Battle Of Saratoga Essay

1868 words - 7 pages

The Battles of Saratoga in September and October of 1777 were key events of the American Revolution. These two small battles became turning points in the war. After their victory, the Americans gained the support of foreign countries, such as France, which eventually helped them win the battle of Yorktown and the entire American Revolution. Without French aid, we most likely would have been defeated in the Revolutionary War. Besides gaining support from foreign nations, the Battles of Saratoga boosted American morale, captured General John Burgoyne’s army, and proved to the world that the Americans could win the war.At this time in history, 1777, the 13 colonies were still a part of the British Empire. The colonists were becoming growingly displeased with England and its government because of the ridiculous bills and laws that Parliament and the King had passed. The colonists had sent several petitions to the King, one being the Olive Branch Petition, begging him to repeal the unfair acts. However, the King did not listen and continued to enforce cruel and intolerable laws. Laws such as the Tea Act and Revised Quartering Acts pushed the colonists over the line to the point where they declared independence from Britain. When England received the formal declaration of independence, they decided that they did not want to lose an important economic area and therefore chose to fight the colonists to regain control. Up until the Battles of Saratoga, England had dominated the war. American morale was low and their number of victories in battles was even lower.Before the Battles of Saratoga started, the British realized that they did not have enough manpower to hold down over two and a half million colonists. This forced them to hire soldiers, known as mercenaries. These mercenaries were hired mainly from Hesse, Brunswick and therefore took on the name “Hessians.” The Hessians and similar mercenaries from Anspach known as jagers proved to be quite useful on the battlefield. This was a good thing for the British because a large part of their army was made up of these mercenaries. Although there were risks and expensive fees, England could not have stood a chance without the help of soldiers for hire.Historians break up the Battle of Saratoga into two smaller battles: the Battle of Freeman’s Farm and the Battle of Bemis Heights. The first of the two battles was the Battle of Freeman’s Farm. As a part of their battle plan, the English were moving towards Albany in September of 1777. While en route, the British noticed American troops in a clearing near Freeman’s Farm, approximately 10 miles south of Saratoga. At this time, American general Benedict Arnold ordered Colonel Daniel Morgan to take 400 of his best sharpshooters and assault the British troops. This minor squabble on September 17 resulted in the death of several British troops and the capture of about 20. A week prior to the battle, on September 12, General Horatio...

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