By early March 1776, heavy cannons that had been captured at Fort Ticonderoga were moved to Boston, a difficult feat engineered by Henry Knox. When the guns were placed on Dorchester Heights in the course of one day, overlooking the British positions, the British situation became untenable. While General Howe planned an attack to reclaim the high ground, a snowstorm prevented its execution. The British, after threatening to burn the city if their departure was hindered, evacuated the city on March 17, 1776 and sailed for temporary refuge n Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The local militias dispersed and, in April, General Washington took most of the Continental Army to fortify New York City and the start of the New York and New Jersey campaign.
The British were essentially driven from New England as a result of this campaign, although there (as else-where in the colonies) they contin-
ued to receive support from local Loyalists, especially in Newport, Rhode Island, from which they drove most of the local Patriots. The campaign, as well as the final result of the war as a whole, were a significant blow to British prestige and confidence in its military. The
senior military leaders of the campaign were criticized for their actions (Clinton, for example, while he went on to command the British forces in North America, would take much of the blame for the British loss of the war), and others either saw no more action in the war (Gage), or were ultimately disgraced (Burgoyne, who surrendered his army at Saratoga).
While the British continued to control the seas, and had military successes on the ground (notably in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania), their actions that led to these conflicts had the effect of uniting the Thirteen Colonies in opposition to the crown. As a result, they were never able to marshal enough support from Loyalists to regain meaningful political control of the colonies.
The colonies, in spite of their differences, united themselves as a consequence of these events, granting the Second Continental Congress (predecessor to the modern U.S. Congress) sufficient authority and funding to conduct the revolution as a unified whole, including funding and outfitting the military forces that formed as a result of this campaign.
1.Cushing, Harry Alonzo (1896).
History of the Transition from
Provincial to Commonwealth
Government in Massachusetts.
Columbia University. OCLC 4297135.
2. Frothingham, Jr, Richard (1886).
The Rise of the Republic of the
United States. Little, Brown.
3. Miller, Nathan (1974). Sea of
Glory: The Continental Navy fights for Independence 1775-1783.
New York: David McKay.
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