Chapter
6 Section 2
Chapter 6 Section 2: A Critical Time
Set Question:
Looking at the painting of Valley Forge below what were some of the
challenges faced by Washington’s Army when they spent the winter of
1777-1778 there? (2 complete sentences)
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Chapter
6 Section 2
Objectives
• Discover the results of fighting in the Middle
States.
• Understand why the Battle of Saratoga was a
turning point in the American Revolution.
• Learn how foreign nations and volunteers helped
the Americans.
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6 Section 2
Terms and People
• Nathan Hale – Connecticut officer and
American spy who was executed by the British
• mercenary – soldier who is paid to fight for a
country other than his or her own
• alliance – formal agreement between two
powers to work together toward a common goal
• Marquis de Lafayette – French noble and highranking officer in Washington’s army
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6 Section 2
Terms and People (continued)
• cavalry – units of troops on horseback
• Friedrich von Steuben – German baron who
helped train the Continental army
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6 Section 2
How were the early years of the
war a critical time?
In 1776, Americans
declared their
independence. But
they were not yet
free.
Declaration
of
Independence
First, they had to defeat one of the world’s
most powerful nations.
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Chapter
6 Section 2
As the Continental Congress met in
Philadelphia, a large British fleet landed in
New York.
The fleet was commanded by Sir William Howe.
Howe gathered his forces on Staten Island and
prepared to attack the Continental army.
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6 Section 2
George Washington expected the attack. But his
troops were no match for the British.
Americans
British
• 20,000 poorly
trained volunteers
• 34,000 professional
soldiers
• No navy
• Navy fleet; 10,000
sailors
• Little equipment;
few supplies
• Well equipped; fully
supplied
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6 Section 2
In a series of battles and American retreats, the
British drove Washington from New York, across
New Jersey, and into Pennsylvania.
British
Americans
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6 Section 2
Spirits were low, and many soldiers deserted.
To boost morale Thomas
Paine wrote another
pamphlet, The Crisis,
urging Americans to fight
for their cause.
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Though his army was battered, Washington rallied
his troops for a surprise attack.
Battle of
Princeton
Battle of
Trenton
On Christmas night, Washington crossed the
Delaware, slipping into New Jersey. His army
defeated Hessian mercenaries and British troops
in two key battles.
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Another American victory soon followed.
The British had
planned to push
toward Albany,
New York, from
three directions.
British
They hoped to cut
New England off
from the rest of
the colonies.
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Albany,
New York
New
England
Chapter
6 Section 2
Two forces never arrived. The third, coming from
Canada, was led by British general John
Burgoyne.
Americans led by General Horatio
Gates surrounded Burgoyne’s
troops at Saratoga, New York.
After suffering heavy losses,
Burgoyne surrendered.
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Battle of
Saratoga
Chapter
6 Section 2
The Revolutionary War, 1775–1777
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Chapter
6 Section 2
The Battle of Saratoga proved to be a turning
point for the Americans.
• ended British threat to
New England
• lifted Patriot spirits
• convinced Europeans
Americans could win
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Battle of
Saratoga
Chapter
6 Section 2
Soon after Saratoga, France agreed to support
American independence.
France forms
an alliance with
the Americans
United
States
Eager to weaken Britain, France took the war
to Europe, forcing the British to fight on
many fronts.
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6 Section 2
European volunteers from many nations made key
contributions to the Patriot cause.
France
Marquis de
Lafayette
Officer in
Washington’s
army
Poland
Poland
Thaddeus
Kosciusko
Military
engineer
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Casimir
Pulaski
Cavalry
expert
Chapter
6 Section 2
Friedrich von Steuben, a German baron, helped
train American troops and build the Continental
army into a more effective fighting force.
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6 Section 2
Valley Forge
Despite Patriot advances, the
winter of 1777–1778 was difficult.
Washington and his troops faced
terrible hardships at Valley Forge.
They had little warm clothing, and
almost no food. Many died.
Yet spring finally came, and the
army slowly regained strength for
the battles ahead.
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6 Section 2
Washington’s quarters at Valley Forge
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Closing Questions
1. What battle is known as the turning point of the
Revolution?
2. After the battle that is considered the turning point
what European country decides to help the
Revolution?
3. Where does Washington house his army during
the winter of 1777-1778?
(use pages 179-184 if needed)
A Critical Time
Chapter
6 Section 2
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A Critical Time
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