The Compleat Victory: Saratoga and the American Revolution
Please join us for a discussion between Professor Kevin J. Weddle and Dr. Allen Guelzo on Professor Weddle's new book, The Compleat Victory: Saratoga and the American Revolution(link is external). In the late summer and fall of 1777, after two years of indecisive fighting on both sides, the outcome of the American War of Independence hung in the balance. Having successfully expelled the Americans from Canada in 1776, the British were determined to end the rebellion and devised what they believed a war-winning strategy: sending General John Burgoyne south to rout the Americans and take Albany. When British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga on New York’s Lake Champlain with unexpected ease in July of 1777, it looked as if it was a matter of time before they would break the rebellion in the North. Less than three and a half months later, however, a combination of the Continental Army and militia forces commanded by Major General Horatio Gates and inspired by the heroics of Benedict Arnold, forced Burgoyne to surrender his entire army. The American victory at Saratoga—described by one general as "the Compleat Victory"—stunned the world and changed the course of the war. In the end, British plans were undone by a combination of distance, geography, logistics, and an underestimation of American leadership and fighting ability.