Washington once said that during the Revolution the British beat them all the time, but that the Colonial Army won the two battles that counted. Which ones?There were certainly a few more than two,...

Washington once said that during the Revolution the British beat them all the time, but that the Colonial Army won the two battles that counted. Which ones?

There were certainly a few more than two, but see if you can figure which two particular battles Washington would have been talking about that were of such significance or consequence that he would consider them to be the two most important

Asked on by twin2008

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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If I had to venture a guess, I would say that Washington was referring to the Battle of Saratoga in 1778, and the Battle of Yorktown in 1781.  You're right, there were other battles the Americans won, but these two had very significant impacts on how the war would and could be waged by the Colonials, and on the outcome of the war itself.

Saratoga, it could be argued, was the first time the American Army had fought a traditional, open field battle against the British and won it on their own terms.  This helped the diplomatic efforts of Benjamin Franklin to secure the Treaty of Alliance.  This led to offers of training and financial aid (loans) for the war, as well as threw the French Navy into the fight.

Yorktown was the decisive battle of the war and the one which gave America its independence.  General Cornwallis of the British was cornered against the ocean, and thanks to the French Navy, the British Navy could not come and rescue his forces.  He was forced to surrender, the first time an entire British Army had done so.  This virtually guaranteed American independence, and could be called Washington's greatest moment as commander.

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