John Shy's The Military Conflict Considered As A Revolutionary War Analysis

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In 1778, the American Revolutionary War was raging in the British Colonies. At this point of the war, the British had failed to accomplish their goal of quickly ending the rebellion and were trying to find a strategy that would defeat the rebel forces. Military historian John Shy describes this period in which the British strategy was changed by breaking up the war into three stages in his “The Military Conflict Considered as a Revolutionary War” chapter of his book A People Numerous and Armed. Stages one and two were to defeat the source of the rebellion in New England and defeat the Colonial Government and military in the middle colonies respectively. However, when both stages proved ineffective, the British shifted their focus to the southern colonies in 1778 starting stage three of the war. Historian Stephen Conway also covers the British strategy during stage three but with a much broader stroke in the chapter “The War in Georgia and the Carolinas” in the book The West Point History of Warfare. Despite the difference of focus, both historians claim that British failure …show more content…
Shy takes such a stance because the main argument that he is trying to make is that the modern understanding of what constitutes a revolutionary war can be used to prove that the American Revolutionary War falls into that category. To support this argument, Shy goes in detail for each of the three stages; Northern, Middle, and Southern strategic focus. Reason being is that within each of these stages are the strategies used by the British and how they affected the overall society in North America is what effectively cost the British the war. Such an outcome is most evident when the British scour the southern colonies in search of Loyalist support, but only spread themselves thin and subject themselves to

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