What battle proved to be the turning point of the American War for Independence?
If you answered Saratoga, you are in general agreement with most scholars of the American Revolution.
General John Burgoyne’s surrender to the Continental Army on October 17, 1777 demonstrated to France that Americans had what it took to defeat the British Army.
France entered the war on the behalf of the United States.
And with France came Spain.
Today, we explore the consequences of Spanish involvement in the War for American Independence with Kathleen DuVal, professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with an historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
In this episode, Kathleen DuVal, professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution, leads us on an exploration of how the American Revolution and its War for Independence took place in the Gulf Coast region.
During our exploration, Kathleen reveals information about the Gulf Coast, its geography, the European powers involved in the region, and the cultural diversity of its inhabitants; Details about the Battle of Pensacola (1781); And, How and why the Battle of Pensacola stands as another important turning point in the American War for Independence.
Kathleen also shares what the British loss of Pensacola meant for the peoples living in the Gulf Coast.
What You’ll Discover
- How Kathleen came to study the American Revolution in the Gulf Coast region
- The geography that defined the Gulf Coast during the American Revolution
- How the French and Indian War altered the political landscape in the Gulf Coast region
- Information about the different peoples who lived in the Gulf Coast after the French and Indian War
- Why the Gulf Coast colonies did not rebel against Great Britain
- Why most colonists in the Gulf Coast liked being a part of the British Empire
- How the British and Spanish tried to secure the service of Native American warriors during the American War for Independence
- The Battle of Pensacola
- Information about British General John Campbell and Spanish General Bernardo de Gálvez
- Why the British loss at the Battle of Pensacola played an important role in British imperial policy making
- What the British loss of West Florida meant for the British and Native American peoples who lived there
- Overview of the story of James and Isabella Bruce, British West Florida residents
- How Spanish victory in the Gulf Coast affected negotiations of the Treaty of Paris, 1783
- How the Native Americans of the Gulf Coast region felt and reacted when they discovered that the British ceded a lot of their land to the United States in the Treaty of Paris, 1783
- Information about how the Native American peoples of the southeast confederated to slow the migration of white Americans into their lands
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Kathleen DuVal
- Kathleen’s UNC webpage
- Kathleen’s Random House Press Page
- Episode 029: “Colin Calloway, The Victory with No Name”
- Episode 014: “Claudio Saunt, West of the Revolution”
- The Native Ground: Indians and Colonists in the Heart of the Continent
- Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution
Time Warp Question
In your opinion what might have happened if the British had not lost Pensacola? How would the history of the American Revolution and the United States have been different?
Questions, Comments, Suggestions
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