If England with head superior army was defeated in the war, it was not a big surprise. Her defeat was a foregone conclusion for the reasons more than one.
1. Responsibility of George III:
The failures of the English during the war of American Independence can very safely be put on the king’s system of personal Government. George III was not keen on the proper conduct of the war as he was about his personal ascendancy. He did not bring Pitt the elder, as Prime Minister for which the people as well clamoured.
He also did not hear his prophecy about French intervention. The king also did not make any serious efforts to frustrate French intervention by means of diplomatic man over. He was persistent on maintaining his system. Thus best brains of the country were denied to him as they would not have surrendered their intellectual independence to an inferior director.
2. Participation by Prance:
France helped Washington with money and material. This help from France proved a boon for the American Colonists. In fact it changed the entire character of the war. It was with the French helps that Cornwallis was compelled to surrender at York town in 1781. Thus the war was carried to successful completion with the help of France.
3. Incompetence of British Generals:
During this war the foolishness and incompetence of the British Generals was amply demonstrated. Their incapacity was startling indeed. General How achieved success at Brooklyn all right but he did not follow that up by marching forward and joining General Burgoyne. This failure in coordination led to the Catastrophe at Saratoga.
Thus the British failure to carry the war to successful end can be traced back to General Howe’s in competence. His conduct was a record of fumbling tactics, faulty strategy and wavering objective and methods. The same was applicable to other British Generals as well.
4. Excessive Interference by British Government:
The war of American Independence was conducted by British War office. In those days a letter usually took two months to reach the other side of the Atlantic. It has been rightly said that to direct a War on the other side of Atlantic was to Court failure. Lord German, the War Secretary of King George III, excessively interfered with the strategy that was to be followed in the American Colonies. Normally the on the battle fields in America. They were however, denied this right and this costs the Britishers heavily.
5. Difficulties of Transport and Communications:
The great distance between England and America proved a cause of British failure. More so, because the means of transport and communication were scanty. The military equipment, men and other supplies were to be sent by ships across a distance of three thousand miles of ocean which presented an almost insuperable difficulty. Communications, as a result were invariably delayed. And thus the British forces were not in a position to face the enemy unitedly.
6. Active British Strategy:
Before the inefficiency of British Navy, England had to loose command of the sea for the time being. When Sand witch became the first Lord of Admiralty, the – English Navy; became particularly in efficient. Its naval strategy was defective due to which French fleet could not be blockaded in Europe. Washington continued to get French help and assistance and that proved the undoing of the English.
7. Underrating of Energy Power:
England formed a wrong estimate of the power and resources of the enemy and also of their own. Besides the difficulties and hurdles of a vast distant and ill known country were al o not given due consideration. Thus when the war broke out the power of the colonies was under-estimated and therefore no arrangements were made on the British front.
Through the Britishers got time to raise more troops to cope with the situation but nothing of the sort was done, On the other hand under the enviable leadership of George Washington, the raw Americans showed such great skill at Lexington and Bunker’s Hill that the British forces were stunned.
8. England was Espousing a Lost Cause:
The Americans were fighting for their economic and political emancipation. When England was fighting against such a People and trying to crush them it was clear that they were espousing a lost cause.
The colonists participated in the war whole heartedly and with indomitable zeal. They had grown conscious of their nation hood and desperately wanted to get rid of the English Yoke. But the British Soldiers had no national sentiments or, things of the kind.
They were mercenaries brought from Germany and elsewhere and thus fighting only for the sake of money and were attaching no other importance to the war. On the contrary the Americans were fighting for a noble cause and they fought sincerely. Little surprise that the Americans won.
9. Devotion of Colonists:
The Colonists did not enjoy full economic and political freedom. They were extremely dissatisfied with the commercial and Political Policy of England towards the American Colonies. When England became stricter in this policy by making further legislative enactments and imposed heavy duties the colonists were offended.
They were prepared to cut off all connections with the home country, England. That’s why the colonists fought with full vigour. Thus when the People of America were awakened and had developed the national sentiments, they could not be kept under enslavement.
10. Vastness of the Battlefield:
Another difficulty was that theatre of the war were widely scattered. The battle-field covered an area of about a thousand miles. The English forces were scanty and scattered and the war was being managed from across the Atlantic by the Secretary of War of England. It will be appreciated that in an unknown land it is always difficult to run war from a far off distance and that too with success.
Moreover the topography of these fields of War was not known to the forces fighting on be half of England. While the Americans and their French supporters were guide at home in the battlefields. If an English regiment staged into a forest, it could scarcely come out safe and sound where as the Americans did not full any difficult under such circumstances because neither forests nor terrains were unknown to them.
When one views the war of Americans Independent in retrospect one is intrigued as to hot the English lost in the war that ensued. This hallucination comes because of the initial successes achieved by the British. Moreover, if one makes a comparative Chart of Wealth resources and the numerical strength of the British and Americans one finds that in Mexicans were no match to the English.
They had the initiative in the offensive and the selection of the line and objective of attack. The English also posed a fleet and army. The American colonists had neither of them at their disposal. Besides thousands of colonists fought on the side of the crown.
Then one feels intrigued why the English cause flopped. The answer to this Question would be that the British Generals were good-for-nothing and the war was mismanaged because of faulty land strategy and novel planning.