Lexington and Concord: More Than A British Blunder




Lucio, Mario E.

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Narratives about the American Revolutionary War have generally explained the British loss at Lexington and Concord as the result of several false strategic assumptions on the part of British leadership. The most frequently cited assumption is the British underestimation of the capability of the American militias and their willingness to engage the British in armed conflict. Meanwhile, historians studying the battle have tended to focus on the tactical missteps of the British expedition to Concord as the major reason for the British defeat. Neither of these explanations is false. However, this thesis has offered a third explanation. The British defeat at Lexington and Concord was rooted in the weakness of the British occupation army itself. Throughout 1774-1775, the British army stationed in Boston suffered from several problems which undermined its overall discipline, morale, and combat effectiveness. Many of these problems were unique to Boston while others affected the entire British army. This thesis has relied on several British firsthand accounts in order gain an understanding of the many hardships experienced by the British army in Boston. This thesis attempts to convey what the British soldiers and officers themselves perceived to be the problems affecting their army. The implication of this thesis is that the British soldiers who fought at Lexington and Concord were not the elite warriors of an idealized army. British soldiers were mere humans who suffered from common human problems. The cumulative effect of those problems weakened the British army. Finally, analyzing the condition of the British occupation army itself provides a more balanced narrative about what went wrong for the British at Lexington and Concord.



Boston, 1775, Lexington, Concord, Lexington and Concord, British, army, 18th century, American Revolution, Honors College


Lucio, M. E. (2012). Lexington and Concord: More than a British blunder (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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