Could the British have won the American War of Independence?

Wednesday 26th February 2020

St John’s Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, SP2 9NP


Opposition to London’s insensitive colonial policies on taxation and governance was provoked into outright rebellion when British soldiers attempted to disarm Massachusetts patriots in April 1775. British forces enjoyed initial tactical successes around Boston, but these were not enough strategically to prevent the city’s encirclement by the newly-formed Continental Army under George Washington and seaborne evacuation followed in the spring of 1776. For the next 18 months the revolt hung in the balance with substantial British reinforcements taking Philadelphia and New York. But if London’s plan for a two-pronged attack from Canada and New York had not ended in failure at Saratoga, would the Continental Army have survived, and would the French have got involved at all?

Jeremy Black MBE is a British historian and a professor of history at the University of Exeter. He is a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of America and the West at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. He is the author of over 100 books, principally but not exclusively on 18th Century British politics and international relations, and has been described as “the most prolific historical scholar of our age”.