Strengths of America during the Revolution

Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette

America had many strengths, but we’ll just focus on some of the biggest four.

  1. Better leadership – British generals were decidedly more experienced that General Washington, but they were overconfident and made subpar decisions. Washington, however, was not an incredibly commander at first, and he learned from his mistakes later.
  2. Foreign aid – France, who was angry at Britain for defeating them during the French and Indian war, was a large aid to America. Likely the most notable European man that helped during the war was the Marquis de Lafayette. Lafayette was a 19-year-old French nobleman who wanted a military career, so he volunteered to serve in Washington’s army. He quickly gained washington’s confidence and eventually convinced the French king to send an army of 6,000 to America.
  3. Knowledge of the land – Although Britain could control coastal cities, they couldn’t move to the continent’s interior due to lack of knowledge of the land. Moreover, the Americans had a better understanding of the land and used that to their advantage.
  4. Motivation – The stakes were higher for the Americans. If they lost the war, they would lose their property, dream of liberty, and likely even the majority of their lives.

Guerilla Warfare for the Uninformed

Guerrilla Warfare

Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of people such as armed civilians use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, and hit-and-run tactics to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military.

Guerrilla combat often involves surprise attacks such as ambushes and raids, or sabotage of a vulnerable target. Guerrilla warfare also prolonged the warfare so the losing side could hopefully gain something and eventually win.

Structurally, they can be divided into three different types of operations—the so-called ‘People’s War’, ‘partisan warfare’, and ‘raiding warfare’. Each has distinct characteristics that were common practice during the Revolutionary War

Guerrilla warfare was used in the Revolutionary War when the colonists and the loyalists would weaken the army with surprise raids. Most raids were also very vicious.

Privateers During the American Revolution


On April 3, 1776, Congress issued instructions to the commanders of private ships or vessels of war authorizing them to make captures of British vessels and cargoes. These private ships were called privateers. Privateers mainly raided British vessels to sell its cargo and share the money, which was the primary source of motivation to recruited privateers.The disrupt in trade was great enough for British merchants to call for the war to end.

Problems Faced by the Continental Army

Continental Army

Two large problems the Continental Army faced were the lack of funding and the lack of sufficient supplies.

The lack of funds meant that the Continental Army usually was underpaid, a situation that affected the retention and recruitment of troops, not to mention their resolve. As the war continued, many Continental soldiers went without good shoes or boots, even in winter. This scarcity of clothing and supplies contributed a considerable amount to the army’s large non combat death toll. Modern historians estimate that eight times the number of Americans died of deprivation and disease in the Revolutionary War as died in combat.

The Continental Congress’s efforts to equip and feed its army were inadequate; the sheer magnitude of the task and the lack of an established supply system assured that serious problems of acquisition and distribution would develop at least initially. The 2,400 troops weren’t properly armed, fed, or clothed, even during the winter months.