When did the colonialists start 'winning' the American Revolution?


Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
Saratoga was the major turning point in the war in that the victory secured direct military intervention from France, but there were periods in the war prior to that when the rebels were "winning." The first major campaign of the war was a rebel victory (the Boston Campaign) and arguably a crucial one, as it is at least possible that a decisive British victory in the first campaign might have strangled the rebellion in its cradle.

Having said that, both factions in the war had high and low points and the fortunes for both see-sawed throughout the conflict. As late as the 1780s Britain could potentially have secured at least a partial victory and retained the American south as a colonial possession. By 1780 the rebels war effort had met disaster in the south, Charleston had fallen and the army defending it fell into captivity, a French & rebel effort to retake Savannah had failed, and it was only the brilliance of Nathaniel Greene (Greene was appointed commander of the Southern department in 1780, in the wake of those disasters), King's Mountain, and Yorktown that reversed that situation. Without those reversals for Britain in the south late in the war, it is quite possible the U.K. could have retained the Southern colonies. Prior to those reversals for Britain the situation for the rebels had grown bleak in the south, and there was a great number of loyalists in the Southern colonies.
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