The Philadelphia campaign was a British initiative in the American Revolutionary War to gain control of Philadelphia, the seat of the Second Continental Congress. British General William Howe, after unsuccessfully attempting to draw the Continental Army under General George Washington into a battle in northern New Jersey, embarked his army on transports, landed them at the northern end of Chesapeake Bay. From there, he advanced northward toward Philadelphia. Washington prepared defenses against Howe's movements at Brandywine Creek, but was flanked and beaten back in the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777. After further skirmishes and maneuvers, Howe was able to occupy Philadelphia. Washington unsuccessfully attacked one of Howe's garrisons at Germantown before retreating to Valley Forge for the winter. Howe's campaign was controversial because, although he captured the American capital of Philadelphia, he proceeded and did not aid the concurrent campaign of John Burgoyne further north, which ended in disaster at Saratoga for the British, brought France into the war.
General Howe resigned during the occupation of Philadelphia and was replaced by his second-in-command, General Sir Henry Clinton. Clinton evacuated the troops from Philadelphia back to New York City in 1778 in order to increase that city's defenses against a possible Franco-American attack. Washington harried the British army all the way across New Jersey, forced a battle at Monmouth Court House, one of the largest battles of the war. At the end of the campaign the two armies were in the same positions they were at its beginning. Following General William Howe's successful capture of New York City, George Washington's successful actions at Trenton and Princeton, the two armies settled into an uneasy stalemate in the winter months of early 1777. While this time was punctuated by numerous skirmishes, the British army continued to occupy outposts at New Brunswick and Perth Amboy, New Jersey. General Howe had proposed to George Germain, the British civilian official responsible for conduct of the war, an expedition for 1777 to capture Philadelphia, the seat of the rebellious Second Continental Congress.
Germain approved his plan. He approved plans by John Burgoyne for an expedition to "force his way to Albany" from Montreal. Germain's approval of Howe's expedition included the expectation that Howe would be able to assist Burgoyne, effecting a junction at Albany between the forces of Burgoyne and troops that Howe would send north from New York City. Howe decided by early April against taking his army overland to Philadelphia through New Jersey, as this would entail a difficult crossing of the broad Delaware River under hostile conditions, it would require the transportation or construction of the necessary watercraft. Howe's plan, sent to Germain on April 2 effectively isolated Burgoyne from any possibility of significant support, since Howe would be taking his army by sea to Philadelphia, the New York garrison would be too small for any significant offensive operations up the Hudson River to assist Burgoyne. Washington realized. Burgoyne" and was baffled why he did not do so. Washington at the time and historians since have puzzled over the reason Howe was not in place to come to the relief of General John Burgoyne, whose invasion army from Canada was surrounded and captured by the Americans in October.
Historians agree. Following Howe's capture of New York and Washington's retreat across the Delaware, Howe on December 20, 1776 wrote to Germain, proposing an elaborate set of campaigns for 1777; these included operations to gain control of the Hudson River, expand operations from the base at Newport, Rhode Island, take the seat of the rebel Continental Congress, Philadelphia. The latter Howe saw as attractive, since Washington was just north of the city: Howe wrote that he was "persuaded the Principal Army should act offensively, where the enemy's chief strength lies." Germain acknowledged that this plan was "well digested", but it called for more men than Germain was prepared to provide. After the setbacks in New Jersey, Howe in mid-January 1777 proposed operations against Philadelphia that included an overland expedition and a sea-based attack, thinking this might lead to a decisive victory over the Continental Army; this plan was developed to the extent that in April Howe's army was seen constructing pontoon bridges.
However, by mid-May Howe had abandoned the idea of an overland expedition: "I propose to invade Pennsylvania by sea... we must abandon the Jersies."Howe's decision to not assist Burgoyne may have been rooted in Howe's perception that Burgoyne would receive credit for a successful campaign if it required Howe's help. Historian John Alden notes the jealousies among various British leaders, saying, "It is, as jealous of Burgoyne as Burgoyne was of him and that he was not eager to do anything which might assist his junior up the ladder of military renown." Along the same lines Don Higginbotham concludes that in Howe's view, " was Burgoyne's whole show, he wanted little to do with it. With regard to Burgoyne's army, he would do only what was required of him." Howe himself wrote to Burgoyne
A bayonet is a knife, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit on the end of a rifle's muzzle, allowing it to be used as a spear. From the 17th century to World War I, it was considered the primary weapon for infantry attacks. Today, it is considered a weapon of last resort; the term bayonette itself dates back to the second half of the 16th century, but it is not clear whether bayonets at the time were knives that could be fitted to the ends of firearms, or a type of knife. For example, Cotgrave's 1611 Dictionarie describes the bayonet as "a kind of small flat pocket dagger, furnished with knives. Pierre Borel wrote in 1655 that a kind of long-knife called a bayonette was made in Bayonne but does not give any further description; the first recorded instance of a bayonet proper is found in the Chinese military treatise Binglu published in 1606. It was in the form of the Son-and-mother gun, a breech-loading musket, issued with a plug bayonet, 57.6 centimetres in length and have an overall length of 1.92 meters with the bayonet attached.
It was labelled as a "gun-blade" with it being described as a "short sword that can be inserted into the barrel and secured by twisting it slightly" that it is to be used "when the battle have depleted both gunpowder and bullets as well as fighting against bandits, when forces are closing into melee or encountering an ambush" and if one "cannot load the gun within the time it takes to cover two bu of ground they are to attach the bayonet and hold it like a spear". Early bayonets were of the "plug" type, where the bayonet was fitted directly into the barrel of the musket; this allowed light infantry to hold off cavalry charges. The bayonet had a round handle; this prevented the gun from being fired. The first known mention of the use of bayonets in European warfare was in the memoirs of Jacques de Chastenet, Vicomte de Puységur, he described the French using crude foot-long plug bayonets during the Thirty Years' War. However, it was not until 1671, that General Jean Martinet standardized and issued plug bayonets to the French regiment of fusiliers raised.
They were issued to part of an English dragoon regiment raised in 1672, to the Royal Fusiliers when raised in 1685. The major problem with plug bayonets was that when attached they made it impossible to fire the musket, requiring soldiers to wait until the last possible moment before a melee to fixing bayonets; the defeat of forces loyal to William of Orange by Jacobite Highlanders at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689 was due to the use of the plug bayonet. The Highlanders closed to 50 metres, fired a single volley, dropped their muskets, using axes and swords overwhelmed the loyalists before they had time to fix bayonets. Shortly thereafter, the defeated leader, Hugh Mackay, is believed to have introduced a socket bayonet of his own invention. Soon "socket" bayonets would incorporate both socket mounts and an offset blade that fit around the musket's barrel, which allowed the musket to be fired and reloaded while the bayonet was attached. An unsuccessful trial with socket or zigzag bayonets was made after the Battle of Fleurus in 1690, in the presence of King Louis XIV, who refused to adopt them, as they had a tendency to fall off the musket.
Shortly after the Peace of Ryswick, the English and Germans abolished the pike and introduced socket bayonets. The British socket bayonet had a triangular blade with a flat side towards the muzzle and two fluted sides outermost to a length of 15 inches; however it had no lock to keep it fast to the muzzle and was well-documented for falling off in the heat of battle. By the 18th century, socket bayonets had been adopted by most European armies. In 1703, the French infantry adopted a spring-loaded locking system that prevented the bayonet from accidentally separating from the musket. A triangular blade was introduced around 1715 and was stronger than the previous single or double-edged models, creating wounds which were harder to treat due to the propensity of healing scar tissue to pull apart the triangular incision; the 19th century introduced the concept of the sword bayonet, a long-bladed weapon with a single- or double-edged blade that could be used as a shortsword. Its initial purpose was to ensure that riflemen could form an infantry square properly to fend off cavalry attacks when in ranks with musketmen, whose weapons were longer.
A prime early example of a sword bayonet-fitted rifle is the British Infantry Rifle of 1800–1840 known as the "Baker Rifle". The hilt had quillons modified to accommodate the gun barrel and a hilt mechanism that enabled the bayonet to be attached to a bayonet lug. A sword bayonet could be used in combat as a side arm; when attached to the musket or rifle, it turned any long gun into a spear or glaive, suitable not only for thrusting but for slashing. While the British Army discarded the sword bayonet, the socket bayonet survived the introduction of the rifled musket into British service in 1854; the new rifled musket copied the French locking ring system. The new bayonet proved its worth at the Battle of Alma and the Battle of Inkerman during the Crimean War, where the Imperial Russian Army learned to fear it. From 1869, some European nations began to develop new bolt-action breechloading rifles and sword bayonets suitable for mass production and for use by police and engineer troops; the decision to redesign the bayonet into a short sword was viewed by some as an acknowledgement of the decline in
Battle of Trenton
The Battle of Trenton was a small but pivotal battle during the American Revolutionary War which took place on the morning of December 26, 1776, in Trenton, New Jersey. After General George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River north of Trenton the previous night, Washington led the main body of the Continental Army against Hessian mercenaries garrisoned at Trenton. After a brief battle two-thirds of the Hessian force was captured, with negligible losses to the Americans; the battle boosted the Continental Army's flagging morale, inspired re-enlistments. The Continental Army had suffered several defeats in New York and had been forced to retreat through New Jersey to Pennsylvania. Morale in the army was low; because the river was icy and the weather severe, the crossing proved dangerous. Two detachments were unable to cross the river, leaving Washington with only 2,400 men under his command in the assault, 3,000 less than planned; the army marched 9 miles south to Trenton. The Hessians had lowered their guard, thinking they were safe from the American army, had no long-distance outposts or patrols.
Washington's forces caught them off guard and, after a short but fierce resistance, most of the Hessians surrendered and were captured, with just over a third escaping across Assunpink Creek. Despite the battle's small numbers, the American victory inspired rebels in the colonies. With the success of the revolution in doubt a week earlier, the army had seemed on the verge of collapse; the dramatic victory attracted new recruits to the ranks. In early December 1776, American morale was low; the Americans had been ousted from New York by the British and their Hessian auxiliaries, the Continental Army was forced to retreat across New Jersey. Ninety percent of the Continental Army soldiers who had served at Long Island were gone. Men had deserted. Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, expressed some doubts, writing to his cousin in Virginia, "I think the game is pretty near up."At the time a small town in New Jersey, was occupied by four regiments of Hessian soldiers commanded by Colonel Johann Rall.
Washington's force comprised 2,400 men, with infantry divisions commanded by Major Generals Nathanael Greene and John Sullivan, artillery under the direction of Brigadier General Henry Knox. George Washington had stationed a spy named posing as a Tory, in Trenton. Honeyman had served with Major General James Wolfe in Quebec at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham on September 13, 1759, had no trouble establishing his credentials as a Tory. Honeyman was a bartender, who traded with the British and Hessians; this enabled him to gather intelligence, to convince the Hessians that the Continental Army was in such a low state of morale that they would not attack Trenton. Shortly before Christmas, he arranged to be captured by the Continental Army, who had orders to bring him to Washington unharmed. After being questioned by Washington, he was imprisoned in a hut, to be tried as a Tory in the morning, but a small fire broke out nearby, enabling him to "escape." The American plan relied on launching coordinated attacks from three directions.
General John Cadwalader would launch a diversionary attack against the British garrison at Bordentown, New Jersey, to block off reinforcements from the south. General James Ewing would take 700 militia across the river at Trenton Ferry, seize the bridge over the Assunpink Creek and prevent enemy troops from escaping; the main assault force of 2,400 men would cross the river 9 mi north of Trenton and split into two groups, one under Greene and one under Sullivan, to launch a pre-dawn attack. Sullivan would attack the town from the south, Greene from the north. Depending on the success of the operation, the Americans would follow up with separate attacks on Princeton and New Brunswick. During the week before the battle, American advance parties began to ambush enemy cavalry patrols, capturing dispatch riders and attacking Hessian pickets; the Hessian commander, to emphasize the danger to his men, sent 100 infantry and an artillery detachment to deliver a letter to the British commander at Princeton.
Washington ordered Ewing and his Pennsylvania militia to try to gain information on Hessian movements and technology. Ewing instead made three successful raids across the river. On December 17 and 18, 1776, they attacked an outpost of jägers and on the 21st, they set fire to several houses. Washington put constant watches on all possible crossings near the Continental Army encampment on the Delaware, as he believed William Howe would launch an attack from the north on Philadelphia if the river froze over. On December 20, 1776, some 2,000 troops led by General Sullivan arrived in Washington's camp, they had been under the command of Charles Lee, had been moving through northern New Jersey when Lee was captured. That same day, an additional 800 troops arrived from Fort Ticonderoga under the command of Horatio Gates. On December 14, 1776, the Hessians arrived in Trenton to establish their winter quarters. At the time, Trenton was a small town with about 100 houses and two main streets, King Street and Queen Street.
Carl von Donop, Rall's superior, had marched south to Mount Holly on December 22 to deal with the resistance in New Jersey, had clashed with some New Jersey militia there on December 23. Donop, who despised Rall, was reluctant to give command of Trent
A cartridge is a type of pre-assembled firearm ammunition packaging a projectile, a propellant substance and an ignition device within a metallic, paper or plastic case, made to fit within the barrel chamber of a breechloading gun, for the practical purpose of convenient transportation and handling during shooting. Although in popular usage the term "bullet" is used to refer to a complete cartridge, it is used only to refer to the projectile. Cartridges can be categorized by the type of their primers — a small charge of an impact- or electric-sensitive chemical mixture, located at the center of the case head, inside the rim of the case base, in a sideway projection, shaped like a pin or a lip, or in a small nipple-like bulge at the case base. Military and commercial producers continue to pursue the goal of caseless ammunition; some artillery ammunition uses the same cartridge concept. In other cases, the artillery shell is separate from the propellant charge. A cartridge without a projectile is called a blank.
One, inert is called a dummy. One that failed to ignite and shoot off the projectile is called a dud, one that ignited but failed to sufficiently push the projectile out of the barrel is called a squib; the primary purpose is to be a handy all-in-one for a shot. In modern, automatic weapons, it provides the energy to move the parts of the gun which make it fire repeatedly. Many weapons were designed to make use of a available cartridge, or a new one with new qualities; the cartridge case seals a firing chamber in all directions excepting the bore. A firing pin ignites it; the primer compound deflagrates, it does not detonate. A jet of burning gas from the primer ignites the propellant. Gases from the burning powder expand the case to seal it against the chamber wall; these propellant gases push on the bullet base. In response to this pressure, the bullet will move in the path of least resistance, down the bore of the barrel. After the bullet leaves the barrel, the chamber pressure drops to atmospheric pressure.
The case, elastically expanded by chamber pressure, contracts slightly. This eases removal of the case from the chamber. To manufacture brass for cartidges, a sheet of brass is punched into disks; these disks go through a series of punches and dies and are annealed and washed before moving to the next series of dies. Making bullets involves simular type of maching as for making brass cases; the projectile can be made of anything. Lead is a material of choice because of high density, ductility; the propellant was long gunpowder, still in use, but superseded by better compositions, generically called Smokeless powder. Early primer was fine gunpowder poured into a pan or tube where it could be ignited by some external source of ignition such as a fuse or a spark. Modern primers are shock sensitive chemicals enclosed in a small capsule, ignited by percussion. In some instance ignition is electricity-primed, there may be no primer at all in such design; the case is made of brass because it is resistant to corrosion.
A brass case head can be work-hardened to withstand the high pressures of cartridges, allow for manipulation via extraction and ejection without tearing the metal. The neck and body portion of a brass case is annealed to make the case ductile enough to allow reforming so that it can be reloaded many times. Steel is used in some plinking ammunition, as well as in some military ammunition. Steel is less expensive than brass. Military forces consider small arms cartridge cases to be disposable, one-time-use devices. However, case weight affects how much ammunition a soldier can carry, so the lighter steel cases do have a military advantage. Conversely, steel is more susceptible to contamination and damage so all such cases are varnished or otherwise sealed against the elements. One downside caused by the increased strength of steel in the neck of these cases is that propellant gas can blow back past the neck and into the chamber. Constituents of these gases condense on the chamber wall; this solid propellant residue can make extraction of fired cases difficult.
This is less of a problem for small arms of the former Warsaw Pact nations, which were designed with much larger chamber tolerances than NATO weapons. Aluminum cased; these are not reloaded as aluminum fatigues during firing and resizing. Some calibers have non-standard primer sizes to discourage reloaders from attempting to reuse these cases. Plastic cases are used in shotgun shells and some manufacturers offer polymer centerfire cartridges. Paper had been used in the earliest cartridges. Critical cartridge specifications include neck size, bullet weight and caliber, maximum pressure, overall length, case body diameter and taper, shoulder design, rim type, etc. Ever
The Boston campaign was the opening campaign of the American Revolutionary War, taking place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The campaign began with the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, in which the local colonial militias interdicted a British government attempt to seize military stores and leaders in Concord, Massachusetts; the entire British expedition suffered significant casualties during a running battle back to Charlestown against an ever-growing number of militia. Subsequently, accumulated militia forces surrounded the city of Boston, beginning the Siege of Boston; the main action during the siege, the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775, was one of the bloodiest encounters of the war, resulted in a Pyrrhic British victory. There were numerous skirmishes near Boston and the coastal areas of Boston, resulting in loss of life, military supplies, or both. In July 1775, George Washington took command of the assembled militia and transformed them into a more coherent army.
On March 4, 1776, the colonial army fortified Dorchester Heights with cannon capable of reaching Boston and British ships in the harbor. The siege ended on March 1776, with the permanent withdrawal of British forces from Boston. To this day, Boston celebrates March 17 as Evacuation Day. In 1767, the British Parliament passed the Townshend Acts, which imposed import duties on paper, glass and other common items imported into the American colonies; the Sons of Liberty and other Patriot organizations responded with a variety of protest actions. They organized boycotts of the goods subject to the duty, they harassed and threatened the customs personnel who collected the duties, many of whom were either corrupt or related to Provincial leaders. Francis Bernard Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, requested military forces to protect the King's personnel. In October 1768, British troops occupied the city. Tensions led to the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770, the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773.
In response to the Tea Party and other protests, Parliament enacted the Intolerable Acts to punish the colonies. With the Massachusetts Government Act of 1774 it abolished the provincial government of Massachusetts. General Thomas Gage the commander-in-chief of British troops in North America, was appointed governor of Massachusetts and was instructed by King George's government to enforce royal authority in the troublesome colony. However, popular resistance compelled the newly appointed royal officials in Massachusetts to resign or to seek refuge in Boston. Gage commanded four regiments of British regulars from his headquarters in Boston, but the countryside was controlled by Patriot sympathizers. On September 1, 1774, British soldiers removed gunpowder and other military supplies in a surprise raid on a powder magazine near Boston; this expedition alarmed the countryside, thousands of American Patriots sprang into action, amid rumors that war was at hand. Although it proved to be a false alarm, this event—known as the Powder Alarm—caused all concerned to proceed more in the days ahead, provided a "dress rehearsal" for events seven months later.
In response to this action, the colonists carried off military supplies from several forts in New England and distributed them among the local militias. On the night of April 18, 1775, General Gage sent 700 men to seize munitions stored by the colonial militia at Concord. Several riders — including Paul Revere — alerted the countryside, when the British troops entered Lexington on the morning of April 19, they found 77 minutemen formed up on the village common. Shots were exchanged, eight Minutemen were killed, the outnumbered colonial militia dispersed, the British moved on to Concord. At Concord, the troops searched for military supplies, but found little, as the colonists, having received warnings that such an expedition might happen, had taken steps to hide many of the supplies. During the search, there was a confrontation at the North Bridge. A small company of British troops fired on a much larger column of colonial militia, which returned fire, routed those troops, which returned to the village center and rejoined the other troops there.
By the time the "redcoats" or "lobster backs" began the return march to Boston, several thousand militiamen had gathered along the road. A running fight ensued, the British detachment suffered before reaching Charlestown. With the Battle of Lexington and Concord — the "shot heard'round the world" — the war had begun. In the aftermath of the failed Concord expedition, the thousands of militiamen that had converged on Boston remained. Over the next few days, more arrived from further afield, including companies from New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Under the command of Artemas Ward, they surrounded the city, blocking its land approaches and putting the occupied city under siege; the British regulars fortified the high points in the city. While the British were able to resupply the city by sea, supplies in Boston were short. Troops were sent out to some of the islands in Boston Harbor to raid farmers for supplies. In response, the colonials began clearing those islands of supplies useful to the British.
One of these actions was contested by the British in the Battle of Chelsea Creek, but it resulted in the loss of two British soldiers and the British ship Diana. The need for building materials and other supplies led Admiral Samuel Graves to authorize a Loyalist merchant to send his ships from Boston to Machias in the District of Maine, accompanied by a Royal Navy schooner; the Machias townspeople rose up, seizi
New York and New Jersey campaign
The New York and New Jersey campaign was a series of battles in 1776 and the winter months of 1777 for control of New York City and the state of New Jersey during the American Revolutionary War between British forces under General Sir William Howe and the Continental Army under General George Washington. Howe was successful in driving Washington out of New York City, but overextended his reach into New Jersey, ended the active campaign season in January 1777 with only a few outposts near the city; the British held New York harbor for the rest of the war, using it as a base for expeditions against other targets. First landing unopposed on Staten Island on July 3, 1776, Howe assembled an army composed of elements, withdrawn from Boston in March following their failure to hold that city, combined with additional British troops, as well as Hessian troops hired from several German principalities. Washington had New England soldiers as well as regiments from states as far south as Virginia. Landing on Long Island in August, Howe defeated Washington in the largest battle of the war, but the Continental Army was able to make an orderly retreat to Manhattan under cover of darkness and fog.
Washington suffered a series of further defeats in Manhattan, with the exception of the skirmish at Harlem Heights, withdrew to White Plains, New York. At that point Howe returned to Manhattan to capture forces Washington had left in the north of the island. Washington and much of his army crossed the Hudson River into New Jersey, retreated all the way across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania, shrinking due to ending enlistment periods and poor morale. Howe ordered his troops into winter quarters in December, establishing a chain of outposts from New York to Burlington, New Jersey. Washington, in a tremendous boost to American morale, launched a successful strike against the Trenton garrison after crossing the icy Delaware River, prompting Howe to withdraw his chain of outposts back to New Brunswick and the coast near New York, while Washington established his winter camp at Morristown. During the remaining winter months, both sides skirmished as the British sought forage and provisions.
Britain maintained control of New York City and some of the surrounding territory until the war ended in 1783, using it as a base for operations elsewhere in North America. In 1777, General Howe launched a campaign to capture Philadelphia, leaving General Sir Henry Clinton in command of the New York area, while General John Burgoyne led an attempt to gain control of the Hudson River valley, moving south from Quebec and failed at Saratoga. Northern New Jersey was the scene of skirmishing between the opposing forces for the rest of the war; when the American Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, British troops were under siege in Boston. They defeated Patriot forces in the Battle of Bunker Hill, suffering high casualties; when news of this expensive British victory reached London, General William Howe and Lord George Germain, the British official responsible, determined that a "decisive action" should be taken against New York City using forces recruited from throughout the British Empire as well as troops hired from small German states.
General George Washington named by the Second Continental Congress as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, echoed the sentiments of others that New York was "a post of infinite importance", began the task of organizing military companies in the New York area when he stopped there on his way to take command of the siege of Boston. In January 1776, Washington ordered Charles Lee to raise troops and take command of New York's defenses. Lee had made some progress on the city's defenses when word arrived in late March 1776 that the British army had left Boston after Washington threatened them from heights south of the city. Concerned that General Howe was sailing directly to New York, Washington hurried regiments from Boston, including General Israel Putnam, who commanded the troops until Washington himself arrived in mid-April. At the end of April, Washington dispatched General John Sullivan with six regiments to the north to bolster the faltering Quebec campaign. General Howe, rather than moving against New York, withdrew his army to Halifax, Nova Scotia, regrouped while transports full of British troops, shipped from bases around Europe and intended for New York, began gathering at Halifax.
In June, he set sail for New York with the 9,000 men assembled there, before all of the transports arrived. German troops from Hesse-Kassel, as well as British troops from Henry Clinton's unsuccessful expedition to the Carolinas, were to meet with Howe's fleet when it reached New York. General Howe's brother, Admiral Lord Howe, arrived at Halifax with further transports after the general sailed, followed; when General Howe arrived in the outer harbor of New York, the ships began sailing up the undefended Narrows between Staten Island and Long Island on July 2, started landing troops on the undefended shores of Staten Island that day. Washington learned from prisoners taken that Howe had landed 10,000 men, but was awaiting the arrival of another 15,000. General Washington, with a smaller army of about 19,000 effective troops, lacked significant intelligence on the British force and plans, was uncertain where in the New York area the Howes intended to strike, he split the Continental Army between fortified positions on Long Island and mainland locations, established a "Flying Camp" in northern New Jersey.
This was intended as a reserve force that could support operations anywhere along the New Jersey side of the Hudson. The Howe brothers had been granted authority as peace commissioners by Parliament, with limite
United States Constitution
The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. The Constitution comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government, its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress. Articles Four and Six embody concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments, the states in relationship to the federal government, the shared process of constitutional amendment. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it, it is regarded as the oldest codified national constitution in force. Since the Constitution came into force in 1789, it has been amended 27 times, including an amendment to repeal a previous one, in order to meet the needs of a nation that has profoundly changed since the eighteenth century. In general, the first ten amendments, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, offer specific protections of individual liberty and justice and place restrictions on the powers of government.
The majority of the seventeen amendments expand individual civil rights protections. Others modify government processes and procedures. Amendments to the United States Constitution, unlike ones made to many constitutions worldwide, are appended to the document. All four pages of the original U. S. Constitution are written on parchment. According to the United States Senate: "The Constitution's first three words—We the People—affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens. For over two centuries the Constitution has remained in force because its framers wisely separated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard the interests of majority rule and minority rights, of liberty and equality, of the federal and state governments."The first permanent constitution of its kind, adopted by the people's representatives for an expansive nation, it is interpreted and implemented by a large body of constitutional law, has influenced the constitutions of other nations. From September 5, 1774, to March 1, 1781, the Continental Congress functioned as the provisional government of the United States.
Delegates to the First and the Second Continental Congress were chosen through the action of committees of correspondence in various colonies rather than through the colonial or state legislatures. In no formal sense was it a gathering representative of existing colonial governments; the process of selecting the delegates for the First and Second Continental Congresses underscores the revolutionary role of the people of the colonies in establishing a central governing body. Endowed by the people collectively, the Continental Congress alone possessed those attributes of external sovereignty which entitled it to be called a state in the international sense, while the separate states, exercising a limited or internal sovereignty, may rightly be considered a creation of the Continental Congress, which preceded them and brought them into being; the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was the first constitution of the United States. It was drafted by the Second Continental Congress from mid-1776 through late 1777, ratification by all 13 states was completed by early 1781.
The Articles of Confederation gave little power to the central government. The Confederation Congress lacked enforcement powers. Implementation of most decisions, including modifications to the Articles, required unanimous approval of all thirteen state legislatures. Although, in a way, the Congressional powers in Article 9 made the "league of states as cohesive and strong as any similar sort of republican confederation in history", the chief problem was, in the words of George Washington, "no money"; the Continental Congress could print money but it was worthless. Congress couldn't pay it back. No state paid all their U. S. taxes. Some few paid an amount equal to interest on the national debt no more. No interest was paid on debt owed foreign governments. By 1786, the United States would default on outstanding debts. Internationally, the United States had little ability to defend its sovereignty. Most of the troops in the 625-man United States Army were deployed facing – but not threatening – British forts on American soil.
They had not been paid. Spain closed New Orleans to American commerce. S. officials protested, but to no effect. Barbary pirates began seizing American ships of commerce. If any military crisis required action, the Congress had no credit or taxing power to finance a response. Domestically, the Articles of Confederation was failing to bring unity to the diverse sentiments and interests of the various states. Although the Treaty of Paris was signed between Great Britain and the U. S. and named each of the American states, various states proceeded blithely to violate it. New York and South Carolina prosecuted Loyalists for wartime activity and redistributed their lands. Individual state legislatures independently laid embargoes, negotiated directly with foreign authorities, raised armies, and