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The American Revolution

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1 The American Revolution

2 The Early Years Essential Question:
What challenges did the American revolutionaries face at the start of the war?

3 The Opposing Sides Both sides expected the war for independence to end quickly Why do you think this was the case?

4 The Loyalists At least one in five Americans were Loyalists (Tories)
Strongest Loyalist support in the Carolinas and Georgia Weakest Loyalist support in New England

5 The Loyalists Some people remained loyal because
They were members of the Anglican Church headed by King George III They depended on the British for their jobs They feared the disorder that would erupt if they challenged an existing government They felt British offenses were not bad enough to cause armed rebellion Friends and families were divided over this issue

6 Raising an Army The Americans placed great value on liberty and personal freedom for citizens Hesitant to give full power to the Continental Congress As a result, each state pushed its own interests Difficult to raise money and a unified army

7 Continental Army Well trained soldiers who could fight anywhere in the colonies Depended on the states to recruit or enlist soldiers George Washington wanted men to enlist for the duration of the war Most men enlisted for one year

8 Continental Army

9 Patriot Women Margaret Corbin took her husband’s place when he died in battle Molly Pitcher joined her husband in battle and was known for carrying pitchers of water to the soldiers Deborah Sampson disguised herself as a boy and enlisted

10 Making Connections The Revolutionary War was fought on American soil. How do you think this fact influenced the role of women in the war? Spies, dressed up as soldiers, worked as nurses, cooks for the army

11 Making Connections

12 Patriot Defeats and Victories
***Most early battles involved few troops. Britain, realizing they would need more troops to defeat the Patriots sent 32,000 troops to New York under the command of General William Howe. He hoped the sheer size of the British army would convince the Patriots to give up. He was soon disappointed.


14 Defeat on Long Island Outnumbered and outmaneuvered, the Continental Army suffered a serious defeat Americans showed bravery, but were very low on supplies Continental Army was forced to retreat to Pennsylvania

15 A Low Point – Winter ( ) Many Patriot soldiers have completed their service and go home Many soldiers run away Washington, fearing they would lose the war, pleaded with the Continental Congress to let free African Americans enlist. They had previously not been allowed to join. Southern States did not want them to join Feared armed rebellion

16 African Americans Join the Fight
Many states ignore the ban and enlist African Americans They join because They believe in the Patriot cause Needed money They could earn their freedom

17 American Victories in New Jersey
Washington catches British off guard in Trenton, NJ on Christmas night 1776 and then pushes the British out of Princeton Washington’s troops gained confidence The Continental Army won badly needed supplies New enlistments and reenlistments rose


19 British Plan for Victory
British planned to separate the New England Colonies from the Middle Colonies Send troops down from Canada Capture Albany, NY Take control of the Hudson River

20 Patriots Slow the British
British capture Philadelphia but don’t make it all the way to Albany British encountered militia groups on their way to Albany and were short on supplies Patriots led by General Horatio Gates defeated British General Howe at the Battle of Saratoga Turning point in the war (We might actually win!!)


22 Making Connections Why were African Americans first banned from serving in the Continental Army? Answer the Essential Question: What challenges did the American revolutionaries face at the start of the war?

23 The War Continues Essential Question:
How did they US gain allies and aid during the Revolutionary War?

24 Gaining Allies Even with aid from other nations and individuals, the Patriots had difficulty financing their war for independence Battle of Saratoga victory encouraged other nations to give support

25 France Benjamin Franklin worked hard to get support from France
In 1788 – French openly announced support for the Americans Declared war on Britain Sent money, equipment and troops to America

26 Spain Helped American cause because they don’t like the British
Attack British from southern and western fronts Do not recognize American independence until after the war

27 Winter at Valley Forge (1777-1778)
Washington and his troops set up camp at Valley Forge and endured terrible conditions They lacked decent food, clothing, shelter and medicine Built huts Several volunteers, including Martha Washington, made clothes and cared for the sick Biggest challenge was keeping the army together – many men deserted “Naked and starving as they are, we cannot enough admire the incomparable patience and fidelity (faithfulness) of the soldiery.” George Washington, Letter to Governor George Clinton, February 16, 1778


29 Money Problems Continental Congress had no power to raise money through taxes To pay for the war, the Congress and the states printed hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of paper money This led to inflation Amount of bills in circulation grew faster than the supply of gold and silver to back those bills Therefore, it took more and more money to buy the same amount of goods



32 Life on the Home Front – Changing Attitudes
Thousands of men were away in military service Women took charge of their families and ran their husbands’ or their own businesses The ideals that inspired the American Revolution also caused some women to question their place and treatment in American society Women argued for equal educational opportunities and women’s interests

33 Hopes for Equality Revolutionary War ideals cause some white Americans to question slavery. African Americans fought for the American cause and hoped the Revolution would lead to an end to slavery Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire attempted to abolish slavery but the issue would remain unsettled for many years.

34 Making Connections How did the war for independence affect slavery in the United States? What effects did the war have on women? Answer the Essential Question: How did the United States gain allies and aid during the Revolutionary War?

35 The War Moves West and South
Essential Question: How did fighting in the West and South affect the course of the War?

36 The British and Native Americans
Most Native Americans sided with the British because they saw them as less of a threat Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant attacked American settlements in southwestern NY and northern PA The British paid Native Americans for American scalps American victory at Vincennes strengthened American position in the West

37 Glory at Sea Great Britain set up a blockade to prevent the Patriots and their allies from entering or leaving American harbors Prevented supplies and reinforcements from reaching the American army

38 Privateers 2nd Continental Congress ordered 13 warships to be made. Only 2 made it to sea The Congress authorized over 2,000 ships to sail as privateers Privately owned merchant ships Not hard to find crews (very profitable) Capture more British ships than the American Navy

39 Struggles in the South Great Britain hoped that a strong campaign in the South would help the war Britain began to concentrate their efforts in the South Initially, their strategy worked

40 British Victories 1780 – British General Henry Clinton attacked Charles Town, South Carolina and took thousands of prisoners Worse American defeat of the war Clinton left General Charles Cornwallis in command of British forces in the South Cornwallis soon realized he could not control the area because of Guerilla warfare and because he received less aid from Loyalists than expected

41 Guerilla Warfare As British forces moved through countryside, small forces of Patriots attacked them Hit and run technique caught British off guard Appeared suddenly Struck their blows Disappeared quickly

42 Help From Spain Governor of Spain gave thousands of dollars to Americans Opened up the port at New Orleans! Shipped supplies and ammunition up the Mississippi River Raised an army to help near the lower Mississippi


44 Making Connections Why did the Americans need to break the British naval blockade? Cause and Effect: Using the diagram below, show why the British lost control in the South Answer the Essential Question: How did fighting in the West and South affect the course of the Revolutionary War?

45 The War Is Won Essential Question:
How did the Battle of Yorktown lead to American Independence?

46 Change in Plans – The Battle of Yorktown
Originally, Washington planned to attack the British in New York City Secretly, Washington decided to attack the British at Yorktown, Virginia instead With aid from French troops, they attacked and trapped 8,000 British troops Cornwallis soon surrendered his troops as well Yankee Doodle was played to annoy the British as they handed over their weapons Battle of Yorktown convinced the British that the war was too costly to continue

47 Independence Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and John Jay were sent to negotiate the treaty of Paris (1783) Great Britain recognized the US as an independent nation Britain withdrew all troops The US allowed British merchants to collect their debts US gave back property taken from Loyalists

48 Washington Resigns After persuading the Congress to pay soldiers their pensions that had been refused them, Washington retired “Having now finished the work assigned me I retire…and take my leave of all the employments of public life.” He returned to Mt. Vernon, Virginia to live quietly with his family

49 Making Connections Why were the Americans successful in their fight for independence? Answer the Essential Question: How did the Battle of Yorktown lead to American Independence? Convinced British that the war was too costly to continue

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