The inquiry remains: What determinants led an undisciplined, unprepared, divided American nation to prevail over the world"s biggest empire?

Despite the dominance of the British navy in the 18th century, the early american naval pressures won numerous battles. This snapshot depicts the naval engagement that July 7, 1777, between the American frigates Hancock, Boston, and also HMS Fox, and also the british frigates Flora and Rainbow.

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British Strengths and also American Weaknesses

The British appeared unbeatable. During the ahead 100 years, the british had enjoyed triumph after ~ triumph over countries as powerful as France and Spain. At first glance, the odds were plainly against the Americans. A closer look gives insight into exactly how the underdogs emerged victorious.


Britain"s military was the ideal in the world. Your soldiers were fine equipped, well disciplined, fine paid, and well fed. The british navy dominated the seas. Funds to be much an ext easily increased by the realm than through the continent Congress.

Some the those funds were provided to hire Hessian mercenaries to fight the Americans.

... And the Hessians, who are allowed to be the best of the German troops, room by no way equal to the brothers in any kind of respect. I think them steady, yet their slowness is of the best disadvantage in a country almost covered through woods, and versus an adversary whose cook qualification is agility in to run from fence to fence and also thence maintaining up an irregular, yet galling fire top top troops who advancement with the very same pace as at your exercise. Irradiate infantry accustomed come fight from tree come tree, or charge even in woods; and also Grenadiers that after the an initial fire shed no time in loading again, yet rush on, trusting entirely to that most decisive of tools the bayonet, will ever be premium to any troops the Rebels can bring against them. Such room the British, and such the method of fighting which has actually been attended with constant success ....

– sublieutenant W. Hale, letter to unknown recipient (March 23, 1778)


The Americans had actually tremendous difficulty raising enough funds come purchase basic supplies for your troops, consisting of shoes and blankets. The British had a to win tradition. About one in five Americans openly favored the Crown, with about fifty percent of the population hoping to protect against the dispute altogether. Many Indian tribes sided with Britain, who promised security of defect lands.

American Strengths and also British Weaknesses

Although American troops might not have had actually the army force and also economic base the their brother rivals had, castle did think strongly in your fight for freedom and also liberty. The continent Congress adopted this "Stars and Stripes" together its main flag on June 14, 1777.

On the various other hand, the american had many intangible advantages.

The British battled a war much from home. Armed forces orders, troops, and also supplies sometimes took month to reach their destinations. The British had an extremely difficult objective. They had to guide the americans to offer up their cases of independence. As long as the war continued, the colonists" insurance claim continued to obtain validity. The geographic vastness of the nests proved a hindrance come the british effort. Regardless of occupying every major city, the British remained as at a disadvantage.

Americans had actually a grand cause: fighting for their rights, their independence and their liberty. This reason is much more just than waging a battle to deny independence. American military and also political leaders were inexperienced, however proved how amazing competent.

The battle was expensive and also the British population debated that necessity. In Parliament, over there were numerous American sympathizers. Finally, the alliance through the French offered Americans courage and also a tangible risk that tipped the scales in America"s favor.


Sons the the transformation in California
Spend some high quality time in ~ this sons of the revolution in California website and uncover some interesting facts and also figures the the American Revolution. Although it doesn"t reveal the strengths and weaknesses of either side, the website does walk into good detail on countless other elements of the war. The finest place to start is the "Battles" link. Click on any kind of year in the chronology bring up a finish list that the war of that year and the dates they took place. The "Casualties that the Revolutionary War" connect (also under the "Battles" link) gives a comprehensive list the the dead and also wounded indigenous both the American and also British forces. And all this is just one link! various other links incorporate "Flag History" and also "Colonial Uniforms."
Uniforms of the American Revolution
Forget around strengths and also weaknesses! which side was the ideal dressed?

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Are you a jaunty or a daddy? do you sit in the cad"s corner and also dodge Pompey? Read an ext about British naval slang and also terms in 1775 to find out.Learn More...

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The continental Navy had only 31 ships when the Colonies asserted their freedom from britain in 1776.Learn More...

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