How were the colonists able to defeat the British in the American Revolution? There were several key factors contributing to the Colonists' victory over the British, such as war tactics, strong leadership and one solid alliance. Despite facing larger forces, better trained armies, and more weapons, the Colonists managed to win. The overcoming of these obstacles is why the American Revolution stands out strongly in history.
One of the main reasons for the Colonists' victory against the British was their spy network. In British-overtaken New York, the Colonists had an undercover spy network which consisted of spies who were either pretending to be part of the British army, or who were rebels stuck in the city keeping very close tabs on British officers. They passed messages to each other (and in the end, to George Washington) using invisible ink. Because of this important information, the troops were warned of what were supposed to be surprise attacks. This helped change the course of the war.
Another excellent reason that the Colonists won the American Revolution instead of the highly trained British armies is that they made an alliance with France who sent in generals (namely Marquis de Lafayette) to train the Colonist forces and to discipline them. When the French helped train the Colonists, it increased the Colonists chances by giving them better weapons (bayonets), new training, and most importantly, a new disciplined attitude.
Also, the rebels successfully employed a new style of battle - snipers. In the woods, they set up snipers who were lead by the infamous drinker and gambler, Daniel Morgan. He had a very rebellious, stubborn attitude, which helped influence his sniper troops to share his ferocity. The snipers hid out in the forest, hiding behind trees and taking out British soldiers using their "Pennsylvania Rifles" (a long rifle) as they passed. This was a devastating blow because they assassinated all the British generals that they encountered. This new style was found to be vulgar and cowardly by the British, but it helped the Colonists win by inducing fear of the unknown as their enemy traversed through the woods.
Small pox was a gigantic problem for both fighting sides that eventually turned to an advantage for the Colonists. Small pox was spreading through British and American troops, but the Americans developed a method for immunity - vaccines. They took a bit of the small pox from a sick person and put in into a healthy person to help their body learn to fight it early on so their body could fight the virus later on. The British had not yet discovered this method and were losing soldiers quickly due to small pox. The advantage had previously been with the British because they had been shipping soldiers over by the boatload.
George Washington was the Commander in Chief of the rebel armies and he kept the Colonists inspired to fight. Seeing as how the war went on for six years, keeping the spark of rebellion and the determination to win the war was necessary. A marvelous example of this inspiration was after the Boston Massacre when the people of the Colonies were angry. Washington channeled that fury into action on the battlefield which indirectly resulted in the massacre of British generals and soldiers. Though Washington had never commanded a large field of troops before, his strong leadership presence and fortitude held the American military together long enough to secure the defeat of the British.
The Battle of Bunker Hill was another important turning point. Up to this stage in the war, the Colonists had been repeatedly defeated, slaughtered, and mortified everywhere. A lot of towns had been taken over by the British, including New York. Though the Colonists were defeated in the Battle of Bunker Hill, the reason it impacted the course of the war is that they managed to kill important British leaders which gave them the crucial hope they needed to keep persevering. It gave them a very large confidence boost since they managed to inflict important causalities.
The Colonists were able to defeat the British in the American Revolution because of their brilliant strategies, helpful friends from another country, and most importantly, their desire for liberty.
American Revolution Battle Map
Battle of Bunker Hill
General George Washington
Map of the Colonies
Pennsylvania Sniper Rifle