United States History I: V01A
May 3, 2011
George Washington and the American Revolutionary War
Following the French-Indian War, The American Revolution began between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the former British colonies in North America. The British power was trying to overwhelm the colonists of New America with many acts, such as the Stamp Act, Sugar Act, The Intolerable Acts, all of which were deemed illegitimate by the colonists and in violation of the rights as Englishmen. For the most part colonists were trying to reject the oligarchies that were common in Europe and started to believe in Republicanism based on the Enlightenment. Many battles and leaders took part in this Revolution; one of the most important of those was President George Washington. His role was vital in the victory for Americans and their freedom from the power of Britain.
As the war for independence approached, Washington was known throughout the American colonies for his courage and military exploits. In Virginia he had established reputation as a man of principle and one who could be trusted.(Alden 94) On June 10, 1775 George Washington was appointed to the Continental Army. Washington addressed the Congress, “I will exert every power I posses, in behalf of the Glorious Cause.”(Alden 113) He took the command in Boston, on 3rd July, 1775. He was assigned the task to intercept the advancing British forces at Boston. On joining, he realized that he was given an unorganized and poorly
equipped army, but he successfully overcame these problems with his brilliant strategies. At the same time General Gage prepared The British Army for yet another battle, this time at Boston. At one point General Gage had six thousand men at his disposal. Before Washington could seize Dorchester Heights, one of the main areas of occupancy for the British, there was a large stalemate between He and General Gage. The location was on top of a hill, so the Patriot guns couldn’t have full affect. When inventory returns exposed a dangerous shortage of gunpowder, Washington asked for new sources. British arsenals were raided and some manufacturing was attempted; a barely adequate supply (about 2.5 million pounds) was obtained by the end of 1776, mostly from France. In search of heavy weapons, he sent Henry Knox on an expedition to Fort Ticonderoga to retrieve cannons that had been captured there. Though there wasn’t a war here, Genera Gage believed it was more important to occupy the Royal Army in New York City, which he eventually went. Washington fortified Dorchester Heights, and forced the British troops to withdraw from Boston on 17th March 1776.
As the battle moved from Boston and through the Carolinas, the next major battle for Washington would be held in Pennsylvania and New York. William Howe and with help from his brother Richard they struck heavily at the principal American army under Washington. The Declaration of Independence, was read to Washington's men to reassure what their goal was, it was around July 1776. Washington sent William Lee to Manhattan to prepare and build fortifications for the purpose of protecting Manhattan from naval and attacks from the Hudson River and Long Island Sound(Fort Lee). (Alden 131) This area was key, Rhode Island and Manhattan, because Washington believed if the British were able to capture this area then they Escamilla 3
would be able to divide America into two different parts and control the Hudson Bay. Washington was torn, “To give up New York without a fight would dispirit the troops and enfeeble our cause.”(Alden 135) Both Fort Washington and Fort Lee were taken by the British causing further retreat into the Hudson Bay area and New Jersey. During the campaign a general lack of organization, shortages of supplies, fatigue, sickness, and above all, lack of confidence in the American leadership resulted in a melting away of...