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This paper investigates the failure of British strategy during the southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War from 1780 to 1781. Following France’s entry into the war in 1778, the British Secretary of State for the American Department, Lord George Germain, believed that Great Britain could expand the war into the south with minimal cost. This research traces Lord Germain’s strategy from its origin in London in 1778 to its application in the American south by British Generals Henry Clinton and Charles Cornwallis during 1780 and 1781. It also analyzes crucial British engagements with the southern patriot army at the Battle of Cowpens in January 1781, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in March 1781, and the final withdrawal of British forces from the southern interior following the Battle of Eutaw Springs in September 1781. This research identifies four factors that contributed to the failure of British strategy in the south: (1) a false British assumption of loyalist support among the populace, (2) British application of self-defeating political and military policies, (3) the British failure to deploy sufficient forces to control the territory, and (4) patriot General Nathanael Greene’s campaign against British forces.
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Subtítulo: CAMPAIGN OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR