What Were The British And American Strategies For The Revolutionary War?


What Were The British And American Strategies For The Revolutionary War?

British Strategies: During the first phase of the American Revolutionary War, the British authority adopted the ‘Containment Strategy’ to calm down the situation.

They mostly targeted Boston city (Massachusetts) to implement this strategy, because, after the Boston tea party, the city transformed into the center of the American Revolution.

British just wanted the crisis not to get spread from Boston to all over the 13 colonies; also, they didn’t want any conflict with the colonists. Therefore, to contain it, they preferred avoiding further violence against rebel groups.

British government’s containment policy got shocked for the first time when they had to face defeat at the battles of Lexington and Concord on 19th April 1775.

However, they realized the actual severity of the situation, when on June 17th, 1775, Red Coats (British forces) faced devastating casualties against revolutionaries during the battle of Bunker Hill.

At this phase of the Revolutionary War, the British started pursuing much tougher actions against rebels; although, it was already too late by now because the revolution already spread all over the 13 colonies.

What Were The British And American Strategies For The Revolutionary War

American Strategies: Although the Revolutionary War already began with the battles of Lexington and Concord, a large number of Americans still trusted their mother country and wanted to solve the crisis through some diplomatic negotiations.

Especially, they wanted the British Parliament to repeal the 5 Intolerable Acts. For the negotiation, they even sent some proposals from the Second Continental Congress; the Olive Branch Petition was an example of this initiative.

However, all these attempts failed because of British King George III and Parliament’s rejection. Their rejection influenced and polarized colonists’ (not loyalists) attitude and encouraged them to provide their full support for the Revolutionary War.


War Tactics Used By Americans: 

  • Guerilla Warfare (They first used it during the conflicts of Lexington and Concord).
  • They kept the Continental army together and stimulate British forces by creating errors.
  • Americans retreated to avoid unnecessary losses, but again, they reinforced to take back important positions.
  • They attacked British soldiers when success is almost guaranteed.
  • Revolutionaries kept continuous communication between the 13 colonies. Committees of Correspondence played the most important role in keeping this uninterrupted communication.


Diplomatic Tactics: American diplomats (Benjamin Franklin, Arthur Lee, and Silas Deane) went to Europe and visit some enemy nations of Great Britain to request their intervention in the Revolutionary War.

France, Spain, Netherlands came further to help revolutionaries during the crisis. Especially, France’s entry in 1778 completely changed the motion of the Revolutionary War.


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