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Could the British have won the American War of Independence?

Opposition to London’s insensitive colonial policies on taxation and governance was provoked into outright rebellion when British soldiers attempted to disarm Massachusetts patriots in April 1775. British forces enjoyed initial successes around Boston, but these weren't enough to prevent the city’s encirclement by Washington's newly-formed Continental Army and seaborne evacuation followed in the spring of 1776. For the next 18 months the revolt hung in the balance with substantial British reinforcements taking Philadelphia and New York. But if London’s plan for a two-pronged attack from Canada and New York hadn't ended in failure at Saratoga, would the Continental Army have survived, and would the French have got involved?

Jeremy Black is professor of history at the University of Exeter. He's a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of America and the West at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. He's the author of over 100 books.

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