Results of the War
People to Meet...
|General George Washington
|Marquis de Lafayette
|Lieutenant General Jean Rochambeau
|Admiral Francois de Grasse
The fighting in the Revolutionary War was centered in Virginia during 1781. That year, the traitor Benedict Arnold began conducting raids in Virginia for the British, who had made him a general. Arnolds 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 had too few troops to stop Arnold.
General Cornwallis rushed into Virginia in the spring of 1781 and made it the base to try and conquer the South. General Cornwallis violated the United Kingdoms strategy by not gaining control of North and South Carolina before going north. General Clinton thought that the Southern mission was now doomed. He also feared getting attacked by the Americans at the New York City base. General Clinton ordered General Cornwallis to get into a defensive position along the Virginia coast and prepare to send his troops north. General Cornwallis moved to Yorktown, which was along the Chesapeake Bay.
The Surrender at Yorktown
The last major battle of the Revolutionary War was fought at Yorktown. This battle put the dagger in the French. French and American forces cooperated to deliver a defeat to British forces under Cornwallis.
About 5500 French soldiers had reached America in July 1780. Lieutenant General Jean Rochambeau led them. George Washington still hoped to drive the British from N.Y.C. in a combined operation with the French. In 1781, George Washington learned that a large French fleet under Admiral Francois de Grasse and was headed toward Virginia. Francois de Grasse planned to block General Cornwallis from escaping by sea. George Washington and Lt. General Jean Rochambeau rushed their forces southward to trap General Cornwallis on land. A British naval fleet sailed from N.Y.C. and battled Francois de Grasse at Chesapeake Bay in early Sept. After several days, the British ships returned to get repaired.
By late 1781, General Cornwallis knew he was in trouble. Both the French and American force of 18,00 soldiers and sailors combined surrounded him at Yorktown. The soldiers slowly and steadily closed in on the trapped British. General Cornwallis made a desperate attempt to ferry his forces across the York River to safety on October 16th. A storm drove them back and General Cornwallis asked for surrender the next day.
The British surrendered at Yorktown on October 19th, 1981. More than 8000 men laid down their weapons as a British band reportedly played a song called The World Turned Upside Down. They represented about a fourth of the United Kingdoms military force in America.
The Treaty of Paris
The surrender of Yorktown lead to the Treaty of Paris. First, the House of Burgesses grants freedom to slaves who served in the Continental Army. The Americans and the British began to meet in Paris in April 1982. Richard Oswald, represented the British government. The statesmen Ben Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay negotiated for the United States.
The congress approved the treaty on April 15th, 1783, and it was signed on September.3rd, 1983. The Treaty of Paris recognized the independence of the United States and established the new nations borders. United States territory extended west to the Mississippi River, north to Canada, and east to the Atlantic Ocean. The last British soldiers were withdrawn from N.Y.C. in November 1783. The American Revolutionary War successfully drove European powers off this continent.
As a result of the Revolutionary War, the 13 British colonies threw off royal rule. They made new governments ruled by law and it was based the basic right, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Costs of the War
The 13 states and the Congress went deeply into debt to finance the Revolutionary War. A new Constitution, in 1788, gave Congress the power to tax people. Through taxes, Congress paid off much of the war debt by the early 1800s.
The Revolutionary War killed the United Kingdoms economy. The United States expanded trade with them and help them recover their economy.
France could not afford its expenditures on the Revolutionary War. By 1988, France was nearly bankrupt. That is what brought on the French Revolution in 1786.
It is estimated that 7,200 Americans were killed in the battle during the Revolutionary War. 8,200 more were wounded. 10,000 others died in military camps from disease or exposure. The total of deaths was about 25,700. There were 10,000 British military deaths during the war.
Martin, James Kirby. "Revolutionary War in America." World Book Online Reference Center. 2007. Internet. Jan. 12th 2007. <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar466820>.
Martin, James Kirby. "Revolutionary War in America." World Book Online Reference Center. 2007. internet. Jan. 12th 2007. <http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar466820>.