George Washington was an American political leader, military general and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War of Independence, he presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government, he has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation. Washington received his initial military training and command with the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he was appointed Commanding General of the nation's Continental Army. Washington allied with France, in the defeat of the British at Yorktown. Once victory for the United States was in hand in 1783, Washington resigned his commission. Washington played a key role in the adoption and ratification of the Constitution and was elected president by the Electoral College in the first two elections.
He implemented a strong, well-financed national government while remaining impartial in a fierce rivalry between cabinet members Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. During the French Revolution, he proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the Jay Treaty, he set enduring precedents for the office of president, including the title "President of the United States", his Farewell Address is regarded as a pre-eminent statement on republicanism. Washington utilized slave labor and trading African American slaves, but he became troubled with the institution of slavery and freed them in his 1799 will, he was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, he urged tolerance for all religions in his roles as general and president. Upon his death, he was eulogized as "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." He has been memorialized by monuments, geographical locations and currency, many scholars and polls rank him among the top American presidents. Washington's great-grandfather John Washington immigrated in 1656 from Sulgrave, England to the British Colony of Virginia where he accumulated 5,000 acres of land, including Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac River.
George Washington was born February 22, 1732 at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County and was the first of six children of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. His father was a justice of the peace and a prominent public figure who had three additional children from his first marriage to Jane Butler; the family moved to Little Hunting Creek to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia. When Augustine died in 1743, Washington inherited ten slaves. Washington did not have the formal education that his older brothers received at Appleby Grammar School in England, but he did learn mathematics and surveying, he was talented in draftsmanship and map-making. By early adulthood, he was writing with "considerable force" and "precision."Washington visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence's father-in-law William Fairfax, which fueled ambition for the lifestyle of the planter aristocracy. Fairfax became Washington's patron and surrogate father, Washington spent a month in 1748 with a team surveying Fairfax's Shenandoah Valley property.
He received a surveyor's license the following year from the College of Mary. He resigned from the job in 1750 and had bought 1,500 acres in the Valley, he owned 2,315 acres by 1752. In 1751, Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence to Barbados, hoping that the climate would cure his brother's tuberculosis. Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him but left his face scarred. Lawrence died in 1752, Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow. Lawrence's service as adjutant general of the Virginia militia inspired Washington to seek a commission, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie appointed him as a major in December 1752 and as commander of one of the four militia districts; the British and French were competing for control of the Ohio Valley at the time, the British building forts along the Ohio River and the French doing between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. In October 1753, Dinwiddie appointed Washington as a special envoy to demand that the French vacate territory which the British had claimed.
Dinwiddie appointed him to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy and to gather intelligence about the French forces. Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison and other Iroquois chiefs at Logstown to secure their promise of support against the French, his party reached the Ohio River in November, they were intercepted by a French patrol and escorted to Fort Le Boeuf where Washington was received in a friendly manner. He delivered the British demand to vacate to French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave. Saint-Pierre gave Washington his official answer in a sealed envelope after a few days' delay, he gave Washington's party food and extra winter clothing for the trip back to Virginia. Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days in difficult winter conditions and achieved a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and London. In February 1754, Dinwiddie promoted Washington to lieutenant colonel and second-in-command of the 300-strong Virginia R
Battle of White Marsh
The Battle of White Marsh or Battle of Edge Hill was a battle of the Philadelphia campaign of the American Revolutionary War fought December 5–8, 1777, in the area surrounding Whitemarsh Township, Pennsylvania. The battle, which took the form of a series of skirmish actions, was the last major engagement of 1777 between British and American forces. George Washington, commander-in-chief of the American revolutionary forces, spent the weeks after his defeat at the Battle of Germantown encamped with the Continental Army in various locations throughout Montgomery County, just north of British-occupied Philadelphia. In early November, the Americans established an entrenched position 16 miles north of Philadelphia along the Wissahickon Creek and Sandy Run situated on several hills between Old York Road and Bethlehem Pike. From here, Washington evaluated his options. On December 4, Gen. Sir William Howe, the commander-in-chief of British forces in North America, led a sizable contingent of troops out of Philadelphia in one last attempt to destroy Washington and the Continental Army before the onset of winter.
After a series of skirmishes, Howe called off the attack and returned to Philadelphia without engaging Washington in a decisive conflict. With the British back in Philadelphia, Washington was able to march his troops to winter quarters at Valley Forge. After their October 4, 1777, defeat at the Battle of Germantown, Washington's army retreated along Skippack Pike to Pawling's Mill, beyond the Perkiomen Creek, where they remained encamped until October 8, they marched east on Skippack Pike, turned left on Forty-Foot Road, marched to Sumneytown Pike, where they camped on the property of Frederick Wampole near Kulpsville in Towamencin Township. While there, Brig. Gen. Francis Nash died of wounds incurred at Germantown and was buried in the Mennonite Meeting Cemetery. Washington remained at Towamencin for one week, gathering supplies and waiting to see if Howe would move against him. On October 16, Washington moved his forces to Methacton Hill in Worcester Township. After learning of Howe's withdrawal from Germantown to Philadelphia, Washington moved his army to Whitpain, 5 miles closer to Philadelphia, on October 20.
On October 29, Washington's army numbered 8,313 Continentals and 2,717 militia, although the terms of enlistment of many soldiers from Maryland and Virginia were due to expire. With his ranks reinforced, Washington dispatched a brigade to assist with the defense of Forts Mifflin and Mercer, on the Delaware River. On November 2, at the recommendation of his council of war, Washington marched his forces to White Marsh 13 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Washington established headquarters at the Emlen House, where his aides were quartered. At White Marsh, the army began to build redoubts and defensive works, including abatis in front of their encampment. After the surrender of British Lt. Gen. John Burgoyne after the Battles of Saratoga, Washington began drawing troops from the north, including the 1,200 men of Varnum's Rhode Island brigade, about 1,000 more men from various Pennsylvania and Virginia units. Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates sent Col. Daniel Morgan's rifle corps, the brigades of Paterson and Glover.
With these additional forces, the pending onset of winter, Washington had to face the problem of supplying his army. A quarter of the troops were barefooted, there were few blankets or warm clothing. Washington became so desperate that he offered a reward of $10 to the person who could supply the "best substitute for shoes, made of raw hides". Morale was so low and desertion so common that Washington offered a pardon on October 24 to all deserters who returned by January 1. Washington's loss of Philadelphia and inactivity brought criticism from Congress, who pressured him to attack the city, he therefore called a council of war on November 24 which voted against an attack 11 to 4. Nonetheless, Washington rode out the next day to view the British defenses, which turned to be stronger than he had expected. On October 19, Howe withdrew the British forces from Germantown and focused on the defense of Philadelphia. British military engineer Capt. John Montresor supervised the building of a series of fourteen formidable redoubts that began at Upper Ferry, along the Schuylkill River, extended eastward to the shores of the Delaware River, just north of Philadelphia.
Howe took advantage of his time in Philadelphia to raise additional forces from the loyalist population in the region. Newly-promoted Maj. John Graves Simcoe reinforced his unit, the Queen's Rangers, which had lost over a quarter of its men at the Battle of Brandywine. William Allen, Jr. the son of notable loyalist William Allen, raised the 1st Battalion of Pennsylvania Loyalists, was made its lieutenant colonel. Loyalist James Chalmers raised the 1st Battalion of Maryland Loyalists, was given its command. Recruitment took place among the city's Irish Catholic population, with the formation of the Irish Catholic Volunteers, in the counties surrounding Philadelphia. In mid-November, the fall of Forts Mifflin and Mercer ended American control of the Delaware River, much-needed supplies began arriving at the city's docks, along with 2,000 additional British soldiers; the weeks with two major armies sitting within miles of each other were not without conflict, a petite guerre ensued in the no man's land between White Marsh and Northern Liberties.
Minor skirmishes between light troops increased in intensity throughout November, with daily losses being incurred by both the British and the Americans. In retaliation, on November 22, Howe ordered his troops to set fire
Battle of Brandywine
The Battle of Brandywine known as the Battle of Brandywine Creek, was fought between the American Continental Army of General George Washington and the British Army of General Sir William Howe on September 11, 1777. The "Redcoats" of the British Army defeated the American rebels in the Patriots' forces and forced them to withdraw northeast toward the American capital and largest city of Philadelphia where the Second Continental Congress had been meeting since 1775; the engagement occurred near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania during Howe's campaign to take Philadelphia, part of the American Revolutionary War. More troops fought at Brandywine than any other battle of the American Revolution, it was the longest single-day battle of the war, with continuous fighting for 11 hours. Howe's army departed from Sandy Hook, New Jersey across New York Bay from the occupied town of New York City on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, on July 23, 1777, landed near present-day Elkton, Maryland, at the point of the "Head of Elk" by the Elk River at the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay, at the southern mouth of the Susquehanna River.
Marching north, the British Army brushed aside American light forces in a few skirmishes. General Washington offered battle with his army posted behind Brandywine Creek - off the Christina River. While part of his army demonstrated in front of Chadds Ford, Howe took the bulk of his troops on a long march that crossed the Brandywine far beyond Washington's right flank. Due to poor scouting, the Americans did not detect Howe's column until it reached a position in rear of their right flank. Belatedly, three divisions were shifted to block the British flanking force at Birmingham Friends Meetinghouse and School, a Quaker meeting house. After a stiff fight, Howe's wing broke through the newly formed American right wing, deployed on several hills. At this point Lieutenant General Wilhelm von Knyphausen attacked Chadds Ford and crumpled the American left wing; as Washington's army streamed away in retreat, he brought up elements of General Nathanael Greene's division which held off Howe's column long enough for his army to escape to the northeast.
Polish General Casimir Pulaski defended Washington's rear assisting in his escape. The defeat and subsequent maneuvers left Philadelphia vulnerable; the British captured the city two weeks on September 26, beginning an occupation that would last nine months until June 1778. In late August 1777, after a distressing 34-day journey from Sandy Hook on the coast of New Jersey, a Royal Navy fleet of more than 260 ships carrying some 17,000 British troops under the command of British General Sir William Howe landed at the head of the Elk River, on the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay near present-day Elkton, Maryland 40–50 miles southwest of Philadelphia. Unloading the ships proved to be a logistical problem because the narrow river neck was shallow and muddy. General George Washington had situated the American forces, about 20,300-strong, between Head of Elk and Philadelphia, his forces were able to reconnoiter the British landing from Iron Hill near Newark, about 9 miles to the northeast. Because of the delay disembarking from the ships, Howe did not set up a typical camp but moved forward with the troops.
As a result, Washington was not able to gauge the strength of the opposing forces. After a skirmish at Cooch's Bridge south of Newark, the British troops moved north and Washington abandoned a defensive encampment along the Red Clay Creek near Newport, Delaware to deploy against the British at Chadds Ford; this site was important as it was the most direct passage across the Brandywine River on the road from Baltimore to Philadelphia. On September 9, Washington positioned detachments to guard other fords above and below Chadds Ford, hoping to force the battle there. Washington employed General John Armstrong, commanding about 1,000 Pennsylvania militia, to cover Pyle's Ford, 5.8 miles south of Chadds Ford, covered by Major Generals Anthony Wayne's and Nathanael Greene's divisions. Major General John Sullivan's division extended northward along the Brandywine's east banks, covering the high ground north of Chadds Ford along with Major General Adam Stephen's division and Major General Lord Stirling's divisions.
Further upstream was a brigade under Colonel Moses Hazen covering Buffington's Ford and Wistar's Ford. Washington was confident; the British grouped forces at nearby Kennett Square. Howe, who had better information about the area than Washington, had no intention of mounting a full-scale frontal attack against the prepared American defenses, he instead employed a flanking maneuver. About 6,800 men under the command of Wilhelm von Knyphausen advanced to meet Washington's troops at Chadds Ford; the remainder of Howe's troops, about 9,000 men, under the command of Charles, Lord Cornwallis, marched north to Trimble's Ford across the West Branch of the Brandywine Creek east to Jefferies Ford across the East Branch, south to flank the American forces. September 11 began with a heavy fog. Washington received contradictory reports about the British troop movements and continued to believe that the main force was moving to attack at Chadds Ford. Knyphausen's Column At 5:30 a.m. the British and Hessian troops began marching east along the "Great Road" from Kennett Square, advancing on the American troops positioned where the road crossed Brandywine Creek.
The first shots of the battle took place about 4 miles west of Chadds Ford, at Welch's Tavern. Elements of Maxwell's continental light infantry skirmished with
A privateer is a private person or ship that engages in maritime warfare under a commission of war. The commission known as a letter of marque, empowers the person to carry on all forms of hostility permissible at sea by the usages of war, including attacking foreign vessels during wartime and taking them as prizes. Captured ships were subject to condemnation and sale under prize law, with the proceeds divided between the privateer sponsors, shipowners and crew. A percentage share went to the issuer of the commission. Since robbery under arms was once common to seaborne trade, all merchant ships were armed. During war, naval resources were auxiliary to operations on land so privateering was a way of subsidizing state power by mobilizing armed ships and sailors. In practice the legality and status of privateers has been vague. Depending on the specific government and the time period, letters of marque might be issued hastily and/or the privateers might take actions beyond what was authorized by the letters.
The privateers themselves were simply pirates who would take advantage of wars between nations to gain semi-legal status for their enterprises. By the end of the 19th century the practice of issuing letters of marque had fallen out of favor because of the chaos it caused and its role in inadvertently encouraging piracy. A privateer is similar to a mercenary except that, whereas a mercenary group receives a set fee for services and has a formal reporting structure within the entity that hires them, a privateer acts independently with no compensation unless the enemy's property is captured; the letter of marque of a privateer would limit activity to one particular ship, specified officers. The owners or captain would be required to post a performance bond. In the United Kingdom, letters of marque were revoked for various offences; some crews were treated as harshly as naval crews of the time, while others followed the comparatively relaxed rules of merchant ships. Some crews were made up of professional merchant seamen, others of pirates and convicts.
Some privateers ended up becoming pirates, not just in the eyes of their enemies but of their own nations. William Kidd, for instance, began as a legitimate British privateer but was hanged for piracy. While privateers such as Kidd were commissioned to hunt pirates, privateering itself was blamed for piracy. Privateering commissions were easy to obtain during wartime but when the war ended and privateers were recalled, many refused to give up the lucrative business and turned to piracy. Colonial officials exacerbated the problem by issuing commissions to known pirates, giving them legitimacy in exchange for a share of the profits or open bribes; the French Governor of Petit-Goave gave buccaneer Francois Grogniet blank privateering commissions, which Grogniet traded to Edward Davis for a spare ship so the two could continue raiding Spanish cities under a guise of legitimacy. New York Governors Jacob Leisler and Benjamin Fletcher were removed from office in part for their dealings with pirates such as Thomas Tew, to whom Fletcher had granted commissions to sail against the French, but who ignored his commission to raid Mughal shipping in the Red Sea instead.
Kidd himself committed piracy during his privateering voyage and was tried and executed upon his return. Boston minister Cotton Mather lamented after the execution of pirate John Quelch: "Yea, Since the Privateering Stroke, so degenerates into the Piratical. Privateers who were considered legitimate by their governments include: Francis Drake Pieter van der Does Amaro Pargo Hayreddin Barbarossa Robert Surcouf Lars Gathenhielm Entrepreneurs converted many different types of vessels into privateers, including obsolete warships and refitted merchant ships; the investors would arm the vessels and recruit large crews, much larger than a merchantman or a naval vessel would carry, in order to crew the prizes they captured. Privateers cruised independently, but it was not unknown for them to form squadrons, or to co-operate with the regular navy. A number of privateers were part of the English fleet that opposed the Spanish Armada in 1588. Privateers avoided encounters with warships, as such encounters would be at best unprofitable.
Still, such encounters did occur. For instance, in 1815 Chasseur encountered HMS St Lawrence, herself a former American privateer, mistaking her for a merchantman until too late; the United States used mixed squadrons of privateers in the American Revolutionary War. Following the French Revolution, French privateers became a menace to British and American shipping in the western Atlantic and the Caribbean, resulting in the Quasi-War, a brief conflict between France and the United States, fought at sea, to the Royal Navy's procuring Bermuda sloops to combat the French privateers; the practice dated to at least the 13th century but the word itself was coined sometime in the mid-17th century. England, the United Kingdom, used privateers to great effect and suffered much from other nations' privateering. During the 15th century, "piracy became an increasing problem and merchant communities such as Bristol began to resort to self-hel
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh
The Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the ex-British colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in their revolt against the rule of Great Britain; the Continental Army was supplemented by local militias and volunteer troops that remained under control of the individual states or were otherwise independent. General George Washington was the commander-in-chief of the army throughout the war. Most of the Continental Army was disbanded in 1783; the 1st and 2nd Regiments went on to form the nucleus of the Legion of the United States in 1792 under General Anthony Wayne. This became the foundation of the United States Army in 1796; the Continental Army consisted of soldiers from all 13 colonies and, after 1776, from all 13 states. When the American Revolutionary War began at the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, the colonial revolutionaries did not have an army.
Each colony had relied upon the militia, made up of part-time citizen-soldiers, for local defense, or the raising of temporary "provincial regiments" during specific crises such as the French and Indian War of 1754–63. As tensions with Great Britain increased in the years leading to the war, colonists began to reform their militias in preparation for the perceived potential conflict. Training of militiamen increased after the passage of the Intolerable Acts in 1774. Colonists such as Richard Henry Lee proposed forming a national militia force, but the First Continental Congress rejected the idea. On April 23, 1775, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress authorized the raising of a colonial army consisting of 26 company regiments. New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut soon raised similar but smaller forces. On June 14, 1775, the Second Continental Congress decided to proceed with the establishment of a Continental Army for purposes of common defense, adopting the forces in place outside Boston and New York.
It raised the first ten companies of Continental troops on a one-year enlistment, riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia to be used as light infantry, who became the 1st Continental Regiment in 1776. On June 15, 1775, the Congress elected by unanimous vote George Washington as Commander-in-Chief, who accepted and served throughout the war without any compensation except for reimbursement of expenses. On July 18, 1775, the Congress requested all colonies form militia companies from "all able bodied effective men, between sixteen and fifty years of age." It was not uncommon for men younger than sixteen to enlist as most colonies had no requirement of parental consent for those under twenty-one. Four major-generals and eight brigadier-generals were appointed by the Second Continental Congress in the course of a few days. After Pomeroy did not accept, John Thomas was appointed in his place; as the Continental Congress adopted the responsibilities and posture of a legislature for a sovereign state, the role of the Continental Army became the subject of considerable debate.
Some Americans had a general aversion to maintaining a standing army. As a result, the army went through several distinct phases, characterized by official dissolution and reorganization of units. Soldiers in the Continental Army were citizens who had volunteered to serve in the army, at various times during the war, standard enlistment periods lasted from one to three years. Early in the war the enlistment periods were short, as the Continental Congress feared the possibility of the Continental Army evolving into a permanent army; the army never numbered more than 17,000 men. Turnover proved a constant problem in the winter of 1776–77, longer enlistments were approved. Broadly speaking, Continental forces consisted of several successive armies, or establishments: The Continental Army of 1775, comprising the initial New England Army, organized by Washington into three divisions, six brigades, 38 regiments. Major General Philip Schuyler's ten regiments in New York were sent to invade Canada; the Continental Army of 1776, reorganized after the initial enlistment period of the soldiers in the 1775 army had expired.
Washington had submitted recommendations to the Continental Congress immediately after he had accepted the position of Commander-in-Chief, but the Congress took time to consider and implement these. Despite attempts to broaden the recruiting base beyond New England, the 1776 army remained skewed toward the Northeast both in terms of its composition and of its geographical focus; this army consisted of 36 regiments, most standardized to a single battalion of 768 men strong and formed into eight companies, with a rank-and-file strength of 640. The Continental Army of 1777–80 evolved out of several critical reforms and political decisions that came about when it became apparent that the British were sending massive forces to put an end to the American Revolution; the Continental Congress passed the "Eighty-eight Battalion Resolve", ordering each state to contribute one-battalion regiments in proportion to their population, Washington subsequently received authority to raise an additional 16 battalions.
Enlistment terms extended to three years or to "the length of the war" to avoid the year-end crises that deplet
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