Palak RandhawaMr. ChiavettaIB History10 January 2018David McCullough’s “1776” is an informational book on the American Revolution. This includes each of the important battles during the year of 1776 in the Revolution. It shows historical proof for each of these events including, The Battle of Bunker Hill, the siege at Boston, New York, and others. There are also important quotes and journal entries that make this book really interesting. The book is split into 3 detailed sections, each containing chapters about the important factors of the American Revolution.Part 1Chapter 1 of Part 1 starts with King George III. He’s shown going to give his address to Parliament. George knows what’s going on in in America and he wants to be the “patriot king” by defeating the American rebels. He gives an important speech, saying that the Americans are rebelling against them to gain independence from Great Britain. Many members, like Lord Sandwich, think that America is not even close to a threat. Edmund Burke and Charles James Fox completely oppose the idea of military action in America. However, King George still sends three British Generals to America (Howe, Clinton, and Burgoyne). The King is described in a lot of detail, as a simple man that enjoys simple pleasures. He also focuses on more of a military action, rather than coming to peace with the rebels. For example, he completely ignores the Olive Branch Petition. At the same time, Lord North is the Prime Minister and he continues handling the government throughout the war. North also helps hire mercenaries to aid the British in the war against America. He eventually steps down from his military position, but still continues with the idea that America must submit to Great Britain. The war effort continues, and King George appoints Lord Germain, who agrees that America deserves “a decisive blow”. Chapter 2 continues in Part 1, explaining General Greene and General Washington, along with the army, in a lot of detail. Nathanael Greene is a Quaker from Rhode Island. He has a limp leg, making him partially impaired and “unfit” for military duty. However, Washington saw the patriotism within him and made him take charge of the Rhode Island army section. Washington on the other hand, continues training the American army. George Washington was a Virginian and the son of a very wealthy tobacco planter. Washington earned his reputation by fighting against the French. When he was selected to become commander of the American army, he knew that everyone had to be disciplined because they were untrained and many of the soldiers were unfit for duty. The army consisted of farmers, artisans, and even young boys. Everyone had to provide their own musket, too. Others, like John Greenwood, played the fife for soldiers and were paid for it. The army also consisted of blacks. Initially, Washington did not want blacks to fight in the army, but now it was necessary. Soon enough, soldiers from Scottish-Irish descent along with the rest from Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virginia were fighting and raiding the British camps. However, the army’s determination begins to decline very fast. Washington sets up a place to live (a mansion) and there he holds many meetings, because every idea was needed. He continues providing ideas to attack the British, in places like Boston and Quebec. Eventually, George Washington meets Henry Knox, who has a plan to take all the British military supplies from Fort Ticonderoga. He attempts this, knowing that the weather is getting colder. The weather leads to the death of many soldiers and the loss of many important resources. At this point, the soldiers begin leaving the army because their enlistments are over and they don’t want to die. Washington knows he has to encourage the soldiers, and he does so by uniting all of them as the Continental Army. Part 1 of “1776” ends in Chapter 3 and the siege at Dorchester Heights. Dorchester Heights would give a major advantage because it looked over both Boston and the harbor. The American side and the British side knew about this, but they hadn’t done anything at this point in time. The British are also suffering because of the cold. They are doing worse than the Americans and they can’t get resources from the navy. General Howe gets orders to leave Boston, but they can’t. The Americans suffer because of a shortage of money. Washington tells Joseph Reed about this. Many troops are leaving due to this and new soldiers aren’t showing up. Washington struggles with this, thinking that he should have never taken this position. Eventually, John Adams gets approval from Congress and Washington goes back to finding a way to secure Boston from the British. Henry Knox, who had gone to retrieve British military supplies, comes back with a lot of artillery. Washington makes him in charge of the artillery. The Americans decide on taking over Dorchester Heights in order to secure Boston. Overnight, they manage to take full control of Dorchester Heights, as Washington and his army create distractions. This leads to General Howe giving orders to evacuate Boston. However, he destroys any resources that the rebels could use before leaving. Boston was liberated and George Washington was like a hero. In Part 1, I enjoyed reading about how George Washington was really worried but ended up becoming a strong military commander. Along with the help of people like Henry Knox, the Americans secure Dorchester Heights. I liked this part because they take over all of Dorchester Heights in one night and even General Howe is amazed. General Howe is forced to evacuate and they take over all of Boston. Washington showed that he was a very smart commander, and that he knew what he was doing. I also liked how Washington’s life was described in a lot of detail, from how his father was a tobacco planter, to how he became the commander of the American army. nPart 2 Part 2 begins with Chapter 4. In this Chapter, Washington and his army are marching to New York. People look at them in awe because the army was large. The troops are also determined. However, there is a battle waiting for everyone in New York. New York would be harder to fight in than Boston because the British would have the advantage. General Lee also says this, knowing that the British Navy has control over New York. There are also a lot more Loyalists in New York. These Loyalists are later on tortured by the Americans and hated. They attempted to assassinate Washington at some point, leading to angry mobs against Loyalists. Things start going wrong because the American soldiers start messing around (drinking, etc) and Washington bans them from doing so. Washington also has to send 3,000 troops to Canada, leaving him with a smaller army. The best way to take control of New York would be to take Long Island and use it as defense, according to General Lee. Washington’s troops continued building forts at the same time. Washington waits for the British camp with an army of only 7,000 compared to the British army, which now included 17,000 Germans, of 30,000 people. Meanwhile, Congress finally decides for a Declaration and completely “dissolving from Britain”. The Americans celebrations stop as 2 British warships manage to take out a lot of the rebels. Washington begins fearing that they can’t stop the Navy. Still, they disregard any truces and prepare for war. In Chapter 5, a storm is showing an “omen” as men are killed because of it. The next day, the British send troops to Gravesend Bay and many of the Loyalists are happy about it. The British don’t like how Americans are wealthy because of Great Britain. Washington receives the wrong information and ends up not sending any troops. Washington and his generals are still expecting a surprise attack from the British. Washington makes General Putnam in charge, but this makes things worse (disorganized). British Generals Howe and Clinton have a plan to use a part of New York that Washington has ignored. Washington’s whole plan is looking like a failure at this point. At night, Howe leads 10,000 men down the unguarded road to fight the Americans. The British attack General Putnam’s part of the army, and the Americans don’t know that it’s just a distraction for the real plan to work. The British outnumber the Americans and General Sullivan is soon captured. The Americans retreat. Washington commands more troops to come in from New York and uses the storm to his advantage. His troops uses the fog to be undetected and they cross the river. The British seem to be winning at this point because they have control of the seas and they have more troops. However, Washington doesn’t give up. In Part 2, I learned the most about military strategies. The British use their Navy as a major advantage against the British. At the same time, Washington used the stormy weather as a strategy to retreat. General Howe used his plan, by distracting the Americans. As he did this, he led the rest of his army through an unguarded road. This eventually leads them to capture General Sullivan. As Washington retreats he also uses the fog to be undetected when they cross the river. I liked this part because it shows that George Washington is the appropriate general for this task. Part 3 Part 3 begins with Chapter 6. Joseph Reed is telling his wife that he is no longer determined. He knows that they can’t risk American independence by staying and defending New York. The army is doing really bad and Washington is starting to lose all hope in them. Howe is prepared, making Washington nervous about them attacking. Many, including Nathanael Greene want to leave the city immediately. Washington remains unsure. Congress meets up with Howe, and they don’t back down from the idea of independence. Eventually, Washington decides to evacuate, but Howe and Clinton attack before they are able to do so. They attack from Kips Bay and the American troops start retreating fast. Washington is humiliated and Howe thinks he has full control over New York. Washington orders a counterattack and the Americans hold off their ground. The British begin to retreat. Still, everyone is kind of miserable and wanting to quit the military job. The urge for independence isn’t there. The British continue attacking, using their Navy, and they take down the American forts. The British win the Battle of the White Plains, but they have more casualties. General Greene defends Fort Washington, but they lose that battle too. Lastly, in Chapter 7, Washington is retreating to New Jersey. He shows private concern in a letter to General Charles Lee. Joseph Reed and many others have started losing all their confidence in General Washington. The soldier count is dropping because of a lack of confidence in the General, not a lack of troops. During this time, General Clinton is taking control of Rhode Island, so that the British Navy can come there easily/faster. Clinton does not like what he’s doing because he’s thinking of a different plan compared to General Howe. Washington meets with Lord Stirling at Brunswick, making him have some reinforcements. Washington also knows that the enlistments are about to expire very soon (in 2 days). He also finds out that General Lee and Joseph Reed no longer trust him as much and are not proud of what he did as the commander. However, Washington keeps asking Lee to join him again because his troops are leaving (2,000 leave). Admiral Howe, knowing this was a good time, says that anyone who joins him will not be in trouble as a rebel. Thousands of Americans go to the British. At the same time, General Cornwallis stops chasing after Washington, which might have been a mistake. General Lee is captured and the British celebrate, thinking he was the best general. The war seems loss because even Congress is running away (members are joining the British, too). Washington makes a plan for a “lucky blow” that will give them some hope. He has his army cross the Delaware (through a snowstorm) and take the Hessians by surprise. Hessian General Rall is wounded and the Americans win (none of them dead). At this point, there’s only one day left before enlistments are over. Washington gives a speech and offers money to whoever stays and serves for longer. Washington leads the army to another victory, by attacking Cornwallis and making the British retreat to Trenton. They stop at Morristown for the rest of the winter, celebrating over their victories. Everyone in Britain is surprised about how they won with Washington’s military strategies. After another 6 years, the Treaty of Paris in 1783 eventually leads to the end of the war. America is victorious, with the help of the Continental Army and George Washington himself. In Part 3, I liked that despite all the failures, Washington knew when to attack and how to attack. When people were losing trust in him, Washington was no longer confident, but he found a way as a military expert. I like how he attacked the Germans through the Delaware, which seemed like a risky plan. They took all of the Hessians by surprise, and only 4 Americans were injured. They also took out the Hessian General. This victory eventually led to another one because everyone was determined. People were ready to fight for their independence again. Conclusion My favorite character in the book is George Washington because without him the Americans couldn’t have won the war. He was very confident and determined throughout the American Revolution. Washington knew he was leading an untrained army against a trained and very large army. That didn’t stop him from fighting for American independence. He didn’t even want the job as commander of the Continental Army but he was the right man for that position. He also led the country politically, as President for 2 terms. This book is a good source of historical evidence. It is not entertaining history because the book contains detailed information, including letters written by the important people of the Revolution. It includes details on every single person, including their life and why they were crucial to the American Revolution. It is a secondary source because it was written by someone using primary sources. This makes it a very interesting book to read.