American Revolution Essay

2942 Words12 Pages
The American War for Independence: Sea Power, Joint and Combined Operations: Question 7.
Given the overwhelming British victories in New York and New Jersey in 1776, how was General Washington able to avoid catastrophic defeat and eventually win the war?

By Julie Moss

A paper submitted to the Faculty of the Naval War College in partial satisfaction of the requirements of the Department of Strategy and War.
The contents of this paper reflect my own personal views and are not necessarily endorsed by the Naval War College or the Department of the Navy.

Signature: /JKM/

BACKGROUND Following the French-Indian War, The American Revolution began between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the former British colonies in North
…show more content…
The British army, led by General William Howe, retreated to Halifax, Canada, and Washington's army moved to New York City in anticipation of a British offensive there. “On August 27, 1776, British forces under a far more experienced military professional, General Sir William Howe, had soundly drubbed the American army in the Battle of Long Island and were now poised to finish it off. The Continental Army was outnumbered and had their backs to the East River and the British in front of them; it appeared the Americans were doomed. If Washington lost his army, it could mean the end of the Revolution.” (Myers 1) Indeed, General George Washington was defeated in the Long Island War, but Washington and the last of the rear guard were aboard the boats and sailing to safety. This paper will explore the strategy that General Washington employed to avoid catastrophic defeat and eventually win the war.

Clausewitz, in his classic On War, claims that war is a trinity made up of the people, the commander and his army, and the government. He tells us, “The passions that are kindled in war must already be inherent in the people.” (Howard and Paret 89) One of the principal war goals set for General Washington by the Continental Congress was for the rebellious colonies to become not only independent but accepted as a state by other powers.

THE BRITISH WIN KEY BATTLES The war started out so well,
Get Access