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The Fight for American Independence : Battle of Yorktown Essay

Over the course of the fight for American independence, many battles were fought. Of the many battles fought, The Siege of Yorktown was a rather important one. Due to the major participants, applicable strategies used in this battle, the victory served to make a significant difference in the overall outcome of the American Revolution.

There were three major participants at The Battle of Yorktown: Americans, British, and French. The American General was George Washington, the British General was Lord Cornwallis, and the French General was Comte de Rochambeau. The French aided the American Continental Army in the American Revolution. The combined forces of the American Continental Army and French Army troops against a British Army is what allowed the Patriots to defeat them. The French had an enormous part in the success of this battle. Without the aid of the French, the Americans may not have succeeded in forcing General Cornwallis to surrender.

During the American Revolution, the main types of weaponry were muskets, short range pistols, canons and swords. The British Army had their back to the sea and were in a town that wasn’t heavily fortified. The American strategy was basic siege strategy in which trenches are dug parallel to the target, which is generally a fortress, and as a trench is dug troops and canon can move closer to the fortress. As the Americans began to build the second trench the French overran one redoubt and the Americans the other. Once the second trench was built all parts of Yorktown were in easy range of canon. The British did try to retake the redoubts but were unsuccessful. Failing at that, and receiving no sea support, due to the French surrounding them, Cornwallis had no choice but to surrender.

The significance that the Battle of Yorktown holds to the American Revolution is that it was the last battle, save for a few small battles in the south, of the revolutionary war. It turned the tides for the patriots and gave them the upper hand. The American’s victory meant that the colonies were no longer under British rule, and the aftermath of the Battle of Yorktown led to the signing of a peace treaty and Americans independence.
Thanks to the aid from France, American Continental Army was able to effectively defeat the British at the Battle of Yorktown, using a combination of battle strategies, thus ending the conflict in America’s favor.

Griffith, Samuel B. The War for American Independence: from 1760 to the Surrender at Yorktown in 1781. Urbana: University of Illinois, 2002. Print. Kent, Zachary. Story of the Surrender at Yorktown. [S.l.]: Scholastic, 1989. Print. “Siege of Yorktown (United States History) — Britannica Online Encyclopedia.”Encyclopedia – Britannica Online Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2011. . “Surrender at Yorktown.” Encyclopedia.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2011. . “The British Surrender at Yorktown, 1781.” EyeWitness to History – History through the Eyes of Those Who Lived It. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2011. .

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