The American Revolutionary War was life changing for both the British and theAmerican people. The conflict in the surrender of Yorktown is the Revolutionary War and thecompromise is the surrender of General Charles Cornwallis. General Charles Cornwallis becamethe general of the British troops in 1775 and served under Sir Henry Clinton in the AmericanRevolutionary War. This man had driven George Washington’s forces out of New Jersey and ledhis men to victory over General Horatio Gates and the Patriots at Camden, South Carolina earlierin the war. The Revolutionary War was looking good for the British, so why did they surrender?Surprisingly many people don’t know the answer to this until someone tells them through areport, such as this one, or they come across it on the internet. Was the war going down hill forthe British people? Maybe not.The Revolutionary War had many causes.
The British people thought that the colonistsowed them protection and needed to provide them with manufacturers. But they also wanted thecolonies to rely on them. The American colonists were angry because of things such as theQuartering Act and the Stamp Act. These things caused the Americans to feel like they weretreated unfairly.
The American colonists began to boycott goods and items manufactured inEngland. The British were still paying off debt from the French and Indian War so they had littlemoney to pay for this war. The Americans had a smaller army, but also had the help of theFrench. The colonists had trouble paying for this war also because they were a fairly newcountry and were not even technically a free country yet. In 1776 Charles Inglis said, “Where themoney is to come from which will defray this enormous annual expense of three millionssterling, and all those other debts, I know not.” At this time there was no way to makegunpowder in America. This made it Difficult to fight the enemies so they were very reluctant tostart a war.
But in 1775 the redcoats and minutemen exchanged the first fire at Lexington andConcord in Massachusetts, officially starting the American Revolutionary war.When the war officially started General George Washington quickly turned to Canadaand asked to join their rebellion against the British people. But Canada was being protected bymany redcoats and was helping England already. The Canadians aided the British in intel andhelped them defeat the colonists in the battle of Quebec City.
The British army was originallysent to simply make people pay the taxes, but ended up fighting in a war. Like I stated before theAmericans were angry about these taxes and acts. Not all Americans rebelled against the crown.About fifteen to twenty percent of Americans still supported and were loyal to the king. This warlasted for six long painful years, full of struggle. Both sides had problems weighing them down,many thought that the battle was unfair because they believed that the American people hadmore things on their shoulders, such as the fact that people could only use British money to payfor things but the Americans used their money but they also had the help of the French.
Thoughpeace was wanted by all people neither side was ready to quit but were determined to find peace.Many lives depended on this war. The British had sent eight thousand troops into the Battle ofYorktown, more widely known as The Surrender in Yorktown.As the war waged on the British were cornered by the colonists more and more and werelosing more troops than ever. Many people caught smallpox due to the fact that Washington waspurposely sending infected men into the city so that they could spread them to the British army’smen. England had expected help from British ships from New York but the ships never arrived,this left the British in a tight spot and had little choices left. This is why on October 19th, 1781General Charles Cornwallis surrendered his men to the American and French army. Thissurrender was the biggest win for America yet, even if it was a surrender and not a technical win.
Once Great Britain agreed to acknowledge the fact that the United States was a free and anindependent state, sensitive issues such as fishing rights, boundaries, and compensation remainedand needed immediate attention. Neither side got what they wanted and both sides madecommunication vague on purpose. But on November 30th, 1782 a preliminary treaty of peacewas finally reached. But this wasn’t the end of the struggles for either side.American literature and text books seem to have forgotten to mention the fact that theBritish had a deep want for peace. Many people believe that the British were crazy people whojust wanted to control the American people.
The British people wanted to stop this war and whenthey did, though it is considered a win for the Americans, the British took this as a win for theirpeople just as much as the Americans did for theirs. Many Americans were upset when GeneralCornwallis surrendered. These people were loyal to the king and were not pleased with thedecision of General Cornwallis to surrender. But there were also people such as General GeorgeWashington, Alexander Hamilton and many others who celebrated the surrender as though it wasthe best thing ever, but at that time it was.
At least for the patriots.This caused a change in both the American and British government as well as the lives ofthe people who lived in these places. The change in the British government opened negotiationswith the American commissioners in Paris, France. The prime minister of Britain resigned indisgrace.
Before the war ended he tried to put an end to violence with the Conciliation Plan. Thisplan said that the British would stop any mistreatments if the American people stopped therebellion, but they refused and the war continued violently. When the war ended he wasexhausted and couldn’t handle the position anymore.
The Americans didn’t have to live underBritish rule and now had something they never had before, the ability to make their owngovernment based on keeping their natural rights first and foremost.Things were not all great after the war though. American people desperately neededmoney and were adjusting to having their own country.
The American people as well as thegovernment knew it would be hard to start a good, smooth running government, especially justafter a war. There were originally thirteen governments, one for each state, all wanted to helpthemselves, but this was at the expense of others. Nine of these governments had their own navyall of them had their own army. The states used these armies to protect them from other states.The state of Virginia passed a law which said it could capture ships that did not pay taxes to thestate. The Virginian government did not mean ships from England or Spain. It meant the shipsfrom Maryland, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. After the war the loyalists were sometimestreated like lesser people, especially by those who were very loyal patriots.
Sometimes theloyalists were a reminder of defeat to the British. Sometimes they were a reminder of peace. It alldepended on who was, giving their opinion on the person.This surrender changed many people’s lives and even affects us now, many, many yearslater.
This surrender was what made us a free and independent country and was the start of ourown government. This is what let us lead the country the way we wanted to. The end of the warfinally gave the British people as well as the British government the peace that they wanted. Thepeople finally stopped the war and this helped both sides of the war. Imagine if the war neverended our country would be very different. We might not be able to do many things that we can.
Life would be very different. Now the British people and American people are allies in war. TheBritish have gotten America out of many tight spots and we have done the same thing for them.But overall this was a fresh start for both the British people and the American people. A freshstart that was really, really needed. The Revolutionary war is a war that will go down in historyas the start of new nation and will be remembered by all.
A war that ended with an unexpectedsurrender by the British. The side that was doing so well for a large part of the war.When People sit down in a history class most of them usually aren’t all that excited, theyare usually bored. But when you actually look deeper into the things your taught at school youmight find something cool, interesting or something that you didn’t know. Many weird thingshappened in history, usually especially when it came to religion. So dig deeper, find somethinginteresting and share it with your friends.
You may be surprised. You never know until you try it.