The shot heard round the world.. “By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April's breeze unfurled; Here once the embattled farmers stood; And fired the shot heard round the world.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn
Lexington and Concord • Two brief skirmishes in April of 1775 • British were trying to capture ammo and Patriot leaders outside of Boston. • Minutemen fought for the patriots. • Marks the beginning of the Revolutionary War. • Seen as both a victory for British (they captured the ammo) and for the Patriots (the British retreated)
Fort Ticonderoga May 10, 1775 – Ethan Allen leads his backwoodsmen Green Mountain Boys on an attack against British Fort Ticonderoga. They capture cannon and guns which they would use to drive the British from Boston.
2nd Continental Congress • May 10th, the same day as the battle at Fort Ticonderoga, delegates meet in Philadelphia and agree to form the Continental Army. • George Washington is chosen as the commanding general. • Congress authorizes the printing of paper money to pay troops. I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with
Battle of Bunker Hill (& Breed’s Hill) • British General Gage in Boston orders three waves of attack. • Colonial Army held high ground on two hills. • Colonists lose the battle, but show they can fight! • Colonials kill 40%-50% of British soldiers (about 1000) • British only kill & wound 400! • General Gage writes “The loss we have sustained is greater than we can bear.”
Olive Branch Petition • Despite hostilities, Congress drafts an Olive Branch Petition in July 1775 to restore relations • The King rejected the petition (didn’t even read it), and sent the British Navy to block American ships from leaving their ports. • The King also sent hired German soldiers and mercenaries – “Hessians” to fight in American.
Washington’s Headaches • Despite colonial forces being confident of their abilities – Washington was extremely aware of their shortcomings. • Only 1/3 of the colonists were in favor of a war for independence. • States and colonies had their own loyalties. • Congress couldn’t tax to raise money for the Continental Army. • Poor training [until the arrival of Baron von Steuben.
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Beginning the War Washington’s Goals: Survive Don’t Give Up Avoid a Crushing Defeat
The Northern Campaign • After Ft. Ticonderoga, American General Montgomery was able to quickly overtake Montreal. • The next big plan was to invade Quebec, led by Benedict Arnold – key player in the Ft. Ticonderoga victory. • With a victory, they could enlist Canadians into the Patriot cause. • The attack started in November 1775 – in harsh winter conditions. The Americans attacked, failed, and were forced to retreat.
Deciding the Fate of Boston • The Continental Army surrounds the British troops in Boston – leading to a stand-off where no force takes the control. • The cannon from Ft. Ticonderoga finally arrive in January, 1776. • Washington takes his position in Dorchester Heights, overlooking the city, and threatens bombardment of the city.
Deciding the Fate of Boston • British General Howe decides to retreat. • March 17, 1776 9000 British soldiers leave Boston on 100 ships. • 1000 Loyalists also flee, fearing for their safety. • Homes and property of the Loyalists are seized, and Boston returns to the hands of the Patriots.
Meanwhile…Common Sense • On January 15, 1776, while Washington battles for Boston, Thomas Paine writes a pamphlet titled “Common Sense.” • “Common Sense” calls for Americans to follow their own destiny – and the sale of over 100,000 copies further the cause of the Revolutionaries.
Meanwhile…Self-Governments • In May 1776 the Continental Congress, in Philadelphia, authorizes each of the 13 colonies to establish their own governments. • They are now each responsible for their own taxation, trade, and economies.
Beginning of Independence • June 7, 1776, John Hancock leads the 2nd Continental Congress, calling colonies “free and independent states” – which leads to the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. • July 4, 1776 the Declaration of Independence is adopted in Congress.
Battle for New York • After the Battle for Boston, Washington rushes his troops to New York , where he expects the British to land • July 1776 British General Howe lands in New York with a large army. • In August, 9000 Hessian mercenaries arrive.
Retreat from New York • Washington’s troops are inexperienced , poorly trained, and poorly equipped. • Things look bad for the colonial rebels… • Members of Congress flee Philadelphia.
Battle of Brooklyn/Battle of Long Island • British forces, commanded by Howe and Cornwallis, try to trap Washington’s forces in Brooklyn. • Washington held his ground until nightfall, then retreated under cover of darkness. • Howe captures the city, and holds it for the remainder for the war. • This is considered the first real battle between armies, and the first of many narrow escapes by Washington.
Washington’s Retreat • After the battle in New York, Washington’s troops are forced to retreat through New Jersey. • Due to harsh winter conditions and low supplies, Continental Army spirits were low. • Washington knows he needs a victory, and quickly, or his soldiers will lose heart.
Thomas Paine’s The Crisis • “These are the time that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink form the service of their country; but he that stands it NOW, serves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
Trenton • On December 25, 1776 Washington leads his troops crossing the Delaware River into New Jersey. • The American forces march into Trenton, surprising a semi-drunk Hessian force. • The battle lasts about 45 minutes, ending with 900 Hessian prisoners – and some badly supplies of guns and ammunition.
Princeton • January 3, 1777 – Washington marches his newly victorious troops to Princeton, where they quickly win again, driving the British almost entirely out of New Jersey. • While of little strategic importance, these battles boosted Patriot morale and gained the patriots more supporters and soldiers.
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All about the Benjamin (Franklin) • Continental Congress sends Franklin to Paris to work for an alliance. • France sends money and supplies in secret, but no public support. • After Saratoga, Franklin signs a Treaty of Alliance with France.
British Plan • British commanders planned to cut off New England from the other colonies, by seizing the Hudson River Valley – then meeting up back at Albany. • Gen. Howe was to march from NY, Gen. Burgoyne from Canada, and Col. St. Leger from Lake Ontario
How it Played Out… • June-July 1977 Gen. John Burgoyne marched south from Canada and captures Ft. Ticonderoga from Benedict Arnold. • Howe decided he wanted to invade and capture Philadelphia instead, so didn’t make the rendezvous. • And St. Leger…
Mohawk Valley Conflicts • In August 1777 American General Herkimer and Benedict Arnold send patriot Iroquois to St. Leger to tell him they had a large army headed his way. St. Leger, scared, retreated, leaving all of his supplies behind. Therefore when the troops met at Oriskany (Battle of Oriskany-one of the bloodiest of the war), the British were defeated. St. Leger was unable to rendezvous with Burgoyne.
Battle for Philadelphia • September 11, 1777 – Washington and his troops try to keep British (Generals Howe and Cornwallis) out of Philadelphia. • 18,000 British vs. 11,000 Americans • Americans are pushed out, back to Brandywine, then Germantown. • The British set up camp and waited.
Saratoga • Aug.-Sep. 1777 American General Gates fortified his position with the help of a Polish engineer outside Saratoga. • On Sep. 19 Burgoyne attacked – Gates position held and the Brits dropped back, exhausted.
Meanwhile… • Nearby Saratoga, at Freeman’s Farm, Benedict Arnold led another attack on the British. • Arnold charged the redcoats, acting like a maniac – which forced Burgoyne’s Hessian’s back to the other troops at Saratoga
Saratoga • The Patriots surrounded Burgoyne’s troops at Saratoga, firing at them day and night, forcing the Brits to surrender!! • Finally, a major victory over a larger troop force!
Consequences of Saratoga • Saratoga becomes the turning point of the war • Europeans finally believe Americans might win this war for independence • Benedict Arnold marries a Loyalist and becomes bitter over lack of recognition for his part in battles.
Benedict Arnold – America’s Most Famous Traitor • The Arnolds squandered money on an extravagant social life among the Loyalist families of Philadelphia. Needing money, Arnold then began a 16-month treasonable correspondence with the British commander in chief, Sir Henry Clinton. As commandant of West Point, key to the Hudson River valley, Arnold agreed in 1780 to surrender the fort to the enemy in return for a royal commission in the British army and a sum of money. The capture of Clinton's messenger, Major John André, exposed the plot, and Arnold fled to the enemy. André was hanged. Arnold escaped to the enemy lines and was commissioned a brigadier general in the British army. For his property losses, he claimed and was paid about $10,000. He then led two battles for the British Army, one that burned Richmond, Va., and the other against New London, Conn.
Valley Forge • Outside Philadelphia, at Valley Forge, the American army gets ready to waste away a winter, low on supplies and morale • Washington and Prussian drill Sergeant Baron von Steuben, take the time to drill the soldiers on fighting tactics and sanitation – making the troops better and tougher
Figures at the Forge • Washington kept good company at Valley Forge • Nathaniel Greene (became commander of troops in the South) • Benedict Arnold (from Ticonderoga, Oriskany, Montreal, etc.) • Marquis de LaFayette (led troops, helped negotiate with France) • Alexander Hamilton (Washington’s aide, 1stSecy of Treasury, died in a duel with VP Burr) • John Marshall (1st Chief Justice of Supreme Court)
Battling after the Forge • June 28, 1778 at Monmouth, Washington leads his troops to battle against British General Clintons troops. • Though the battle ends in a draw, American troops receive fortifications, forcing the British to abandon Philadelphia, and retreat to New York.
War on the Frontier George Rogers Clark
The Proposal • 1777, George Rogers Clark persuades the Virginia Governor, Patrick Henry, for the right to defend the western frontier against the British and Native Americans. • Henry gave him the right to capture any British posts on the western frontier.
Battle for the Frontier • May 1778 George Rogers Clark traveled down the Ohio River, recruiting as many as 200 men along the way. • By boat and foot they reach Kaskaskia, and captured it without a fight
Battle for Vincennes • February 1779, Clark meets up with British Henry Hamilton – the “Hair Buyer.” • Hamilton underestimates Clark – as Clark traverses flooding and icy swamps • Clark lies about how big his forces are • Clark executes loyalist Indians as a warning to Hamilton • Hamilton gives up
War at Sea John Paul Jones
British Domination • British had stationed more than 100 warships along the American coastline, giving them control of trade in the Atlantic. • More than 1000 American privateers attacked the British merchant ships, for patriotism and profit, which had British merchants calling for an end to the war.
The Continental Navy • Though heavily outnumbered, American naval battles became legend during the Revolutionary War. • The greatest sea battle fought, was won by American sailor and captain John Paul Jones, on his ship the “Bonhomme Richard.”
John Paul Jones • September, 1779 the “Bonhomme Richard” came up against British warships guiding their merchant boats. • Jones rammed the lead warship, the “Serapis”, and they locked guns, blasting at each other for nearly 4 hours. Jones is famous for refusing to surrender, exclaiming “I have not yet begun to fight!”
End of the Battle • When the “Serapis” lost its mast, the captain surrendered. • The “Bonhomme Richard,” mortally wounded, sank, leaving it’s crew to sail home on the “Serapis.” • The American victory against a much stronger Navy angered the British and inspired the Americans.