Academic journal article Military Review

No Turning Point: The Saratoga Campaign in Perspective

Academic journal article Military Review

No Turning Point: The Saratoga Campaign in Perspective

Article excerpt

NO TURNING POINT: The Saratoga Campaign in Perspective

Theodore Corbett, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2012, 416 pages, $39.95

The battles of Saratoga were crucial turning points in the War of American Independence. The rebel victory convinced the French government to grant diplomatic recognition and extend military aid to the cause of colonial independence. The ultimate insurgent victory resulted from the combination of French military aid, rebel leadership, increasing military proficiency, and the British government's loss of will to continue the war. However, the rebel cause was not unified. Rivalries pitted the colonies against each other, making it difficult to form a united front.

As contemporaries understood, it was a civil war, with minorities supporting rebellion and loyalty, while most people wished to survive with their lives and property intact or fight their own local disputes. The war divided families and pitted neighbors against one another. Ethnic and religious strife marked relations among the colonists from the outset.

Internal struggle occurred within the southern colonies, but it also occurred in the northern Hudson River-Champlain region. With the frontier on the Hudson, its possession by either side would have divided New England from the rest of the colonial insurgents or allowed them to unite. Conflicting claims issued by New York and New Hampshire to the area that eventually became Vermont turned the skirmishes into a civil war.

This struggle is the subject of Corbett's book. …

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