Was The Last American Revolution Battle Fought In Tamil Nadu?
Photo : Painting of the Battle of Cuddalore by Auguste Jugelet
India-West News Desk
NEW YORK, NY – Historians are reshaping the narrative of the American Revolution, recognizing it as a world war that surpassed the boundaries of the original 13 colonies. Renowned historian Kathleen DuVal from the University of North Carolina emphasizes that the traditional focus on Massachusetts and Virginia is no longer adequate, as scholars now perceive the Revolution through a global lens, reports CNN.
Contrary to popular belief, the climactic final battle of the Revolutionary War did not unfold in Yorktown, Virginia. Instead, it took place in Cuddalore, India, in June of 1783. Cuddalore is in today’s Tamil Nadu. DuVal and other experts argue that the conflict between Britain and France, supported by Spain and the Netherlands, spilled over into various theaters worldwide. The motivations of these nations extended beyond their support for the American colonists; they were driven by their own geopolitical interests and a shared desire to challenge British dominance, CNN explained.
Historian and journalist Don Glickstein shed light on the motivations of France and Spain. He explained to CNN that the American Revolution provided an opportunity for the French to stretch British forces and settle scores from their previous defeat in the Seven Years’ War. Furthermore, the British Empire, with its extensive colonial network, had accumulated enemies beyond France, including Spain and the Netherlands.
As peace negotiations commenced in Paris following Yorktown, news traveled slowly across the vast empires of Britain and France. The conflict between these powers continued in various regions, including Jamaica, Gibraltar, and notably, India. Control over India held immense strategic and economic significance for Britain, as it sought to safeguard its trade routes to the Asia-Pacific and exploit India’s abundant resources.
The Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia elucidates the series of events in India. When France joined the war as an American ally in 1778, British forces swiftly attacked France’s Indian colonies, leading to engagements with Indian allies on both sides. The garrison at Cuddalore in India’s Bay of Bengal emerged as a crucial target for Britain in late June of 1783.
Intense battles ensued on both land and sea. The naval battle of Cuddalore, hailed as a French victory, was followed by a ground operation where besieged French forces attempted to repel the British troops. However, before a decisive bombardment by the French fleet, a British ship arrived, bearing news of the Treaty of Paris, which had officially ended the American Revolution six months earlier.
Thus, the location of the last battle of the American Revolution is revealed to be Cuddalore, India—a testament to the truly global nature of the conflict. This groundbreaking reinterpretation highlights the interconnectedness of nations, their imperial ambitions, and the profound ramifications of the war for independence, the CNN report said.