The Final Act at Yorktown

Yorktown The Final Act

The Final Act at Yorktown


This is the Yorktown Victory Monument in Yorktown, Virginia. It was here in a siege that lasted from September 28, 1781, to October 19, 1781, that final act of the American Revolution started.

Wait a second. You do know that when the British surrendered at Yorktown, that was not the end of the war right?

The war did not officially end until the signing of the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783. That means the war lasted for almost two years after Yorktown. Then why is it called the end of the war?

The Battle Was Over, But Not The War

After Yorktown, the British ended offensive operations in North America. They were fighting France and Spain for control of the Caribbean (and other places). These were far more valuable to them than the American Colonies.

Fighting still occurred as both sides took every chance to raid and smack around the other guys. Besides, Britain still controlled Charleston, Savannah,  and New York which were no small potatoes. That wasn’t the worst news. The United States was broke, so even though the major fighting was over other issues, just as deadly started to take root. With no money Congress could not pay the troops, without pay, many troops wondering why they even stay in the army.  Some thought that they should simply turn on Congress and there was a very, very real chance that the army would turn on Congress and put a dictatorship in place. Luckily General Washington himself put the kibosh on this.

During this time also, behind the scenes of the treaty negotiations was a bunch of backbiting double-dealing that threatened to prolong the war. In the end, the treaty was signed and the war was officially over. The adventure for the new country was just about to begin.