While the British enjoyed a long list of advantages, there were several American advantages during the Revolution. First, the colonists were fighting for a cause they believed in. British soldiers were fighting because it was their job, while Americans were fighting for freedom.

Another advantage the colonists had was the fact that American forces were fighting on their own ground. They knew the terrain, roads, mountain passes, and swamp lands of the colonies. British soldiers were largely foreign to the environment, and supplies and troops had to be shipped across the Atlantic Ocean.

A third was the fighting styles implemented by the opposing armies. British soldiers trained in the traditional firing line methods used by European armies, but many colonial soldiers were frontiersmen accustomed to hunting small prey. This made them really good marksmen. By the midpoint of the war, this advantage led to a radical change in the way American soldiers were trained.

One final advantage was leadership. Up and down the ranks, the colonies had capable men who knew what they were doing. While most British commanders had extensive military training, their generals often disliked one another, held vendettas, and argued with each other. Also, in the British Army, where a man could buy a commission for himself or his son, it was customary to appoint and promote officers based on family ties and titles of nobility, loyalty to the Crown, and political connections. In contrast, the Continental Congress and George Washington promoted officers based on individual merit and performance on the battlefield (unless you were Benedict Arnold).

To learn more about the American Revolution, check out our American Revolution History Brief book!

Flore Collier

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