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1776: Washington’s Narrow Escape, American Society at War and Setbacks for British

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British soldiers had arrived on the Staten Island on July 2, 1776, when the Congress had voted for their freedom. The British vanguard soldier came to take over America and had camped around Newyork harbor for a month. In the effort to conquer American land, Major-general William Howe together with his older brother had mobilized an army of 32000 men by mid – August. To counter the British army, George Washington mobilized his troops some from Boston but could only get amateur soldiers of about 19000 men to Newyork. Washington had an experience of commanding small units of troops, and now it was a big challenge to coordinate a whole army of untrained soldiers against the British army.
Fighting in Newyork and New Jersey
Great Britain colonies had turned rebellious and by taking over New York as a colony would relief New England the pain from the rebellions. British Navy was the most powerful due to its large number and weaponry. Towards the end of August, the British troops started to land on the long island. Washington was leading a poorly equipped and most untrained and afflicted by chicken pox soldiers, but his focus to counter the British attack was unquestionable. On Long Island, George Washington soldiers were conquered, and the few remaining retreated. The retreat was also a tough survival thanks to the natural occurrences of strong winds, fog, and high tides. The natural occurrences distracted and disoriented the British soldiers an opportunity for American soldiers to cross from Brooklyn to Manhattan in the dark.

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The main army had retreated to the mainland of Newyork to the North, across the Hudson River, to New Jersey and Pennsylvania via the Delaware River. By the end of August, Washington had mobilized 28000 men and by December only 3000 were remaining.
Most American soldiers and units’ commanders had lost the morale to fight. The pamphlet common sense by a British volunteer, Thomas Paine was ordered to be read to all the standing army that revived their morale. General Howe throughout the war had captured and established his base in Newyork; he decided to rest and wait for winter to conquer more American land. Contrary to Howe’s expectation, Washington decided to continue the war in the winter to take the advantage of British rest and boost his men moral amid the great losses throughout the war period. For instance, he led his troops across Delaware River to the garrison of sleeping German mercenaries and attacked 1500 men with only 500 escaping and only six American soldiers being wounded. Among the six wounded soldiers, one of them was James Monroe a lieutenant by then and a future American president. Later after one week they combated three regiments of British troops at Princeton and took over the winter quarters. General Howe had relaxed too much, and they had almost lost the battle after the two wins by the American troops. Washing had realized that his troops could win only if they made the war long and tiresome for the British army to endure.
American society at war- choosing sides
During the war, American were divided between them and the outcome was a civil war characterized by extreme brutality. For instance, Benjamin Franklin’s illegal son sided with the British as a royal governor of New Jersey but was removed from his will. Those who sided with the British were known as British sympathizers and the American government punished and confiscated their properties. Colonialist had three opinions concerning the division of Americans during the war. There were patriots, the Tories, and a middle group that was headed by powerful radicals. Following an aversion by majority British to the war, the government sorted German mercenaries. During the war, the British aligned themselves to the majority Tories. The British army could not stand the war since Tories were never enough in any region, and the Loyalties were often regularly detached themselves from the war and pulled out. The Patriot Militia garnered more support even from the most apathetic, and this made the American resistance stronger for British to withstand.
Militia and Army, and Problem of finance and supply
America used her militiamen to protect the American community and supplement its continental army. They preferred hand-to-hand combat to traditional fighting formations. Most of Washington’s army was citizens trained as a whole against British professional soldiers. General Nathaniel remarked that most of the Patriots in the army had never engaged in a mortal combat and found the war scenes terrifying and extremely horrifying. Washington ensured that each state had men ready to fight and in some states he had conscripts. Most states were willing to supply very few men and ammunition that made it difficult for the Congress to supply an army. In 1977, the Congress established a government arsenal at Springfield Massachusetts and states offered bounties for gun manufacturers. I776-1777 the harsh winter plagued the army and many deserted the course. The remaining soldiers were attacked by smallpox that on a daily basis automatically rendered one in every four soldiers unfit for war. Washington took a risky and high secret step by inoculating all American army for the smallpox virus and the results turned positive which made his army even stronger.
1777-Setbacks for the British
The British army was weakening due to divided counsel among their leaders; they were overconfident since they were fighting against untrained American civilian soldiers and being indecisive. General Howe had planned to take over Philadelphia, and his efforts were successful after defeating American soldiers at Brandywine Creek. General Howe and General Burgoyne were fighting nearby. Howe realized that Philadelphia was not meeting enough of his expecting, and the two generals had to move away from each other to push American soldiers further. The parting exposed General Burgoyne into a disaster from the north. At Fort Ticonderoga, Burgoyne brought his cannon and pushed Americans to the south. The Congress was annoyed and replaced the American commander with Horatio Gates. Burgoyne surrendered on October 17, 1777, together with his almost 5700 men were captured and imprisoned in Virginia. Gates the new American commander allowed Burgoyne to go home which was an act of humility that pushed Burgoyne to write to old England that it should stop fighting for American have treated him with humility. In 1777 December, American troops had conquered the British troops and France celebrated the victory as their own. In early 1778 Americans were recognized by France and signed the treaties of amity and commerce. British ships fired on the French ships and war started between British and French whose allies like Spain came for aid. War was declared by British on the Dutch, and the whole events turned into another world war since it stretched to the Mediterranean, India, and Africa.

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