Why Did The Underdogs Win?

In the American Revolution, why did the Americans win?


When America proposed war, England was incredulous. How could those rag-tag, untrained hooligans think that they could beat the best military in the world? The American colonists were clearly the underdogs in that situation. But, as you know, America did gain independence from Britain during the war. They were outnumbered, untrained, and not prepared. So how was an American victory possible?

Three Reasons!

In my opinion, there are four major reasons that America was able to pull out a win against the British.

  • 1. George Washington
  • 2. Home-field advantage
  • 3. Help from other countries


There are many traits that make a great leader-- and George Washington had all of them. He was quick thinking, smart, gentle yet tough, and most importantly, brave. Not many military leaders would be willing to take on the best army in the world, and he was. He had enormous amounts of confidence and faith in his makeshift, somewhat inept army. That is a huge success in itself for the American army.

Washington's reputation as a courageous and fearless leader was sprung from a battle he fought with the British against the French, often called "Battle of the Wilderness". He became replacement General after Edward Braddock was injured, and he led an extremely successful retreat. His performance during the French & Indian war made him an obvious candidate for the General of the American Revolution.

As you may or may not know, the war was brutal for the Americans. They faced starvation, hypothermia, and lack of military training. They were not nearly as experienced as the British army. What kind of General could create a victory for an army like that? Well, George Washington could. He was a huge part of America's success.


The colonists were used to the terrain, geography, and climate of America much better than the British. Not to mention that the British had to send their troops from across the Atlantic ocean, which was expensive and time consuming. Most of the British army hadn't even set foot in America. Americans had set up headquarters and swift transportation systems prior to the revolution, so they could get from place to place easily and sneak up on the British. The British, on the other hand, lacked mobility and struggled greatly. It was a huge plus for the Americans that they "hosted" the war.


A huge part of America's success in the revolution was help from other countries, specifically France. France was still bitter over their loss to Britain in the French & Indian war. They wanted to declare a formal alliance with America during the Revolutionary War. This helped the American colonists because French soldiers were very experienced and known for their army, which was a huge advantage for America. Even before they sent over soldiers to help, they were secretly sending over food and battle supplies. During the Revolutionary War, France sent an estimated amount of 12,000 soldiers and 32,000 sailors to America to help the colonist's makeshift army. Obviously, this was a huge help.