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The American War of Independence

canada goose outlet toronto address Here, however, I have done my best to describe this long and complex war in terms that people will find readily comprehensible, but that avoid some of the Hollywood style simplifications and inaccuracies that have gained so much currency over the years. canada goose outlet toronto address

And although as I write this piece, the second Gulf War has only recently ended, and although the Vietnam analogy comes to mind often, I have deliberately avoided reflecting too much on recent American politics. No: what I have tried to do is to give readers the most balanced and objective view I can of a war that has done much, as my television screen reminds me as I write, to shape the world we live in.

canada goose jacket uk The war often known in Europe as the Seven Years War was known in North America as the www.canadagoose-coats.co.uk French and Indian War. It involved several countries, with France and Britain on opposing sides, and North America was one of its many theatres of operations. It was ended canada goose clearance by the 1763 Treaty of Paris, by which the French ceded territory to Britain in North America and elsewhere. In addition to this success, James Wolfe’s victory at Quebec had helped secure Canada for the British Crown, and the 13 British colonies further south seemed safe from any threat that might once have been posed by the French and their Native American allies. Britain and her American colonies at this time seemed very close, both culturally and politically and it is remarkable how this rosy picture changed so quickly. canada goose jacket uk

canada goose outlet online uk In part the deterioration of relations between Britain and canada goose uk outlet her American colonies which eventually led to the War of Independence stemmed from a logical British attempt to make the colonies contribute more to the cost of their own defence. It was also partly the result of the desire of some successful merchants in the colonies to break free of controls imposed by the pro British elite, and from British political miscalculations that saw foreign policy oscillate between harshness and surrender. Another factor was the canada goose uk shop work of radical politicians and propagandists such as Sam Adams and Paul Revere who envisaged a break with Britain when many of their countrymen still hoped that it might be avoided. canada goose outlet online uk

canada goose outlet 2015 The descent into armed conflict between patriot (anti British) and loyalist (pro British) sympathisers was gradual. Events like the Boston ‘Massacre’ of 1770, when British troops fired on a mob Canada Goose Parka that had attacked a British sentry outside Boston’s State House, and the Boston ‘tea party’ of 1773, when British taxed tea was thrown into the harbour, marked the downward steps. Less obvious was the take over of the colonial militias which had initially been formed to provide local defence against the French and the Native Americans by officers in sympathy the the American patrios/rebels, rather than by those in sympathy with pro British loyalists/Tories. canada goose outlet 2015

canada goose outlet ottawa As all these elements of conflict came into play, the British commander in chief in North America was Lieutenant General Thomas Gage. This event was reported far and wide, and the first shot fired there has ever since been described as ‘the shot heard round the world’. canada goose outlet ottawa

canada goose outlet canada There was a bigger clash at Concord, and then a fighting retreat, in which the British force was roughly handled. The militias then closed in and blockaded the British in Boston. Although newly arrived British reinforcements, under General William Howe, who was soon to replace Gage, won a costly battle Canada Goose UK at Bunker Hill, outside Boston, they could not break the siege. canada goose outlet canada

canada goose uk In mid 1775, patriot representatives of the 13 colonies of America, meeting in Philadelphia as the Continental Congress, appointed George Washington, a well to do Virginia landowner, as commander in chief of its military forces. Washington, who thought militias fundamentally unreliable, set about raising a regular force, the Continental Army, and as the initial skirmishes between the patriots on the one hand and the British and their loyalist supporters on the other turned into a full scale war, both sides were to use a mixture of regular troops, militias and other irregulars. canada goose uk

Washington’s early fortunes were mixed. He forced the British to evacuate Boston by sea, when heavy guns taken from Fort Ticonderoga in upper New York State were hauled by patriot forces across a winter landscape uk canada goose outlet and emplaced so as to fire down onto the city. But a patriot attempt to invade Canada failed miserably.

canada goose outlet uk Washington could also do nothing to deny the enormous advantage that command of the sea conferred on the British. In the summer of 1776 General Howe, Canada Goose Outlet his army of 30,000 men carried in ships commanded by his brother Richard, landed near New York and duly captured the city, inflicting several sharp defeats on the patriots. canada goose outlet uk

canada goose outlet uk sale In 1777 Howe took Philadelphia for the British, and had rather the better of fighting in the central theatre of war. But an ill judged British attempt to invade from Canada, thrusting down the Hudson Valley towards New York and cutting off the rebellious New England, went badly wrong, and Lieutenant canada goose uk black friday General John Burgoyne was forced to surrender with his entire army at Saratoga in October. canada goose outlet uk sale

canada goose premium outlet Defeat at Saratoga was not necessarily a military cataclysm for the British, but it encouraged the French, anxious to obtain revenge for the humiliations of the Seven Years War, to go beyond the covert support they had offered the patriots thus far, and join the war. Spain and Holland were to follow suit, and in 1780 a wider League of Armed Neutrality was formed, to resist British attempts to stop and search merchant shipping. The American war was now a world war, which meant that British resources could no longer be concentrated on North America alone. canada goose premium outlet

Saratoga did not improve Washington’s buy canada goose jacket position instantly, however, and his army spent a miserable winter at Valley Forge. But in the spring of 1777 Howe’s replacement, General Sir Henry Clinton, withdrew from Philadelphia (American Continentals fought creditably when they took on his rearguard at Monmouth), retaining canada goose clearance sale New York as his base in the central theatre, and switching his main effort elsewhere.

There had already been fighting in the Canada Goose online south. The British had failed in an attack on Charleston, although from Savannah they had repulsed a powerful French force, sent by sea from the West Indies. In spring 1780, Clinton reopened the campaign in the south, moving by sea to take Charleston in the biggest British victory of the war. He then returned to New York and left Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis in charge.

canada goose outlet location In August Major General Horatio Gates, patriot victor of Saratoga, was roundly defeated by Cornwallis at Camden. British regulars now had an impressive combination of discipline and tactical skill, which made them formidable adversaries even in the difficult country of the south. But their loyalist allies fared less well. That September Major Patrick Ferguson, with a well canada goose coats organised loyalist force was routed at King’s Mountain, and in January the following year Canada Goose Jackets the dashing and controversial Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton (‘Bloody Ban’ to his enemies) was badly beaten by cheap canada goose uk the unconventional Daniel Morgan at Cowpens. canada goose outlet location

Cornwallis, although his army was now in tatters, was still a doughty adversary. In March canadian goose jacket 1781 he won a magnificent canada goose victory over Nathanael Greene, Gates’s successor, at Guilford Courthouse. But like so many British victories it was won at disproportionate cost, and Cornwallis could not mint strategic currency from tactical success. Exhausted, he fell back towards the coast, and eventually established himself at Yorktown, to the south of the Chesapeake Bay, where he hoped to be buy canada goose jacket cheap supplied or, if the worst came to the worst, to be evacuated, by sea.

canada goose victoria parka outlet In the New York area there had been no developments of real military significance. However, the ambitious Major General Benedict Arnold, one of the patriot heroes of Saratoga, had become embittered, and entered into secret negotiations with Clinton to betray the fort at West Point on the Hudson. canada goose victoria parka outlet

The scheme failed at the last moment and Arnold escaped to enter British service: Major John Canada Goose Online Andr, Clinton’s adjutant general, was Canada Goose sale captured in civilian clothes carrying letters to Arnold, and Washington had him hanged. Washington was badly rattled by the Arnold affair, and he still faced unrest amongst his tired soldiers. And although a substantial French force under the Comte de Rochambeau had landed in Rhode Island, it was hard to see how cheap Canada Goose the war could be won.

canada goose outlet website legit In the spring of 1781 the picture changed at a stroke. Admiral de Grasse, commanding the French fleet in the West Indies, made a bold attempt to secure control of the sea off the Chesapeake Bay. canada goose outlet website legit

canada goose outlet black friday sale Immediately Washington heard what was afoot, he moved south uk canada goose with the bulk of his army and Rochambeau’s Frenchmen. The British could not prevent de Grasse from entering the Chesapeake Bay, and when they brought him to battle in early September the result was a tactical draw but a strategic victory for the French. canada goose outlet black friday sale

canada goose parka uk They still controlled the bay, and Cornwallis was still trapped in Yorktown. Another French squadron brought in heavy guns from Rhode Island, and the French and Americans mounted a formal siege against the outnumbered and ill provisioned Cornwallis. Although Clinton and the admirals mounted a relief expedition, it arrived too late: Cornwallis had surrendered. When the British prime minister, Lord North, so firmly associated with Britain’s war effort, heard the news, he staggered as if shot and cried out: ‘Oh God! It is all over’. canada goose parka uk

canada goose outlet in toronto Although the war was not formally ended until the Treaty of Paris in 1783, it was canada goose black friday sale clear after Yorktown that the British, with their world wide preoccupations, no longer had any realistic chance of winning. There had, however, been some moments that might have led to victory. canada goose outlet in toronto

canada goose outlet in montreal Howe, probably hoping to reach a compromise settlement with Washington, showed little killer canada goose coats on sale instinct in his New York campaign. But in this sort of war the British were in any case eventually likely to lose, unless they could strike the patriots such a telling blow as to win the war at a stroke, and it is hard to see how this could have been achieved. canada goose outlet in montreal

canada goose kensington parka uk Conversely, the patriots had always been likely to win, provided they struggled on and avoided outright defeat. It is unlikely that George Washington would much like being compared with General Vo Nguyen Giap, who commanded the North Vietnamese army in the Vietnam war. But both shared the same recognition that a militarily superior opponent Canada Goose Coats On Sale with worldwide preoccupations can be beaten by an opponent who avoids outright defeat and remains in the field. It is an old truth, and 21st century strategists, whatever their political differences, should be well aware of it. canada goose kensington parka uk

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