The Compleat Victory: Saratoga and the American Revolution
An Alpheus T. Mason Lecture on Constitutional Law and Political Thought: The Quest for Freedom
Kevin J. Weddle *03, Professor of Military Theory and Strategy and the Elihu Root Chair of Military Studies at the U.S. Army War College, and Allen C. Guelzo, Senior Research Scholar in the Council of the Humanities; Director of the James Madison Program Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship, Princeton University
Please join us for a discussion between Professor Kevin J. Weddle and Dr. Allen Guelzo on Professor Weddle's new book, The Compleat Victory: Saratoga and the American Revolution.
In the late summer and fall of 1777, after two years of indecisive fighting on both sides, the outcome of the American War of Independence hung in the balance. Having successfully expelled the Americans from Canada in 1776, the British were determined to end the rebellion and devised what they believed a war-winning strategy: sending General John Burgoyne south to rout the Americans and take Albany.
When British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga on New York’s Lake Champlain with unexpected ease in July of 1777, it looked as if it was a matter of time before they would break the rebellion in the North. Less than three and a half months later, however, a combination of the Continental Army and militia forces commanded by Major General Horatio Gates and inspired by the heroics of Benedict Arnold, forced Burgoyne to surrender his entire army. The American victory at Saratoga—described by one general as "the Compleat Victory"—stunned the world and changed the course of the war. In the end, British plans were undone by a combination of distance, geography, logistics, and an underestimation of American leadership and fighting ability.
This event is free and open to the public. If you are NOT a Princeton University affiliate, we ask that you please register to attend.
Kevin Weddle *03 is Professor of Military Theory and Strategy and the Elihu Root Chair of Military Studies at the U.S. Army War College. He is a graduate of West Point and served over 28 years as a combat engineer officer before retiring as a colonel. He served in a variety of command and staff positions in the United States and overseas including command of a combat engineer battalion and is a veteran of Operations Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom.
Colonel Weddle holds master’s degrees in history and civil engineering from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in history from Princeton University. In 2019, he served as the William L. Garwood Visiting Professor and James Madison Program visiting fellow at Princeton University.
Allen C. Guelzo is Senior Research Scholar in the Council of the Humanities and the Director of the Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship in the James Madison Program at Princeton University. His award-winning books include Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (1999), Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (2004), and Gettysburg: The Last Invasion (2013). Recently published a biography of Robert E. Lee. He has been awarded the Bradley Prize, the Lincoln Medal of the Union League Club of New York City, and the James Q. Wilson Award for Distinguished Scholarship on the Nature of a Free Society. Together with Patrick Allitt and Gary W. Gallagher, he team-taught the Teaching Company’s American History series, as well as courses on Abraham Lincoln (Mr. Lincoln, 2005) on American intellectual history (The American Mind, 2006), the American Revolution (2007), and the Founders (America’s Founding Fathers, 2017). From 2006 to 2013, he served as a member of the National Council on the Humanities. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
- Princeton Army ROTC