Given the overwhelming British victories in New York and New Jersey in 1776, how was General Washington able to avoid catastrophic defeat and eventually win the war?
By Julie Moss
A paper submitted to the Faculty of the Naval War College in partial satisfaction of the requirements of the Department of Strategy and War.
The contents of this paper reflect my own personal views and are not necessarily endorsed by the Naval War College or the Department of the Navy.
BACKGROUND Following the French-Indian War, The American Revolution began between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the former British colonies in North …show more content…
The result was a victory that turned into a disaster. The American peasants, as they were contemptuously called, fought with a determination that British officers had never seen. (Fischer 72) These were the golden times of the Revolution, when recruits were not too hard to find. The Continental Army achieved significant victories to this point in the war.
Then came darker days where the Continental Army was continually outmaneuvered and defeated by the British. The battles of Long Island, Harlem Heights, the retreat at White Plains, and the losses of Fort Washington and Fort Lee took its toll. With this, General George Washington retreated through New Jersey. British General, Sir William Howe, spent much of his time trying to reconcile with the colonists. He received the authority from the crown to grant pardons to any who were willing to re-swear allegiance to the British monarch, King George III. The King reluctantly agreed, but a powerful minister, George Germain, intervened against them. (Fischer 73) Many thought the war was all but over, particularly in the British camp. With this, winter set in, the cold winter of 1776. Traditionally, Europeans did not fight during the winter. They would hold up and wait for the “campaign season” in the spring. The two armies now settled in, apparently for the winter. A casual observer might have thought that it was Europe, the convention of going into winter quarters was so taken for