Wednesday, May 20, 2015

High Morale or Big Victories?

The topic we recently covered in class was the second half of the Revolutionary War, which was Saratoga through Yorktown.  In class, we discussed the question, Did the Americans win the war because they had high morale or because of a few big military victories?  To answer this question, we watched videos, answered questions and took notes.  We studied a few topics, including battles in Trenton, Princeton, Saratoga, Valley Forge and topics like brutality in the South and Yorktown.  The Revolutionary War was made up of many battles, and some of the battles the Americans won and some they did not.  The battles are about not just who wins them, but each side’s morale level as well.  Some battles gave the Americans high morale and some were just big military victories.  I believe that the Americans won the war because of their big military victories.
Maintaining high morale is important for any team or army in anything, especially battles in a war.  At Valley Forge, the American soldiers faced many difficulties.  One difficulty was the cold and lack of food,  and people were freezing or starving to death at a rate of 10 per day.  Also, they only had enough food for 8 days to last the whole winter.  Not only the soldiers, but the horses were also starving to death and so they were running out of horses for transportation.  Another difficulty was that there were no hospitals and when a Typhus epidemic came, many soldiers died.  Lastly, many officers went home for the winter.  But through all these difficulties, the soldiers struggled together and grew closer together and were training together while the British in Philadelphia were partying and not training.  This event helped maintain high morale.  Philadelphia also helped maintain their high morale in the beginning because it is a legendary place for the Americans.  Philadelphia is where the Declaration of Independence was written.  But the Americans did end up losing Philadelphia and that really made their morale take a dip.  The event in Saratoga was put into the category of maintaining high morale and winning big military victories.  Saratoga was a turning point in the war because the Americans defeated a large portion of the British army, and it led to French alliance and the British surrendering.  British morale took a beating during the event in Charleston.  Over 5,000 Americans became prisoners and were put on prison ships that were hot, contaminated with germs, crowded and lacking food.  While some events really helped moral, more hurt it and for that reason, winning big military victories was the reason why the Americans won the war.
The Americans had big military victories and that is why they won the war.  One big battle was the Battle at Saratoga.  Although Saratoga was a turning event for high morale, it also helped raise the amount of big military victories.  At Saratoga, the Americans defeated the British army and the British surrendered.  Also, this led to French alliance for the Americans.  The French provided the Americans with a lot that helped them win further battles, like in Yorktown.  They provided them with a secret loan, as well as arms, ammunition, uniforms and troops and naval support.  They also gave reinforcements that protected Washington’s forces in Virginia.  The battle at Saratoga was the basis of all the following battles the Americans won that helped lead to the end of the Revolutionary War.  American soldiers were also successful at Trenton and Princeton.  Working hard to defeat the British really paid off and helped contribute to America’s big military victories.  But, the most important battle and military victory was at Yorktown.  The American’s won at Yorktown because of their alliance with the French.  The French helped them win this battle by acting as distractions and reinforcements for their army.  One battle that brought the American army down was the Battle at Charleston.  Charleston also hurt their moral.  In Charleston, there was a siege and the British surrounded them with cannons.  This is when 5,000 Americans became prisoners.  Their big military victories is why the Americans won the war.

Maintaining high morale is important in wars, but it all comes down to the battles the army fights in and wins.  Their level of morale went up and down between Valley Forge, Saratoga, Trenton, Princeton, Charleston and Philadelphia.  The Americans won the war because they defeated the British so many times in different places.  The biggest victory was in Yorktown and that was because they had an alliance with the French, which was made at the Battle at Saratoga.  Although Charleston was unsuccessful, that did not mess with their other wins at Saratoga, Yorktown, Trenton and Princeton.  The biggest impact on the American army was when the French allied with them to defeat the British, and without them, the Americans would not be able to defeat the British.  The Americans won the war because of their big military victories.

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