Revolutionary War Project: West Point
General George Washington, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, the Continental Army commander, and later the first president of the United States of America during the American Revolution declared West Point, as “the most important military position in America”[i]. West Point is located in New York, along the Hudson River and 50miles from New York City. West Point was a very strategic point during the American Revolution, due to its location near the Hudson River and its geographical conditions for its defense, which therefore was caused the Continental Army to fortify its defense there. Thus afterwards a military academy was founded at West Point, in which played a vital role in United States history. West Point being a vital point in the American Revolution was due to the Hudson River. The New York Provincial Congress quoted “If the Enemy persist in their plan of subjugating these states to the yoke of Great Britain, they must…be more and more convinced of the necessity of their becoming masters of the Hudson River”[ii]. Traveling by land by default was always known to be a risk, especially during the time of war. Not only it took more time to travel, but furthermore there are always chances of ambushes set up by the enemies. The Hudson River allowed a quick and safe reliable transportation of troops and supplies for commerce during the war time. Boynton also further quotes “the Hudson was connected by an easy portage with Lakes George and Champlain and through them with the St, Lawrence, the great river of the Canada’s…by a short portage to the basin of the great lakes and to the magnificent river system of the Mississippi”. [iii] This further show the Hudson River not only represented an importance of military commerce, but communication as well. Communication was another big advantage point of the Hudson River during the American Revolution. Losing the Hudson River for the Continental Army would have meant the isolation between the eastern colonies and the southern colonies. The New York Provincial Congress quotes “will effectually prevent all intercourse between the eastern and southern, divide our strength and enfeeble every effort for our common preservation and security”.[iv] However for the British, controlling the Hudson River, and having the colonies in isolation meant a more speedy and efficient way to put down the rebellion. In support of this Boynton furthermore quotes” to prevent all communication between the city of New York and the Provinces of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and those to the southward of them… distract and divide the Provincial forces as to render it easy for the British Army at Boston to defeat them, break the spirits of the Massachusetts people, depopulate their country, and compel an absolute subjection to Great Britain”.[v] The thirteen colonies during the American Revolution had no established government none other than the Continental Congress in which was located in Pennsylvania. Losing communications amongst the colonists and especially the Continental Congress who oversaw the war would have devastated the Continental Army. Thus British having control of the Hudson River would easily have allowed the British to maintain a safe correspondence with its Quebec, Canadian territory, thus furthermore would have been disadvantageous for the colonies. The Continental Army being well aware of the importance of Hudson River, and its advantageous aspects, established its defense at West Point. West Point was vital location for the defense of the Hudson River for as Boynton quotes” The distance across the river is only about fourteen hundred feet, a less distance by far than at any other part”.[vi] This was very advantageous for the Continental Army, in which is because it prevented the British who had at time had the most powerful navy in the world, to besiege or surround the...
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