Many students feel they know about the American War for Independence, but few understand how complex the arguments were and how long the war lasted. In your studies this week, what impressed you about the formation of the American nation? Was there anything presented in the material that you had not thought about before? What do you think about the way that Keene showed both the Patriot and Loyalist experiences during the period?
After completing our reading for this week assignment, I learned a great deed; it was very interesting understanding the American Revolution and the War for Independence. There were many events that led the American colonists down the road to Revolution and their War for Independence (1775-1783). The British Parliament, in retaliation for the events surrounding the Boston Tea Party, had passed a series of punishing laws which the American colonists called Intolerable Acts.
The Americans had argued that they were not afforded the same rights as the British. But the British ignored their protests, passing laws and demanding new taxes such as the Tea Tas. The basis for the legal argument of the Americans was that the 1689 English Bill of Rights had put into place a constitutional form of government in which the rights and liberties of the individual were protected under English law. The American colonists protested that were not afforded these privileges and that the British had abused their rights and liberties.
After the issue in Lexington and Concord, the Americans knew that they had to fight for their own freedom so many battles took place afterwards but Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” showed them how urgent it really is to win the Revolutionary War. “Common Sense” is a 46 page long pamphlet talking about how King George III has wronged the colonists, how the government and humanity were different, and his pamphlet also had religious influences and several other factors in it. After Common Sense was published it was sold 500,000 times within a year and it opened the colonist’s eyes. Overall many different aspects incensed the colonists and made them to rebel against Great Britain. The American Revolution was an effect of taxation, restriction of freedom and passing on of colonial political ideas. If these three cases wouldn’t have taken place the Colonists and Great Britain might not have separated from each other.
The militias were the first to grasp the importance of firing from concealed locations and then retreating to take up new positions in which to fire from, at Lexington and Concord. A chapter discussing the American “Art of War” and its champion General Charles Lee and its protagonist General George Washington (the personal relationship between Lee and Washington would deteriorate early in the way over the issue of the militia’s use). Lee found that hit and run tactics were very effective and noticed their impact had upon British mentality. American militias fighting in this style would allow the British to roam amongst the countryside, but the psychological effect on the British proved to be tremendous as an early form of insurgent warfare.
On the other hand Washington disagreed with the militia style of warfare and believed America could not afford to allow the British to run at will in the countryside. He preferred the European style of fighting, where soldiers fought side by side. During the Battle of Bunker Hill, the militia proved capable of fighting in the European style, by fighting from prepared positions of earthworks and trenches. This laid the foundation for the Continental regulars as they would be better disciplined to fight in this fashion. However, for Washington to achieve this, he would have to wait years until the American mentality could be trained to accept the ridged soldier’s life, whereas the British were already disciplined professionally by comparison.
As problematic as the militias were, they did have many redeeming qualities. Throughout the course of the war the numbers of American troops in the regular army always remained small, but when the British army lurked near for a fight, American commanders could call out for the militias help. This swelled the American ranks by as much as couple of thousand. In this way the militias proved a valuable asset, as it left the British constantly guessing to the real numbers of their opponents they faced on the battlefield.
When I think of the militia, the bible verses that touches me the most is Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”