191. French Alliance of 1778, reasons for it
192. Major battles: Saratoga, Valley Forge
193. Yorktown, Lord Cornwallis
- The colonies needed help from Europe in their war against Britain.
- France was Britain’s rival and hoped to weaken Britain by causing her to
- lose the American colonies. The French were persuaded to support the
- colonists by news of the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga.
- In 1777, British General John Burgoyne attacked southward from Canada
- along the Hudson Valley in New York, hoping to link up with General Howe
- in New York City, thereby cutting the colonies in half. Burgoyne was
- defeated by American General Horatio Gates on October 17, 1777, at the
- Battle of Saratoga, surrendering the entire British Army of the North.
- Valley Forge was not a battle; it was the site where the Continental
- Army camped during the winter of 1777- ’78, after its defeats at the
- Battles of the Brandywine and Germantown. The Continental Army suffered
- further casualties at Valley Forge due to cold and disease. Washington
- chose the site because it allowed him to defend the Continental
- Congress if necessary, which was then meeting in York, Pennsylvania
- after the British capture of Philadelphia.
- Because of their lack of success in suppressing the Revolution in the
- nothern colonies, in early 1780 the British switched their strategy and
- undertook a series of campaigns through the southern colonies. This
- strategy was equally unsuccessful, and the British decided to return to
- their main headquarters in New York City. While marching from Virginia
- to New York, British commander Lord Cornwallis became trapped in
- Yorktown on the Chesapeake Bay. His troops fortified the town and
- waited for reinforcements. The French navy, led by DeGrasse, blocked
- their escape. After a series of battles, Cornwallis surrendered to the
- Continental Army on October 19, 1781, which ended all major fighting in
- the Revolutionary War.