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Military Historical Significance

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I.                   Military Historical Significance

A.                Writs of Assistance were court orders authorizing customs officers to carry-out searches of properties and premises for smuggled goods.  This is in line with the strict enforcement of the Acts of Trade, which outlined the rules for commerce in the British Empire. Since there were no provided clear-cut details about the nature of products being searched for and the locations where the search process should take place, officials were eventually enabled to search even in the private homes of American colonists.

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Because of this, in 1761, the Boston merchants, as represented by James Otis challenged the constitutionality of the writs. Although this case lost, it nevertheless triggered the start of the advocacy for independence by the colonists, which led to the American Revolution.1

B.                 George Grenville was a British Prime Minister from April 16, 1763 up to July 10, 1765. Before taking over as PM, Greenville was involved in certain controversies, one of which was connected with the series of riots against the Cider Tax, which he was actively supporting at that time.

During his term, he sought to gain popularity in Britain by lowering the taxes there and by concomitantly formulating a strategy which involved raising the taxes in the American colonies, thus implementing some of the most peculiar taxes– the Sugar Act and Stamp Act.  The results of this were another series of riots and other colonial problems, causing further disagreements between the American colonies and the Great Britain. These quandaries significantly contributed to the onset of the American Revolution. 2

C.                 The Battle of the Cowpens  is considered to be the turning point of the war in the South as it has put an end to the series of retreats by American forces.  The Cowpens victory has likewise become an important part of the events leading to Patriot victory at Yorktown as it has brought strong leaders and armies together and boosted morale. Together with Kings Mountain victory, this served as a political and psychological success in the hearts and minds of the people. Furthermore, it is said that Cowpens played a chief role in the over-all victory of the US Revolution as it was seen in this battle some of the most effective tactics of using and maximizing the strengths of the military, and some unique ways of deploying troops.3

D.                   The Quebec Act, also known as “An Act for Making More Effective Provision for the Government of the Province of Quebec in North America,” was a British decree which provided for the territorial expansion of the Quebec Province up to Labrador, Ile d’Anticosti and Iles de la Madeleine, up to the Indian Territory located at the south of the Great Lakes between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. Implemented on May 1, 1775, this act was mainly formulated by Gov. Sir Guy Carleton and was interpreted in several ways. This act contributed to the outbreak of the American Revolution because the acquisition of the Indian Territory resulted to the vexation of American settlers as they perceived that the said territory is theirs. The Quebec Act was replaced by the Constitutional Act of 1791 when it became less effective in 1783 due to the arrival of loyalists in the colony. 4

E.                 Philip Schuyler was a Revolutionary War General and was one of America’s most influential early citizens. During the Seven Years’ War, he took part in the battles of Lake George (1755), Oswego River (1756), Ticonderoga (1758) and Fort Frontenac (1758) while serving in the Provincial Army. General Schuyler planned the Invasion of Canada in 1775 but due to illness, the actual command was transferred to General Richard Montgomery. The reputation of Schuyler as a military officer was tainted when the army withdrawn from Crown Point in 1776 and when the Fort Ticonderoga was evacuated in 1777. After his resignation from the army in1779, he served as State Senator for several years and was also active as Indian commissioner and surveyor-general, and likewise contributed to the resolution of New York boundary disputes with Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.5

F.                    Fort Ticonderoga had been under the British army since the Peace of Paris in 1763, when it was seized by an American troop under the leadership of Ethan Allen in 1775. Located strategically at the southern tip of Lake Champlain, Allen was already preparing to capture the fort even before the arrival of Benedict Arnold with a military commission to lead an attack. With the “Green Mountain Boys,” and having Arnold as the co-commander of the force, Allen launched an attack and easily took over the fort without much struggle as the British was totally caught unprepared. The capture of this fort has provided protection from the British and contributed to the cannon needs of the colonial army.6 In 1777, however, the fort was again taken over by the British under the leadership of General Burgoyne, and was eventually destroyed and abandoned.7

G.                   Nathanael Greene is considered to be one of the Continental Generals who served throughout the entire American Independence War. His first experience in the militia company was with the Kentish Guards and was later commissioned as the youngest brigadier general in the Continental Army on June 22, 1775. Greene was tasked to take over Long Island on April 1776 when the Continental Army moved to secure New York and was then promoted to the rank of Major General.8 Greene was able to make himself known during the Northern Campaign, specifically during the battles of Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. He also served as commander of the Southern Department from 1780-1783 and was victorious in initiating a war of attrition against the Crown forces. Aside from these, Greene likewise headed the Southern army at Guilford Courthouse, Hobkirk’s Hill, Ninety-Six and Eutaw Springs. In less than two years, Greene was able to capture all of the British posts which was taking 3500 prisoners, and also succeeded in dividing the British army into two. His role in the re-establishment of civil government in the South was also very crucial.9

H.                   Shay’s Rebellion is a post-revolutionary uprising that started in 1786 in Massachusetts and ended in 1787, which involved the New England farmers and merchants. One of the major factors that triggered this rebellion was the heavy land tax that further aggravated the life conditions of farmers, many of which were war veterans. Prior the onset of this rebellion, the farmers were trying to work and abide with the government until their grievances became unbearable, causing them to seek for immediate relief. Led by Daniel Shays, a farmer who served at the battlefields of Lexington, Bunker Hill, Saratoga and Stony Point, this movement tested the still-shaky foundation and institutions of the new republic and even threatened to cause civil war among the states. Considered to be one of the most intense outbreaks of discontent during the early republic, the Shay’s rebellion ended with the appointment of a more popular governor, with some economic improvements and the conception of the Constitution of the United States in Philadelphia.10

Endnotes

1. Travel History, “Colonial America Writs of Assistance,”; available from http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1205.html; accessed August 6, 2008.

            2. Marjie Bloy, “George Grenville (1712-1770),” The Victorian Web; available

from http://www.victorianweb.org/history/pms/grenville.html; accessed August 6, 2008.

            3. National Park Service, “The Southern Campaign of the American Revolution,”; available from http://www.nps.gov/cowp/historyculture/

southerncampaign.htm; accessed August 6, 2008.

            4.Nancy Brown Foulds, “Quebec Act,” The Canadian Encyclopedia; available from www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&

Params=A1ARTA0006592; accessed August 7, 2008.

                        5. NNDB Tracking the Entire World, “Philip Schuyler,”; available from

            http://www.nndb.com/people/005/000049855/; accessed August 7, 2008.

                        6. The Ethan Allen Homestead, “What Happened at Fort Ticonderoga?”;

            available from http://www.ethanallenhomestead.org/history/fort_ti.htm;

accessed August 7, 2008.

            7. Lee D. and Amberleigh R., “The Battle of Ticonderoga,” available from

http://darter.ocps.net/classroom/revolution/ticon.htm; accessed August 7, 2008.

            8.”Biography of Nathanael Greene,”; available from

http://members.aol.com/JonMaltbie/Biography.html; accessed August 8, 2008.

            9.”Major General Nathanael Greene,”; available from

http://members.aol.com/JonMaltbie/NatGreene.html; accessed August 8, 2008.

            10. Calliope Film Resources, “Shay’s Rebellion and the Constitution,”;

available from http://www.calliope.org/shays/shays2.html; accessed August 8, 2008.

Bibliography

“Biography of Nathanael Greene.” Available from

http://members.aol.com/JonMaltbie/Biography.html; accessed August 8, 2008.

Bloy, Marjie. “George Grenville (1712-1770).” The Victorian Web. Available

from http://www.victorianweb.org/history/pms/grenville.html; accessed August 6, 2008.

Calliope Film Resources. “Shay’s Rebellion and the Constitution.”

Available from http://www.calliope.org/shays/shays2.html; accessed August 8, 2008.

Foulds, Nancy B. “Quebec Act.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Available from

                        www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params

                        =A1ARTA0006592; accessed August 7, 2008.

Lee D. and Amberleigh R. “The Battle of Ticonderoga.” Available from

http://darter.ocps.net/classroom/revolution/ticon.htm; accessed August 7, 2008.

“Major General Nathanael Greene.” Available from

http://members.aol.com/JonMaltbie/NatGreene.html; accessed August 8, 2008.

National Park Service. “The Southern Campaign of the American Revolution.”

Available from http://www.nps.gov/cowp/historyculture/southerncampaign.htm;

accessed August 6, 2008.

NNDB Tracking the Entire World. “Philip Schuyler.” Available from

                        http://www.nndb.com/people/005/000049855/; accessed August 7, 2008.

            The Ethan Allen Homestead. “What Happened at Fort Ticonderoga?”

                        Available from http://www.ethanallenhomestead.org/history/fort_ti.htm;

accessed August 7, 2008.

Travel History. “Colonial America Writs of Assistance.” Available from

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1205.html; accessed August 6, 2008.

Militia’s Role in the Conflict against Native American Indians
Introduction

History describes militia as a “citizen soldier” or “part-time soldier”. Throughout the war, the militiamen proved to be of valuable help by increasing the number of the American army by as much as a couple of thousands. In spite of certain problems that the militias have caused, it cannot be denied that their numbers were greatly needed in the battlefields all throughout the revolutionary period.1

This essay would describe the role played by the militia during the Revolutionary War, particularly in the conflicts against the Native American Indians. Several examples of battles will be cited and details about the training, discipline, leadership, weaponry and doctrine will be discussed.

Militia vs. The Natives

Many Indian tribes sided with Britain during the American Revolution because of different intents. Some sided with Britain because of loyalty; others needed British trade goods; while some were afraid of colonists.2 However, no matter how varied the reasons were, one common thing was the fierceness of every battle that erupted between the natives and the American militia.

The first example to be cited is the Shawnee’s fight against the expansionist policies of Virginia in 1774. Due to these policies, the Shawnees were forced to surrender their claims to Kentucky, therefore causing them, along with other Ohio Valley-Great Lakes area tribes, to join the British at the onset of the fight. This led to the murder of the Shawnee’s chief by the Virginia militia in 1777, which caused further aggravation of the Shawnee’s grievances and vexation.3

Shifting to the northeast, many native tribes joined the British in 1775 when the American invasion of Canada failed. This particular decision of the Indians was further influenced by the inability of the Continental Congress to support the subsidy policy of an Indian agent named George Morgan. These eventually led to the British Burgoyne-St. Leger campaign of 1777, which was led by Chief Joseph Brant and was participated by the Mohawks and Iroquois. Although this campaign failed, Brant continued to threaten the New York frontier until an American army led by General John Sullivan, with the participation of militiamen, destroyed the Iroquois heartland in 1779.4

The militias likewise played crucial role in forcing the Cherokees to surrender the Watauga and Nolichuckey Valleys on 1777. Even when the Cherokees renewed their attacks on Americans, militias from Virginia and Carolina never hesitated to fight with them once again at the Battle of Boyd’s Creek, resulting to more land cessations.5

In addition to these, in 1782, the American militias massacred one hundred Delawares at Gnadenhutten, Ohio. This particular mass-murder further angered the other Delawares, resulting to the torture and death of Colonel William Crawford.6

All in all, with the aid of the militias, most of the Native Indian tribes were castigated and their capabilities were even weakened. However, even at the commencement of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, tensions continued to remain high between the Americans and the Indians for more than a decade.7

Discussions

            It can be deduced from the aforementioned examples that the militiamen indeed played vital roles in responding to various conflicts throughout the American Revolutionary period. Given their contributions and characteristics, the militia is considered to be a distinctive institution to America that was significantly used especially during emergency situations.

            However, history likewise states that the militiamen presented certain problems that tested the patience of American armies and generals. When compared to the regular full time soldiers, it can be seen that the militiamen lacked some professional military qualities that the former possessed. For instance, they had difficulty recognizing status of officers and had tendencies to socialize with co-enlisted soldiers. This was due to the fact that the militia men were drawn and recruited as civilians and did not want to alienate themselves from the communities where they came from. Furthermore, history says that militiamen had tendencies to retreat from the fight when they were actually expected to hold their ground. 8

            When it comes to fighting styles, the militias were known for their “hit and run” tactic, which incidentally, was disliked by General George Washington. This tactic was very much different from Europe’s shoulder-to-shoulder fighting style, which Washington preferred, and was said to be functioning well in America’s woodlands.9

            The militias are said to be the first to understand the importance of utilizing this tactic, which is, firing from hidden locations and retreating to new positions. This kind of fighting style had a negative effect on the British mentality and had inflicted heavy casualties on them. However, as mentioned above, Washington questioned the reliability of these methods and preferred more disciplined and professional troops, therefore requiring the militias to fight in a way that they were not accustomed to. The militias rose to this challenge and proved their capabilities of fighting using the European style during the Battle of Bunker Hill.10

            To sum these all up, the militias were “citizen-soldiers” who were willing to temporarily leave the comforts of their abodes so as to extend assistance to American armies. Given their unique strengths and flaws, militias were most effective when working with the regular full-time soldiers, whose characteristics complemented theirs.11

Endnotes

1. Caleb Klinger, “Who Was the American Soldier during American

Revolution? A Historian’s Perspective,”; available from

www.militaryhistoryonline.com/revolutionarywar/articles/americanrevolution.aspx;

accessed August 8, 2008.

            2. “Us History Encyclopedia: Indians in the Revolution,”; available from

http://www.answers.com/topic/indians-in-the-revolution; accessed August 8, 2008.

            3. Ibid.

            4. Ibid.

            5. Ibid.

            6. Ibid.

            7. Ibid.

            8. Klinger, “Who Was the American Soldier during American

Revolution? A Historian’s Perspective”.

            9. Ibid.

            10. Ibid.

            11. Ibid.

Bibliography

Klinger, Caleb. “Who Was the American Soldier during American

Revolution? A Historian’s Perspective.” Available from

www.militaryhistoryonline.com/revolutionarywar/articles/americanrevolution.

aspx; accessed August 8, 2008.

“Us History Encyclopedia: Indians in the Revolution.” Available from

http://www.answers.com/topic/indians-in-the-revolution;

accessed August 8, 2008.

Phases of the Revolutionary War

I.                   Introduction

What could be considered as the first phase of the American Revolutionary War was

the New England Phase that started on April 1775 and ended on 1776. Armed conflicts between the British and American were prevalent throughout this period—worthy to mention are the Battles of Lexington and Concord; General Washington’s blockade of Boston characterized by the forced evacuation of the British army; and the failed invasion of Canada.1 These conflicts escalated to the “war of independence “; the description of which could be best discussed by detailing the phases which formed the northern and southern campaigns of the revolution.

II.                 The Northern Campaign (1776-1778)

Upon King George’s declaration of the colonists’ open state of rebellion,

British forces went back and arrived in New York Harbor on July 1776. This led to the Battle of the Long Island, the result of which was the capture of the New York City, concomitant to General Washington’s loss of the Fort Washington and Fort Lee.2

These American defeats were unexpectedly followed by successes as the American army, still under the leadership of Washington, won in the Battles of Trenton and Princeton.3 These victories likewise put an end to the doubts and questions regarding Washington’s ability as a leader.4

Following this phase was the Saratoga Campaign of 1777, which literally ended the planned strategies of the British to divide the colonies along the Hudson River.5 Considered to be the most important campaign of the war, the American army, led by Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold, experienced herein a series of victories. These successes eventually led to America’s alliance with France, as the said country became motivated to openly support the colonial cause. In addition to these, the Saratoga Campaign was said to be first major American victory which eliminated a large British army, thereby boosting the morale of the American people.6

III.             Southern Campaign (1778-1781)

When the battles in the northern colonies came to a deadlock and a quick end to the

Revolution became uncertain, the British formulated a new plan of curbing the rebellion. This plan was to take over the southern states by getting the support of the slaves and loyalists, then sweep up north to victory.7 This plan started well, as seen in the fall of Savannah in 1778, followed by the capture of Charleston in 1780, which was the worst defeat that the Americans experienced throughout the revolution. These were aggravated when Major General Benedict Arnold, one of the leaders during the Saratoga Campaign, moved to the British side.8 By the summer of 1780, with the assistance of loyalist militia units, the British army under the leadership of Lord Cornwallis took control of South Carolina and was ready to move northward.9

                However, a sequence of events which started in the autumn of 1780 put doubts on the seeming success of the British Southern Campaign. The first of these events was the American victory at Kings Mountain on October 7, 1780. This caused Lord Cornwallis to hastily stop his march northward and go back to South Carolina so as to protect its western borders. Also, almost simultaneously, General Nathanael Greene was selected by Washington to recoup the situation in the South.10 Although Greene lost every battle that he fought, he nevertheless won the South by getting the majority of the population to his side and by keeping his army alive.11 Furthermore, Greene’s decision to put Daniel Morgan as Commander of one of his divisions eventually led to a victory at Cowpens, where British losses reached surprising numbers. It is worthy to note that this battle is considered to be the tactical masterpiece of the war as it was herein seen some of the most effective and unique means of using the troops and the militia, and of maximizing their strengths. This was followed by another clash at Guilford Courthouse where approximately one-third of the British forces, including some of their best officers were lost. Siege of the British fort at Ninety-Six was next, thereby putting additional pressure on Britain. Final victory was achieved when the British failed to provide naval superiority which further led to the entrapment of Lord Cornwallis.12 By October 17, 1781, Cornwallis, together with his 8000 men surrendered. The war ended with the British defeat.13

IV.             Discussion

It can be said that the Northern Campaign of the American Revolution paved the way to the escalation of mere armed conflicts to a ‘war of independence’. Given the concise descriptions above, it can be deduced that the northern campaign was more of a counter-response of the Americans to the plans of the British to curtail rebellion, and to continuously maintain control over the colonies.

On the other hand, the Southern Campaign was the outcome of Britain’s strategy to put a quick end to the rebellion by shifting the focus of its battle plans. Given the aforementioned discussions, it can be construed that the campaign in the south was the Americans’ defense against said plans. Also, this campaign can be considered as the more complex one as it entailed greater challenges and uncertainties. Furthermore, the successes experienced during this campaign led to the final victory of the Americans. As written in a certain article, “the Revolution was won in the South…”14

All in all though, both campaigns contributed significantly to the eventual attainment of the end goal. As most vividly seen in the Saratoga Campaign and in the Battle of Cowpens, the Revolutionary War indeed attained the fruit of its victory—that is, INDEPENDENCE.

Endnotes

1.”The Three Phases of the American Revolutionary War,”; available from

http://www.studythepast.com/threephasesrevolutionarywar.pdf; accessed August 9, 2008.

            2.Ibid.

            3.Ibid.

            4.The Library of Congress, “The American Revolution, 1763-1783 (Revolutionary

War: Northern Front, 1775-1777),”; available from

http://international.loc.gov/learn/features/timeline/amrev/north/north.html;

accessed August 9, 2008.

            5.The American Revolution HomePage, “The Saratoga Campaign,”; available

from http://americanrevwar.homestead.com/files/SARATOGA.HTM; accessed August 9,2008.

            6. “The Three Phases of the American Revolutionary War.”

            7.The American Revolutionary War, “Southern Campaign,”; available from

http://www.myrevolutionarywar.com/campaigns/1780-southern.htm; accessed August 9, 2008.

            8. “The Three Phases of the American Revolutionary War.”

                9. “Southern Campaign.”

10. National Park Service, “The Southern Campaign of the American Revolution,”;

available from http://www.nps.gov/cowp/historyculture/

southerncampaign.htm; accessed August 6, 2008.

11. “The Three Phases of the American Revolutionary War.”

12. “The Southern Campaign of the American Revolution.”

13. “The Three Phases of the American Revolutionary War.”

14. “The Southern Campaign of the American Revolution.”

Bibliography

National Park Service. “The Southern Campaign of the American Revolution.”

Available from http://www.nps.gov/cowp/historyculture/southerncampaign.htm;

accessed August 6, 2008.

The American Revolution HomePage. “The Saratoga Campaign.” Available

from http://americanrevwar.homestead.com/files/SARATOGA.HTM; accessed August 9,2008.

The American Revolutionary War. “Southern Campaign.” Available from

http://www.myrevolutionarywar.com/campaigns/1780-southern.htm; accessed August 9, 2008.

The Library of Congress. “The American Revolution, 1763-1783 (Revolutionary

War: Northern Front, 1775-1777).” Available from

http://international.loc.gov/learn/features/timeline/amrev/north/north.html;

accessed August 9, 2008.

”The Three Phases of the American Revolutionary War.” Available from

http://www.studythepast.com/threephasesrevolutionarywar.pdf;  accessed August 9, 2008.

 

Cite this Military Historical Significance

Military Historical Significance. (2016, Oct 07). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/military-historical-significance/

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