Most Americans know the Revolutionary War was the United States fight to gain independence from Great Britain. What many may not be aware of, is the assistance of other foreign countries used by both the Americans and Great Britain. Other countries and even some important foreign individuals played a vital role in major battles and even the outcome of the war.
The article, Hessians in the Revolutionary War states. “The British could muster only 55,000 troops, they had to resort to hiring Germans although some Britons thought it to be `dirty business’.” (Reese) Many of the solders the British used were Hessians from the German Kingdom of Prussia.
The use of Hessian solders was not a new practice. They were primarily used between 1677 and 1785 by various countries such as Austria, Denmark, Holland and Italy, and eventually Great Britain. Hessians came from the principality of Hesse-Kassel a poor midsized village that dealt primarily in agriculture. It also was situated near the routes of two warring parts of Prussia. The resulting destruction devastated Hesse-Kassel’s economy.
The first Landgrave to begin hiring out his men to other countries was Charles. He did this to help recoup the losses the warring factions had caused. In 1677, he leased 10 companies of soldiers to Denmark. In 1687, he then leased another 1000 soldiers to Venice. In 1688, 3400 were sent to Holland. Italy also used 10,000 Hessians in 1706. During this time the Hessians had earned a reputation as a disciplined and steady fighting force. They also were willing to endure large amounts of casualties without complaint.
Men had to be between the ages of 16 to 30 and be at least five foot six when mature to be considere...
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...ess that the Baron be made Inspector General and promoted to Major General. Congress of course agreed with Washington.
The newly trained army left Valley Forge on June 19, 1778. Nine days later the Army faced their first battle at Monmouth NJ. The Army was ready, and they were also well trained and tough from their ordeal at Valley Forge. The battle lasted a day and ended with the British retreating under the cover of darkness. Washington’s Army then headed to Yorktown the resulting battle and siege was the end of all major conflicts in the American Revolution.
Today Von Steuben is considered a hero to German-Americans. In 1919, during World War I, German Americans revived his memory to show their patronage against the German propaganda. He is honored today with several parades that occur around his birthday (September 17) in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago
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