Throughout the war, the British were able to use their naval superiority to capture and occupy coastal cities, but control of the countryside (where 90% of the population lived) largely eluded them due to their relatively small land army. French involvement proved decisive, with a French naval
victory in the Chesapeake leading to the surrender of a second British army at
Yorktown in 1781. In 1783, the
Treaty of Paris ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded by what is now Canada to the north,
Florida to the south, and the
Mississippi River to the west.
The Battle of Quebec was an attempt on December 31, 1775, by American colonial revolutionaries to capture the Canadian
city of Quebec and enlist
French Canadian support for the
American Revolutionary War. The British commander, General
Guy Carleton, could not get extensive help because the
St. Lawrence River was frozen, and had to rely on the French-speaking militia of the city, who turned out in high numbers.
Benedict Arnold and
Richard Montgomery were the two primary colonial commanders in the assault, which failed. The battle was the climax of the revolutionaries'
invasion of Canada and put an end to any hopes of French Canada rising in rebellion with the colonists. The battle didn't actually repulse the invasion; this occurred six months later with the arrival of 4,000 troops, who forced the Continentals to leave Quebec.
Montgomery was born and raised in Ireland. In 1754, he enrolled at
Trinity College, Dublin, and two years later joined the British army to fight in the
French and Indian War. He steadily rose through the ranks, serving in North America and then the Caribbean. After the war he was stationed at
Fort Detroit during
Pontiac's Rebellion, following which he returned to Britain for health reasons. In 1773, Montgomery returned to the
Thirteen Colonies, married Janet Livingston, and began farming.