Creating America (Survey)

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1 Creating America (Survey) Chapter 7: The American Revolution, Section 1: The Early Years of the War Main Idea: The American desire to gain rights and liberties led them to fight for independence from Britain. The issue of separating from Great Britain split the majority of Americans into two political groups Loyalists and Patriots. Loyalists wanted to remain subjects to the King, Patriots wanted independence. A smaller group was neutral. In 1775, George Washington took command of the Continental Army. At first, the Continental Army was formed from state militias made up of untrained volunteers. Later, men enlisted. Washington s main goal for his army was to survive. One British goal was to conquer cities on the coast. In July 1776, Britain s General William Howe arrived in New York with a large army. The army included Hessian mercenaries these were German soldiers hired to fight for Great Britain. By December, the British had forced the American army to cross the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. The winter weather was hard on the poorly supplied Americans. Then, on December 25, Washington led his troops back across the Delaware River. They surprised and defeated the Hessians at Trenton. The Americans gained needed supplies and soon won again at Princeton. The British strategy, or overall plan, was to seize the Hudson River Valley and cut off New England from other states. Three British armies were to meet at Albany, New York. Burgoyne and his troops would come from Canada, St. Leger from Lake Ontario, and Howe from New York City. 1

2 Burgoyne s army was late for its rendezvous, or meeting, at Albany. Howe defeated Washington at Philadelphia, but did not go to Albany. St. Leger s army tried to capture Fort Stanwix in New York s Mohawk River Valley. In August 1777, American general Benedict Arnold led a small army up the Mohawk River. Arnold spread a rumor that his army was large. This caused St. Leger to flee. He did not go to Albany. A raiding party from Burgoyne s army went in search of supplies. American troops encountered the raiders and beat them in the Battle of Bennington in August of Nevertheless, Burgoyne s army headed toward Albany. Near Saratoga, New York, it tried to break through fortifications built by American General Gates s army. Within a few weeks, General Benedict Arnold led several attacks against Burgoyne s troops. Burgoyne surrendered. The Battles of Saratoga were a turning point in the war. Unfortunately, General Arnold felt that Congress had not rewarded him enough. He eventually became a traitor. Section 2: The War Expands Main Idea: Some Europeans decided to help America. As the war continued, fighting spread to the sea and to the frontier. France decided to become America s ally. The French king recognized U.S. independence and sent funds, supplies, and troops to America. In 1779, Spain also decided to help. By entering the war, France and Spain forced the British to fight several enemies at once. The Marquis de Lafayette, a French nobleman, commanded an army division in Washington s army. He fought many battles, and the Germans Baron de Kalb and Baron von Steuben also helped the American army. In late 1777, Britain s General Howe forced Washington to retreat from Philadelphia. That winter, Washington and his army camped at Valley Forge. They were short on supplies. Many soldiers died from malnutrition, exposure to the cold, and from various diseases. 2

3 Also in 1777, George Rogers Clark raised an army to defend the Western frontier. He and his men captured Kaskaskia on the Mississippi River and a British fort at Vincennes. British warships controlled the Atlantic trade routes. Often, American privateers would attack British merchant ships. A privateer was a privately owned ship that was permitted to attack enemy merchant ships. Privateers captured hundreds of British ships. James Forten was a 14-year-old African-American sailor on a privateer. Later, he became famous for his efforts to end slavery. Although the British had more ships, the Continental Navy scored many victories. John Paul Jones, a U.S. officer who commanded the Bonhomme Richard, won the most famous sea battle of the war. Section 3: The Path to Victory Main Idea: Seeking Loyalist support, the British invaded the South. Ultimately they lost the war there. The British invaded the South for three reasons: first, they thought Southern Loyalists would be able to hold any territory they gained in the South. Second, they expected large numbers of Southern slaves to join them, and, third, British troops in the British West Indies were stationed close to Southern seaports. The British captured most of the South, including Savannah, Georgia. In 1780, a British army trapped American forces in Charles Town. Five thousand Americans surrendered. General Gates formed a new Southern army. The army headed for Camden, South Carolina, to fight the British forces led by Lord Cornwallis. The American army met a band of Patriots led by Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. When the British defeated Gates s army near Camden in August 1780, Marion s band freed a group of Americans taken prisoner. They also cut the British supply line. Marion and his men used surprise raids and hit-and-run attacks to fight the British. 3

4 After Gates s defeat, Washington put General Nathanael Greene, a former Quaker, in charge of the Southern army. Because the British had superior firepower, Greene avoided full-scale battles. Instead, American forces let the British chase them. Fighting dragged into its sixth year. In July 1781, the British general Cornwallis set up his base in Yorktown, Virginia. Yorktown is on a peninsula. In August of 1781, a French fleet blocked the Chesapeake Bay. This prevented the British from receiving supplies and from escaping. Then Washington and a large French force came from the North. Cornwallis was trapped. At the Battle of Yorktown, Cornwallis surrendered his 8,000 men. Yorktown was the last big battle of the Revolutionary War. Section 4: The Legacy of War Main Idea: After the war, the new nation faced issues such as a high national debt and demands for equality. There were four main reasons why the Americans won the war First, they had better leadership. Second, they received foreign aid. Third, they knew the land, and, fourth, they were more motivated. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 ended the Revolutionary War. The treaty included six conditions: 1) The United States was an independent nation. 2) Its borders would be bound on the West by the Mississippi River, on the north by Canada, and on the south by Spanish Florida. 3) The United States would receive fishing rights off Canada s Atlantic coast. 4) Each side would pay its debts to the other. 5) The British would return captured slaves, and 6) the states would return property seized from Loyalists. Neither country lived up to the agreements in the treaty. 4

5 An estimated 25,700 Americans died in the war. About 1,400 were missing. About 8,200 were wounded. The war left the nation with a debt of about $27 million. Between 60,000 and 100,000 Loyalists left the United States. Most went to Canada. After declaring independence, Americans adopted republicanism, or rule by the people. Americans wanted more liberty and religious freedom. Some northern states outlawed slavery. Elizabeth Freeman won a case that helped end slavery in Massachusetts. Richard Allen helped begin the Free African Society and also started the African Methodist Episcopal Church. After the war, Americans faced an important issue. They needed to form a new government that would protect citizens rights and economic freedoms. 5

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