American Revolution Trenton, Princeton and Saratoga
Battle of Long Island • In June of 1776, Sir William Howe (British general) gathered his troops in Staten Island, NY. • Washington’s men were awaiting an attack in Brooklyn on Long Island. • The British outnumbered the Americans and had naval supremacy. • After several battles, Washington abandoned New York City in August.
New York City Map • Brooklyn-Yellow • Queens-Orange • Staten Island-Purple • Manhattan-Blue • Bronx-Red • Note: Brooklyn and Queens are technically part of Long Island
Nathan Hale • Hale, an American spy posing as a school teacher, was captured by the British during the Battle of Long Island • Before he was hanged, he stated “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”
New Jersey • Washington and his men were pursued throughout New Jersey and escaped to Pennsylvania in early December, 1776. • On Christmas night, Washington and his men crossed the Delaware and surprised the Hessian troops (German mercenaries) stationed in Trenton, NJ. 900 prisoners were taken by the Americans.
Battle of Trenton - Video • Video 6:26-end • Between whom was the Battle of Trenton fought?
Battle of Princeton • When news reached Cornwallis (British leader) of the surrender of the Germans, he marched his troops towards Trenton • Washington attacked the British at Princeton • Victory inspired troops, increased morale and enlistment on American side.
Battle of Princeton • How it was won: • While the experienced British soldiers formed into lines, Washington's men fell into perilous disarray until their commander rode to the front on his tall white horse. "Parade with me my brave fellows," he called to them, before personally leading the assault on the British lines.
Battle of Princeton • Observers remarked with wonder not only that the mounted general survived the subsequent barrage of enemy gunfire, but that he did so in high good spirits: "It's a fine fox chase, my boys," Washington is reported to have called out when the British broke and ran.
Saratoga • British General Burgoyne hoped to cut off New England from the rest of the colonies by attacking from three directions (North, South, West) in 1777. • His plans fell through and the Americans (under General Horatio Gates) were able to surround the British in Saratoga, New York. • Generally regarded as a turning point in the war.
Battle of Saratoga • After losing many men, Burgoyne surrendered in Oct. 1777. • Victory at Saratoga boosted American spirits, Europeans realized Americans had a chance at defeating British • Franklin and Adams were in Paris in 1777 petitioning for French support for America • News of Burgoyne's surrender was instrumental in formally bringing France into the war as an American ally
Adams and Franklin in France • Adams and Franklin vastly differed in their manner of approach in negotiating an alliance with France. • Adams took a more urgent and direct approach. • Franklin was more nuanced in his approach to the French. • “A good diplomat observes much, adds little and speaks softly” • Why is it strange for America to ask for an alliance with France? • Why would France be inclined to help the Patriots? • Video of Franklin and Adams • Eventually Franklin becomes sole diplomat as Adams is reported to have regressed in diplomatic progress