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The Struggle for Liberty

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Presentation on theme: "The Struggle for Liberty"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Struggle for Liberty
Chapter 4 Section 3: The Struggle for Liberty

2 Supporting the War Effort:
George Washington’s chief task as commander in chief was to raise troops. The typical soldier was young, often under the age of 16, had little money or property. The army offered low pay, harsh conditions, and a big chance of becoming a casualty. Yet the patriots knew they were fighting for their homes and their freedom. One question Washington faced was whether to recruit African Americans. Some white southerners opposed the idea, at first Washington banned African Americans from serving. But when the British offered freedom to slaves who fought for them, Washington allowed it. Women also served, often helping to make clothing, or to serve as messengers, nurses, or spies. The best known woman to fight was Mary Ludwig Hays. She was nicknamed “Molly Pitcher” because she brought water to the troops. Some women, such as Deborah Sampson, dressed as men and fought in battles.

3 Defeats and Victories:
Canada: Some wanted to invade Canada and make it the “14th Colony”. Patriot troops led by General Montgomery captured Montreal in Benedict Arnold marched on Quebec around the same time and initially lost. He waited for Montgomery to arrive to help attack. The combined armies attacked during a massive blizzard and were swiftly defeated. With this loss, all hope of taking Canada faded. New York: Washington moved his troops to New York and awaited the British fleet. When the British, led by General Howe, arrived… they forced the Patriots off of Long Island. A series of battles followed that pushed the Continental Army back farther and farther until they were forced out completely and Howe had his revenge for his defeat at Boston.

4 Defeats and Victories:
New Jersey: The colonial army was on the run, and his dwindling troops were exhausted and about to come to the end of their contract. Washington’s army was in danger of vanishing. The British thought the rebellion would end soon, so they left New Jersey in the hands of Hessian mercenaries (Germans soldiers for hire). Washington took a chance and went on the offensive, crossing the Delaware with 2,000 troops on Christmas night during a storm. He and his soldiers silently rowed across the icy river. The Hessians were still asleep when the Patriots descended upon them, many of them critically low on supplies and barefoot while they did so. With this victory, Washington ensured that he would be able to recruit new soldiers and that the fight was long from over. .

5 Battle of Trenton: British general Charles Cornwallis rushed to stop Washington as he marched northeast to Princeton. On the night of January 2nd, 1777 the Patriots left their campfires burning and circled behind the British troops. In the early morning, Washington attacked. The British were swiftly defeated. Soldiers joined the army, more re-enlisted for another term. The army and the Revolution itself was saved. Washington’s gamble had paid off.

6 Battle of Saratoga: Desperate for a win, the British aimed to take Fort Ticonderoga and cut off New England from the rest of the colonies. British general Burgoyne managed to retake the fort and headed to Albany to meet general Howe. Unknown to Burgoyne, Howe had sailed up the Chesapeake Bay to capture Philadelphia. Meanwhile Burgoyne’s army was bogged down in deep forests. The Patriots had cut down large trees and dammed the rivers to create obstacles. All along the route, militia swarmed the Redcoats. As Burgoyne neared Saratoga, he found himself surrounded and was forced to surrender to the Colonial general Horatio Gates. This victory was a major turning point in the war. It was the greatest victory yet for the Americans and greatly improved morale.

7 Help from Europe: After the French and Indian War, the French and the Spanish had lost a large amount of valuable land to the British. The victory at Saratoga gave the Patriots something they had been desperate to gain, foreign help. France, Spain, and even Holland joined the fight against the Redcoats. “The Welfare of America is closely bound up with the welfare of mankind.“ declared a wealthy young Frenchman, the Marquis de Lafayette. Inspired by the Revolution, Lafayette brought his own ship and a group of well trained troops to join the Continental Army without the incentive of pay. He spoke little English and had never seen battle, but he quickly became a skillful commander. He gave over $200,000 of his own money to the war fund and spoke for aid via letters back home to his powerful friends.

8 Help from Europe: In February 1778 another European came to serve heroically under Washington. Baron von Steuben, an experienced military officer from Prussia, led with a combination of respect and fear. He trained the American troops, focusing on basic military drills. Soon he converted the army into a disciplined fighting force. A historian called von Steuben’s feat ‘perhaps the most remarkable achievement in rapid military training in the history of the world.”

9 Help from France: Benjamin Franklin, was a skilled and experienced diplomat, and he had gone to France in to ask for support from King Louis XVI. Finally, after the Battle of Saratoga in 1777 the French king decided to create an alliance with the Patriots. The French had been helping all along with supplies and ammunition, but after the treaty was ratified the French sent troops and ships, and the naval support became a key ingredient to defeating the British. Help from Spain: Spain joined the war in Bernardo de Galvez, governor of Spanish Louisiana, became a key ally. He gathered an army of Spanish, French Americans, colonists and Natives. They captured territory from Louisiana all the way to Pensacola, FL.

10 Winter at Valley Forge:
The entry of France and Spain into the war came at a crucial moment. The Continental Army was running low on food and clothing. In December 1777, Washington settled his 12,000 men at Valley Forge, north of Philadelphia. To this day, the name of Valley Forge brings to mind suffering – and courage. Yet no battles took place here. The only enemy was the brutal winter of Washington begged for supplies, but conflicts between state authorities and Congress kept them from coming. Soldiers built crude shelters in a hurry, but some had no shirts or shoes. Some stood on their hats to keep their feet off of the freezing ground. Over the course of the winter, about 2,000 men died of disease and malnutrition. Amazingly, the survivors stayed… and drilled to become better soldiers. While the Patriots suffered, the British lived the life of luxury in Philadelphia.

11 War at Sea: The entry of the French navy into the war greatly aided the colonists. Many people had thought that the mighty British navy would crush the smaller American fleet, but the British didn’t use their navy effectively enough to make this happen. In the fall of 1775, Congress ordered 4 American warships to be made. Soon after they created the marines and the Continental Navy. By also adapting merchant ships, the navy had 8 fighting ships ready for combat by Feb 76. That month the tiny American navy launched a major offensive to damage the operating ability of the British fleet located off the Carolina coast. Rather than attack the fleet directly, they went after the British supply base on Nassau, in the Bahamas. The Americans seized the main supply fort on the island, and raised the flag in victory.

12 John Paul Jones: The Patriots owed much of their success on the seas to naval hero John Paul Jones. Jones was once an outlaw in Scotland. When war broke out he joined the newly formed American Navy and quickly established himself as a brave and clever sailor. Considered a pirate by the British. Jones captured many British supply ships. The French greatly admired him, and once they entered the war they presented him with a fleet of 7 ships to command. He named his flagship Bonhomme Richard in honor of Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac. One of Jones’s most famous victories was the capture of the British warship Serapis on 9/23/79. After the British knocked out the heavy artillery on the Bonhomme Richard, Captain of the Serapis called out to Jones, “Has your ship struck (surrendered)?”. Jones replied, “I have not yet begun to fight!”. The battled lasted two more hours before the British surrendered.

13 War in the West: The lands west of the Appalachian Mountains were controlled by Native American nations. Both the British and the Patriots tried to enlist these groups in their cause. George Rogers Clark volunteered to lead the western campaign. He knew the land of the Midwest well from his time as a surveyor, and created an army from the scattered settlements there. Clark targeted trading villages to weaken British support systems. In Feb 1779 Clark launched a surprise attack on Fort Sackville. The attack was unexpected because the nearby Wabash River was icy and flooded. Clark’s men 150 men endured an 18-day march through freezing water and used a large number of flags and scattered gunfire to indicate that their army was much larger than what it was. Falling for the trick, the commander of Fort Sackville surrendered. In general the British were more successful at winning over the Native Americans, but Clark’s many campaigns undermined British support in the West.

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