Battle of Saratoga (Horacio Gates)

research paper about the Saratoga Campaign in which you are to do three things. First you are to explain who your character was (Horacio Gates) and what role he, she, or it played in the events that culminated in the Battles of Saratoga on 19 September and 7 October 1777. (Consider all major events between 20 June and 31 October 1777, specifically including the battles of Fort Stanwix, Oriskany, Ticonderoga, Hubbardton, Bennington, Hudson Highlands, and the two battles at Saratoga – Washington & Howe should also include a discussion of the Philadelphia campaign.) Include a brief biography to help place his or her actions in perspective. Second, you are to answer the question of whether the Battle of Saratoga was “decisive,” even though the Revolutionary War continued for another five years – if so, why, if not, why not. Finally, you are to assess all the factors that played a role in determining the outcome of the campaign. Historians argue for many “determinative” elements, including sheer numbers, strategy (advocated by Carl von Clausewitz), tactics (Baron Antoine Henri Jomini), mobility, technology (Martin van Creveld), individual soldier/sailor (skill/morale – Ronald Spector), military system (training, logistics, etc), national economic power (Paul Kennedy), the environment (geography, weather, demography, disease, etc.), intelligence (including disinformation and deception – Sun Tzu), diplomacy (alliances and negotiations), the political system (democracy-confederation v. totalitarian state), and ideology (a “cause,” such as liberalism, religion, race, culture, nationalism, etc. to sustain the troops through adversity). You are to identify the one that you think was most important in this case and explain, in detail, why you thought that factor was more important than the others. You are to do a thorough job of research, relying on secondary, and where available, primary sources to become the class expert on your character and warfare at the time of the Battle of Saratoga.

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