Battle of Saratoga
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This paper is a bout the battle of Saratoga and how it was a major turning point in the revolutionary war. The paper starts by looking at how it all begun some of the involved groups and their significance at the various stages of the battle. The paper also looks at how and why other nations got involved in this war for instance France and Spain. This paper looks at some of the benefits that Americans got by participating in this war for instance the bill of rights ,that were effected and some of the constitutional amendments that came with it.
The Battle of Saratoga was one of America’s major and historic turning points of all the revolutions that America has ever undergone. In this battle, America proved to the whole world that indeed they have an army that was sufficiently effective to fight and defeat well trained British army. This is considered as one of America’s successful battles of all time. When the Americans seemed to overpower the Britons, other European countries became more interested with Americans and how they had managed to put up such a fight against the then powerful nation like Britain. Most of them including France and Spain joined them and provided assistance but secretly. During the 1777 British campaign, Burgoyne who was by then a Major General organized a three columns concentric advance which was to take place in New York.
Burgoyne led one of the teams that took the southward direction along river Hudson. Another group under the impetus of General Barry Leger whose main work or responsibility was to provide a diversionary attack, and lastly there was another third group under the leadership of General Howe was dispatched to operate along river Mohawk. The plan was well drawn out and General Howe was expected to direct the group under General Henry to take the northern direction along river Hudson to meet General Burgoyne at Albany. The main aim of this strategy was to basically destroy the massive and brutish forces of New England and also to reduce their influence across Europe.
According to Todd L. and Curtis Eugene (1990)The goal of the 1777 campaigns was to basically to take control of the Hudson river, the Lake Champlain and the surrounding areas, by so doing they would have automatically and effectively isolated the oppressive England from their other American colonies. This invasion had been planed in such away that two aspects were to be addressed. First, Burgoyne was to lead a group of people towards Albany in New York along Lake Champlain. Burgoyne started off and within a very short period of time he had managed to recapture Fort Ticonderoga. From there on, Burgoyne’s march became a bit slow because of a few logistics because of the fact that they were moving through bushes and they also kept on stopping on the way to engage in a bit of training.
They also face some problems on their way like being attacked by smaller groups which were sent out to distract them and seize them up and thwart their efforts to access their supplies. They were lucky because most of these kinds of destruction were defeated by the American militia for instance in the Bennington battle. Unfortunately in this instances Burgoyne kept on losing some of his men in the process .There was an instance where the American militia attempted to intervene and provide assistance but got ambushed and had no option but to scatter in a battle that was dubbed Oriskany.A second group that was under the leadership of Benedict Arnold, abandoned him and he had no other option other than returning to Quebec and rethink his strategy.
Burgoyne’s set backs
Burgoyne's Group was reduced by almost half in the various battles that they had been engaged in for instance in the battle of Bennington and the fact that they were running out of supplies .Despite all his setbacks, Burgoyne was determined to struggle and fight on in a bid to get to Albany (Frederickson J 2006). There was an American army under the leadership of General Horatio Gates which had already taken over parts of Saratoga. Burgoyne attempted to outflank the American army unfortunately he could not outdo them at the very first Saratoga battle .Burgoyne came up with desperate attempts but in vain and again he feared that the army that was under the leadership of General Howe which was operating in New York would be coming.
The American militia and other natives joined the army that was under the stewardship of General Gates making it more stronger. Burgoyne run out of options after losing terribly in the second battle of Saratoga and had to surrender. Saratoga was basically like the turning point that brought about confidence and determination particularly after Howe managed to successful occupy and take control over Philadelphia. This victory in many ways encouraged France to join hands with American after secretly supporting them for close to two solid years. After the alliance and support from other nations, things became more complicated for the Britons.
The British plan
The British plan which was all about repelling the Americans and gaining more ground seemed to work but only for awhile. The Burgoyne's army had for some time manages to repel and push back the American forces southward as they attempted to surge upwards along the Hudson River .In an a bid to impede the progress of the British army , General Philip Schuyler of America added another group of army. This group moved along the Mohawk River as a reinforcement team. After a while General Arnold went back with his group after successfully fighting off enemies in good time to participate in the battle of Saratoga.
The First and second Battles of Saratoga
According to Ketchum R. (1999) the very first battle of Saratoga started on 19 September, 1777 .In this very first encounter General Gates who had poor execution lost some substantive ground to the Britons. This was partly due to the disagreement that erupted between him and General Arnold. This was due to difference in tactic they intended to use; this saw Gates relieve Arnold from commanding the army. The deadly battle of Bemis Heights came to be considered as the second battle of Saratoga. After awhile, General Gates took over leadership and command from Schuyler, whose ideologies and political strategies had had hit a snug for instance the loss of Ticonderoga which forced him to retreat.
Gates immediately commanded his army to march towards the north. At a place known as the Bemis Heights which is situated north of Stillwater, which is just a few miles south of Saratoga, was picked as a base of its strategic positioning. The army took some time at this place strategizing on how to launch attacks. Bemis was chosen because of its height which could provide a good and clear view .That very first battle actually began when Burgoyne directed some of his troops to Bemis Height in an attempt to stop the American from encroaching on Bemis Heights. General Benedict Arnold was well informed and to counter the move he placed massive forces in their way.
Factors that led to America’s triumph
The battle of Saratoga was a turning point for the a American people in many ways .First of all ,this battle made American win over the confidence of other countries that had a problem with the British dominance. By successfully participating in this battle the Americans got a lot of morale and knew that they can as well have say in their own matters. Americans capitalized on the weaknesses of the British army for instance the British army had poor planning and lacked proper direction from their headquarters in London. Another reason why the British army lost miserably is because they were far from and could not easily access their supplies in Canada.
American also won the battle because they had received the backing of other European nations but clandestinely for instance France who supplied them with war materials and also the French navy played a very big role in helping the American. When France openly came to the assistance of Americans, other countries also joined in, for instance Spain who claimed that they are in the war as France’s ally. The Battle of Saratoga is believed to have been a major turning point for America. Americans had numerous opportunities that helped them win the battle. For instance when the British army was moving south and away from their main source of their supplies which was in Canada. The Generals of the American army got wind of this and took advantage of it by executing their operations. During the 1777 encounter was the first time the American army got to meet the British army in a full dress war and emerged winners.
Why the battle was seen as a turning point to Americans
The Battle of Saratoga was viewed as a major turning point because of quite a number of reasons which are seen as benefits to the Americans. First of all, Americans started to benefit and fully enjoy their basic rights that they had been denied by the oppressive Britons. This came with a series of constitutional amendments that gave more freedom and privilege to the people of America including liberties to engage I whatever they are interested in. The American legislators got the power to amend the constitution and they even incorporate like forty new provisions .This saw Americans gain a lot of freedoms and other rights which were incorporated in their constitution (Bass H. 1990). Some of them included freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly and also freedom to be tried by the jury.
The British authorities had become very oppressive and that is why most of their colonies hated them and helped Americans .After they had actively participated in the French and the Indian Wars, the Britons felt that they had lost some substantive amount of money and the best way to recover that was by taxing their colonies heavily. This move was bitterly resisted by most British colonies who believed that they were not the main reason why Britain had incurred big losses .This prompted most of them to gang against the British authorities .This was a common behavior that the British authorities had adopted, whereby after engaging in wars with other countries and incurring losses, they resort to heavily taxing their colonies. The good thing is that whenever the Britons came up with a new law concerning the taxation, their colonists hated and disliked them even more.
Somehow it may sound like it is a good thing for The Britons to impose more taxes on their colonists because it was them that they were protecting after all. According to most Americans this was not the best way to support their mother country; they looked at it as a form of oppression and exploitation. Americans felt that being indebted to their mother country for protection was basically missing the point and it was not what they were looking for. American authorities believed that the British authorities were trying to use their colonies for economic and political gains. The American Revolution came in handy to end that exploitation and oppression. This was a great thing to ever happen in the history of America and in shaping it to what it is today. This revolution was inevitably going to take place happen because of the eagerness of America and other colonies to becoming free. This was timely because American eventually got an opportunity to work together and could join any religious organization with out being persecuted.
According to Murrin J. et al (2008) this opened up opportunities to Americans all over the world they also got an opportunity to amend their constitution and other laws and political system. Americans showed their former colonialist that they were in apposition to make a living by themselves and providing protection to themselves by putting up that revolution. This was indeed a turning point to Americans in the sense that they realized that they can actually empower themselves and become their own authority. This revolution made Americans to become conscious about the fact that there was no rationale or justification for them to depend or rely on the British government to help them stay afloat. Without this revolution ,the Americans were not only trying to run away from the Not only were they still trying to break away from the oppressive and exploitative British but it gave them an opportunity to form a central government system.
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