As the Revolutionary War began to wear on and the effects were seen in the soldiers -- militiamen who had received little to no formal training in combat -- George Washington saw that something was needed to shore up the American forces. He suggested that enlistments had to be made longer so as to give his men the much need time to become better at living the life of a soldier (Lengel, 2005). Although the strategy was sound, the Continental Congress begrudged Washington his request and by 1776 enlistments continued to be short and therefore ineffective in raising the kind of seasoned veterans that Washington saw were needed (Ferling, 2010). This paper will discuss how Washington played a pivotal role in the Revolutionary War, how his leadership, insight, strategic sense, and relationship with the Continental Army and with Congress all helped to shape him into a successful American general.
Without Washington, America might have lost the Revolutionary War. He was the one who pushed his men and kept them one step...
The famous scene of Washington and his men crossing the Delaware while the British slept and capturing the Hessians is a memorable one that speaks to the willpower and determination of the heroic general (Fischer, 2004).
Washington displayed his military genius when he ran the British out of Boston. He positioned the artillery of Knox on the Dorchester Heights which sat above the city and this bit of strategic planning proved effective in compelling the British to flee to New York.
Giving chase, Washington had to contend with the different factions of troops and their leaders. To keep the peace among his men, Washington promoted men like Gates even though he had a personal liking for Schuyler (Flexner, 1968). Washington related to his men by putting himself in their shoes and identifying with them, as the common men that they were. When the forces were dwindling and morale was low, Washington drew support from the knowledge that enlistments were rising. He rode this wave of support to a victorious campaign at Trenton, where Washington and his men roused the ire of Cornwallis.
The Continental Congress doted on Washington at this time, giving him unparalleled authority and many verged on idolizing the man. Washington's appeal was noted both by the American Congress…
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