This Day in History
The Revolution Victorious


The Surrender at Yorktown
October 19, 1781

As the British troops stacked their arms on October 19, 1781, their band played “The World Turned Upside Down.” It was indeed; a handful of colonials had toppled the greatest power on the globe - so at least the event could be interpreted. That was, in a sense, the way the British interpreted it. “O God,” cried Lord North when he heard the news, “it is all over, it is all over.” And George III prepared to abdicate. The king was more perceptive than his first minister: he did not abdicate, but the resolution urging the king to end the war, which was carried in Commons in February 1782 may be regarded, symbolically at least, as the end of the long era of Royal rule in the realm of foreign affairs. Soon peace negotiations were underway, and almost miraculously the Americans outmaneuvered both the British and the French and emerged with better terms than they had thought possible.





November's Archived Features:

Monday November 1, 2021
Tuesday November 2, 2021
Wednesday November 3, 2021
Thursday November 4, 2021
Friday November 5, 2021
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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.