the North and the South the Continentals charged the British headon while the militia poked at them with a stick 0 Geography The British were utterly unfamiliar with the terrain of their North American colonies and therefore were extremely slow at adapting their war strategy to such terrain the colonists who fought in the war and aided the war effort had lived in North American their whole lives and identified as such although many still held firm their English roots they had no political or socioeconomic attachment to Great Britain thus the colonists managed to outdo the British in multiple instances where they did not have the advantage because they knew the geography and what advantages if any it provided them the militia used the dense forests and swamps to fight guerrilla warfare against the British while the Continentals knew not only when to retreat but the best means of retreating and what path to take when retreating o IdeologyMorale On the whole the war in North American was highly unpopular among the English population basically from the getgo Many Brits were unable to justify spending more money and sending more soldiers 3000 miles overseas to die in what their minds was a foreign land not worth fighting longterm to hold onto And despite the glorified idea that the Continentals and militiamen were fighting for independence and liberty and justice many of them participated simply so they could return to what their lives were before the war and before the revolution they wanted freedom not necessarily freedom from Great Britain but freedom to live their lives without unwanted interference from the Crown Still this gave enough boost to the colonial morale and allowed enough justi cation in the colonists minds to keep on ghting until Great Britain eventually gave Basically George Washington figured out how the colonies would achieve independence from Great Britain rather quickly when he was named Commander inChief of the Continental Army Being fully aware of the logistical advantages that the British had over the colonists in terms of weaponry soldiers training and supplies Washington knew that the goal was not to defeat Britain but to prevent Britain from claiming victory in other words the colonists did not have to win the war but they needed to not lose


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