The Battle of Saratoga in 1777 ended with British general John Burgoyne’s troops surrendering to the American rebel army commanded by General Horatio Gates. Historians have long seen Burgoyne’s defeat as a turning point in the American Revolution because it convinced France to join the war on the side of the colonies, thus ensuring American victory. But that traditional view of Saratoga overlooks the complexity of the situation on the ground. Setting the battle in its social and political context, Theodore Corbett examines Saratoga and its aftermath as part of ongoing conflicts among the settlers of the Hudson and Champlain valleys of New York, Canada, and Vermont. This long, more local view reveals that the American victory actually resolved very little.
By Theodore Corbett