When considering the origin of our nation’s first military institution, it is important to realize that the American Revolution greatly influenced its conception and foundation. As an impending country, oppressed by the most powerful empire in the world, our independence wasn’t achieved easily. America’s lack of military expertise, including a less than sufficient number of knowledgeable and experienced military leaders proved to be a daunting disadvantage among others. America, however, did not fight this Revolution alone. After the victory at the Battle of Saratoga, they gained much needed foreign aid, which included money, munitions, and professional soldiers and engineers that enhanced the Continental Army and the militias, as well as their fortifications.
Foreign assistance was crucial in the success of the Continental Army and its cause. Continental Congress realized it was necessary for foreign provisions in order to effectively and efficiently fight off British forces. Shortly after the United States declared their independence from Great Britain, diplomats negotiated a secret alliance with French Officials. (History-french alliance)Thereafter, the French provided supplies, money, weapons, and most importantly professional soldiers and sailors to assist in ground and naval support.
These resources proved to be vitally important in compensating for America’s many tangible disadvantages. Arguably however, with America’s many advantages, such as their primary defensive role, great leadership, and most importantly their cause, they might have won the Revolutionary War without foreign intervention, but that is besides the point. The point is that the United States, with the help of additional resources, was able to defeat the British much more efficiently.
The most important assets the Continental Army commissioned were foreign men that were qualified and experienced in the arts of war and or engineering. Above all, this is where America lacked in their fight for independence. Although lacking in quantity, they were still blessed with the intangible and extraordinary leadership of men like General George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and a few foreign men such as Major General Marquis de Lafayette (French). Inspector General Baron Steuben (German), and Col. Thaddeus Kosciusko (Polish).
These men were masters in their professions, offering their knowledge and experience for the betterment of the Continental Army and America. Ben Franklin represented the finest of the American image; his brilliant mind, expertise, and charisma were critical in securing foreign resources. Major General Lafayette was one of the most important liaisons to France and served with distinction in the Continental Army. According to Washington, he served with “The highest bravery and military adour”. (Wikipedia) Inspector General Steuben is credited with enforcing European disciplines and teaching the Continental Army the essentials of drill and...