Why the British lost the war of independence (Geography ( Widely…
Why the British lost the war of independence
Widely scattered population with poor communication was difficult to secure.
Impossible to fight a war over 3000 miles away by sea. It was difficult for North to lead a war remotely. Despite this Britain won most of the major battles.
Huge battle field, spanned entire east coast.
Difficult terrain and the Americans could retreat and regroup in the hinterland.
France was more concerned with delivering a blow to Britain than aiding America, but the decisive victory at Yorktown for the Americans was due to French assistance.
After Saratoga, once France joined the war, it became even more difficult for Britain to win the war.
Britain’s problems increased further once several other European powers joined (Holland and Spain).
Insufficient land troops to cover the area and insufficient naval resources to control the seas.
The British Navy no longer ruled the waves.
Inability to win over the hearts and minds of the patriot cause.
Unimpressive war leaders e.g. North was too far away to dictate strategy sensibly.
Failure to decide on a single strategy: to pursue all-out-war or hope there would be a political resolution?
Unimaginative and disunited British generals: Burgoyne was foolish and overconfident in estimating the strength of opposition; Howe made poor decisions, possibly; and Cornwallis over-stretched the army and was short of troops. All were not used to fighting a guerrilla-type war...
Alienation of colonists when mercenaries (Hessians), Native Americans and black slaves were enlisted.
Failure to gain the support of neutrals because the British army often behaved badly to civilians.
Inability to enlist the sustained support of the Loyalists (about 1:5 of the Americans) because the British could not offer protection. In the early stages Britain neglected the southern colonies, where there was more support potentially.