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      Britons and their colonists in America joined in celebrating a new age of empire—but it soon proved a false dawn. The French and Indian war displayed all the distinctive characteristics of North American warfare, as well as the growing role of European military powers on the The C ampaign A gainst M ontreal , Compared to the earlier AngloFrench colonial conflicts in North America, the French and Indian War represented a quantum leap in the scale of resources committed by the British government, especially in the form of regular troops.

      But the numbers remained very small by European standards. Without the Royal Navy Wolfe could not have reached his camp opposite Quebec, stayed there while he searched for a way to get at the French infantry, or brought his troops across the Saint Lawrence. Both Britons and colonists gained confidence in their military prowess.

      British regulars had captured fort after fort, and some of their commanders had adapted European linear warfare, with its emphasis on discipline and massed combat power, to the American terrain. They did so by thinning their tactical formations and advocating more rapid battlefield movement despite the cost to the cohesion and firepower of their lines and volleys. William Howe would continue to do so as he rose in rank, training the units under his command in a less rigid drill during the early s.

      The colonists had also flexed their collective muscles, and many proclaimed the war as a coming of age. Ben Franklin envisioned the center of the British empire shifting to America as the colonial population grew. Colonial governments had recruited and officered substantial military forces with limited British guidance or supervision. Colonial privateers had ravaged French trade on the seas, and colonial soldiers had served in campaign after campaign, becoming as experienced, if not so well trained, as their famed British counterparts.

      The same was true of their fellows Horatio Gates and Charles Lee, who settled in North America, and later fought on the colonial side during the Revolution. Yet, despite their mutual celebration, British and colonial military leaders had also discovered differences and tensions. While British money paid for American soldiers, the colonies had recruited, organized, and officered their units themselves, usually through local connections. In these units of volunteers—drawn from relatively P utnam epitomized the New England citizen- Though brave and forceful, he was nearly soldier.

      Once again on the defensive with a in Putnam counter British numbers, initiative, and skill, and then served in the Connecticut legislature and as a the forts were captured and destroyed. Well-known for his cour- fault. He then commanded state militia in Con- age and inspirational leadership, he was appointed necticut, but suffered an incapacitating stroke in a brigadier general of militia and second in com- December Cou- Two days after the battle, Putnam received a Con- rageous and resilient, a veritable folk hero, he in- tinental commission as a major general.

      He style fighting. A decade later, Indians. Rogers established a tacti- was imprisoned. Army Rangers today. Rogers declined, citing his continuing frontier. He made another comeback in , raid British territory.

      Whether because of surrender of Fort Detroit and other French posts jealousies in the British army and suspicions about on the western Great Lakes, but the rangers were his loyalties, or because of his personal ambition disbanded in Rogers accepted a command and intensity and indeed his pursuit of self-in- against the Cherokee in western North Carolina, terest and self-promotion , Rogers never adapted but does not appear to have engaged in much ac- successfully to the large military institutions of tion there.

      Colonial officers had to lead by persuasion rather than the coercive, punitive discipline of the British regulars. Aristocratic British commanders, or officers from the middle classes who strove to emulate them, disdained the American sense that volunteering for military service created contracts, explicit or implied, between leader and led. Some Americans came to believe that the influx of British money occasioned by the war was dangerous, even emasculating, as a source of luxury and corruption that fostered inequality and distracted Americans from the virtues of family and community, self-sufficiency and self-government.

      Coming from different social, political, economic, and cultural backgrounds, neither side truly understood the other, and the experience of closer interaction, coming after a century and a half of relative colonial autonomy, raised sobering questions about the political character and moral virtue of the new British empire. Yet Americans anticipated a new respect from Britain, a partnership rather than the subordination traditionally expected of colonists. This clash of political systems and cultures, this revolution of rising expectations among the American colonists, soon combined with a clash of interests and values to begin the road to revolution.

      Rather than presenting a simple chronology, or getting lost in a welter of distinct but overlapping explanations, we can group these interpretations in several categories, as much by the approaches that inform them as by their specific foci and arguments. The first distinction we should make is between explanations of long-term roots and those centered on more immediate catalysts.

      But to truly understand the course of events we must synthesize these approaches: if an explosion is to occur, there must be both combustible ingredients and a catalyst to ignite them. The Revolution started in Massachusetts, but it did not start simply because of the Boston Massacre or the Boston Tea Party or the other unrest that provoked British responses.

      We should be equally wary of assumptions that appeal to our modern American nationalism, assumptions that the Revolution was inevitable because Americans are different. Without specific catalysts, difference may never become friction; friction may never become conflict, much less war. Using outcomes to explain causation is circular, and projects our beliefs onto the past, rather than trying to understand the past on its own terms.

      In terms of long-term causes, scholars have identified many qualities that encouraged growing American autonomy during the years before the outbreak of unrest. Distance from Britain made supervision difficult in an age of slow communications, which encouraged local self-government something that was already valued in British politics. The colonists also brought values, customs, and traditions of individual rights and government by laws to which even the monarch should be accountable.

      Some brought religious beliefs that reinforced these values of liberty and individual conscience. Most came in search of some sort of economic opportunity and social mobility, hoping that a less densely populated and stratified society would enable them to prosper, or at least to earn individual and family autonomy as small farmers on their own land.

      Britain also remained deeply divided in religion, between the Church of England and dissenters like the Puritans as well as between Protestants and Catholics. The experience of the English Civil Wars — , which many historians have labeled revolutionary, and of the Glorious Revolution of Parliament against King James II in , reshaped British politics in favor of the rule of law, local self-government, and individual rights, rather than the divine sovereignty of an absolute monarch.

      The fact that these rights and protections were largely reserved for male heads of households—and were withheld from slaves, those not of European ancestry, and most people labeled servants—certainly complicated colonial life and the American Revolution, but it did not invalidate their significance as motives for those who led and fought the Revolution.

      It was only natural, however, that after the British government had invested so heavily in securing and expanding its North American dominions it would begin to seek more control over, and more revenues from, the colonies. We now turn to the decade-long road to revolution, a road with many detours, where the twists and turns were never clear to all involved, yet one requiring colonists to make fundamental choices in response to growing British centralization.

      Like catalysts and ingredients, both interest and ideology were necessary to produce revolution, but neither alone was sufficient to do so. The political values intensified through the experience of relative self-government, and in Britain through the upheavals of the seventeenth century, encouraged a widespread skepticism of political power. This vision was usually expressed through debates over representation in government, and in an easily roused skepticism of political authorities and their uses of power.

      Those who expressed such suspicions were commonly labeled Whigs. The most obvious C harter of R hode I sland , Between and , the Stuarts put all of New England under a royally appointed governor, greatly reducing the local political and economic autonomy the colonies had previously enjoyed. After the Glorious Revolution, Rhode Island regained the right to elect its own governor, but most colonies did not.

      Another crucial interest was in trade among the growing and increasingly prosperous merchant class of the seaports, and the ordinary working people who labored in those cities. Land and trade could come together in the desire to export crops. Colonial merchants and farmers sought the greater profits of free trade, and defied British regulations by smuggling. Although accustomed to voting, particularly in the town meetings common in New England, colonists were not permitted to vote for members of Parliament; they were not directly represented as Britons were although in fact only about 10 percent of adult British men possessed the property required in order to vote, and far fewer in Ireland.

      But it was clear that merchants in the British East India Company, or Caribbean planters, shared few specific interests with their supposed American counterparts. Colonists felt that they had been promised the freedom of the North American continent: there was no more French threat, and surely Britain would not side with the Indians against its own white, Christian colonists. But Britain did just that in the early s. In this complicated political cartoon of , Athena, goddess of wisdom, advises against accepting the Stamp Act.

      But few colonists could understand the need for taxes imposed, without representation, in order to pay for the British soldiers who were employing martial law to prevent British colonists from taking up the opportunities for new land farmers sought for themselves and their children.

      Similar clashes of expectations took place along the seaboard. A law against colonial paper currencies and new taxes on sugar a valuable commodity, like molasses, which had been taxed since were enacted in , followed by the Stamp Act of , which placed a tax on all legal documents and other printed material, including newspapers, books, and other means of communication.

      However small in amount, this was the first internal tax rather than one on colonial exports , and it affected so many transactions that it was almost a sales tax. Colonists responded by rejecting the need for such a tax. They were wrong, because Britain had gone deep into debt to win the French and Indian War and Britons were already paying far higher taxes than colonists as a percentage of their income.

      O utr age This Whig cartoon published in London in criticized the government ministers who introduced the Stamp Act. In response, colonial opposition took coherent shape in the seaports through the loosely organized mobs who labeled themselves Sons of Liberty. The British authorities considered the men involved in this resistance to be criminals and rioters, though their mass public protests, and growing violence, were not out of character with traditions and contemporary protests in Britain.

      The colonial victory, in other words, was only temporary and contingent. Britain had also begun paying colonial governors directly, rather than requiring the colonists to do so. But what may appear to us as a savings to the colonists was instead perceived as a loss of influence and control: governors would now be accountable to Britain, rather than the people and leaders of the colonies they governed.

      Colonial fears of a standing army, permanent and paid directly by the British government, were part of the same dynamic. The Sons of Liberty remobilized, and Committees of Correspondence were formed both to share news and to organize resistance to what they perceived as illegitimate royal demands—for example by identifying and shaming merchants who refused to join in boycotts of British goods. Once again, some colonists made money, but at the cost of personal liberty and another precedent for centralized authority.

      The Townshend Acts were partially repealed in , but not before confrontation had become deadly. Early that year, mob violence against British soldiers culminated in soldiers firing on and killing five protesters, in the Boston Massacre. While the soldiers were poorly trained and led, and may have been within their legal rights to use deadly force, the killings produced a sensation.

      Indeed, many colonists now saw a cycle of conspiracy and imposition, in which Britain advanced and retreated, but left greater constraints on colonial freedom after each confrontation. The incident helped to focus growing popular rage against British rule. They responded by destroying British revenue cutters akin to Coast Guard vessels today and tea, in the Gaspee incident and the Boston Tea Party This violence spurred Parliament to pass the Coercive Acts of —labeled the Intolerable Acts by colonial leaders—which denied local self-government to Massachusetts and placed its capacity to resist, in the form of its militia structure, under the control of a military governor, General Thomas Gage.

      In the west, the boundaries of the province of Quebec, already under military government, were extended to the Ohio River, a reassertion of the Proclamation of prohibiting colonial settlement in that area. The colonial reaction and its consequences will be seen in chapter two. Who Shall Rule? By a large minority of colonists had joined together in the belief that British rule was oppressive, damaging to their material interests, and morally corrupting.

      Yet this did not mean that they sought independence, or that the colonies or colonists were united. Social, political, economic, and cultural divisions predating the crisis with Britain were aggravated by that crisis, giving some colonists more reason to pursue independence, and some more reason to oppose it.

      Many colonists trusted that the king could restrain an oppressive Parliament, though this hope became fainter with time and events. Similarly, many colonists maintained faith in the operation of representative government, believing that Britain would negotiate and make concessions even if the colonies were not directly represented in Parliament. A substantial number of colonists found British power and authority comforting, and dissent and resistance destabilizing; many would remain loyal to the British crown during the war to come.

      Though the radicals called themselves Patriots, conservatives and moderates also considered themselves patriots, whether of Britain and its empire or as colonial patriots with more moderate objectives and methods of pursuing them. Many, perhaps the majority, wanted to be left alone, by neighbors and Britain alike, and valued peace more than any political virtue. In the seaports, the experience of popular mobilization in the Sons of Liberty encouraged demands from ordinary craftsmen, laborers, and dockworkers for greater equality and democracy.

      During the s, tenant farmers and farmworkers in New Jersey and the Hudson Valley protested and sometimes rioted against the demands of wealthy landowners, who asserted the right to do what they wished with their property without negotiating with those who actually farmed it. Southern planters feared similar unrest among those they held as slaves, among the small farmers to whom they leased land, and among those who sought western land that the planters coveted.

      If not, this cartoon warns, America will seek the support of France, leaving Britannia vulnerable to combined attacks by colonial rebels represented by a rattlesnake and French and Spanish forces, while the Dutch will walk away with British commerce. During the s the Piedmont of South Carolina was in turmoil, shaken by violence between those who sought order and those who demanded greater personal liberty, sometimes to the point of anarchy and crime.

      The lines were drawn more clearly in North Carolina, where small farmers in the western part of the colony, often influenced by egalitarian evangelical religion, rebelled against unequal representation, unfair taxes and regulations, and unjust court proceedings that favored wealthier men to the east. Ultimately, the colonial government deployed a militia that defeated the western rebels in a pitched battle in And in the disputed borderlands of New York and New Hampshire, farmers sought self-government in a new entity they called Vermont.

      Revolutionary values, rhetoric, and mobilization had their own dynamic, which rebel leaders would struggle to direct—and indeed would often prove unable to control. With so many rifts and divisions among the colonists, war against Britain had the potential to become civil war, as colonists of all stripes fought for personal and community autonomy as well as for national independence.

      For most colonists, independence would be a means to particular ends: ends they would attempt to define for themselves, in conflict and compromise with other Americans as much as with Britain. The colonies fed themselves. Many colonists were beginning to believe themselves distinct from, and in some ways superior to, their British cousins: more self-motivated, more resilient, more ingenious, and more morally pure.

      Whatever the truth of these beliefs, they were embodied in the militia on which most radicals pinned their hopes in case of armed conflict. Though poorly trained, he would discipline himself in service to the transcendent cause of liberty, standing firm through fire and ice. Or would it? The Revolutionary War itself had equally important repercussions.

      Though largely fought according to the traditional principles of eighteenth-century warfare, it served as a testing ground for new approaches to warfare and military organization. This included a greater role for temporary citizen-soldiers and military leaders drawn from civilian society, like the Boston bookseller-cum-artillerist Henry Knox. Before the war, Americans looked to frontier conflicts and European textbooks for lessons on the military art.

      Although Americans continued to employ these inheritances during and after the war, it then served as a primary example for American concepts of strategy, tactics, administration, and even espionage, while George Washington helped define military leadership and proper civil-military relations. The first two years of the war witnessed several important missed opportunities for the British, who failed to capitalize on American mistakes and achieve a swift victory.

      By surviving this time of troubles, the Patriots positioned themselves to seek decisive victories of their own. Origins of the Revolution As noted in the last chapter, taxation was a primary factor in the origins of the Revolution. For many colonists, British taxation posed both moral and economic problems: moral, because Parliament unjustly imposed taxes without colonial representation in London; economic, because it appeared to hinder American financial and commercial growth.

      The rise of a powerful commercial class during the expansion of the colonial economy intensified resentment against British economic policies during the s. British leaders, however, had enough appreciation of the wealth generated by their expanding North American colonies that they were willing to compromise, as the repeal of the Stamp Act in showed.

      The attempt to expand the range of commodities subject to British taxation through the Townshend Acts of did generate more resentment from colonials, who rejected British arguments for imposing taxation—mistakenly contending that they had won and paid for the French and Indian War mostly on their own, and insisting that the French departure from Canada obviated the need for so many British regulars in North America.

      Yet if the basic issue had been the level of revenue to be generated, or the means of raising it, a political process could have resolved the dispute short of war. The real problem was a quarrel over sovereignty. These Coercive Acts united and radicalized Americans as never before. Up and down the coast, colonial assemblies rebuked Parliament and passed resolutions pledging resistance, armed if necessary.

      Militias assembled and drilled as colonial conventions elected delegates to the First Continental Congress. Early in , delegates were elected for the Second Continental Congress, set to convene on May But before the delegates could assemble, armed conflict broke out in Massachusetts. Lexington and Concord On the night of April 18—19, , British general Thomas Gage, royal governor of Massachusetts and commander of the British forces in North America, initiated what he intended as a quick preemptive strike against the rebel Americans gathering around Boston.

      Just after midnight, he dispatched a detachment of about nine hundred light infantry and grenadiers to the nearby towns of Lexington and Concord. The troops were to capture rebel leaders reportedly at Lexington, twelve miles northwest of Boston, destroy a small arsenal at Concord six miles farther west, and return to Boston by 8 a.

      France and Spain on the left gloat at the prospect of how this will weaken England. L exington and C oncord When Lt. Francis Smith realized his detachment of — light infantry and grenadiers had not achieved the anticipated degree of surprise, he called on Gen. Gage in Boston for reinforcements. The relief column did arrive in time to cover the retreat of the advance force past Lexington, but it was late due to a classic example of the Clausewitzian concept of friction. Intelligence of the expedition leaked to the rebels before the troops set out, and individuals like Paul Revere warned local militia of the British advance.

      To this day no one can be sure which side fired the first shot. The redcoats pressed on to Concord, where they destroyed the arsenal and another small magazine. The British did not depart until noon, well behind schedule. As they pushed toward Boston in columns along the narrow roads, the militia pounced.

      Skirmishers buzzed around the redcoats, taking cover in woods and behind fences, inflicting and taking casualties. At times, British discipline neared the breaking point. The dispute between Great Britain and the colonies had become a war.

      The B ritish R etreat The artist of this contemporary painting from the collection of the West Point Museum glorifies the militiamen who turned out to snipe at the retreating British column by putting them in close proximity to their targets. Any rebels who actually came so close to the redcoats would have been overrun by a bayonet charge.

      The Adversaries: Great Britain In the spring of the only significant British base in the thirteen colonies was at Boston, where Gage commanded roughly sixty-five hundred men. Yet potential allies abounded. British leaders dreamed of a vast silent majority of Loyalists—Americans sympathetic to royal government, but cowed by the mob violence of the radical Sons of Liberty.

      Most colonists, they imagined, would declare for the king when given the opportunity, and fight for him as well. On the frontiers, Native Americans might be—and were—enticed into attacking American settlements. Lord Dunmore, the British governor of Virginia, issued a proclamation in November promising freedom to slaves who joined the British.

      Such measures enraged southern Patriots and Loyalists alike, however, and were not pursued extensively. The British armed forces ultimately would bear the primary burden of restoring royal control over the colonies. In doing so, they would fight an unusual but not entirely unprecedented type of war—not just a conflict between opposing governments, G ermain began his military career as a captain his political star continued to rise: Sackville had G eorge S ackville G ermain of cavalry in , becoming lieutenant colo- served as a member of Parliament and in various nel of the 28th Foot in He rose to major nation in Though vigorous and energetic in general in and was promoted to lieutenant his prosecution of the war—and fully supportive general of ordnance in That October, as a lieutenant later.

      At onel in Howe accompanied his regiment— Long Island, Manhattan, and Brandywine, Howe the 58th Foot—from Ireland to America and led proved an exceptionally able tactician, but failed it with distinction at the capture of Louisbourg in to seize several apparent opportunities to admin- Howe therefore fell out he led the forlorn hope that scaled the Heights of favor and was recalled in May , furiously of Abraham before Quebec September 13, Howe remained a brought him additional plaudits.

      Appointed major respected officer, however; he was appointed full general in , Howe developed a new system general in and held various home commands of light infantry drill in Although opposed until Great Britain also faced institutional obstacles. Military administration in London suffered from bureaucratic gridlock and conflicting spheres of authority.

      The secretary of state for the American Department, Lord Dartmouth, neglected the war for months on end until the prime minister, Lord North, replaced him with Lord George Sackville Germain in November Though energetic and tough-minded, Germain often received only tepid support from the North ministry, which was distracted by domestic political controversies.

      Military departments in London competed over war planning and for private supply contracts, sometimes leaving the loser unable to operate effectively. Germain also lacked full authority to impose his will on military commanders in North America. Slow and unreliable communications between Great Britain and North America further complicated the business of coordinating the British war effort.

      Certain North American adaptations from that war had become standard practice, such as the use of light infantry, Indian scouts, and small groups of irregular auxiliaries. In the s just as in the s, difficult terrain, inadequate supplies, and other factors meant that artillery and cavalry played far smaller roles in the New World than the Old.

      Infantry carried out the bulk of the fighting, largely according to the dictates of European linear warfare. British army staff and field officers were typically of high quality. Many of them had combat experience in America, in Europe, or both, and understood the linear warfare tactics that would characterize most major American battles from to Contrary to myth, British officers were fully capable of employing flexible smallunit tactics in varying milieus, including the European-like terrain that characterized the well-settled regions of North America as well as the swamps and pine barrens of the South and the dense forests of the frontier.

      Time and again, British soldiers would endure tremendous hardships and grievous casualties without loss of morale or cohesion. Aggressively led and sometimes ruthless—committing numerous atrocities against both prisoners and civilians—they both infuriated and terrified their American adversaries.

      Loyalist soldiers recruited in the colonies varied widely in quality but performed important duties as scouts, light infantry, and even line-ofbattle troops, especially in the South. Royal infantrymen typically took better care of their weapons than their American adversaries, providing an important practical advantage, but perhaps the most important weapon in their arsenal was the bayonet.

      The bayonet played a central role in British battlefield tactics in North America. Its impact was both physical and psychological. Superior British discipline—and the inaccuracy of flintlocks—enabled redcoats and German troops to absorb losses as they maneuvered, deployed, and then charged with devastating effect.

      Lacking bayonets or the training to use them efficiently particularly during the early years of the war , Americans typically declined to engage in close-quarters combat and fled unless circumstances made withdrawal impossible. Ammunition and powder shortages were rare. British quartermasters knew their business, and commissaries usually could rely on Loyalists and pragmatic farmers to supply them with foodstuffs.

      Plentiful supplies of hard currency made negotiating with farmers all the easier. Nor did British troops hesitate to requisition horses and other supplies when necessary. Each regiment included one light infantry company, but generally only five men per light company received rifles rather than smoothbore muskets. The significance of these problems only mounted as the war progressed, thanks to inadequate roads, inevitable delays with supplies shipped from Great Britain, and interference from American militia.

      British naval superiority provided opportunities for strategic mobility and for amphibious assault almost anywhere along the North American coastline. American privateers slipped past the British blockade and occasionally captured merchant ships, but had little more than nuisance value.

      Weather and distance were far greater adversaries. While British expeditions and garrisons in the first few years of the war H essian G renadier The faintly comical look of this heavily laden Hessian grenadier suggests a British artist.

      Most Americans viewed these auxiliary troops hired by Britain as rapacious in foraging and savage in battle, regarded with more fear than derision. B ritish R egular Disciplined and accustomed to hardship, the British redcoat made a formidable soldier. Though armed with a flintlock musket, his most important weapon was the bayonet.

      Thereafter, British garrisons—often more numerous than the civilian populations of the towns they occupied—sometimes approached starvation while awaiting provision fleets. Reinforcements from Europe also decreased as the war became more extensive and expensive, presenting growing manpower problems. A naval blockade was central to British plans, and New York provided the necessary port facilities. British Plans Great Britain at first lacked a grand plan for prosecuting a major war in North America, but under Lord George Germain a strategic vision slowly gelled in — The naval blockade was central to British plans, imposing economic hardships aimed at bringing the Americans to their senses while the army reestablished control in the major settlements and thence into the countryside.

      As American military resistance increased, British leaders decided to abandon Boston and marshal forces for a major seaborne expedition from Canada to New York City in the spring or summer of After New York City fell, Loyalists would rise up and the rebellion hopefully would collapse.

      If not, British forces would penetrate the Hudson River valley and isolate the most active center of rebellion: New England. British forces would then be able to stifle the rebellion through progressive strangulation. Civilian leaders who had never heard a shot fired in anger dreamed of leading troops in the field. In February , for ex- to fight in the main action of a fleet battle—represented an enor- ample, the British had in North American waters 78 warships mount- mous concentration of human and financial capital, and a pinnacle of ing a total of more than 2, guns.

      The rebel naval forces were tiny contemporary technological prowess. Multiple masts and extremely by comparison. The flagship of the Continental Navy in was the elaborate rigging gave these vessels good maneuverability and speed, Alfred, a mere frigate of 24 guns and tons burthen compared to though it still took an average of six to nine weeks to cross the broad over 2, tons for a British first-rate ship of the line.

      By compari- built to take punishment as well as deliver it. In the long run, they knew, the Patriot cause depended not just on fervor, but on organization, supplies, and above all effective planning and coordination. All would have to be built from scratch. Although the delegates in Philadelphia could convene, debate, and pass legislation, they could not execute or enforce any measures or raise revenues without the consent of the individual colonies.

      Executive power, such as it was, devolved upon the various Patriot governors or their equivalents rather than the president of Congress. Local officials down to the county level also wielded substantial power. Military commanders ignored these political realities at their peril.

      While the population of New England overwhelmingly favored the Revolution, significant pockets of loyalism existed as far north as Connecticut and Rhode Island. The individual colonies and the Continental Congress printed paper money to pay for war expenses, but these notes steadily lost value over time, causing significant economic hardship. B ritish R ecruitment P oster for the First B attalion of P ennsylvania L oyalists , From early in the war, the British realized that their prospects for success depended in part on their ability to gain the active support of at least some portion of the population of the colonies.

      Moreover, in all thirteen colonies large numbers of civilians remained uncommitted to either side. Propaganda enticed the uncommitted to support the rebellion, and military leaders were exhorted to treat civilians with exceptional delicacy. Outspoken Loyalists, however, were ruthlessly persecuted. Patriot officials demanded both military and civilian oaths of allegiance to help separate the sheep from the goats.

      They interrogated suspected Loyalists, confiscated their property, and sentenced them to exile or imprisonment. Bands of Patriots also burned Loyalist property and carried out assassinations, while Loyalists responded in kind. Where Loyalists organized in force—particularly in the South—Patriot militias used force to suppress them. This sometimes culminated in small battles such as Moores Creek Bridge February 27, , where Patriots temporarily crushed Loyalist resistance in North Carolina.

      For all their confidence and early success, the Minutemen and militia that fought at Lexington and Concord expressed only local loyalties. To fight the British on a continental scale, military organization of an entirely different order would be necessary—and that presented a major puzzle.

      Even more than the British, rebel Americans faced an entirely new type of conflict. Militia formed the primary building block for organized military resistance. French and Indian War experiences reinforced notions of a particularly American way of war—supposedly superior to European modes of warfare—in which militia played a fundamental part.

      Militiamen were thought more highly motivated, independently minded, durable, and tactically flexible than their strictly disciplined European counterparts. Militiamen posed no threat to civilian government. They enlisted for short terms, fulfilled their duty, and then returned to their farms. State and local governments provided limited quantities of food and other supplies, but militiamen usually lacked the discipline to ration and maintain them, and frequently had to forage for basic necessities.

      No real physical standards were applied to enlistment. Soldiers often elected their officers, and discipline including sanitation was rudimentary. Training rarely transcended basic drill and musketry. The synchronization of maneuver central to linear warfare was foreign to militiamen, as commanders who attempted to use them in set-piece battles would later discover to their sorrow. States frequently restricted how far militia units could be required to travel from their home counties, and militiamen often balked at commands to the contrary.

      Militia units were paid only when mobilized for action—no small consideration when states struggled to raise money—and could assemble quickly. They guarded depots and lines of supply, prison camps, towns, and villages. They built roads, bridges, and fortifications. They escorted convoys, foraged for the main army, scouted and gathered intelligence. Militia defended against Indians on the frontier, suppressed Loyalists, and served as a rudimentary quick-reaction force in case of enemy raids.

      The New England militia even fought effectively against British regulars in open battle—partly because of their zeal, and partly because rugged terrain favored flexible tactics and loose organization. Similar conditions prevailed in the South. Elsewhere, George Washington would effectively utilize militia to harry enemy forces, attack foraging parties, and cut British lines of communication and supply.

      Congress did not at first recognize the importance of moving beyond the militia system to form a standing army—a step many congressmen considered anathema, because with Cromwell and Louis XIV in mind they viewed regular troops as instruments of tyranny. Standing armies, they believed, both enabled and practically required governments to impinge on liberty through taxation for the upkeep of the troops, regardless of the consent of the governed. Despite these concerns, just after Lexington and Concord, the New England colonies created a provincial army to join the siege of Boston.

      On the same day that Congress voted to raise the army, however, John Adams of Massachusetts stood up to recommend a delegate from Virginia named George Washington. Washington wore the buff and blue uniform of the Fairfax County Militia to Congress, convincing some historians that he secretly yearned to command the army even if he did not openly angle for the job.

      M ilitia One of a series of engravings published in , this plate depicts well-disciplined British forces dispersing a ragged and halfhearted band of militia at Lexington. To him the war posed a dire challenge: a cruel necessity rather than an opportunity for glory. He also thought he might not be up to the task of leading the army to victory. Sad alternative! But can a virtuous Man hesitate in his choice? In an assembly of delegates wary of the potential for a military coup, he seemed a safe bet.

      As a Virginian, he represented an important and powerful colony, and stood to unite the rest in a common cause. Not least, his imposing physique and well-known personal bravery inspired respect. On June 15, Congress voted unanimously to appoint Washington commander in chief of the Continental Army. Continental infantry was typically recruited and arranged by colony or state, although some units would be organized by individual commanders or on the basis of ethnic origins.

      Free blacks were recruited sporadically during the war, mostly in New England, and integrated into Continental units. As in Europe, regiments, consisting of eight to ten companies totaling six to eight hundred officers and men at full strength, were the basic unit of organization and maneuver. Perhaps his ing winter he was appointed lieutenant colonel most remarkable quality, though, was to exercise of the Virginia Regiment.

      Early encounters with firm command while demonstrating empathy for the French at Jumonville Glen May and his soldiers. Washington subsequently became bellion against Congress. As Fort Duquesne in the autumn of Washington shocked many by Washington served as a delegate to the First leading U. August 20, Washington returned to active While he often risked his army in search of the military service in July as lieutenant general swift, decisive victory he hoped would end the and commander in chief of forces to be raised to war before Great Britain could bring its full re- resist a potential French invasion.

      Although that sources to bear, Washington managed to evade invasion never transpired, Washington remained a catastrophic defeat and secure a few small but serving military officer until the day of his death. The Americans lacked trained engineers, and would depend on foreign volunteers and eventually French army officers to provide expertise in fortification and siegecraft. Like the militia, Continental soldiers depended for clothing and supplies largely on the whims of their individual states.

      Soldiers from wealthier, better-governed states typically made a better appearance on the parade ground and maintained higher morale than their unluckier counterparts. Continental weaponry was roughly equal to that of the militia, if somewhat more plentiful and generally better maintained.

      Smoothbore flintlock muskets similar to the British Brown Bess were standard issue, though early in the war many lacked bayonets. A few units boasted long rifles, which were far more accurate but not suitable for use in the battle line due to their slow rate of fire. In the fundamentals of discipline and organization, the Continental Army was C ontinental M ilitary Forces Like the private of the Pennsylvania Line on the right, most Continental Army soldiers were uniformed and equipped much like British or other European infantrymen.

      Units of riflemen whose weapons were slower to fire but much more accurate than the smoothbore muskets of most soldiers often retained their distinctive hunting shirts and broadbrimmed hats even after supplies of more standard uniforms became adequate.

      At Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the summer and autumn of , Washington conceived and enforced chains of command—including visual designations of rank—and enforced strict codes of behavior so far as he could within the Articles of War. Washington coached his officers in bearing, conduct, and education, and demanded that men with varied responsibilities work in tandem.

      Envisaging a well-trained force that could match the British in battle, Washington drew on his French and Indian War experiences and wide reading in military theory to train the Continental Army. He insisted on well-educated officers who could carry out training in drill, maneuver, and fire discipline. Continentals would not master these techniques until after the arrival of Friedrich von Steuben at Valley Forge early in , but Washington at least set them in the right direction.

      Meanwhile, virtue was made of necessity: rather than attempting the complex maneuvers of linear warfare, American commanders often relied on loose, skirmishing tactics and fighting from behind earthworks. In —, most Continental terms of enlistment expired at the end of the year, forcing Washington to disband the old army and build a new one from scratch.

      While Congress established a rudimentary logistical organization in , administrative departments initially existed only on paper. The men directing these departments often carried out their duties halfheartedly, considering army administration inglorious compared to field command. Incompetence and corruption were the inevitable result.

      In general terms, Congress established priorities, and Washington implemented them. By the end of he had largely dispensed with Councils of War, and become the single most important voice in American strategic priorities. Flintlock S moothbore M usket Military technology changed only slowly during the eighteenth century. Like all weapons of the class, it used a spring-loaded flint to produce sparks in order to ignite a priming charge in the pan on the side of the lock. The priming charge then set off the main powder charge in the barrel, launching a lead ball.

      A rtemas Ward and G eorge Washington at B oston When Washington center arrived to take command of the Continental Army outside Boston, it was still effectively an ad hoc conglomeration of ill-supplied state forces. Due to the lack of uniforms, it was often impossible even to tell officers from enlisted men. Brigade majors also wore ribbands, theirs of green. Officers of all ranks could be recognized by cockades on their hats. Soldiers joining the army at Boston initially wore their civilian clothes or like Washington himself the uniforms of their local militia units.

      The resulting mix of blue, red, green, and brown dress is shown in the background of this modern print. Soldiers paid for these clothes through deductions from their wages. In , with authorization from Congress, Washington selected blue as the new standard for the whole Continental Army.

      From the start in , Patriot leaders set their focus on the short term, hoping to seal off Boston while organizing the colonies politically and militarily. In July, after the battle of Bunker Hill described on pages 64—67 , Congress offered the so-called Olive Branch Petition affirming loyalty to the crown and seeking to avoid further conflict. Thereafter, the primary military goals became simply to prevent British troops from controlling North America, to suppress loyalism, and to secure the frontier.

      Challenging the British navy was clearly impossible, although Washington did encourage shipbuilding. Only French intervention—a distant dream in —could challenge Britannia on the seas. In the meantime, Americans would have to endure a crippling blockade. To Washington, these facts pointed to one overarching conclusion: the conflict would have to be won quickly, or not at all. Lord North was no William Pitt.

      This central strategic vision would preoccupy Washington throughout the war. But the misconception went both ways. Americans commonly regarded the British Army as a paper tiger that could never overcome free men who believed in a cause, thought independently, and fought flexibly.

      Although Great Britain had recently emerged victorious from two major global conflicts, it left in its wake beaten enemies eager for revenge—especially France, Spain, and the Netherlands. With these factors in mind, the British had a major interest in suppressing the rebellion as quickly as possible.

      The rebels, meanwhile, had to build systems and relationships that did not yet exist. In some respects, the Americans were their own worst enemies. While Congress often worried about a possible military coup, the biggest menace to its authority would come from the states.

      Internationally, Americans faced the overarching necessity of forming diplomatic relationships overseas. Capable diplomats such as Benjamin Franklin would prove themselves up to the task—but no one could assume in that their efforts would meet with success.

      To the rebels, as to the Crown, a short war seemed most desirable and likely to succeed. Bunker Hill After Lexington and Concord, General Gage dug in at Boston with about thirty-five hundred troops as Patriot militia laid siege to the city. The B attle of B unker H ill Gage seems to have ordered a frontal attack because he expected Patriot morale to shatter at the British advance. Word of the planned British operation, set for June 18, leaked to the Americans almost immediately.

      Doing so, he hoped, would bait the British into making an attack. Broken terrain helped protect the redoubt to the west and southwest, but it was glaringly exposed to the east and southeast. During the day on June 17, therefore, the militiamen constructed a seven-foot-high breastwork extending about fifty-five yards to the east, ending in a seemingly impassable swamp at the base of the hill.

      While vividly conveying the sequence of events, this image unrealistically compresses topography and inaccurately suggests the active participation of British naval guns in support of the infantry attack. British generals. Clinton urged an amphibious landing behind the rebel fortifications at the neck of Charlestown Peninsula.

      Cut off, the rebels could then be bombarded by British ships in the harbor and forced to surrender. It sounded simple, but it was not, as Gage and Howe pointed out. Worse, American reserves from Cambridge might hit the landing force in the rear. Howe, who commanded twenty-three hundred troops against about fifteen hundred Americans, noted the changed situation and modified his plan of attack.

      With eleven hundred light infantry and grenadiers, he would exploit the remaining gap between the breastwork and the beach while the remainder of his forces under General Robert Pigot demonstrated in front of the redoubt. Howe led from the front as the first attack began at 3 p. As in the previous illustration, the active participation of British naval guns visible in the right background in the attack is wrongly suggested.

      Prescott ordered his militia to hold their fire until the redcoats were within fifty-five yards. Firing from behind the fence on the beach and the breastwork, the militia shattered the attack. The redcoats re-formed while Pigot led his troops cautiously against the American center. As the Americans withheld their fire, he speculated that they had abandoned the redoubt.

      Pigot decided to attempt an assault, but the Americans opened fire at short range with devastating effect and the redcoats withdrew. Howe incorporated the reinforcements he had called for earlier and prepared a third assault. This time, his troops advanced in column and directly against the redoubt. The Americans had by this point run short of powder and become increasingly disorganized despite their fixed positions. Again, the Americans held their fire until close range, but their shortage of powder and disorganization lessened the impact of their fire.

      This time, the redcoats were able to storm the redoubt with bayonets. The militia manning the redoubt fought stoutly but had no real chance and broke while their comrades behind the adjacent breastworks watched uncertainly. Soon they all fled for safety, eventually leaving the peninsula.

      The British were too exhausted to pursue. The Americans, by contrast, lost killed and wounded, along with 31 prisoners. It demonstrated the usual challenges of linear tactics against fixed defenses, but also showed the power of well-trained and determined infantry with bayonets against poorly armed militia.

      Psychologically, the Battle of Bunker Hill left a long trail. British leaders, particularly Howe, were appalled at the casualties they incurred at the hands of mere militia. The British also faced the reality that the Americans could fight. The team All times are UTC.

      Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 0 guests. Posted: Wed Feb 24, am. Posted: Wed Feb 24, pm. HMMM tak to bude mazec.. Posted: Fri Feb 26, pm. Posted: Mon Mar 15, pm. Posted: Tue Mar 16, am. Posted: Tue Mar 16, pm. Posted: Tue Mar 23, am. Je to hodne dobry hledejte to na ulozto.

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