As we have earlier mentioned, the British had lost the support of 40 to 45% of the main population group of the country, early on in the revolution, the patriots proclaimed their loyalty to the King, declaring their opposition only to the Parliament of England and its power to legislate in their matters despite the fact that they were not represented in it, but by the time of Greene’s campaign the Declaration of Independence had been signed and there was no national consensus.
British maladministration and lack of foresight can also be seen in the employment of mercenary Hessian troops in the conflict against the patriots. This was one of the major issues that caused the opposition against the British rule and support for the patriots to grow (Grant, 1995).
The resoluteness of the British, in general, can be gauged from the protracted nature of the American Revolution, which spanned around seven years, however Greene’s campaign was aimed at sapping their strength and resolve and was ultimately successful at it.
The British forces appear to have had certain knowledge of counter-insurgency measures, this can be seen from their efforts at ‘Americanizing’ the conflict in the South . General Cornwallis engaged in recruitment of American loyalists, after professional British troops had captured an area, the control of the area would be passed on to local loyalist militias (Dederer, 1983).
The American terrain was also inconductive to the British forces. The British regular army was geared towards battles in which opposing armies would march towards each other in a plain, shooting at one another; the army that stayed in the field and forced its opposing side to disperse would be considered the winner. The patriots too usually followed this model of combat which often led to their rout by the superior British forces, however due to the heavily wooded terrain, once the patriots were routed and forced to disperse they could no longer be pursued and killed by the British side (Pohl, 1974).
Nathanael Greene main genius was in exploiting this facet of the terrain. Unlike other generals who were always interested in ‘winning the field’, Greene was perfectly content upon giving the enemy a series of punishing losses while incurring a string of ‘defeats’ (Pohl, 1974).
Outside support for the patriots came from the French, the Spanish and the Dutch. The allies supplied the patriots with ammunition and supplies they also attacked British possessions in other parts of the world which lead to British forces being stretched too thin and lack of troops to resupply the conflict in America (Grant, 1995).
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