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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion > American Revolution

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American Revolution 1763-1789 The birth of a new nation - to commence at the Proclaimation of 1763 to the end of the Articles of Confederation.

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  #16  
Old 29 Jun 06, 23:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbryan
What was the key mistake the British committed that caused them to lose control of American North America?

Off hand, I'd say that it was treating the rebellion like a minor affair and one that could be easily overcome by the application of existing force. If I had been the Governour General of North America, after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, I would have made every attempt to enlist the aid of ALL Loyalist people, raising Regiments that were on equal pay and rank status and entitled to all the perks of the established British Regular Army Regiments that were sent to North America to quell the rebellion.

During the Revolutionary War, only one Loyalist Regiment was elevated to the Status of "Regular Army", the 84th Regiment of Foote, Royal Highland Emigrants. The British should have raised dozens of Loyalist Regiments to that status and done so at the earliest opportunity. It could have proved the critical difference in that war. They really missed the boat.
Probably they were concentrating on other areas for example - French Revolutionary Wars, of which they had relatively recently gained Quebec 1759
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  #17  
Old 07 Jul 06, 18:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zinkyusa
The biggest British mistake was they're inability to grasp that there could not be a miltary victory without a political solution of the issues which caused the war in the first place. Basically to me that means that the colonists demanded a new relationship with the Crown and England. A relationship that was more of equality rather than subjects and King. IMHO the specific issues tea, taxes, troops in houses etc. were all just a covering for a smoldering resentment which exploded into war. Had England recognized this and made liberal changes in the realtionship perhaps we would be part of the Commonwealth today.
True, but then again, for a hundred years, the American Colonies had largely been a self-sustaining, self-governing entity unto itself. It would be a nigh on impossibility for the colonies to go back and accept a subserviant role to King and Crown after all that they had done largely by themselves.

Granted, I am not speaking about the French and Indian War, whose costs and final settlement directly brought about the Crown's many stamp and tax acts, I am speaking of the long periods of peace before hand where the nation forged itself.
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  #18  
Old 09 Jul 06, 09:49
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Not listening to the proposal Ben Franklin and Gen Howe came up with over a chess game in 1774 that proposed a model virtually identical to the current Commonwealth model whereby the colonies remained under the King as head of state but with their own local govenment.
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  #19  
Old 09 Jul 06, 19:34
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Originally Posted by JSMoss
Not listening to the proposal Ben Franklin and Gen Howe came up with over a chess game in 1774 that proposed a model virtually identical to the current Commonwealth model whereby the colonies remained under the King as head of state but with their own local govenment.
Wow! You are one up on me JSMoss! I wasn't aware of that happening! Good stuff!
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  #20  
Old 10 Jul 06, 00:02
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The Brit's biggest mistake

Not just one.
1. Being overconfidant and not respecting us Americans.
2. Not adapting to fighting in the frontier, small continental units and guerrilla's destroyed lines of communication and suppy lines especially in the south.
3. Not having a coordinated plan and central leadership. Howe moved on Philadelphia as Burgoyne advance south from Canada. The Plan called for Howe to move on Albany cutting off New England. Burgoyne was defeated and forced to surrender at Saratoga.
4. Letting the whole war start in the first place others have mentioned the difficulty of fighting so far from England and having a large
Empire to control.
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Old 10 Jul 06, 03:49
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Originally Posted by ceardog
3. Not having a coordinated plan and central leadership. Howe moved on Philadelphia as Burgoyne advance south from Canada. The Plan called for Howe to move on Albany cutting off New England. Burgoyne was defeated and forced to surrender at Saratoga.
I've been waiting for someone to bring this one up. In my opinion Howe's move on Philadelphia while Burgoyne was cutting through New York from Canada was the biggest mistake of the war.

The loss of Burgoyne's army represented more than 20% of Britian's forces in North America. The loss of such a substantial force shows the world that the colonials could win. This led directly to France's intervention and declartion of war on England.

Burgoyne went over Howe's head and got his plan approved in England. His idea of a three prong offensive to subdue all of New York and cut off New England from the remaining colonies had some merit. However, Howe could not resist carrying out his own plan to take the colonial "capital". He simply ignored Burgoyne's offesive and left him to his fate.

Even the final British disaster at Yorktown barely exceeded to loss at Saratoga in numbers. At Saratoga the colonials achieved their success without French support.

In the meantime the taking of Philidelphia gained the British nothing. They would abandon the city inless than a year without a shot being fire.
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  #22  
Old 11 Jul 06, 14:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Widow Maker
I've been waiting for someone to bring this one up. In my opinion Howe's move on Philadelphia while Burgoyne was cutting through New York from Canada was the biggest mistake of the war.

The loss of Burgoyne's army represented more than 20% of Britian's forces in North America. The loss of such a substantial force shows the world that the colonials could win. This led directly to France's intervention and declartion of war on England.

Burgoyne went over Howe's head and got his plan approved in England. His idea of a three prong offensive to subdue all of New York and cut off New England from the remaining colonies had some merit. However, Howe could not resist carrying out his own plan to take the colonial "capital". He simply ignored Burgoyne's offesive and left him to his fate.

Even the final British disaster at Yorktown barely exceeded to loss at Saratoga in numbers. At Saratoga the colonials achieved their success without French support.

In the meantime the taking of Philidelphia gained the British nothing. They would abandon the city inless than a year without a shot being fire.
Agreed WidowMaker! I completely overlooked the importance of Howe's seizure of Philadelphia after beating the Continentals at the Battle of Brandywine. I took part in one of the big, Revolutionary War Re-enactments there a dozen or more years ago!
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Last edited by johnbryan; 11 Jul 06 at 14:38..
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  #23  
Old 13 Jul 06, 19:57
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Patrick Ferguson NOT taking an easy shot at George Washington at the Battle of Brandywine. Its unlikely the rebels would have held together without Washington's leadership.............
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  #24  
Old 14 Jul 06, 09:16
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Gage did a great job of angering most of the population of New England during '74-'75, with his military expeditions into the countryside. I'd call that a big mistake. I think he learned his lesson April 19th of '75: Don't **** off a bunch of Yankee farmers!
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Old 14 Jul 06, 10:50
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Cornwalis pursuit of Nathanael Greene's army following the Battle of Cowpens, resulting in Guilford Courthouse a costly pyrrich "victory" and eventual isolation at Yorktown.
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Old 14 Jul 06, 11:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiredGoon
Gage did a great job of angering most of the population of New England during '74-'75, with his military expeditions into the countryside. I'd call that a big mistake. I think he learned his lesson April 19th of '75: Don't **** off a bunch of Yankee farmers!
Good point. Arguably the decision to seize the powder stocks at Concord may have been the biggest single mistake.
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Old 14 Jul 06, 15:15
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Originally Posted by JSMoss
Good point. Arguably the decision to seize the powder stocks at Concord may have been the biggest single mistake.
Yup and don't ransack and loot their homes and farms while you are doing it either! Paybacks are a bitch!!
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Old 28 May 13, 16:07
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Not taking Americans seriously. Eventually the parent must realize the kids want to leave.
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Old 29 May 13, 18:19
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I think the Crown's biggest failure was the lack of understanding of the Americans - both Patriots and Loyalists.

When tensions around Boston became strained in 1774 and 1775, the Crown failed to understand both the strength and the dynamics of the American opposition. This led to attempts to control the situation by shows of force by the British Army a method that only fueled the fires and led to the opening of hostilities. King George III made another bad call by declaring the colonies in open rebellion, another step that backfired.

Throughout the war, British leaders misjudged the Loyalist population by consistently overestimating the strength of the Loyalists, but at the same time, never fully harnessing their manpower.
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Old 29 May 13, 18:39
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I agree with those points. Had military force been held back longer, it would have pushed back the "Shot heard round the world". Had the King pushed for even small bits of the demands given, he might have averted war. The Revolution was not a massive uprising at first....it turned into that at the end, but early on it would have been easily prevented by making some reasonable concessions....or even appearing to do so.
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