Portraits of British

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Home Government

Military

  • John AndréBritish officer, hung for his involvement in Benedict Arnold’s treason
  • John BurgoyneBritish playwright, politician; general who lost the Battles of Saratoga
  • Henry ClintonBritish general; commander-in-chief, 1778—82
  • Charles CornwallisBritish general, surrendered with troops at Yorktown
  • Richard HoweBritish admiral, brother of William Howe
  • William HoweCommander-in-chief of British forces, 1775—78
  • Banastre TarletonBritish officer of the cavalry, notorious for his exploits in the South

Military Governors

  • Guy CarletonGovernor of Quebec; British commander-in-chief, 1782—83
  • Thomas GageBritish general, Royal Governor of MA, ordered troops to Concord

What ultimately convinced Americans that they must revolt in 1776 was not that they were naturally and inevitably republican, for if that were truly the case evolution, not revolution, would have been the eventual solution. Rather it was the pervasive fear that they were not predestined to be a virtuous and egalitarian people that in the last analysis drove them into revolution in 1776. It was this fear and not their confidence in the peculiarity of their character that made them so readily and so remarkably responsive to Thomas Paine’s warning that the time for independence was at hand and that delay would be disastrous. By 1776 it had become increasingly evident that if they were to remain the kind of people they wanted to be they must become free of Britain.

Gordon S. Wood
The Creation of the American Republic, 1776—1787 (1969)