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On the surface, the American colonists appeared to be no match for the British soldiers, but the local forces did enjoy some advantages:
- a familiarity with the terrain
- the support from local populations*
- short supply lines
- potentially sufficient numbers of soldiers.
However, the British had what appeared to many to be overwhelming advantages, including:
- the availability of highly trained professional soldiers
- the world's most powerful navy
- the financial and material resources of the massive British empire.
*Historians have speculated that American public opinion was fairly evenly divided at the beginning of the War with one-third actively committed to the patriot cause, one-third strongly bonded to Britain as loyalists, and one-third uncommitted and more concerned about their farms or shops than politics.