Due to its history as a world-wide colonial empire, with a drastic need to police that empire as efficiently as possible, the modern British Army has inherited a very strong ethic in terms of level of combat proficiency of its soldiers. It also has perhaps the best-trained special forces units (the SAS and SBS) in the world.
Unfortunately for the British, the total size of the current UK armed forces is less than 20% of that of the United States. The United States Navy dwarfs the Royal Navy in both numbers and in technology (particularly right now, as the RN is experiencing a very significant problem in modernization). The US Marine Corps alone is larger than the entire British Army, and is comparably equipped (and has about the same level of training). The US Army, while having a slightly lower level of overall soldier quality than the British Army, is roughly 6 times the size and has a much larger quantity of heavy combat equipment. Finally, the Royal Air Force is hopelessly outnumbered, though they are still equipped with roughly equal technology.
Post-WW2, the United States has always had both the numerical and technological superiority in all branches against the British forces. Prior to WW1, the edge would have gone to the UK, with the further back in history, the heavier the imbalance in favor of the UK. Between the two world wars, it's more of a tossup - both the UK and US navies being approximately equal, and, frankly, neither having much of an army or airforce to speak of.
Even though victorious, the American Colonists were not very prepared to fight the British. The Americans were weakened by the outrageous taxes to Great Britain and more so the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Also being already established for a , Great Britain was an a lot bigger, stronger, and more economically stable then America at the time.
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