Revolutionary War British Torso
In 1775 the British Army was a volunteer force. The army had suffered from lack of peacetime spending and ineffective recruitment in the decade since the Seven Years' War, circumstances which had left it in a dilapidated state at the outbreak of war in North America. To offset this the British government quickly hired contingents of German auxiliaries alongside the regular army units in campaigns from 1776. Limited army impressment was also introduced in England and Scotland to bolster recruitment in 1778, however the practice proved too unpopular and was proscribed again in 1780.
The attrition of constant fighting, the inability of the Royal Navy to decisively defeat the French Navy, and the withdrawal of the majority of British forces from North America in 1778 ultimately led to the British army's defeat. The surrender of Cornwallis's army at Yorktown in 1781 allowed the Whig opposition to gain a majority in parliament, and British operations were brought to an end.