Writing Assignment: Write a two-to-three-page paper on the following topic: Summarize the history of the American War for Independence.
The continental congress was called and they sent a list of changes they wanted done to the British parliament and king George. They started training soldiers at this time and parliament was mad that they were unhappy with the changes and skirmishes broke out before the congress could be called again. A company of British soldiers were sent to Boston to take possession of an arms stockpile there, before the colonists could use it. Paul Revere and another man made their famous ride to warn the towns that the British were coming around 2am.
The British arrived and they crossed the harbor knowing surprise was lost, they still did not meet resistance till they reached Lexington. There, the Battle of Lexington was fought, yet it was really just a short skirmish. The British commander called for a lay down of arms but an unknown person, we don’t know from which side, fired a sing shot and it launched a battle. This is known as “The Shot Heard Round the Word”! It was a brief fight and the Lexington captain of militia retreated quickly to await reinforcements. The British then moved on to Concord The militia had hidden the weapons but the British still destroyed the three cannons they had. Though, most of the supplies were later recovered.
About 400 militia started gathering and as they grew, they organized ranks. While raiding the town, the British left 90 soldiers at the bridge to guard the town. Some fired on the colonist militia that had gathered there to observe and the colonists then attacked and destroyed the entire investigation company. At the siege there were around 15,000 militia and only 6,000 British troops.
The Siege of Boston took many months. During that time George Washington was made commander of the militiamen. On the 13th of June, the colonists learned that the British planned to take the two hills outside the town called Breed’s Hill and Bunker Hill. So, in preparation the colonists-built earthworks by night and took the hills first. When the British marched on June 17th, they found the hills already taken and the battle began. The battle is known as the Battle of Bunker hill, although most of the fighting happened on Breed’s Hill. Eventually the colonists retreated to Cambridge, but by then, they had stood their own against the best trained military in the word and they had inflicted major damages. The colonists lost 367 men but the British had lost 1,054 men though winning possession of the hills.
The continental congress drafted a petition called the Olive Branch Petition, calling for a ceasefire. If Parliament would get rid of the Intolerable Acts, then they would cease all resistance and hostilities. It was not received well. King George dismissed it and declared war with the colonies.
In 1775 after the treaty was signed, flames of rebellion spread quickly. A man named Thomas Paine, wrote a pamphlet titled: Common Sense. It pushed for succession from Britain. It did more to spark rebellion than the Declaration of Independence.
During the winter of 1775-1776, Benedict Arnold led the colonial army to capture Fort Ticonderoga with barely any resistance. That helped the colonists claim artillery. After capturing Ticonderoga, Arnold led his troops to take parts of Quebec capturing supplies, ships, and artillery along the way. Shipping the captured supplies to Boston greatly helped the colonists. The Battle of Vanocur Island was fought by Arnold and his troops with some of the ships they captured. It was fought on Lake Chaplain and was the first naval battle of the war. They fought with nearly the same skill as the famed British navy.
On July 4th, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was issued. One of the most important documents of all time, it declared the separation of the 13 colonies from Britain. After its signing, France started to give secret aid to the colonists. New York and Boston came under control of the British, but George Washington rallied his troops and they crossed the Delaware river on Christmas night and captured Trenton. At the battle of Saratoga, 5,700 British troops surrendered to general Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold. Gates planned and Arnold led the troops. In 1778, France publicly declared America as a nation and gave them support openly.
From 1775-1778 most of the fighting in the war was focused primarily in the northern states, but after Saratoga the British noticed a growth in continental troops and decided to move to the south where they had more colonist loyalists. The winter of 1777 was very harsh and cold. The continental army spent their time in Valley Fordge in Pennsylvania. That winter was also the same time Baron von Steuben arrived and began to train them. The British moved to the south and started the second half of the war in 1778. They captured Savannah Georgia giving them control of most of the state. They took control of Charlston, which was a huge blow for the colonists, and Camden when taken, was a disastrous blow. 900 men were killed and nearly 1,000 captured. Including killed and wounded, the British only lost 300 men. General Gates had drastically underrated commander Cornwallis.
After Gates fled one of his failed battles, he was replaced by Nathaniel Green as commander of the southern armies. Washington controlled the northern armies and oversaw the war. Green was just the man the army needed. His efforts combined with the trained militia and guerilla tactics of Francis Marion the “Swamp Fox” harried and confused control. Cornwallis was an amazing strategist and leader, but Green had resources and odds on his side. He could have new troops whenever a man joined the army, but Cornwallis had to wait for reinforcements from Britain.
After the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, Cornwallis lost so many men that he had to retreat to the coast to await new troops. He became trapped when a French battalion of ships arrived and beat off the British ships carrying troops and supplies for him. The Battle of the Capes fought on the ocean, was the last battle of the war. The next day Cornwallis surrendered and the British retreated to New York, not extending the war. The last Treaty of the war was the Treaty of Paris, just like the end of the Seven Years War. All the land was given to the colonists and they were allowed to expand. Excepting Florida, which was given back to the Spanish.