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The Belle's Stratagem Historical Context

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American Revolutionary War

On April 19, 1775, the night after the ride of Paul Revere, the infamous "shot heard round the world" rang out, signifying the start of the American Revolution. Over the next eighteen months, the American militia grew substantially, capturing British forts and creating a navy. In addition to military advances, many American writers, such as Thomas Paine, began an intellectual assault on King George III. In May 1776, King Louis XVI of France committed one million dollars in arms and munitions to the Americans, whereupon Spain also promised support. Soon thereafter, a massive British war fleet arrived in New York Harbor, with over 40,000 soldiers and sailors. On July 4, 1776, the thirteen American states declared independence from England.

The enormous number of British troops was nearly too much for the American armed forces, but keen planning and a series of small victories led to an unlikely American victory in the...

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This section contains 557 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Belle's Stratagem Study Guide
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The Belle's Stratagem from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.