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Who Won the American War of Independence?

Our ancestors fought to free us from the domination of Great Britain. They were very brave to take on a superpower like that, and they succeeded, achieving our constitution and bringing democracy and freedom to the world.

But did we, meaning Americans, really win that war? Some say General Washington was holed up in up-state New York with his army deserting, waiting for the British to come and wipe him out when the weather warmed up.

Did the French Navy succeed in breaking a British blockade and getting into the Chesapeake carrying a French army? Did this army then lay siege to Yorktown and without much help from our Continental army force the British to surrender? Did the British government then give up the war because it could not afford the cost of another war with France? Do we owe our independence to France, and if so, what are the implications?

What would America look like now if we had lost?

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The French by Anonymous

Owe us! The topo would be the same and culture would resemble England. Point is, they didn’t win. Re-write the history anyway you want, Wasington is dead. What Hudson river?

What about Spain and the Netherlands? They all jumped on the screw Britan band wagon after the battle of Saratoga. Don’t make the French out to be something they are not. They were more interested in punishing the British than helping us. If they would not have helped…. we would have eventually broken away… and things would be much like they are now; However, If we would not have entered a couple of minor scuffles called WWI and WWII… The French would be speaking German right now. So…. who owes whom?

This is stupid. Whatever the French did was in their interest. They didn’t help us to be good guys.
Americans defeated the Brits because just like in Iraq and Vietnam, a big superpower can’t win on foreign soil if it can’t convince every single person to give up.
If you want to talk about who really won what war, look at our ethnocentricity regarding WWII, where for every German killed by the Allies, eight were killed by our "allies" the Soviets (who were, again, acting in their own interest).
The US definitely made the difference for Western Europe, not to mention Japan, but Nazi Germany would have had much more success without Stalin throwing Russkie men at his eastern border.
>What would America look like now if we had lost?
A much better question is what would America look like if the North had lost or not fought the Civil War?

There are many questions to answer on this topic, I will try to be concise. First of Britain at the time was a country will a Madman on the throne, who still had a lot of constitutional clout. Therefore we were not a true democracy. That aside, we were at war or being threatened with war by a number of European states namely France and Spain. Plus trying to hold onto a number of foreign interests in other countries. Oh plus the Jacobites and Irish were also playing up at this point. The British were spread incredibly thin on the ground.

Also the British army at the time had not adopted or learnt modern warfare tactics and still preferred to walk up to the enemy and fire. However as successfully used against them time and again the Americans and Boars in South Africa used strong firepoints concealed ambush and guerilla tactics to enourmous success. The main officer core of the Redcoats had also bought commisions and not risen up via experience and intelligence therefore they had no notion of how to fight a concerted campaign in the US. Now that is not to say we did not have any officers of merit, we did and this would prove our saving grace in France against Napoleon. But we still did not improve on our tactics.

So could the war have been prevented…? Well I think so by rights the US should of had their own parliament to dictate laws and set taxes. Money gained from commerce should have by rights helped to increase the new nation, building schools, roads etc. However self interest won out and money was funneled to the UK coffers.

Australia is a prime example they set their own laws and are by rights still subject the british crown albiet in name only.

I feel that the lessons learnt from the War of Independance have not been taken on board. Iraq is all about Oil the US and Europe are pulling the resources out of these countries just the same as the Uk did to the US.

Maybe if we all pulled together and sorted out the Isreali and Palastine conflict we would not have the hell that our boys are in at the moment.

Anyhow I digress I believe that the winners were the British, why because we got Australia and that is by far the better prize. Mind you I am biased I live there…..!!!

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Dave by Anonymous

The french played no part in the Independence in the end Britain only retreated and gave up because if you actualy look at the wars Britain was involved in at the time, They were in no more that 11 wars. Now if that was today that would cripple any army!! So count yourselfs lucky you have a great country but a pathetic outlook at the rest of the world.

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The British by Anonymous

I think that not enough people appreashiate how much the British had in WW1 and WW2, they were right in there every single time fighting againest supreshion and dictatorship, dying to defend freedom, a right that they invented and spread across the world. they took the full force of the nazi’s, and they stood tall againest it. And after the war, no-one rebiuld there economie, yet they got back on there feet and continued to burn through the ages as one of the true superpowers of the world.

as for the american war of indipendence, i don’t think anyone can blaim them for defending there land, hte general idea of democracy was already invented years befor hand, and the war only really came around because the Americans realised that it would make more economic sence to become indipendent from Britain. The French didn’t have any vested interest in freeing the american collonies from British rule, only for getting back at the British after they defeated them countless times in the wars that had been going on between them for hundreds of years.

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the americans won by Anonymous

it is evidently that the amricans won no doubt about it even though i am not american however if you would look at the american culture you would see that it rerely resembles britain so i think that americans got what the wanted and that is INDEPENDENCE

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Britain WON!! by Anonymous

Without a doubt Britain won the war, not actually winning it (Why fight a war so far from home and waste money) but getting rid of America as a colony. America is the BIGGEST!! mistake Britain has ever made. One thing, HOW? is America Independent, they still use British culture and the English language.

The “Commonwealth”, created to oppose American threat, greed and occupation

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Britain WON!! Not by Occams

Britain lost absolutely when, following the debacle at Yorktown, PM Lord North decided not to continue funding a North American war. He probably figured that the 13 colonies would become subjects of France, and that would serve those pesky Americans right.

However, France never wanted them and so it gave the American colonies their freedom. Few Americans will agree with this interpretation, because it runs counter to their independence and liberty myths, and also to popular notions of French as frog-eating surrender monkies who owe their freedom to the USA.

The Commonwealth of Nations had nothing to do with America. It was, and still is, a patethic attempt to preserve some aspects of the lost British Empire, mostly those bits where the wealthy countries give to the poor ones.

All this is pathetic, I won this you won that, Look at history closely and there was no winners, the americans did not win a war yes they won some battles, a lot less than they lost i might add,The british won battles but no one won the war, the truth is britain was overstretched with wars in Europe which she obviously were more important, thus they basically handed over the usa.
I will agree with one comment made earlier, that is that the Americans big themselves up, but when someone makes a comment like this they then call it jealousy, just like the war question you cant win.
I am British by the way and we dont big ourselves up if we lose we teach our children in schools we lost!.That way our children have a better understanding about the world,Probably why the rest of the world regards Britain as a very fair nation,we accept our mistakes.

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RE: Britain WON!! Not by Occams

All this is pathetic, I won this you won that,

No! you are being silly. It is aplain and simple fact that Britain lost that war of colonial independence and lost its colonies. The interesting thing for Americans is that the war was lost in that one final battle at Yorketown, and that it was an Artillery/siege battle and the forces involved were French and British. The Americans had some infantry there, but their contribution to the victory was minimal.

Sure, Britain could have re-grouped and come back in force to re-take the colonies but it chose not to, mainly for economic reasons. So that is a clear defeat in anyone’s terms.

My point in raising all this in the first place is that the militiaman tradition had nothing to do with the victory, and that there is a huge debt to the French for American Independence.

The Brits probably thought that France would take over the colonies but they chose not to, probably for economic reasons.

I think this is interesting given all the folk lore that currently surrounds this war in most contemporary American minds, and also their dislike for the French.

The 2nd amendment, and the whole tragic USA gun culture arose from the fear that the Brits would come back and kick their ass.

Americans talk about winning a war they didnt win anything they werent there!! Their so called war of independence was an uprising by british and other settlers. There was no america and no americans! Except the natives who fought against the settlers because they didnt want to be exterminated and they were right to. When the crown forces left the settlers broke all the agreements and eventually killed millions of native americans.

As for the reasons behind the uprising the so called “no taxation without representation” is utter nonsense. The settlers wanted more land and the crown already had agreements with the natives to take no more land a fact the settlers resented.

So when they were asked for more money to pay for the soldiers and ships that protected them they came out in revolt.

America was founded on one golden principle, greed. Something it has stuck to ever since. Doesnt sound as attractive as liberty & freedom does it

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RE: Britain WON!! Not by Occams

That is a gross simplification of the complex factors causing the war of independence and the result.

Certainly the American colonies came to resent the high taxation that Britain had to apply after decades of expensive wars with France – that were at least partially about protecting the colonies. A spirit of Free Enterprise and Greed drove colonies that were dominated by powerful merchants and some very fine inderpendent men in public positions.

The Native people of America were screwed from all sides: British; colonists; and French. However they had very little to do with the War of Independence, and they were worse off after it was over.

As to the result, I think the following questions are most relevant.

1. Was the final battle, the seige of Yorktown the decisive contest of the war after which the British felt that it had to stop?

2. Could the Continental forces (American Colonies) have won that battle without French assistance?

I believe that the answers to these questions are glaringly obvious 1. Yes; and 2, No.

Yorktown was primarily a seige, meaning an artillery battle and a Naval blockade. The essential forces that enabled this victory were French. American colonists fought bravely in some of the perhiperal skirmishes in the redoubts and gun emplacements, but that was about all.

The legendary (folklore) tough colonial militia sharp shooter was not involved in this battle.
If you read British PM Lord North’s speech to Parliament about the necessity to cut the cost of this war you will see that the humiliation of the loss of the battle of Yorktown was the crucial factor in ending it.

So the (totally unacceptable) fact is that the USA owes its freedom to France. No doubt the Brits thought they waould take over the colonies, and that would be a fair punishment for traitorous Americans, but that did not happen. Vive la France!

Well Britain did win in a way as 3 of your so called states are common wealth

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RE: Britain WON!! by Occams

Yes, Britain coined the term Commonwealth during its failed attempt to become a republic.

Fortunately that failure did not stop more capable and governable peoples from establishing viable republics.

The notion of a “common wealth” is useful in establishing laws, but has nothing to say about Britishness. In Australia, “Commonwealth” it is synonymous with “Federal”.

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