Today, we continue the story of the American Revolution against Britain in the late seventeen hundreds. Delegates to the American Continental Congress approved and signed a Declaration of Independence on July Fourth, seventeen seventy-six. The new country called the United States of America was at war with Britain. Yet, not everyone in the former colonies agreed on the decision. No one knows for sure how many Americans remained loyal to Great Britain. The Massachusetts political leader, John Adams, thought about thirty-three percent of the colonists supported independence, thirty-three percent supported Britain, and thirty-three percent supported neither side. Most history experts today think that about twenty percent of the colonists supported Britain. They say the others were neutral or supported whichever side seemed to be winning. As many as thirty thousand Americans fought for the British during the war. Others helped Britain by reporting the movements of American rebel troops. Who supported Britain? They included people appointed to their jobs by the king, religious leaders of the Anglican Church, and people with close business connections in Britain.
Many members of minority groups remained loyal to the king because they needed his protection against local majority groups. Other people were loyal because they did not want change or because they believed that independence would not improve their lives. Some thought the actions of the British government were not bad enough to make a rebellion necessary. Others did not believe that the rebels could win a war against such a powerful nation as Britain. Native American Indians did not agree among themselves about the revolution. Congress knew it had to make peace with the Indians as soon as the war started, or American troops might have to fight them and the British at the same time. To prevent trouble, American officials tried to stop settlers from moving onto Indian lands. In some places, the Indians joined the Americans, but generally they supported the British. They expected the British to win. They saw the war as a chance to force the Americans to leave their lands. At times, the Indians fought on the side of the British, but left when the British seemed to be losing the battle.
Choosing to fight for the British proved to be a mistake. When the war was over, the Americans felt they owed the Indians nothing. Black slaves in the colonies also were divided about what side to join during the American Revolution. Thousands fought for the British, because that side offered them freedom if they served in the army or navy. Some American states also offered to free slaves who served, and hundreds of free blacks fought on the American side. Many slaves, however, felt their chances for freedom were better with the British. Details are not exact, but history experts say more blacks probably joined the British in the North than in the South. At least five thousand African-Americans served with the colonial American forces. Most had no choice. They were slaves, and their owners took them to war or sent them to replace their sons. Others felt that a nation built on freedom might share some of that freedom with them. In the South, many slave owners kept their slaves at home. Later in the war, every man was needed, although most slaves did not fight. Instead, they drove wagons and carried supplies. Many African-Americans also served in the American navy.
Blacks who served in the colonial army and navy were not separated from whites. Black and white men fought side by side during the American Revolution. History experts say, however, that most black slaves spent the war as they had always lived: working on their owners' farms. The American rebels called themselves patriots. They called British supporters Tories. Patriots often seized Tories' property to help pay for the war. They also kidnapped Tories' slaves to be used as laborers for the army. Many Tories were forced from towns in which they had lived all their lives. Some were tortured or hanged. In New Jersey, Tories and patriots fought one another with guns, and sometimes burned each other's houses and farms. Some history experts say the American Revolution was really the nation's first civil war. The revolution divided many families. Perhaps the most famous example was the family of Benjamin Franklin. Ben Franklin signed the Declaration of Independence. His son William was governor of the colony of New Jersey. He supported the king. Political disagreement about the war tore apart this father and son for the rest of their lives. Different ideas about the war existed among the patriots, too.
That is because the colonies did not really think of themselves as one nation. They saw themselves as independent states trying to work together toward a goal. People from Massachusetts, for example, thought Pennsylvania was a strange place filled with strange people. Southerners did not like people from the North. And people who lived in farm areas did not communicate easily with people who lived in coastal towns and cities. This meant that the Continental Congress could not order the states to do anything they did not want to do. Congress could not demand that the states provide money for the war. It could only ask for their help. George Washington, the top general, could not take men into the army. He could only wait for the states to send them. History experts say George Washington showed that he was a good politician by the way he kept Congress and the thirteen states supporting him throughout the war. As the people of America did not agree about the war, the people of Britain did not agree about it, either. Many supported the government's decision to fight.
They believed that the war was necessary to rescue loyalists from the patriots. Others did not think Britain should fight the Americans, because the Americans had not invaded or threatened their country. They believed that Britain should leave the colonies alone to do as they wished. King George was not able to do this, however. He supported the war as a way to continue his power in the world, and to rescue British honor in the eyes of other national leaders. Whichever side British citizens were on, there was no question that the war was causing severe problems in Britain. British businessmen could no longer trade with the American colonies. Prices increased. Taxes did, too. And young men were forced to serve in the royal navy. At the start of the war, the British believed that the rebellion was led by a few extremists in New England. They thought the other colonies would surrender if that area could be surrounded and controlled. So, they planned to separate New England from the other colonies by taking command of the Hudson River Valley. They changed this plan after they were defeated in the Battle of Saratoga in New York state.
Later, they planned to capture major cities and control the coast from Maine in the north to Georgia in the south. They failed to do this, although they did occupy New York City for the whole war, and at times had control over Philadelphia and Charleston. The British experienced many problems fighting the war. Their troops were far from home, across a wide ocean. It was difficult to bring in more forces and supplies, and it took a long time. As the war continued, American ships became more skilled at attacking British ships at sea. The colonial army had problems, too. Congress never had enough money. Sometimes, it could not send General Washington the things he needed. Often, the states did not send what they were supposed to. Americans were not always willing to take part in the war. They were poorly trained as soldiers and would promise to serve for only a year or so. The political and economic developments of the American Revolution concerned not just the Americans and the British. European nations were watching the events in America very closely. Those events, and the reactions in Europe, will be our story next time.
1.in the eyes of 在…心目中；从…来看
But our minds are not evolved to think about strangers, and we obsess,needlessly, about what people think of us and how these insults will diminish us in the eyes of others.
Congress is behind the plan.
3.control over 控制；支配；征服
Are they saying we have no control over ourselves?
4.filled with 充满
We were filled with hope, with passion, with dreams for the future.
5.powerful nation 强国
We, the most powerful nation, are being outdone by England, by France and Spain.
为了避免麻烦，殖民地官员试图阻止定居者们侵占印第安人的土地 。在一些地方，印第安人加入了殖民地的队列，但大部分人还是站在英国这边 。他们期望英国人赢 。他们把这场战争看作是迫使北美殖民者离开他们土地的机会 。有时，印第安人站在英国这一边作战，但当英国人似乎要输掉这场战斗时，他们又离开了 。事实证明选择为英国而战是错误的 。战争结束后，美国人觉得他们不欠印第安人任何东西 。美国独立战争期间，殖民地的黑奴在立场上也存在分歧 。成千上万的人为英国而战，因为如果他们在陆军或海军服役，英国会给他们自由 。美国的一些州也向服役的奴隶提供自由，数百名自由黑人加入了大陆军的队伍斗 。然而，更多的奴隶觉得，英国人给他们自由的可能性更大一些 。具体细节还不清楚，但历史学家表示，加入英国的北方黑人可能比南方多 。至少有5000名非裔美国人加入了大陆军 。大多数人别无选择 。他们毕竟是奴隶，奴隶主让他们去打仗，或者代替自己的儿子上战场 。另一些人认为，建立在自由基础上的国家可能会让他们享受自由 。
在南方，许多奴隶主把奴隶留在农场上 。战争后期，虽然大多数奴隶不打仗，但大陆军急需用兵 。这些人驾车运送补给物资 。许多非洲裔美国人还加入了海军 。在陆军和海军服役的黑人并没有与白人分开 。美国独立战争期间，黑人和白人并肩作战 。然而，历史专家表示，大多数黑奴在战争期间的生活方式与以往一样：在奴隶主的农场里劳作 。美国叛军自称爱国者,他们把英国的支持者叫做托利党 。爱国者经常没收托利党人的财产，用作战争的费用 。许多托利党人被迫离开他们居住了一辈子的城镇 。一些人遭到拷打或被绞死 。在新泽西，托利党和爱国者用枪互相攻击，有时还会烧毁对方的房屋和农场 。一些历史专家表示，美国独立战争实际上是美国的第一次内战 。战争造成许多家庭分裂 。也许最著名的例子是本杰明?富兰克林一家 。富兰克林签署了《独立宣言》 。他的儿子威廉是新泽西州殖民地的总督，支持国王 。政治分歧在父子间筑就了一道难以跨越的鸿沟 。爱国者对战争也有不同的看法 。这是因为殖民地并不把自己看做是一个国家 。
他们认为自己是13个各自为营的州，正努力为一个目标而共同努力 。例如，马萨诸塞州的人认为宾夕法尼亚是一个奇怪的地方，住满了奇怪的人 。南方殖民地的人不喜欢北方人 。生活在农场地区的人又与生活在沿海城镇的人合不来 。这意味着大陆会议无法命令各州来做自己想要做的事情 。不能要求各州为战争提供资金，只能请求他们的帮助 。最高将领乔治?华盛顿不能要求各州补充兵源 。他只能等待各州派兵 。历史学家表示，乔治 。华盛顿能让国会和13个州的支持自己，显示出他是一位优秀的政治家由于美国人民不同意这场战争，英国人民也不同意这场战争 。许多人支持英国政府发动战争，他们认为，这场战争对于拯救忠诚的爱国者是必要的 。另外一些人则认为英国不应该与殖民地作战，因为北美殖民地并没有入侵或威胁他们的国家 。他们认为英国应该让殖民地处理自己的事务 。然而，乔治国王做不到 。他要通过战争延续自己的权力，同时捍卫英国的荣誉 。不管英国人站在哪一边，毫无疑问，战争给英国带来了严重的问题 。英国商人再也不能和美洲殖民地进行贸易了 。价格上涨，税收增加，年轻人被迫在皇家海军服役 。
战争开始时，英国人认为叛乱是由新英格兰的一些极端分子挑起的 。他们认为如果他们得到了控制，其他殖民地就会投降 。因此，他们计划占领哈德逊河谷将新英格兰从其他殖民地中分离出来 。他们在纽约州萨拉托加战败后改变了这一计划 。后来，他们计划占领主要城市，控制从缅因州北部到佐治亚州南部的沿海地区 。他们失败了，尽管他们在整个战争中占领了纽约市，还曾控制了费城和查尔斯顿 。英军在战争中遇到了许多问题 。他们的军队远在大洋彼岸 。在兵源和供给方面都十分困难 。随着战争的推进，北美殖民地的大陆军在海上攻击英国船只变得更加熟练 。殖民地军队也遇到问题 。国会从来没有充足的战争经费 。有时，不能满足华盛顿将军的军事需求 。各州没有尽到自己的义务 。殖民地很多人不愿意参军，他们没有受过良好的军队训练，并承诺只服役一年左右 。美国革命的政治和经济发展不仅关系到殖民地和英国 。欧洲国家密切关注着美国发生的事件 。这些事件，以及欧洲的反应，我们下次为您讲述 。