When the American Revolution began, it looked like the colonies faced insurmountable odds. How did a ragtag band of volunteers without a proper source of funding for food and equipment manage to...

When the American Revolution began, it looked like the colonies faced insurmountable odds. How did a ragtag band of volunteers without a proper source of funding for food and equipment manage to overcome the most powerful army and navy in the world?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The American victory in the Revolutionary War was nothing short of amazing. Nobody would have predicted an American victory. Even Britain’s rivals, France and Spain, waited some time before actively helping us.

There are reasons why the colonists won this war. One factor was the colonists had several reasons for which to fight. The colonists were fighting for their freedom and the right to govern themselves. Some colonists were also fighting for their life. It is likely some of the colonial leaders would have been tried for treason. If they were found guilty, they could have been executed. The British, on the other hand, hired some of their soldiers to fight. They were fighting for pay, not for a cause in which they deeply believed.

Another factor helping the colonists was the brilliant military leadership of George Washington. Washington was a great leader who understood how to develop and follow military plans. He knew how to lead troops. Compare his leadership to the British generals, and it is easy to see why we had an advantage in this area. Some British generals got their command because of whom they knew, not how good of a leader they were. General Howe didn’t follow the plan to move his army to Albany. Instead, he went the other direction and went to Philadelphia. General Burgoyne carried so many luxury items with him, his troops could only move very slowly. This gave the colonists time to regroup and block the path of Burgoyne’s army. The military leadership was one of the colonial advantages.

Finally, we were fighting on land that we knew well. The British had to defend the whole empire. While they were good at defending the coastal regions, they weren’t good at defending the land away from the coast. We knew the land better than the British did. This gave us an advantage when fighting some of the land battles. Our victory, while very unexpected, had some logical explanations for its success.

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