Sample History Paper on “The Crossing” 2000

“The Crossing” 2000 

The film “The crossing (2000)” is a depiction of George Washington’s victory in December 26, 1776 at the battle of Trenton against the British. Sensing that the American Revolution was near collapse George Washington rallied his troops and attacked Trenton. Despite the harsh weather and many losses and defeats as shown in the opening clip of the movie, the continental Army retreating Across New Jersey, Washington came up with an ingenious plan to cross ice-chocked Delaware River in one night allowing his Army to mount a surprise attack on Trenton leading to victory.

The movie dramatizes a trying time for the colonies after the declaration of independence by the founding fathers in July 1776, the colonists lost battle after battle in the hands of the British and seemed helpless to sustain the Revolution. At the time of the battle of Trenton the Army was a mere fragment of what it was originally, as defeat after defeat demoralized the troops and desertion and lack of equipment compounded an already dire situation. Furthermore, the continental soldiers were sick due to lack of medicines and also ill-fed and poorly clothed despite the harsh winter due to the lack of finances from the colonists. Moreover, the enlisted soldiers were reluctant or refused to reenlist when their time expired and some were already deserting in anticipation of the expiry of their contracts with the Army.

The movie recounts the historical events as they had happened with some omissions or modifications in order to fit into the film script. George Washington’s battle plan included dividing the attacking Army into three groups led by General Ewell, General Cadwalader and himself. However, the forces led by the other two generals are not mentioned in the movie. Each group crossed the ice-chocked Delaware River at different locations at night in order to surprise the dreaded Hessian mercenaries who had camped at Trenton. As shown in the movie there were no continental deaths on the battle field but only a few officers and soldiers who were wounded. At the end of the battle the leader of the Hessians Colonel Rall is captured and pleads for his soldiers to be treated humanely which George Washington agrees to.

The time of the revolution was a difficult time for the colonists as life under the British rule was brutal due to the heavy taxation imposed by the imperialists in order to secure revenue from the colonies. The British used violence to enforce legislations passed in parliament authorizing them to collect taxes and tilt trade in their favor. For instance, the British passed the sugar act to benefit them at the expense of the American colonists and the stamp act so as to raise money from the colonies to pay off their war debts.

There were commercial interests at the heart of the American Revolution and the men who were fighting in it. The Southerners had joined the revolution in order to protect their wealth since the British were at the verge of abolishing slavery and therefore they made a deal with the Northern revolutionaries so that slavery would be protected at the end of the revolution. Additionally, the colonists were also revolting against the taxes that had been imposed by the British such as paper and tea tax, taxes on glass and stamp tax.

The view point expressed by the movie is that the battle of Trenton saved the American Revolution from collapse, that is, the war was pivotal in the sustenance of the revolution. The continental army had suffered many defeats in the hands of the British Empire and it was absolute necessary if not the only option for the continental army to cross the Delaware River which led to victory and salvation of the revolution. The victory in this battle also proved to the American people that they could take on the mighty British Army and defeat it if they were able to defeat the dreaded Hessians then anything was possible with courage and proper planning. Essentially, it demonstrated to the French and Spain that the rebels were capable of winning the war. I concur with this view point that victory at Trenton saved the American Revolution as the battle was the turning points towards winning the war against the British which led to the formation of United States of America. Additionally, the film shows the determination and courage of under paid, sick and ill-fed men changed the cause of history by giving all they had in a battle to save the revolution and liberate their country.

The film also show the human side of George Washington who has often been painted by some historians as having being detached, cold, and disinterested. His courage and humility on the battle field helped sustain the troops through the travails of the war. His great leadership is also shown in the movie. He had good planning skills and seized the initiative so that he was in control of events.

To conclude, this is an excellent movie and I have learnt that history is made by the few who are courageous enough to attempt what others think is impossible. As Nelson Mandela rightly pointed out “it always seems impossible until it’s done”. 

Works Cited

Harmon, Robert. “”The Crossing (2000).”  Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 9 May 2012. Web. 16

                October 2014.