Still bitter from their defeat by the British in the French and Indian War , The French had secretly sent weapons to the patriots since early 1776
The War Moves to the Middle States
The Bristish had previously retreated from Boston , moving the theater of war to the Middle States. As part of a grand plan to stop the rebelling by isolating New England, the Bristish decided to seize New York City
The two brothers , General William Howe and Admiral Richard Howe joined forces in Staten Island and sailed into New York harbor in the summer of 1776 with the largest British expeditionary force ever assembled with thousands of soldiers and German mercenaries or Hessians as people call them
Defeat in New York
Washington had rallied 23,000 men to New York's defense but was outnumbered . Most of his troop were untrained and had poor equipment .The battle for New York ended in late August with an American retreat following heavy losses
The Britished had pushed Washington army across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania and the majority of Washingtons men had either left, killed or even captured.There were fewer then 8,000 men left under Washingtons command
Washington Comes Up With A Plan
In a fierce storm , Washington had led 2,400 men in small rowboats across the ice choked Delaware River.
The Battle of Trenton
In the morning Washington and his men had marched nine miles through sleet and snow to the objective of reaching Trenton, New Jersey held by Hessians .Most of the Hessians had drunk run the night before and were still sleeping it off and in a surprise attack, the Americans killed 30 of the enemy and took 918 captives and six Hessian cannons .
Another American Victory
The Americans were rallied by another astonishing victory against 1,200 British stationed at Princeton.Encouraged by these victories Washington marched his army into winter camp near Morristown , in northern New Jersey
The Fight for Philadelphia
General Howe began his campaign to eliminate the American capital at Philadelphia. His troops sailed from New York to head to the Chesapeake Bay and landed near the capital.The continental congress fled the city while Washingtons troop unsuccessfully tried to block the redcoats at nearby Brandywine Creek. The British captured Philadelphia and General Howe settled in to enjoy the hospitality of the city's loyalists .
Huge American troop surrounded Burgoyne at Saratoga, where he surrendered his army to General Gates. The surrender at Saratoga dramatically changed Britains war strategy.
The war was on break and George Washington and his troops decided to go back to Pennsylvania to Valley Forge. Many soldiers died from lack of supplies, clothes and the cold weather
A Turning Point
The Saratoga Victory bolstered French trust in the American army and France. Now agreed to support the Revolution. The French recognized American independence and signed an alliance or treaty of cooperation with the Americans
Friedrich von Steuben
A Prussian captain and talented drill master, volunteered his services to General Washington and went to work by teaching the soldiers how to fight with their weapons.
Lafayette and the French
French aristocrat , offered his assistance , he joined Washingtons staff and bore the misery of Valley Forge , lobbied for French reinforcements in France
British Change Their Millitary Strategies
After their devastating deafeat at Saratoga , the British changed their military strategies and decided to shift their operations to the South . The British hoped to rally loyalists support and to reclaim former colonies in the region and to slowly fight their way back north.
Early Success in The South
At the end of 1778 a British expedition easily took Savannah, Georgia, and by the spring of 1779 a royal governor once again commanded Georgia.
The French had stationed one fleet there and were operating another in the West Indies. When news of Cornwallis plans reached him Lafayette had suggested that the American and French armies join forces with the two French fleets and attack British forces at Yorktown .
The British Capture Charles Town
In 1780, General Henry Clinton , who had replaced Howe in New York, along with General Cornwallis sailed south with 8,500 men and captured Charles Town.
British Captures American Soldiers
The British marched 5,500 American soldiers off as prisoners of war. Clinton then left for New York , leaving Cornwallis to command the British forces in the South to conquer South and North Carolina
For most of 1780,Cornwallis succeeded . The redcoats were joined by thousands of African American who had to escape from Patriot slave owners to join the British and win their freedom .
Cornwallis Army Smashed American Forces
Cornwallis army had smashed American forces at Camden , South Carolina and with three months the British had established forts across the state.
When the forces met at Cowspens, South Carolina the British expected the outnumbered Americans to flee but the Continental Army fought back and forced the redcoats to surrender .
Financing the War
The Congress appointed a rich Philadelphia merchant named Robert Morris as superintendent of finance. His associate was Haym Salomon , a Jewish policial refugee from Poland . They both begged and borrowed on their personal credit to raise money to provide salaries for the Continental Congress.
Greene Was Attacked
Angered by the defeat at Cowspen, Cornwallis attacked Greene at Guilford Court House , North Carolina.He had won the battle but it cost him a fourth of his troop
Asking for Help
Greene had weakened the British but he worried about the fight for the South . He wrote a letter to Lafayette for help
Morris and Salomon
Due to the efforts of Morris and Salomon the troops were finally paid in specie or gold coin.
Victory at Yorktown
About 17,000 French and American troops surrounded the British on the Yorktown Penninsula . British troops were outnumbered by more than two to one and exhausted from shelling , Cornwallis surrendered
Colonel William Fontaine of the Virginia militia stood with the American and French armies lining a road near Yorktown , Virginia to witness the formal British surrender.The American Revolution had ended .
Peace talks began in Paris . Representatives of four nations- the United States, Great Britain , France , and Spain joined the negotiation with each looking out for its own interest .
Treaty of Paris
Confirmed U.S independence and set boundaries of the new nation. The United States now stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from Canada to the Florida border.