The American Revolution was a great time of change for America as a nation. With this change new heroes and ideals of life, liberty, and freedom were formed. Spearheading these new ideals was General George Washington and his continental army, but the road ahead of Washington and his men was not an unproblematic one. The winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania proved this to Washington and his men. Yet the true American ideal of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were never forgotten in their battle.
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General George Washington gained command of the continental army in July 3, 1775 from the directions of General Artemus Ward who said, The Continental Congress having now taken all the Troops of the several Colonies, which have been raised, or which may be hereafter raised, for the support and defense of the Liberties of America; into their Pay and Service: They are now the Troops of the United Provinces of North America; and it is hoped that all Distinctions of Colonies will be laid aside; so that one and the same spirit may animate the whole, and the only contest be, who shall render, on this great and trying occasion, the most essential Service to the great and common cause in which we are all engaged. ”
In this speech General Ward summarized the task that had been bestowed upon General George Washington. Washington was given the task of instilling a new sense of spirit and pride in the continental army. Washington had quite a task in front of him. The continental army was worn, tired, and low on supplies. Somehow General Washington would have to find a way to unite his soldiers and help them take a stand for the ideals of America.
Washingtons calm, undivided, and determined sense of duty for his nation quickly took control of his men and turned them into a true army within weeks. Washington had done what none thought possible, Washington had assembled an army that could fight the British and possibly come out on top. While General George Washington is known for his great decision-making, during one fateful winter Washington made the worst mistake of his military career. During the winter of 1777-1778 Washington and the troops of the continental army resided in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. While from the standpoint of a military general Valley Forge was a military stronghold.
Atop a high plateau Valley Forge was protected from almost any type of attack, but the Washington and the continental Congress failed to anticipate the winter they were in store for. Valley Forge atop such a high plateau was near completely cut off from supply routes making food, clothing, and weaponry very scarce. Soldiers were treated to the worst conditions possible at Valley Forge. Many were near naked and many were starving to death. Also dieses such as Dysentery and Typhus ran rampant at Valley Forge. These conditions alone accounted for the lives of hundreds of American soldiers that winter. Yet in early spring at Valley Forge General Nathanel Greene was appointed quartermaster.
Conditions for the members of the continental army greatly improved. Food was in abundance as well as clothing and soldiers took full advantage of it. While the American soldiers were very valiant, they lacked the discipline and skills of a true army. This soon changed will the arrival of Baron Von Stueben. Von Stueben quickly turned the continental army into a true army. Leaving Valley Forge Washington and his men had a renewed sense of patriotism. They were now a united army with the skills to defeat the British although they had suffered great losses they had made great achievements and were now truly an army. The winter of Valley Forge exemplified the true will of General George Washington and his troops.
They were united and they were ready to fight for one cause life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Under the British rule Americans god given rights were taken from. As well as many unlawful taxes were imposed upon them. The British put into place a tea tax, as well as the stamp act. The stamp act taxed every printed material on paper including playing card, and important documents. The British rule was too much for the colonists. The Americans wanted their own government and were determined to have it. While the British were determined to keep them from having their own government. The Americans united against the British in the Revolutionary War and were able to defeat the British army.
Soon after the defeat a group of men including Thomas Jefferson came together to draft a Declaration of Independence. This Declaration of Independence listed what the Americans thought were their rights. These rights included the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These ideals stood for what Americans thought a country should be built upon. As well as what Washington and his men had suffered for. George Washington was a great leader and led the continental army into battle on many occasions. Often they were victorious and sometimes they werent. Yet Washington and his armys largest victory was during the winter at Valley Forge.
A great leader in Washington shined through more than it already had, as well as the continental army becoming a united fighting force for the cause of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Every person, event, or ideal in the American Revolution is someway was connected to one of these topics. Thus showing the true importance of great leaders, hard time, and ideals that are set in stone. Patrick Henry once said, I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty of give me death! Patrick Henrys statement illustrate the true state of mind of Americans during the revolution, and display that the hardships Washington and his men suffered through at Valley Forge were not without great admiration by their fellow Americans. For Washington and his men had fought for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.