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The First Two Years of War
A. The Battle for Boston
1. The American army at Boston had insufficient arms.
a) Benedict Arnold
2. General Gage attempted to destroy the American forces surrounding Boston.
a) The misnamed Battle of Bunker Hill.
B. Congress Creates an Army
1. Undisciplined force
2. William and Richard Howe
C. The British Strategy in 1776
1. Howe decided to attack in the Carolinas and in the Middle Colonies.
a) He counted on backcountry loyalist sentiment in both regions.
2. British attacks in the South failed.
a) Loyalists found themselves abandoned when the British withdrew.
D. Escape from New York
1. The attack on the Middle Colonies focused on New York City.
2. The Howes decided not to deliver a knockout punch.
3. Washington had to contend with plots.
E. Winter Quarters and Winter Victories
1. Trenton
2. Princeton
3. American morale improved as a result of these two engagements.
F. Burgoyne’s New York Campaign
1. Philadelphia
2. The British plan to isolate New England and thereby smash the Revolution failed.
3. U.S. diplomatic efforts in Europe improved as a result of Gates’ victory at Saratoga.
G. Winter Quarters in 1777
1. Valley Forge
a) Congress did not provide adequate supplies; the army suffered bitterly.
b) Most enlisted men were poor and/or humbly born.
2. The Valley Forge encampment proved crucial in forging a winning army.
a) Von Steuben
3. Howe was replaced by Clinton.
II. Diplomacy Abroad and Profiteering at Home
A. The Long Road to Formal Recognition
1. Although rival European nations expected the American Revolution to fail, they were
more than eager to keep the conflict going as long as possible in order to drain England’s
2. Franklin warned France of an impending compromise with England; the French therefore
signed a treaty with the United States.
B. War and the American Public
1. News of the French treaty unleashed an orgy of spending.
a) A black market of English goods grew rapidly.
2. Corruption and bribery
3. Hard currency was in short supply.
4. Impressment
III. From Stalemate to Victory
A. The War Stalls in the North
1. Fearful of a French naval blockade, Clinton withdrew from Philadelphia to New York
2. French withdrawal
3. Indians allied with the British inflicted losses.
4. The French fleet withdrew, forcing Washington into postponing any campaign.
5. Desertion and mutiny increased in the American army.
B. The Second Carolinas Campaign
1. The British launched a second campaign in the South.
2. Civil war between loyalists and patriots raged.
3. The regular American army fought Cornwallis.
C. Treason and Triumph
1. Benedict Arnold plotted to deliver West Point to the British.
2. Washington and the French planned a joint campaign.
D. Winning Diplomatic Independence
1. Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay negotiated with Britain for the United States.
a) They wisely disregarded Congress’s orders to be guided by the French.
2. The Treaty of Paris (1783) ended the war.
a) The Americans won recognition of independence as the precondition for talks.
b) The treaty gave the United States a great deal of territory.
1) But with no provisions for Indian approval
c) America also won access to the Newfoundland fisheries.
d) Vague terms in the treaty, however, set the stage for future problems.
IV. Republican Expectations in the New Nation
A. The Protection of Fundamental Rights
1. The revolutionary era’s emphasis on the rights of the individual led to significant
a) Limiting the powers of government was stressed by many.
b) Some governments disestablished the Anglican Church.
c) Basic rights were included in various state constitutions.
B. Protection of Property Rights
1. Even for white men, the right to property was a principle, not a guarantee.
C. Legal Reforms
1. Spurred by a commitment to the republican belief in social equality
a) Primogeniture and entail
2. The passion for social equality, at least in appearance, affected customs and laws.
C. Women in the New Republic
1. Wartime experiences gave women a new sense of independence and responsibility.
2. In other cases, though, women were victims of abuse by soldiers and guerrillas.
3. “Republican motherhood”—a new concept—defined women as the educators of the next
generation and preservers of the republic.
a) This responsibility was defined as a public obligation, not just a family role.
4. Reformers advocated the education of young women.
D. The War’s Impact on Slaves and Slavery
1. Slaves viewed military service as a means to freedom.
2. Others attained freedom by escaping to the cities or the backcountry during the war.
3. The revolutionary era’s discussions of freedom led to movements to free the slaves.
E. The Fate of the Loyalists
1. During the war, loyalists fled to areas controlled by the British army.
2. After, many left America when the British evacuated.