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Lecture 10

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University of Toronto St. George
Bohaker/ Penfold

Lecture 10 – Loyal They Remained The American Revolution In 1775 British troops attempting to raid arms depots in Massachusetts were fired upon by Americans and a shooting war ensued. From the vantage point of the American leadership they were involved in a revolution to secure their rights against the authority of the British Crown. From the vantage point of the British government the Americans were involved in a rebellion against duly constituted authority. The Americans moved quickly in 1775 to organize an alternative government and raise an army, under the command of George Washington. The Americans were not that well organized and soldiers from different clans were always feuding with each other. On December 31 they tried to storm Quebec although their army was suffering from smallpox and low morale. The British garrison held strong and General Montgomery’s body was found outside the barricade. The siege had failed. In May 1776 British reinforcements arrived at Quebec and by mid June the Americans had completely surrendered. Between 1775-1781 legalized pirates captured unarmed ships and attacked unprotected settlements along the coast and both American and British colonies went for long periods without the singe arrival of a vessel. On the borders between Loyalist and Rebel territory, guerilla raiders would attack farms and villages therefore most of the population was in constant fear of attack. Not all residents remained loyal to the British. Moses Hazen committed himself to the U.S. and successfully recruited hundreds of men to join a regiment in his command. The preacher Henry Alline had a lot of success recruiting people into a movement called The Great Awakening. This movement denounced secularism and emphasized self-government of the godly. First Nations Involvement Most Native people attempted to stay out of the conflict but for the Iroquois neutrality was impossible. Joseph Brant (1742-1807), was a Mohawk leader who believed that only continued allegiance to the British could protect the Native peoples lands. Brant was unable to convince the Iroquois councils but nonetheless he recruited a force of 300 Aboriginals and 100 Loyalist settlers that joined Butler’s Rangers in guerilla raids in the Mohawk Valley of New York. The Americans replied with a major raid in Iroquois lands laying waste to everything and forcing Brant and his followers to retreat to Fort Niagara. The American Revolution did not have much of an impact on the fur trading industry in West. The Americans sought to keep the Aboriginal peoples neut
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