The Early Years

The Early Years
The Opposing Sides
• Objectives:
• Why some Americans supported the British.
• What were the strengths of both sides?
• What were the weaknesses of both sides?
Opposing Sides
Americans (Patriots)
• Patriots were the Americans
who wanted independence.
British & Loyalists
Loyalists were Americans
who wanted to remain loyal
to the King.
Religious reasons.
Economic reasons
Fear of anarchy
Did not see any issues.
African Americans
At least 5,000 African Americans fought on the Patriots side
during the war. It is estimated nearly 20,000 served in the British
army in some capacity.
Notable African American Soldiers
Peter Salem
Lemuel Hayes
• Fighting on home ground.
• Fighting for freedom
• George Washington was
their leader.
Superior Navy
Experienced, Well trained
Wealth of Empire
Not all supported war.
Lack of army/navy.
Lack military experience.
Lack of weapons and
• British fighting far from
• British cause for fighting.
• Hessians: cause was money
Raising an Army
In the beginning, the
Continental Congress
refused to give Washington a
40,000 man army. Instead a
small regular army
supported by state militias.
That would soon prove a
Women in the Army
Margaret Corbin
Deborah Sampson
Molly Pitcher
Mary Ludwig Hayes McCauley distinguished herself at the
Battle of Monmouth.
Self Check
• Can you name three reasons loyalists felt the
way they did?
• Which side had the edge in military strength?
• What were those advantages?
• Which side had the better reasons for fighting?
• What were those reasons?
Campaign for New York
• Objectives
• Why New York such a strategic location.
• How the battles around New reflect the strengths and
weaknesses of both sides.
New York
New York, mouth of the Hudson River. Ice free year round.
Split the population of America in half. British felt if they could
split the colonies, use a naval blockade. It would stop trade,
troop movements, they could crush New England which they
felt was the core of the rebellion.
British Invasion Force
William Howe
Richard Howe
Battle of Long Island
William Howe’s 9,000 men
met his brother, Richard
Howe and his 23,000 men in
New York. They went
ashore on Long Island and
soundly defeated
Washington’s army.. The
war could have ended if not
for the actions of John
Glover. His men did a night
evacuation of Washington’s
army to Manhattan.
Harlem Heights
Washington’s army was driven from his position. During the
retreat the British bugled “gone away” which is used in fox hunts
meaning the fox is in full flight. This spurred the Americans to
make there best showing of the war to date, resulting in the battle
being considered a draw.
American Outlook After New York
The Continental Army
had been totally
outclassed by Great
Britain’s military.
Howe settled in and
occupied New York
while Washington
retreated into
Pennsylvania. At years
end , the one year
enlistments for the
soldiers would be up.
Washington needed a
victory somehow.
Self Check
• What role did the strengths of the British
military play in the campaign for New York?
Patriot Gains
• Objectives
• How the Americans gain victory at Trenton
and Princeton.
• How these victories helped the American
Battle of Trenton
Christmas night, 1776 Washington’s army crosses the Delaware
River and attacks the Hessians at Trenton, New Jersey. Caught
by surprise, the Hessians are defeated.
Battle of Princeton
British send General
Cornwallis to take care of
Washington. He thinks he has
Washington trapped, but he
escapes and defeats British
cavalry on January 3, 1777, at
Trenton. Washington retreats
onto Pennsylvania mountains for
Valcour Bay
October 11, 1776, American naval forces led by Benedict
Arnold meet and stop the southern advance of British army from
Canada. This prevents British from controlling the northern end
of the Hudson River.
Self Check
• What were the effects of the American
victories at Trenton, Princeton, and Valcour
A British Plan for Victory
• Objectives
• How the British planned to end the war in
• How the plan fell apart.
• How the American victory at Saratoga changed
John Burgoyne’s Plan
The separate British armies
would launch attacks:
Barry St. Leger through
Mohawk Valley.
William Howe from New York.
John Burgoyne from Canada.
All would meet near Albany,
NY, crush any resistance, split
the colonies.
Barry St. Leger
Lands at Fort Oswego, begins
marching east through the
Mohawk Valley. He reaches
Fort Stanwix, the last obstacle
on the road to Albany. There
he meets unexpected
opposition. Word arrives that
American reinforcements are
on the way.
A group of Tories and
Mohawk Indians led by
Chief Joseph Brandt ambush
the Americans at Oriskany.
Nickolas Herkimer
Herkimer is badly wounded in leg.
Has men prop him against a tree.
Herkimer will die as a result of
improper medical care
Benedict Arnold
After the battle, word spread
amongst the Indian camps that
Benedict Arnold was
approaching with an army.
This caused the Indians to
desert their British allies.
Without Indian help, St. Leger
decided to go no further and he
retreated to Fort Oswego.
William Howe
Before Howe would march
north, he decided he would
capture Philadelphia first.
He defeated Washington at
Brandywine and
Germantown. However this
took him until October which
was too late in the season to
help Burgoyne’s plan.
John Burgoyne
Believing his plan would be
followed by St. Leger and
Howe, Burgoyne set out from
Canada with 9,000 men, 30
personal carts of supplies, and a
Fort Ticonderoga
First obstacle for Burgoyne was Fort Ticonderoga. He was able to
easily capture the fort, but nearly 1,000 Americans were able to escape.
Running low on supplies
Burgoyne sent 1,000 Hessians
to raid the town of Bennington
VT. The John Stark and
Vermont Militia destroyed the
raiding party.
Despite the setback at Bennington,
St. Leger’s retreat, Howe being in
Philadelphia. Burgoyne
continued his advance on Albany.
Horatio Gates
American commanding general,
Horatio Gates had his men in
good defensive ground at Bemis
Heights, waiting for Burgoyne.
Daniel Morgan
Throughout the ensuing
battles, Morgan’s rifleman
using guerilla tactics took
out key British personnel.
Benedict Arnold
The battle was decided when
Benedict Arnold, without
orders, led an assault that
captured a key British position.
During the fighting, Arnold
was wounded in the same leg
as he was at Quebec.
Victory for America
On October 17, 1777, Burgoyne surrendered his
entire army of over 6,000 men.
Benjamin Franklin
In France, Franklin
represented America in trying
to persuade France to help
America’s cause.
Self Check
• What went wrong with Burgoyne’s plan of
• How do you think the Americans victory at
Saratoga will effect the future of the war?

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