ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
Population: 11 million (Engl.) v. 2.5 million (Col. incl. 20% enslaved)
Wealth: Access to wealth from other colonies and Industrial Revolution
Navy: Most powerful navy in the world
Troops: 48,000 Britons + 1000s of Hessian German troops
Americans only had 18,000 poorly trained troops
Most colonists wanted to stay near their farms
soldiers were poor youths, ex-convicts, former indentured servants - hoping to get bonus ($20) and 100 acres of land. Also "camp followers" - women who cared for troops.
More experienced officers
Only 1/3 of Americans wanted war
According to John Adams, 1/3 supported war, 1/3 opposed it, 1/3 had no opinion
Colonists lacked funds
The colonial government (which didn't yet have a constitution) didn't want to tax the people
So they printed Continental dollars which quickly lost their value
Support of Indians
Cherokee and four of Iroquois Nations led by Mohawk chief Joseph Brant)
Brant had converted to Anglicanism
Iroquois: Mohawk, Seneca and Cayuga to British
Iroquois: Oneida and Tuscarora with patriots
Indians knew that colonists planned to move into their land if Proclamation Line was removed.
Home turf: Colonists fighting closer to home, knew terrain
British had long supply lines
While the American colonists had vast resources (although they lacked manufactured goods, guns, ammunition, cannons etc.)
British generals made mistakes
Howe was against Coercive Acts and didn't want to destroy American army , he just wanted them to give up struggle.
"Gentleman Burgoyne" slowed troops because he traveled with amenities from home (luxuries, champagne, dinner stoves, crystal glasses, his mistress etc.)
Not all people in Britain were excited about the war.
Tactic, keep British away from supply lines on coast and sap their morale
Used unorthodox military strategies to defeat British (like ambushes)
American fervor of revolution
Because of the diplomatic efforts of Benjamin Franklin, a desire to seek revenge against Britain and finally, colonial victories at the Battle of Saratoga
The French joined the American cause
Marquis de Lafayette, a wealthy 19 -year-old French noble, was a major general in Colonial army
Brought to America by German immigrants
Merchants who traded with Britain
Who feared they'd lose their freedoms if British were not there to protect them
Many southern backcountry farmers and NY tenants
Who opposed wealthy planter patriots and landlords
Including North Carolina Regulators who fought tidewater government in 1775
Quakers, Amish, Mennonites who were pacifists
Attracted by Lord Dunmore's proclamation promising to free slaves who fought for British.
Smugglers (like John Hancock) who feared the Sugar Act would increase regulation of trade
And merchants and urban workers (distillers, lumberjacks, shipbuilders) who made money from smuggling and trade with non-British countries.
American colonists who wanted to settle on land west of 1763 Proclamation Line
Legislators who were elected to positions in local assemblies
Freed and enslaved blacks encouraged by Revolutionary focus on "liberty and equality"
Who served in colonial rebel army as a route to freedom
Slaves whose masters were loyalists
Many colonists later turned against British troops who looted, raped women and destroyed colonial property
WAS THE WAR REVOLUTIONARY?
Political Change (not just regime change but new nation based on democracy)
Monarchy became republic
With a lot of power given to states over the central government ("Articles of Confederation")
Voting extended among white, males
= Popularly elected public officials represented interests of voters (not just elite)
= Greater participation in the political process (small farmers, artisans, laborers)
Middle elements of society had more power (because of vote)
Women (educated in virtue) valued for role in educating young citizens ("Republican motherhood")
The Anglican Church was disestablished and became Episcopalian
Separation of Church and State in all colonies/states
In interest of "liberty" and "equality," slavery and indentured servitude were questioned
Indentured servants no longer used
Emancipation (state sponsored freeing of slaves) in North (first in PA and NY)
Some manumission (slaves set free voluntarily by owners) in South
Women, slaves and Native Americans still can't vote (except NJ)
Property ownership still required to vote and hold office
Local and state governments continued with same leaders (no royal governors)
Social: No radical social changes like French Revolution 1789, Russia,1917, China, 1949
Slavery still exist
Women still considered subordinate to men
Rich still rich, poor still poor
Institutional foundations not destroyed
Churches still intact for example
Attacked big cities
Tried to divide colonies, isolate New England
Moved to New York
Americans short of men
So stayed on defensive
Washington tried to pull British far away from their supply lines
And get France and Spain to give naval aid
AMERICAN REVOLUTION -- IMPORTANT EVENTS
First Continental Congress (Sept. 5, 1774)
Met in Philadelphia to respond to Intolerable Acts
Most were gentlemen: planters, lawyers, wealthy merchants
John Adams, Sam Adams, George Washington, Patrick Henry etc.
Suffolk Resolves (Sept. 9): boycott British goods unless Intolerable Acts repealed
Colonial militias beginning to drill ("minutemen" ready to fight with minute's notice) 1/2 unarmed, poorly trained, officers selected because of popularity
Lexington and Concord (April 19, 1775)
British Gen. Gage wanted to seize rebel supplies at Concord and arrest rebel leaders Sam Adams and John Hancock
It was supposed to be surprise.
Led by Maj. Pitcairn.
Paul Revere, William Dawes warn colonial militias.
Colonial militiamen (no minutemen) met British at Lexington (on way to Concord)
"Shot heard around the world" was fired
Redcoats (British Regular army) volleyed back
British faced more colonists at Concord.
Pitcairn retreated to Boston
Militiamen shot at British from behind trees.
Br. Redcoats = 73 dead, 173 wounded.
Second Continental Congress (May 10, 1775)
President: John Hancock
Royal authority was disintegrating
Established Continental Army with George Washington (from Virginia) as commander
Printed money (Continental Dollars)
New flag (Grand Union Flag) showed allegiance to British
(The British Union Jack was placed in the corner)
Declaration of the Cause and Necessity of Taking Arms published (July 1775)
The colonists were still only seeking rights as British subjects
Ticonderoga (May 10) and Quebec City
Benedict Arnold was chosen to attack British Fort Ticonderoga
Arnold joined by Green Mountain Boys from Vermont led by Ethan Allen
Fort Ticonderoga gave up without a fight (didn't know about Lexington, Concord etc.)
First official colonial victory
Arnold moved on to Quebec but not successful
Lost at Plains of Abraham in Quebec City
Bunker/Breed's Hill (June 17, 1775)
Br. PM Lord North sends 1000 troops to Boston
"Gentleman" Johnny Burgoyne
Boston vulnerable to attacks from high grounds
Breed's Hill and Bunker Hill to north
Dorchester Heights to south
Howe sent troops to Breed's Hill
Colonists waited to shoot until saw the "whites of their eyes" (short on ammo)
Then fought off the British until they ran out of ammunition and had to retreat
British won but lost 200 men, 1000 wounded.
Moral victory for colonists
Olive Branch Petition (July 1775)
Written by John Dickinson (a Quaker)
Continental Congress sent petition to king
Said colonist still loyal to king, asked George III to call off hostilities and work for peace.
King George refused to look at it (considered colonists rebels)
Aug. 1775 George III issued "Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition" - said colonists were avowed enemies.
British General Howe (October)
Sir William Howe had commanded British troops at Battle of Bunker Hill
He replaced General Thomas Gage as commander of British troops in America
Common Sense (Jan. 1776)
Pamphlet written by Thomas Paine
Straight forward, written in common language
Called King George III a "royal brute" who didn't care about colonists interests
Why should an island (Britain) rule a continent (America)?
America too far from Britain
Being part of Britain would drag Americans into European wars and hurt international commerce
System of hereditary monarchy was outdated ("a child or idiot" may fill position)
Claimed that colonists were separate from British
Caused Americans to consider separating from Britain
Boston (March 5, 1776)
Colonists, under Washington, climb Dorchester Heights with artillery moved from Ft. Ticonderoga
Threaten to take Boston
Howe leads British out of Boston to Halifax, Nova Scotia
Howe makes plans to make NY the British headquarters
Richard Henry Lee (June 7, 1776)
Lee introduced Resolves that "these United Colonies are and ought to be, free and independent states"
South: solidly for independence
Middle: divided (NY for, Penn = pacifist Quakers)
Commissioned to Thomas Jefferson
Based on philosophy of John Locke (Social Contract) and Enlightenment
Signed by 56 members of Continental Congress (inc. John Hancock)
Ben Franklin: "If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately.
Congress sent Franklin to Paris to form French alliance.
Seen as "noble savage"
He wore homespun clothes and was very popular in France
New York (August, 1776)
Battle of Long Island/Brooklyn Heights (Aug. 27-30)
First British ships arrive in NY Harbor Jun. 29
Invade Long Island late August
1st real battle between Br. and colonists
British under Howe and Cornwallis trap colonists
British occupy NYC Sept. 15
Washington goes north to White Plains
Battle of White Plains (Oct. 28)
Howe forces Washington to escape across Hudson into New Jersey
British occupy New York City
Washington troops cross Delaware to Pennsylvania
Panicked Continental Congress leaves Philadelphia to Baltimore
Paine wrote "these are the times that try men's souls"
British troops rest in New York for the winter.
Washington crosses the Delaware (December 25-26, 1776)
Howe decided not to invade Pennsylvania but wait in New York for the winter.
Washington led troops from Pennsylvania to New Jersey
Then crossed the Delaware River (see image above by George Caleb Bingham).
Surprised 1,500 Hessians celebrating Christmas in Trenton, N.J. killed 100 of them
Battle lasted 45 minutes, 900 Hessian prisoners
Morale booster, colonists got badly needed guns
But they didn't take back New York
Burgoyne's three-pronged strategy
Howe's army to move north up Hudson R., joining forces with Iroquois (led by Joseph Brant)
Barry St. Leger would come east
Burgoyne south from Montreal with 8000 men
But Howe changed route
Didn't want Burgoyne to get credit
Decided to go toward Philadelphia (largest American city) instead (See Battle of Brandywine)
Battle of Princeton (Jan. 3)
Colonial victory at Princeton drove British out of NJ.
Washington spent winter in Morristown, NJ (Jan. 6-May 28)
Flag Resolution (June 14)
Continental Congress approved first official flag
"the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation"
Designed by Francis Hopkinson, sewn by Betsy Ross
Hopkinson also designed Continental currency
First flown during Battle of Ft. Stanwix
Siege at Fort Stanwix (Aug. 3-22)
Target of Burgoyne who sent St. Leger to capture it (See Burgoyne's 3-pronged strategy)
British forces included Loyalists, Hessian soldiers, and Indians under Joseph Brant.
American forces under Col. Peter Gransevoort defeated the British.
First time new American flag was flown.
Battle of Brandywine (Sep. 11, 1777)
British General Howe decided to go to Philadelphia (the American capital at that point) rather than Albany dooming General Burgoyne's plan to occupy New York
Washington tried to stop British troops from reaching Philadelphia
Howe had 18,000 British troops, Washington had 11,000
Battle was 11 hours - longest single-day battle of the war
Redcoats (British) defeated American rebels at Brandywine
Colonists forced to retreat
British occupied Philadelphia Sept. 26 (for 9 months)
Then went on to Germantown
Battle of Saratoga (October 17, 1777)
Burgoyne's troops slow (see three-pronged attack) - because he had too much luggage (36 oxcarts full, champagne, silverware, china, crystal, bed and linens)
Howe was supposed to meet Burgoyne at Saratoga
But he had gone to Philadelphia instead.
Bugoyne was stopped by American General Benedict Arnold
And was forced to surrender to American General Horatio Gates Oct. 17
Turning point in war:
More than 5,000 British/Hessian troops surrender
American victory convinced France to enter war on American side
French would battle the British in Caribbean
Valley Forge, (December 19 1777 to Jun. 19, 1778)
Howe occupied Philadelphia Sep. 26, 1777
Forced Washington and his troops to spend winter at Valley Forge
25,000 Americans soldiers died from starvation, disease and cold
Camp followers and other women (including Martha Washington) came to help sew clothes and cook.
Some soldiers wanted to replace Washington with Horatio Gates (who had won victories at Saratoga)
Prussian General Von Steuben was brought to the camp to help motivate Patriot soldiers
Taught them military skills, drilled the troops, taught them how to aim muskets, charge with bayonets etc.
French entered war
British General Howe was replaced by Henry Clinton
Battle of Yorktown, Virginia (Sep. - Oct. 1781)
Washington commanded force of 17,000 French and Continental troops
British General Lord Charles Cornwallis had 9,000 British troops
Washington ordered Marquis de Lafayette and an American army of 5,000 troops to block Cornwall's escape by land
While French navy blocked British escape by sea
British General Cornwallis surrendered Sep. 28, 1781
Treaty of Paris drafted Nov 30, 1782, signed Sep. 3, 1783
Article 1 - said United States were "free, sovereign and independent states"
And that the British Crown relinquishes all claims
Set boundaries between British Empire in North America (Canada) and U.S.
Granted American fishing rights off the coast of Newfoundland
US would prevent future confiscation of Loyalist property
Prisoners of war would be released
All territoires captured by either side wuold be returned wthout compensation
AMERICAN REVOLUTION DETAILED TIMELINE
First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to respond to Intolerable Acts
Rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes (April 18)
Battles of Lexington and Concord (April 19)
Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys seize Ft. Ticonderoga (May 10)
Second Continental Congress (Philly May 10).
Created Continental Army and named George Washington as commander-in-chief.
Battle of Bunker Hill (fought on Breed’s Hill) (Jun. 17)
Montgomery captures Montreal for Americans (Nov. 13)
Benedict Arnold’s failed attack on Quebec (Dec. 30)
Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” published (Jan. 15)
British leave Boston (Mar. 17)
Richard Henry Lee proposes Independence (Jun. 7)
Declaration of Independence adopted (July 4) signed (Aug. 2)
Arrival of 30,000 British troops in NY harbor (under Gen. William Howe and Cornwallis)
British win Battle of Long Island (Battle of Brooklyn) (Aug. 27-30)
First real battle between British and American forces
Redcoats under Generals William Howe and Charles Cornwallis advanced on New York and tried to trap the Americans in Brooklyn.
George Washington retreated across New Jersey to Pennsylvania
British occupy NYC (Sept. 15)
American retreat at the Battle of White Plains (Oct. 28)
Washington Crosses the Delaware and captures Trenton (Dec. 26)
Washington caught Hessians off-guard while they were celebrating Christmas
Battle lasted 45 minutes
Resulted in 900 Hessian prisoners.
The Americans then marched on Princeton and won there, too.
They were smashing victories for the weary Americans,
And an opportunity to gain badly needed guns and ammunition.
Washington wins Battle of Princeton (Jan. 3)
Victory at Princeton drove the British out of New Jersey, almost for good.
Washington winters in Morristown, NJ (Jan. 6-May 28)
Flag Resolution (flag possibly designed by Hopkinson, likely sewn by Betsy Ross) (Jun. 14)
St. Clair surrenders at Fort Ticonderoga to the British (Jul. 5)
Ft Ticonderoga was New York fort on the western shore of Lake Champlain that was originally a French fort, called Carillion, that was seized by the British in the French and Indian War.
The fort was later captured by the Americans in their first "official" victory of the Revolutionary War.
The fort wasn't garrisoned very well but still held a stock of British weapons.
Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys, along with Benedict Arnold, captured the fort on May 10, 1775.
The capture stalled a planned British invasion from Canada and also enabled American troops to invade Canada themselves.
The British recaptured the fort in 1777 but abandoned it in 1780.
Lafayette arrives in Philly (Jul. 27)
Lafayette was a French officer who fought for America in the Revolutionary War.
He participated in the Continental Congress and served under George Washington at the Battle of Brandywine and at Valley Forge. He also had a part in the final battle of the war, Yorktown.
Americans under Herkimer defeat the British under St. Leger at Ft. Stanwix, in the Mohawk Valley in Oriskany, NY (Aug. 6)
American Militia under general Stark triumph over Hessians at Bennington (Aug. 16)
British General Howe lands at Head of Elk, MD (Aug. 25)
Howe was a British general who commanded troops at the Battle of Bunker Hill and replaced General Thomas Gage as commander of British troops in America in October 1775,
when Gage was called home to Britain.
Howe commanded the British to victory in the Battles of Brooklyn and Brandywine
and managed to escape with most of his army intact from the trap set for him at Germantown.
His decision to go to Philadelphia, not Albany, doomed General John Burgoyne's grand plan for the occupation of New York,
leading to the British surrender at Saratoga (and the entrance of France into the war). In May 1778,
Howe was replaced by General Henry Clinton and returned to Britain.
British success at the Battle of Brandywine, PA (Sep. 11)
Battle fought on September 11, 1777, when American troops under General George Washington tried to stop British troops under Generals William Howe and Charles Cornwallis from reaching Philadelphia, the temporary American capital.
Howe's 18,000 British troops were more than enough for the 11,000 Americans, who backtracked to Chester, leaving Philadelphia dangerously exposed.
The British occupied the capital and then pressed on to Germantown.
Rain-out at the Battle of the Clouds, PA (Sep. 16)
General Burgoyne checked by Americans under Gates at Freeman’s Farm, NY (Sept. 19)
Burgoyne: British general who met with great success early in the war but met his end at Saratoga.
He was at the Battle of Bunker Hill and helped capture Fort Ticonderoga.
He had plans for an invasion of New York and got as far as Saratoga,
where he was stopped and forced to surrender to American General Horatio Gates,
partly because Burgoyne's support, in the person of General William Howe, had marched toward Philadelphia instead.
Burgoyne left the army and returned home a disgrace.
Gates: American general who fought in the French and Indian War and then was, at different times, commander of both the Northern Army of the U.S. and the Southern Army of the U.S.
He was the commanding officer of the American force that retreated from the recaptured Fort Ticonderoga,
and he was in command at the pivotal Battle of Saratoga.
This success, coupled with George Washington's recent failures, prompted a movement to replace Washington with Gates as commander-in-chief.
Washington, however, stayed on. Gates retired to his farm in 1789 but was called back a year later and given the command of the Southern Army.
The defeat at Camden proved disastrous,
and Gates was replaced by Nathanael Greene
Paoli Massacre, PA (Sep. 21)
British under Howe occupy Philadelphia (sept. 26)
Americans driven off at the Battle of Germantown (Oct. 4)
Burgoyne loses second battle of Freeman’s Farm, NY (At Bernis Heights) (Oct. 7)
Burgoyne surrenders to American General Gates at Saratoga (NY) (Oct. 17)
Turning point of the Revolutionary War in that it convinced France to enter the war on the side of the Americans.
British General John Burgoyne came up with a brilliant plan
to take all of New York away from the Americans.
His three-pronged attack
called for a meeting of three forces at Saratoga.
Burgoyne would advance south from Canada and plan to meet at Albany with Generals Barry St. Leger and William Howe.
St. Leger was to move east from Fort Oswego, on Lake Onratio;
and Howe was to march north from Virginia.
This was a brilliant plan, Burgoyne thought, and he hoped to crush the American Northern Army.
Trouble was, it didn't work.
Howe never got the message
and went to Philadelphia instead.
was stopped by American General Benedict Arnold at Saratoga.
made it to Albany and had it all to himself.
At the Battle of Saratoga (which was really a handful of battles),
Burgoyne surrendered almost his entire army to General Horatio Gates on October 17, 1777.
The American victory convinced France that America really did have a chance of winning.
Soon thereafter, French money and supplies (and eventually, troops and ships) were making their way to America. The end had begun
Hessian attack on Ft. Mercer, NJ repulsed (Oct. 22)
British captured Fort Mifflin, PA (Nov 16)
Americans repulse British at White Marsh, PA (Dec. 5-7)
The Winter at Valley Forge, PA (Dec. 19, 1777 to Jun. 19, 1778)
Starvation, disease and exposure killed nearly 2,500 American soldiers by end of Feb. 1778
Martha Washington came and organized a sewing circle of women who patched socks etc.
Camp followers of wives, children, mothers, sisters.
American public criticized Washington for his inability to advance war effort.
A few soldiers wanted to replace him with Gates (who had won a decisive victory at Battle of Saratoga)
Said he had left the surrounding countryside unprotected by moving into the isolated area of Valley Force
Winter imbued in soldiers will to persevere, endure and later triumph over obstacles and bring independence to the US.
Once member of Prussian Army (Frederick Great)
Offered military skills to patriot cause “without pay or rank”
Arrived at Valley Forge from France
with letter of introduction from Benjamin Franklin
Tasked with training program, drill instructor
Taught soldiers how to aim muskets accurately, charge with bayonets, maneuver together in compact ranks
French Alliance (Feb. 6)
British General William Howe replaced by Henry Clinton (Mar. 7)
Von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge
Battle of Barren Hill, PA (May 20)
Washington fights to a draw at Battle of Monmouth (Jun. 28)
George Rogers Clark captured kaskaskia, a French village near Detroit (Jul. 4)
French and American forces besiege Newport, RI (Aug. 8)
British occupy Savannah, GA (Dec. 29)
Militia beats Tories at Kettle Creek, NC (Feb. 14)
American George Rogers Clark captures Vincennes on the Wabash in the Western campaign (2/25)
Fairfield, CT, burned by British (7/8)
Norwalk, CT, burned by British (7/11)
American "Mad" Anthony Wayne captures Stony Point, NY (7/15-16)
"Light Horse" Harry Lee attacks Paulus Hook, NJ (8/19)
John Paul Jones, aboard the Bonhomme Richard, captures British man-of-war Serapis near English coast (9/23)
The Tappan Massacre ("No Flint" Grey kills 30 Americans by bayonet) (9/28)
American attempt to recapture Savannah, GA fails (10/9)
Coldest Winter of the war, Washington at Morristown, NJ
British capture Charleston, SC (5/12)
British crush Americans at Waxhaw Creek, SC (5/29)
Patriots rout Tories at Ramseur's Mill, NC (6/20)
French troops arrive at Newport, RI, to aid the American cause (7/11)
Patriots defeat Tories at Hanging Rock, SC (8/6)
British rout Americans at Camden, SC (8/16)
Benedict Arnold's plans to cede West Point to the British discovered (9/25)
King's Mountain, SC: battle lasted 65 minutes. American troops led by Isaac Shelby and John Sevier defeated Maj. Patrick Ferguson and one-third of General Cornwallis' army. (10/7)
Washington names Nathanael Greene commander of the Southern Army (10/14)
Nathanael Greene: American general who had a large hand in bringing about the final surrender of British General Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown.
Greene was first an aide to General George Washington,
serving at Trenton, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth.
After the Battle of Charleston,
Greene replaced General Horatio Gates as commander of the Southern Army.
He won a smashing victory at Cowpens.
Although the Battle of Guilford Courthouse was technically a British victory,
it weakened the British forces so much that Cornwallis decided to abandon the Carolinas and march to Virginia.
Greene followed and trapped Cornwallis into surrendering at Yorktown.
Mutiny of unpaid Pennsylvania soldiers (1/1)
Patriot Morgan overwhelming defeated British Col. Tarleton at Cowpens, SC (1/17)
Articles of Confederation adopted (3/2)
British win costly victory at Guilford Courthouse, NC (3/15)
British victory near a courthouse in North Carolina in March, 1781. Together with the American victory at Cowpens, the engagement at Guilford Courthouse weakened the British forces in the South.
General Charles Cornwallis, the commander of the southern British forces, decided to abandon North and South Carolina and march to Virginia
Greene defeated at Hobkirk's Hill, SC (4/25)
Corwallis clashed with Greene at Guilford Courthouse, NC (5/15)
Cornwallis: British general who won more battles than he lost
but surrendered at Yorktown, ending the war.
As second-in-command to General Henry Clinton,
he was on the winning side at Brooklyn, Brandywine, Monmouth, and Charleston.
After that, he was placed in command of the southern British forces.
His big success was the smashing victory at Camden,
although he did technically win at Guilford Courthouse.
But he was beaten at Kings Mountain, Cowpens, and at Yorktown.
Americans recapture Augusta, GA (6/6)
British hold off Americans at Ninety Six, SC (6/18)
"Mad" Anthony Wayne repulsed at Green Springs Farm, VA (7/6)
Greene defeated at Eutaw Springs, SC (9/8)
French fleet drove British naval force from Chesapeake Bay (9/15)
Cornwallis surrounded on land and sea by Americans and French and surrenders at Yorktown, VA (10/19)
American victory that ended the Revolutionary War on October 20, 1781.
British General Charles Cornwallis had met defeat in the south, at Cowpens, and his force had been continually weakened,
especially by American General Nathanael Greene at Guilford Courthouse.
Cornwallis left the Carolinas and proceeded north to Yorktown, Virginia,
there to await reinforcements from General Henry Clinton,
who was occupied in the north.
American forces under Greene and Commander-in-Chief George Washington
pursued Cornwallis by land while French ships surrounded the bay of Yorktown.
Faced with the prospect of no reinforcements,
Cornwallis stood and fought.
But the Americans won the battle and the war.
At the surrender ceremony,
Cornwallis's sword was accepted by General Benjamin Lincoln while a British band played "The World Turned Upside Down."
This was the last major battle of the war, although some minor skirmishes took place for the next two years, until the Treaty of Paris ended the war in 1783.
Lord North resigned as British Prime Minister (3/20/82)
Lord North: Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1770 to 1782.
A former Lord of the Treasury, he focused on economic problems for the first part of his reign.
He thought to make an example of Massachusetts by coming down hard on the insurrection there.
An example was the Tea Act, which so angered American colonists that they dumped 342 crates of tea into Boston Harbor.
But his experiment backfired.
Not only did the Massachusetts colonists fight back,
but the rest of the colonies also caught the revolutionary fire.
War was declared, and the fighting began.
North continued to serve as prime minister throughout the war, managing the affairs of the country from home while his armies fought in the field afar.
He tried to resign several times during the war, but King George III would not accept the resignation.
Finally, a year after Yorktown, while peace negotiations were dragging on, North resigned for good.
British evacuated Savannah, GA (7/11/82)
British sign Articles of Peace (11/30/82)
British leave Charleston, SC (12/14/82)
Congress ratifies preliminary peace treaty (4/19/83)
Treaty of Paris (9/3/83)
Treaty that officially ended the Revolutionary War on September 3, 1783.
It was signed in Paris by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay.
Under the terms of the treaty,
Britain recognized the independent nation of the United States of America.
Britain agreed to remove all of its troops from the new nation.
The treaty also set new borders for the United States,
including all land from the Great Lakes on the north to Florida on the south,
and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River.
The United States agreed to allow British troops still in America to leave
and also agreed to pay all existing debts owed to Great Britain.
The United States also agreed not to persecute loyalists still in America and allow those that left America to return
British troops leave New York (11/25/83)
Washington Resigns as Commander (12/23/83)
U.S. Constitution ratified (9/17/87)