HIST 116: The American Revolution

Lecture 17 - The Logic of a Campaign (or, How in the World Did We Win?). In this lecture, Professor Freeman explains the logic behind American and British military strategy during the early phases of the Revolution. First, she discusses the logistic disadvantages of the British during the war: the difficulties shipping men and supplies from more than three thousand miles away; the vast expanse of countryside with no one central target to attack; difficulties in recruiting British soldiers to fight in America; and the fact that the British faced a citizen army comprised of highly motivated soldiers who didn't act in predictable ways. In addition, the British consistently underestimated the revolutionaries in America, and overestimated Loyalist support. Professor Freeman also discusses the four main phases of the Revolutionary War, differentiated by shifts in British strategy. During the earliest phase of the war, the British thought that a show of military force would quickly lead to reconciliation with the colonists. During the second phase, the British resolved to seize a major city - New York - in the hope that isolating New England from the rest of the colonies would end hostilities. By 1777, the war had entered its third phase, and the British set their sights on seizing Philadelphia and defeating George Washington. This phase ended with the Battle of Saratoga in late 1777. (from

Lecture 17 - The Logic of a Campaign (or, How in the World Did We Win?)

Time Lecture Chapters
[00:00:00] 1. Introduction
[00:04:14] 2. British Disadvantages in the War
[00:10:39] 3. British Assumptions of Citizen Armies and Loyalists
[00:18:45] 4. The First Phase: British Displays of Force
[00:29:31] 5. The Second Phase: Capturing New York
[00:41:42] 6. Third Phase: Defeating Washington and the Battle at Saratoga

Lecture 17 - The Logic of a Campaign (or, How in the World Did We Win?)
Instructor: Professor Joanne Freeman. Transcript [html]. Audio [mp3]. Download Video [mov].

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Lecture 01 - Introduction: Freeman's Top Five Tips for Studying the Revolution
Lecture 02 - Being a British Colonist
Lecture 03 - Being a British American
Lecture 04 - "Ever at Variance and Foolishly Jealous": Intercolonial Relations
Lecture 05 - Outraged Colonials: The Stamp Act Crisis
Lecture 06 - Resistance or Rebellion? (Or, What the Heck is Happening in Boston?)
Lecture 07 - Being a Revolutionary
Lecture 08 - The Logic of Resistance
Lecture 09 - Who Were the Loyalists?
Lecture 10 - Common Sense
Lecture 11 - Independence
Lecture 12 - Civil War
Lecture 13 - Organizing a War
Lecture 14 - Heroes and Villains
Lecture 15 - Citizens and Choices: Experiencing the Revolution in New Haven
Lecture 16 - The Importance of George Washington
Lecture 17 - The Logic of a Campaign (or, How in the World Did We Win?)
Lecture 18 - Fighting the Revolution: The Big Picture
Lecture 19 - War and Society
Lecture 20 - Confederation
Lecture 21 - A Union Without Power
Lecture 22 - A Road to the Constitutional Convention
Lecture 23 - Creating a Constitution
Lecture 24 - Creating a Nation
Lecture 25 - Being an American: The Legacy of the Revolution