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Key Battles of the Revolutionary War by James Early and Scott Rank
The Revolutionary War started when a few colonists fired their muskets against the British Empire, then the world's military superpower. It ended—against all reasonable expectations— with an independent American and the ideas of liberty and self-governance spreading across the globe. All that happened because the rebels won the major battles. This podcast dives deep into each of them.
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Introducing James Early's New Podcast "Key Battles of American History"
February 26, 2021 - 21 min
Did you enjoy this series? Then you'll love James Early's new show "Key Battles of American History." Check it out on the podcast player of your choice or go to keybattlesofamericanhistory.com. Listen here to a snippet of his episode where he and a guest discuss the World War One movie "All Quiet on the Western Front."
237 Years After the Revolutionary War, Some Say It Was a Mistake. Are They Right?
March 27, 2020 - 43 min
There are few events that would shake the world order like the success of the American Revolution. Some changes would be felt immediately. English traditions such as land inheritance laws were swept away. Other changes took longer. Slavery would not be abolished for another hundred years. Americans began to feel that their fight for liberty was a global fight. Future democracies would model their governments on the United States'.
George Washington's Spies: The Culper Ring, Nathan Hale, and the Plot to Capture Benedict Arnold
March 26, 2020 - 55 min
Spycraft was seen as a treacherous craft, but it was necessary to win a war. Washington knew this, as his early attempts to gather intelligence on British-occupied New York led to an execution of Nathan Hale, a young school teacher. More sophisticated networks developed, particularly the Culper Spy ring, which involved a farmer, a whaleboat captain, a tavern owner, and a slave.
The Revolutionary War Comes to an End
March 25, 2020 - 24 min
After Yorktown, a truce was declared in America, although some skirmishes did break out until final peace was negotiated in Paris in 1783. In this episode, Scott and James look at what happened to the British and American generals and politicians involved in the war.
The Battle of Yorktown: Britain's Surrender in the Revolutionary War
March 24, 2020 - 68 min
The Battle of Yorktown sealed the fate of the Revolutionary War. In late 1781, American and French troops laid siege to the British Army at Yorktown, Virginia. First, a bit of background. The partisan warfare that kept occurring in the upcountry of the Carolinas made it impossible for the British to obtain supplies from there. This in turn made it necessary for Cornwallis to keep his army relatively close to the coast. Greene kept his army far enough from Cornwallis to avoid a major pitched battle while constantly trying to lure Cornwallis away from the coast. Greene’s strategy was (in Allen Guelzo’s words) “dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” In this, he was assisted by a cavalry commander named Col. Henry (“Light Horse Harry”) Lee, as well as Francis Marion and Daniel Morgan. Skirmishers of the two armies occasionally fought each other, but the main armies never met.
The Siege of Yorktown: American and France Corner Britain
March 23, 2020 - 27 min
On October 14, 1781, Washington and French General Comte de Rochambeau attacked on October 14th, capturing two British defense. British Gen. Cornwallis surrendered two days later.
King’s Mountain & Cowpens: The Revolutionary War's Largest 'All-American Fight'
March 22, 2020 - 27 min
The Battles of King's Mountain and Cowpens were fought in 1781, between the Continental Army under Brigadier General Daniel Morgan and British forces under Lieutenant Colonel Sir Banastre Tarleton, as part of the campaign in the Carolinas. Daniel Morgan, who had been sent south by Washington, joined Nathanael Greene’s army. Greene decided to send Morgan with a force of militia and cavalry westward. This dividing of his army was risky, but Greene wrote “It makes the most of my inferior force for it compels my adversary to divide his.”
The War Moves South (And Benedict Arnold Commits Treason)
March 21, 2020 - 39 min
In 1788, the battle lines of the Revolutionary War moved from New England to the southern colonies. Lord George Germain, the British secretary responsible for the war, wrote to Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton that capturing the southern colonies was "considered by the King as an object of great importance in the scale of the war" Germain and the king believed that the majority of southern colonists were loyalists and that if the British army could take key parts of the South, Loyalists would rise up to join the British and at the very least, the southern colonies could be brought back into the empire. In September 1778, the Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Lincoln as the commander of Continental forces in the South. In November of that year, British forces conducted several raids into Georgia. The next month, a force of about 3000 British regulars under Archibald Campbell arrived and captured Savannah on December 29. They took Augusta a month later but soon withdrew due to the presence of American forces nearby.
The Philadelphia Campaign: When Britain Took Over Ben Franklin's House
March 20, 2020 - 36 min
The Philadelphia Campaign of 1777-8 was a British attempt to capture Philadelphia, then the capital of the United States and the seat of the Continental Congress, led by Gen. William Howe. They did capture the city, but British disaster loomed north in the Saratoga campaign, threatening any British gains.
Victory At Saratoga: France Enters the War
March 19, 2020 - 56 min
Benedict Arnold’s fierce attack disordered the enemy and led to an American victory. The decisive Patriot victory compelled France to enter the war as an ally with the United States.
Meet Your Hosts
Meet Your Hosts
James is an Adjunct Professor of History at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX. He has published one book and two scholarly articles. He is also the cohost (with Scott Rank) of the Presidential Fight Club, Key Battles of the Civil War, Key Battles of the Revolutionary War, and Key Battles of World War I podcasts.
Meet Your Hosts
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to scottrankphd.com.