Results of the
Revolutionary War
By: Caitlin


In January of 1781, traitor Benedict Arnold began conducting raids in Virginia for the British, who had made him a brigadier general. His troops set fire to crops, military supplies, and other patriot property. General Washington sent Lafayette with a force of Continentals to rally Virginias militia and go after Arnold, but Lafayette didnt have enough troops to stop Arnold.

Cornwallis came to Virginia in the spring of 1781 and made it his new base in the campaign to conquer the south. Cornwallis had violated the United Kingdom's Southern Strategy by failing to gain control of North Carolina and South Carolina befor advancing north.

The last major battle of the Revolutionary War was fought at Yorktown.
French and American forces cooperated to deliver a crushing defeat to the British.

About 5,500 French soldiers had reached America in July of 1780. They were led by Lieutenant General Jean Rochambeau. Washington still hoped to drive the British from New York City in a combined operation with the French. In August 1781, Washington learned that a large fleet under Admiral Francois de Grasse was headed toward Virginia. De Grasse planned to block Chesapeake Bay to prevent Cornwallis from escaping by sea.

By late September in 1781, Cornwallis knew that he was in trouble. A combined force of 18,000 French and American soldiers and sailors surrounded Cornwallis at Yorktown. They slowly closed in on the trapped British troops. On the night of October 16th, Cornwallis made a desperate attempt to ferry his forces across the York River to safety, but a storm drove them back.

The surrender at Yorktown took place on October 19, 1781. About 8,000 men laid down their arms as a British band played a song called "The World Turned Upside Down."

The Revolutionary War didn't end at Yorktown. The fighting dragged on for two more years in some areas. British leaders feared they might lose parts of the United Kingdom's empire if they continued in the war. Cornwallis's defeat at Yorktown brought a new group of British ministers to power early in 1782. They began peace talks with the Americans.

War Losses:
Approximately 7,200 Americans died, 8,200 Americans were wounded, and 10,000 died in military camps from disease or exposure. Many soldiers that were in the Continental Army came out of the war penniless. They had received little or no pay at all while they served. Soldiers who enlisted for the entire war received certificates for Western land. Many of the veterans had to sell the certificates for money before the Western land was available. (In 1018, congress agreed to pay pensions to the veterans who were needy of money.)

Costs of the War:
The 13 states and the congress went deeply in debt to finance the Revolutionary War. In 1788, a new Constitution was approved. It gave congress the power of taxation. By the early 1800s the congress had paid off most of the debt from the taxes. The king and Parliament from United Kingdom feared the war might bankrupt the country. After the war expanded trade with the United States helped economy recover. Taxes on the trade reduced the United Kingdoms debt.


Martin, James Kirby. "Revolutionary War in America." World Book Online Reference Center.
2007.January 12, 2007. <>.

Martin, James Kirby. "Revolutionary War in America." World Book Online Reference Center.
2007. Internet. January 12, 2007. <>.

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