In this revolutionary war of independence, England at first did not want to recognize the American “rebels” as belligerents. The forces of the warring parties were far from equal at first. The American forces where not as strong as the English army. Furthermore, when the colony had almost no industry and England possessed the largest navy, which made the country a great power at the time. Despite these facts, the Patriots succeeded in gaining a victory, mostly because of the inspired army led by Washington. As stated by Ferling “in 1775, militiamen had fought with surpassing bravery along the Concord Road and at Bunker Hill”1. Therefore, there were other vital factors which assisted the Patriots to win, such as help from the French and Britain’s tactical mistakes. This essay aims to explore the factors which made America’s victory possible.
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French Assistance During the American Revolution
The great success of the American army at the Battle of Saratoga was a decisive moment, which has changed the position of France concerning the American colonies and accelerated its active participation on the side of the Patriots. According to Corbett et al., “the French supplied the United States with gunpowder and money, as well as soldiers and naval forces that proved decisive in the defeat of Great Britain.”2 What is more, France placed large sums at the disposal of Congress, about 12 million lives annually for five years, which supported the Americans at the most crucial moments.3 This illustrates the incredible desire of the French not even to assist the Patriots, but to gain the victory over their common enemy, Great Britain. Thus, the joint fight of both nations to overthrow the colonial rule of England resulted in the creation of a new powerful state.
Tactical Mistakes of England
In the beginning of the Revolution, the Washington’s army consisted mostly of farmers and artisans and did not have experienced commanding staff. The American forces could oppose the British army. Therefore, following the ideas of Ferling, “North’s government agreed on one point: the Americans would pose a little challenge in the event of war.”4 Indeed, the colony was challenged by the numerous problems, such as a lack of resources and the opposition to the Revolution. In addition, England did not succeed in gaining the proper support of the Natives and the Loyalists. For example, at the Battle of Kings Mountain, Ferguson’s group of the Loyalists was quickly defeated, which resulted in the loss of additional assistance. Furthermore, it was not possible to entirely rely on the Natives, as it was seen at the Battle of Saratoga. Hence, British arrogance and inattention towards the political nature of the war cost England a colony and respect in the world.
The American Revolution had a significant influence on the world’s political course. The colonial rule of England was overthrown; an independent, non-monarchical state was formed and further advancement to Western lands was permitted. The courageous struggle of the American people against royal tyranny was met with sympathy and support from the public opinion of European countries. It is undoubtable that the people’s desire to live in freedom played a crucial role in winning the Revolution. Howsoever, apart from the valor of the American soldiers, the current external political situation, which was beneficial for the American nation at that time, played a considerable role in gaining the victory.
- Corbett, Scott, Volker Janssen, John M. Lund, Todd J. Pfannestiel, Sylvie Waskiewicz and Paul S. Vickery. U.S. History. Houston: OpenStax, 2014.
- Ferling, John. “Myths of the American Revolution.” Smithsonian 40, no.10 (2010). Web.
- John Ferling, “Myths of the American Revolution.” Smithsonian 40, no.10 (2010): para. 18.
- Scott Corbett et al., U.S. History (Houston: OpenStax, 2014), 169.
- Corbett et al., US History, 125.
- Ferling, Smithsonian, para. 9.