Why the British lost the American Revolution

This paper discusses the factors that led to Britain losing the American Revolution. It will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages that each side held, their preconceptions going in, and the decisions made on the field, 1775-1781. The American Revolution signified an essential political disorder that occurred from 1765 to 1783[1]. During that time, the thirteen American colonies had had rebel colonists who dishonored the British and aristocracy and monarchy and defeated the Great Britain’s authority leading to the founding of the United States of America. In other words, the American Revolution was an outcome of the maturity that Atlantic English-speaking communities had attained. This maturity influenced their objectives and interests to differ from those of the then government in the mother nation. The British government, in 1763, considered a move to enhance the imperial control system and demand the colonists to make contributions to imperial defense. This influenced the patriotic locals to protest against the move to tax them because of lack of representation.

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It is worth noting that there are various reasons that led to Britain losing the American Revolution. First of all, the British did not station its army in the right place at the right time. At the beginning of the conflict, the British had its army numbering to about twenty seven thousand soldiers. However, six years later, a large-scale mobilization of troops had occurred. The British increased its manpower through engaging the German mercenaries from related states, a move, which saw its number increase to an impressive one hundred and fifty thousand troops[2]. Failure started being realized when the British government did not deploy most of these troops North America. For instance, only about thirty five thousand soldiers were deployed in the colonies that were present on the mainland during the Yorktown period. Even though, the Americans lacked adequate troops, they had an advantageous position to be able to capitalize over the British. After capturing New York and Philadelphia cities the British troops embarked on garrison duty making it hard for them to mount any further offensive operations due to logistical problems[3]. The British army had to rely on overseas provisions whereby the supply ships were always disrupted by enemy action, privateers and storm issues. This factors most of the British soldiers from the mainland to the coasts and rivers.

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The second reason why the British lost the American Revolution is that the rebel forces tried their best to evade direct and major confrontations with the British troops under circumstances that they found disadvantageous. In 1776; for instance, the British lost an opportunity to destroy most of the American army in Washington[4]. However, after that moment, the continental army derived a strategy that would prevent them from engaging the British army in situations and opportunities of no retreat. Every other time the rebel commanders sensed a sign of defeat; they were pragmatic enough to withdraw early enough. This was a tactical move that made it difficult for the British troops to pursue the retreating rebel forces. This was difficult because the British commanders did not have enough manpower reserves to care for the wounded soldiers while maintaining the offensive. Besides, the American landscape had high fences and ubiquitous woods that bared and challenged the operation of the British troops in America[5]. This led to the British army becoming mentally and physically exhausted thereby becoming vulnerable to simple attacks and defeat by the rebel forces.

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Divided opinion of parliament regarding was another reason why the British lost in the American Revolution. Before the beginning of the war, parliament had conducted passionate discussions about whether or not the British citizens and the British colonies were supposed to have similar rights. This opinion was influenced by the faltering British economy due to the economic pressures of the time. In respect to this opinion, divisions arose when most parliamentarians and British citizens supported the idea that colonies should receive equal rights; but refused to support full liberation from Britain[6].

The British, also, lacked the support of loyalists thereby leading to them losing the American Revolution. During the entire period of the war, this phenomenon was evident especially in the Southern region. Initially, the British embarked on raising as many loyalist armies as possible in order to defeat the Americans. This is because they believed the crown had an overwhelming support from all quotas. They thought recruiting loyalists would relieve them of the need for more British troops Britain and other parts of the world. This, however, did not happen making the British troops to remain vulnerable. This is because the success at Guilford Courthouse, Cowpens, and Kings Mountain as well the guerrilla fighters had disrupted the British lines of supply and threatened the loyalists if they ever supported the crown[7]. It is at this point that loyalists stopped their support for the crown for fear of losing what they had obtained for their families since a large portion of the countryside was controlled by the Americans.

One of the advantages that the British had during the war is that Britain had the best and the most experienced military in the world after having witnessed successive triumphs in the preceding hundred years before the war. Besides, the sea was always dominated by the British navy. Funds for funding its operations were easily available from the empire[8]. On the other hand the Americans were disadvantaged due to lack of sufficient resources that could enable them acquire essential supplies for their army. Besides, majority of Indian tribes chose to cooperate with Britain mainly for protection of tribal lands[9]. The advantage, which the Americans enjoyed during the revolution, is that they were fighting the war in their homeland and they were well familiar with the geographic massiveness of the colonies. One of the main disadvantages that Britain faced is that they were fighting in a foreign land where military supplies, orders and troops took long to reach. The preconception going into the American Revolution was that the Americans were fighting to secure their liberty, their independence and their rights. Some of the field decisions made during the American Revolution included George Washington’s decision to inoculate the continental troops against smallpox.

In conclusion, the British lost the American Revolution because of failure to station its army in the right place at the right time especially in North America. The second reason why the British lost the American Revolution is that the rebel forces tried their best to evade direct and major confrontations with the British troops under circumstances that they found disadvantageous. Divided opinion of parliament was another reason why the British lost in the American Revolution.

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