George Washington

George Washington - George Washington After fighting broke...

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George Washington After fighting broke out in April 1775, Washington appeared at the Second Continental Congress in military uniform, signaling that he was prepared for war. Congress created the Continental Army on June 14 ; the next day it selected Washington as commander-in-chief. There was no serious rival to his experience and confident leadership, let alone his base in the largest colony. Massachusetts delegate John Adams nominated Washington, believing that appointing a southerner to lead what was at this stage primarily an army of northerners would help unite the colonies. Washington reluctantly accepted, declaring "with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the Command I [am] honoured with." [7] He asked for no pay other than reimbursement of his expenses. Washington assumed command of the American forces in Massachusetts in July 1775, during the ongoing siege of Boston . Washington reorganized the army during the long standoff, and forced the British to withdraw by putting artillery on Dorchester Heights overlooking the city. The British evacuated Boston and Washington moved his army to New York City . In August 1776, British General William Howe launched a massive naval and land campaign to capture New York designed to seize New York City and offer a negotiated settlement. The Americans were committed to independence, but Washington was unable to hold New York. Defeated at the Battle of Long Island on August 22 , he barely managed to escape with most of his forces to the mainland. Several other defeats sent Washington scrambling across New Jersey , leaving the future of the Continental Army in doubt. On the night of December 25 , 1776 , Washington staged a counterattack , leading the American forces across the Delaware River to capture nearly 1,000 Hessians in Trenton, New Jersey . Washington followed up the assault with a surprise attack on British forces at Princeton . These unexpected victories after a series of losses recaptured New Jersey, drove the British back to the New York City area, and gave a dramatic boost to Revolutionary morale. In 1777, the British launched two uncoordinated attacks. The first was an invasion by General John Burgoyne down the Hudson River from Canada designed to reach New York City and cut off New England. Simultaneously, Howe left New York City and attacked the national capital at Philadelphia . Washington sent General Horatio Gates and state militias to deal with Burgoyne while he moved the main Continental army south to block Howe. Washington was defeated at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11 , 1777 . On September 26 , Howe outmaneuvered Washington and marched into Philadelphia unopposed. Washington's army unsuccessfully attacked the British garrison at Germantown in early October. Meanwhile Burgoyne, out of reach from help from Howe, was trapped and forced to surrender his entire army at Saratoga. The British had gained the empty prize of Philadelphia, while losing one of their two armies. The victory caused France to enter the war as an
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This essay was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course HIST 1432 taught by Professor Kane during the Spring '08 term at Pittsburgh.

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George Washington - George Washington After fighting broke...

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