How were the American colonies able to defeat England, and which was the more powerful country? 

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There are several factors to keep in mind when answering this question. The first thing you should be aware of is the difficulty which Britain itself faced, fighting a war across the Atlantic Ocean. This is not an easy task to manage, and its soldiers themselves faced a geography very...

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There are several factors to keep in mind when answering this question. The first thing you should be aware of is the difficulty which Britain itself faced, fighting a war across the Atlantic Ocean. This is not an easy task to manage, and its soldiers themselves faced a geography very different from the geography they were used to (consider, for example the heavily forested geography that stretched across the Northeast back during the colonial era and the ways in which Revolutionaries could be quite effective exploiting this geography via hit-and-run ambush tactics).

Additionally, be aware that the Revolutionaries did not fight Great Britain on their own. One of the critical turning points in the Revolutionary War came after the American victory at Saratoga, when the French signed an alliance with the American Revolution, and joined the war against Britain. This is a critical point: the Americans were not facing Britain on their own. They did have European allies.

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Several miscalculations on the part of the British helped the Americans win the Revolutionary War. One was the British desire not to expend too many troops on the venture, relying on the idea that Americans faithful to the crown (called Tories) and Native Americans would join their cause. This did not happen to the extent the British hoped. Further, the British sent some poor military leaders, leading to strategic blunders.

Geography was on the side of the Americans. It was difficult for the British to keep supply lines running across the Atlantic Ocean and slow and difficult for them to receive and transmit communications. In addition, the Americans were intimately acquainted with their terrain and willing to adapt to it in a way the British troops were not, offering the Americans a tactical advantage.

Finally, the Americans had the good fortune of enlisting the French on their side to help with the war effort.

No matter how powerful the enemy, in wars such as these, the defenders tend to be much more invested and motivated than the invaders, for they are defending their homeland. This fact worked to the advantage of the Americans; in the end, the British, though far more powerful, had far less will to win this war. The colonies were a tangential entity, not central to who they were.

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The American victory in the Revolutionary War was a huge upset. There were several factors that led to this happening.

The British had poor military leadership. Many of their generals got their posts because of whom they knew, and not because of what they knew. The generals didn’t follow the plans and made poor decisions. General Howe went to Philadelphia instead of Albany. General Burgoyne carried so many luxury items; he had to move very slowly. This gave the colonists an opportunity to regroup when needed. Because General Howe never showed up in Albany, and because another army was defeated, Burgoyne got beat at Saratoga.

Once the British lost this key battle, this opened the door to foreign aid. France and Spain now began to help us by providing us supplies and money. Some professional soldiers also came from Europe to help us.

The Americans had a cause for which to fight. Some Americans were literally fighting for their life. If the colonists would have lost, some colonial leaders may have been killed. Plus, the colonists were fighting for their independence. This was very motivating. The British used hired soldiers who were fighting for pay.

We also knew the land quite well. The British, who had to defend the entire colonial area, didn’t have the same degree of knowledge about the land that the colonists had. This helped the colonists tremendously.

We benefited from excellent military leadership. George Washington was a fantastic general and leader. He may have been our biggest advantage.

Because of these factors, the unexpected happened. The colonists got their freedom from powerful Great Britain.

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