The American War of Independence was perhaps the first colonial war of independence during the period of European dominance across the globe. Great Britain, a relatively new country with a stable, democratic government, established an enormous trading empire which stretched from North America to East India and was the greatest superpower on Earth. It came to be so, firstly by its highly effective navy which allowed it to transport goods and defeat other rival fleets. Its government of elected officials allowed it to function more effectively compared to an Absolute Monarchy in terms of generating revenue from its colonies, and finally, being an island nation, it was not weakened by the prospect of war and if threatened, an amphibious assault could be fended off by its navy. However, if Britain was the greatest superpower on earth at the time, how was it overpowered by farmers with pitchforks? I am going to investigate why the British lost and how this defeat could have been averted and turned into another glorious war won.
General Thomas Gage was perhaps the first embarrassment for the British. He served during the French-Indian War (1754-63) but was not, in fact, a great military leader at all. When made military governor of Montreal in 1760 and Commander-In-Chief of British forces in North America in 1763, he did show great administrative talents. However, it was probably more useful to have been a good military leader when colonists began to feel discontent towards the British. As well as not being in the best suited position in relation to the situation, other matters came into play. Firstly, He married Margaret Kemble G...
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...ghed significantly more that the standard tricorn). Theses men definitely were even less adapted to fighting in the North American theatre.
In conclusion, the British did many things wrong that could have been corrected and could have allowed them to win the war. Britain learnt from this mistake and went on to do great things in the coming centuries. The defeat of Napoleon and the acquisition of an even larger empire shows to us that the British military, in general, improved greatly and is best suited when it fights wars similar to ones it is used to. As for the USA being part of the UK today, I think, is extremely unlikely because even if Britain had won the War of Independence, this would not quieten, dishearten or crush American Patriots but only enrage them further. In the first instance of outrage, Britain was deemed to lose its Thirteen American colonies.
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