The Battle of Bunker Hill

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The significance and impact of the Battle of Bunker Hill in American history

Summary:

The Battle of Bunker Hill was significant as it demonstrated the Americans' ability to stand up to the British army, boosting colonial morale despite their eventual defeat. The heavy British casualties highlighted the potential for a prolonged conflict, influencing British strategy and encouraging the colonies to continue their fight for independence.

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Why were the hills important in the Battle of Bunker Hill?

The location of an area has always been an important factor in fighting a war. In the 1700s and in the 1800s, having control over a hilly area was usually an advantageous position for whoever had that position. In the Battle of Bunker Hill, this was especially true. Bunker Hill is a hill that overlooks the harbor in Boston. The colonists had control of this hill. The British, who were better equipped and supposedly better trained and to fight a war, should have been able to control this area. However, since the colonists had control over this hill, the British found it very difficult to take it. They tried three times to capture Bunker Hill. They failed the first two times. The only reason why they succeeded on the third try was because the colonists ran out of ammunition. The difficulty the British had in taking this hill gave the colonists the confidence they needed to believe they could fight the British. It also showed the importance of controlling strategic locations in war, especially the hills in those days.

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Why was the Battle of Bunker Hill important?

The Battle of Bunker Hill was an important battle even though it was fought over a year before the Revolutionary War began. It sent a strong message to both the British and the colonists what the upcoming Revolutionary War would be like.

The colonists had the advantage of the location at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The colonists controlled the hill, which is usually an advantage in a battle. However, the British had more supplies and weapons than the colonists had. It took the British three tries to capture the Bunker Hill, which in reality was Breed’s Hill. The British captured the hill only because the colonists ran out of ammunition.

This battle was important because it sent a message to both the sides. The colonists began to believe they could fight against the British army and be successful against them. They gained confidence from this battle because their loss was caused by a lack of ammunition. The colonists believed they would do well fighting against the British army. The British began to realize this was not going to such an easy conflict to fight. If the British believed they would go into the colonies and fight and win the war quickly, this battle sent them a message that would not be the case.

This battle, while occurring a year before the Declaration of Independence was issued, was important because of the messages it sent to both sides.

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Why was the Battle of Bunker Hill important?

The battle of Bunker hill was among the first important battles that was waged for American independence. It was important because it was used as training ground for what was to come by the inexperienced American troops against the experienced British Army.

The battle also points to tactics that were used by a weaker force to outwit a superior force. This comes after the American troops built dirt walls which posed a major challenge for the British troops to breach. The walls also helped the American troops to successfully attack the British troops who were coming up the hill.

The dirt hill helped for a while but the Americans ran out of ammunition and were finally defeated by the British troops a victory that came at a great cost for the British. The American troops learnt that they needed enough firepower to support their tactics. This battle gave the American troops confidence that they would eventually win the war.

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Why was the Battle of Bunker Hill important?

The main importance of the Battle of Bunker Hill was that it made it clear that the Revolution was going to be a long and drawn-out war that could not be easily ended.

This was the first pitched battle of the Revolution.  The battles at Lexington and Concord had been mere skirmishes that would not have convinced the British that they were in for a long war.  But Bunker Hill was different.  This was a formal battle on open ground.  The fact that the Americans held their own (they lost the battle in that they had to retreat, but they inflicted tremendous casualties on the British) showed that they would not be easily defeated even by the formidable British Army.

The Battle of Bunker Hill did not change the course of the war.  It simply made clear that a war would happen and that it would be difficult for the British to win.

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Why was the Battle of Bunker Hill important?

The Battle of Bunker Hill, though it did not accomplish anything strategically for either the Americans or the British, can be said to have had primarily a kind of psychological importance. Though the British had been defeated two months earlier at Concord, this had been one of those situations (which continued to occur throughout the war) in which they were unprepared for the unorthodox tactics used by the American rebels. The British were not exactly repulsed at Concord Bridge, but during the retreat to Boston, they were repeatedly ambushed by Americans firing at them from farmhouses and concealed positions all along the route. The British believed that if they could confront the rebels in open battle, in a situation more or less replicating European-style set piece battles, they would easily defeat them and quickly bring the rebellion to an end.

At Bunker Hill (actually Breed's Hill), this did not happen. The British had to make multiple charges up the hill, taking a shocking number of casualties, before finally making the American position collapse. This set a pattern, in a way, for much of the warfare over the next six and a half years until the final major confrontation at Yorktown. The British were able to defeat the Americans in open battle, but the cost of doing so was enormous. The British were not prepared to suffer such a high number of casualties or to make the enormous (and expensive, not simply in human terms) effort required to put down the rebellion. This was true especially in view of the fact that much of Parliament, and even many of the British military, were not enthusiastic about prosecuting the war in the first place. The Whig party was sympathetic to the Americans and believed that the rights of the colonists as fellow Englishmen had been violated. Eventually the war dragged on year after year with the rebellion no closer to being put down in 1781 than it had been in 1775.

Bunker Hill, though a British "victory," achieved nothing strategically. It merely inflamed the Americans even more and—given the bombardment that set the town of Charlestown into flames during the battle—demonstrated to them the ruthlessness with which the King and his administration intended to quash the rebellion. Within a year of Bunker Hill, the British were forced to evacuate Boston, with no end to the fighting in sight.

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Why was the Battle of Bunker Hill significant to The American Revolution?

In a word, Inspiration! The Battle of Bunker Hill (technically on Breed's Hill in Charlestown, MA) occurred on June 17, 1775 when General Gage, the British Commander, unwisely ordered a frontal attack on the colonist's makeshift, but strategic fort overlooking Boston Harbor.  The British, the most powerful military force in the world at the time, were to engage the poorly trained and equipped colonial militia.  Although not the first armed conflict between Colonist and Briton, this battle proved to be one of the bloodiest in the war.  The Colonists, outnumbered and outgunned, were eventually forced to retreat, and the British took the possession, but only after suffering nearly 1100 casualties to the Colonist's 400. Although a shocked King George responded by declaring the colonies in a state of rebellion, the most important significance of the battle was the realization by Britain that they were in for a long hard fight, and concurrently, the inspiration created among the Americans by realizing their volunteer militia inflicted nearly 3 to 1 casualties on the best army in the world. The battle gave the Americans the will to take on the British, and possibly even win! "Win the Battle, Lose the War."

Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., vol. 4,  pg. 799. 

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Why was the Battle of Bunker Hill significant to The American Revolution?

Prior to the Battle of Bunker Hill ( Breed's Hill) the British were unsure of their combat status. Was the crown at war or was it an isolated occurance in Boston??? Make no mistake, during The Battle of Bunker Hill, the colonials in Boston were at war with England. The Patriots paid dearly for their principles, however the Patriots delievered severe blows on the British. As a result, The Battle of Bunker Hill if for nothing else, informed King George that there was a fight, and the Continential Congress was not about to concede.

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How did the Battle of Bunker Hill impact American history?

The Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 ended in defeat for the American Revolutionary forces. Yet, in time, it came to take on the appearance of a Pyrrhic victory for the British. Despite losing the battle, the Americans were nonetheless able to inflict quite serious losses upon the British. Strategically, Bunker Hill was undoubtedly a setback for the colonists, but it showed that their method of fighting could potentially cause huge damage to British troops and their morale. The mood of the British in the aftermath of the battle was succinctly summed up by one of their generals named Henry Clinton:

A few more such victories would have shortly put an end to British dominion in America.

It was now abundantly clear to both sides that the war would be long, bloody, and hard. The British soldiers were paid to fight and had no connection with this strange and distant land. The Americans, however, were fighting on home soil for a cause in which they passionately believed. Nearly two decades before the French Revolutionary Army achieved a stunning victory at Valmy, the Americans had already harnessed the power of revolutionary fervor in the heat of battle. They were not successful this time, but the genie of revolutionary consciousness was now out of the bottle. There was very little that the British could do to put it back in again.

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