The American Revolution (HIST 116)
In this lecture, Professor Freeman explains the logic behind American and British military strategy during the early phases of the Revolution. First, she discusses the logistic disadvantages of the British during the war: the difficulties shipping men and supplies from more than three thousand miles away; the vast expanse of countryside with no one central target to attack; difficulties in recruiting British soldiers to fight in America; and the fact that the British faced a citizen army comprised of highly motivated soldiers who didn't act in predictable ways. In addition, the British consistently underestimated the revolutionaries in America, and overestimated Loyalist support. Professor Freeman also discusses the four main phases of the Revolutionary War, differentiated by shifts in British strategy. During the earliest phase of the war, the British thought that a show of military force would quickly lead to reconciliation with the colonists. During the second phase, the British resolved to seize a major city - New York - in the hope that isolating New England from the rest of the colonies would end hostilities. By 1777, the war had entered its third phase, and the British set their sights on seizing Philadelphia and defeating George Washington. This phase ended with the Battle of Saratoga in late 1777.
00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
04:14 - Chapter 2. British Disadvantages in the War
10:39 - Chapter 3. British Assumptions of Citizen Armies and Loyalists
18:45 - Chapter 4. The First Phase: British Displays of Force
29:31 - Chapter 5. The Second Phase: Capturing New York
41:42 - Chapter 6. Third Phase: Defeating Washington and the Battle at Saratoga
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.
Tagged under: British,Army;,Continental,Loyalists;,Battle,Lexington;,Concord;,Bunker,Hill;,General,John,Burgoyne;,Fort,Ticonderoga;,Benedict,Arnold;,George,Washington;,Trenton;,William,Howe;,Charles,Cornwallis;,Saratoga
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