Presentation on theme: "British Perspective of the Revolutionary War. Road to Revolution- Background of America America had attracted many undesirable people - Political and."— Presentation transcript:
British Perspective of the Revolutionary War
Road to Revolution- Background of America America had attracted many undesirable people - Political and religious radicals - Fortune hunters looking for land to exploit - Depository for petty criminals
Road to Revolution- Dangerous Ideas American colonist developed a strange idea of “freedom” - People had a natural right to overthrow leaders - Slave system in America and, no rights for women - Complete disregard for Natives
Road to Revolution- The Acts Proclamation Act of 1763 and Quebec Act: introduced to limit spiraling defense costs and to protect Indian land Navigation Acts: supposed to be for funding the colonists, but to much smuggling was going on so the need for other acts- currency and sugar More smuggling led to more acts. Colonists did not understand that Government services need to be paid for Colonists actually paid less taxes than British citizens! Plus what they did pay stayed in the colonies
Road to Revolution: After the Stamp Act Radical colonists organized secret insurgent groups that employed thugs to harass people and burn down people’s houses who obeyed the law
Road to Revolution- Boston Massacre (Riot) 200 drunk rowdy protesters gathered around the customs house - fired insults, threats, and physically attacked the very young British soldiers with ice chunks and clubs - first shot went off accidently as a British soldier was knocked unconscious by an ice chunk - Officers fearing for their life fired their muskets
Road to Revolution: Boston Tea Party British attempted to curtail the effects of smuggling by allowing British tea to go untaxed Colonists had gotten away with smuggling for so long British only wanted smuggling, bribery, and lawlessness to end After the dumping most American colonists agreed the radicals had gone to far and needed to pay the British company back.
Concord and Lexington Many loyalists had been violently intimidated by colonial radicals and had to flee from the countryside Radical colonist were illegally stock piling arms and training as militias British went out to the countryside to serve and protect
Bunker Hill Won by the British through incredible bravery - thousands of American women helped the British wounded
In the early battles British felt this was only a policing action at first British showed leniency when they cornered the colonial armies. Wanted a peaceful ending. Washington and Rebel commanders would deal with constant mutiny throughout the war; Benedict Arnold would be a high profile deserter
Saratoga British General John Burgoyne given an impossible task - Took a daring march from Canada through New England to Philadelphia - Germans mecenaries did not speak English had no idea what was going on - Germans and Indians fled- Canadians/British fought bravely - British outnumbered 4-1 only surrendered because Rebels promised safe passage home (the rebels would not end hold up their end of the bargain)
British relations with the Colonists Many very friendly and helpful to the British army Philadelphia in particular entertained General Howe and his army well Many were scared of what a rebel controlled America would look like Escaped slaves flocked to the British army British military and gov’t tried to help loyalists who were terrorized by the rebels as much as possible With the rebels many times the British would offer generous terms to those taken prisoner or would surrender. (many times as simple as laying down your weapons and returning to your farms)
The French Saved the Rebels Many historians believe without French help the British would have won France really wanted to get back at Britain after the seven years war Secret aid began immediately Turned British attention away from North America and back to Europe with outbreak of fighting between the French/Spanish and British America became an afterthought for the British
Rounding out the War With French, Prussian, and Spanish assistance from equipment, training, manpower, naval blockades the war turned against the British. By 1780 Britain was at war with Spain, France, and the Netherlands, and had no allies. General Cornwallis and his men at Yorktown bravely held onto their position despite constant French/Rebel bombardment, and a French blockade prevented reinforcements Britain would decide to focus on France/Spain in Europe and around the world.
Final Thoughts/Aftermath British never took the rebels seriously enough Rebels relentlessly persecuted colonial royalists Some historians have calculated that as many as 250,000 loyalist left America after the war Rebel colonies would never pay back debts agreed upon in the Treaty of Paris in 1783 Loyalist property was never restored Slavery would live on in America and lead to the Civil War. (As a colony likely Britain could have abolished it without much bloodshed)