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is now generally agreed that during this new period of agitation occurred the beginning of the division of the colonists into those opposing parties to which the names Whig and Tory were later given.5
In the second place, it is now generally believed that it was during the British attempt of 1768 and 1769 that a few of the most radical and persistent of the colonial leaders made up their minds in favor of independence, and began a secret but vigorous and successful endeavor to defeat every proposal of conciliation between the colonies and the mother country. Last, but by no means least from the point of view of present-day students of history, during these years began that new westward movement whose first product was the nationalistic Henry Clay, of Kentucky, and whose final and finished product was the ultra-democratic and individualistic Andrew Jackson, of Tennessee.
It is the almost universal custom of our text-books to postpone the treatment of the westward movement until after the study of the revolutionary period has been completed. This custom is responsible for two very incorrect impressions in the minds of students; one, that the American colonists were single-mindedly devoted to the controversy with Great Britain over 'taxation without representation; the other, that Great Britain itself was so concerned with colonial resistance to its new policies that it had time and attention for no other activities in North America. As a matter of fact, Great Britain was during these very years engaged in working out the problem of the government of its new colony of Canada, and in clearing the way for the entrance of the colonists into the Mississippi Valley so lately won from France. By the treaty of Fort Stanwix, the Indian title was swept from a large share of Kentucky and a portion of Tennessee; colonial capitalists and speculators applied to the king for grants of lands which they planned to colonize and build up into new states; and a thin line of colonial migration, unstirred and undeterred by the Townshend controversy, began to trickle from the Great Valley of Virginia and North Carolina, over the second ridge of the Alleghenies, and down into the western country drained by the headwaters of the Tennessee. During the entire revolutionary period
M. C. Tyler, "Loyalists in the American Revolution ("Amer. Hist. Review," I, 24-45); G. E. Howard, 66 Preliminaries of the American Revolution," 313-326; C. H. Van Tyne, "Loyalists," 1-26, or his volume upon American Revolution," 248-268; S. G. Fisher, "True History of the American Revolution," 155-168, 229-237, 240243, or his "Struggle for American Independence," I, 240
John Fiske, "American Revolution," I, 54-57.
For discussion of the westward movement during the revolutionary period, see G. E. Howard, "Preliminaries of the American Revolution," 222-241; C. H. Van Tyne, "The American Revolution," 269-288; F. J. Turner, "Western State Making in the Revolutionary Era" ("Amer. Hist. Review," I, 70-87); T. Roosevelt, "Winning of the West," I and II; J. Winsor, "Westward Movement," 1-224; G. H. Alden, "New Governments West of the Alleghanies Before 1780" (Univ. of Wisconsin Bulletin, II, 1-74).
this new westward movement increased in swiftness and volume, with results astonishing to the student who first turns his attention to the west in the years after 1783.
3. THIRD BRITISH ATTEMPT AT PARLIAMENTARY TAXATION: THE TEA ACT AND TEA CARGOES
OUTLINE.—British attempt to govern Massachusetts through British-paid governors and judges and without the colonial assembly, the Gaspee controversy over enforcement of British trade-acts (1772), and the rise of the colonial "committees of correspondence system, 17711773; colonial irritation as a result of the publication of the letters of Governor Hutchinson of Massachusetts (1773); organization of western settlers as self-governing Watauga association," 1772; parliamentary revision of Townshend Tea act of 1767, and attempt to put Townshend tea duty into effect by shipment of tea to leading colonial ports, 1773; refusal of all ports to receive the taxed tea, and destruction of Boston cargo to prevent its being landed, 1773.
Little that is new has been added to the knowledge of this period by the research workers of the last twenty years. There is much need of light upon the real motives and policy of Great Britain during the years 1771 to 1773, but the special students of British imperial policy have not yet pushed their investigations into that portion of the field.
The Revenue act of 1767 had provided only for a small duty on tea as it entered colonial ports; the Tea act of 1767 had provided for the rebate or return on all tea thus shipped to America, of the much larger duty paid on the tea as it entered England from the Indies. This rebate of the English duty was really a sacrifice of a larger duty for a smaller one, in the hope that it would so cheapen the tea shipped to America that the colonists would buy it in spite of the small tax to be paid on it on entrance into American ports. The amount of this rebate of the English duty was changed by a new Tea act in 1772, and finally by a third one in 1773, while the American tax or duty was left as it originally had been laid in the Townshend Revenue act. It was under the new rebate Tea act of 1773 that the cargoes of tea were shipped to the various American ports in the early winter of
4. BRITISH ATTEMPT TO COMPEL COLONIAL
CONTROVERSY OF 1774.
OUTLINE.-British attempt to punish Boston and control Massachusetts by Boston Port bill, Regulating act, Administration of Justice act and new Quartering act, 1774; annexation of northwest to province of Quebec by Quebec act of same year; Massachusetts establishment of a provisional government, and preparation for armed resistance, 1774; "passive" resistance by colonies as a whole through Continental congress and its declaration of rights and organization of non-importation "Association; colonial rejection of Galloway's plan of conciliation, and beginning of persecution and suppression of Tory supporters of British policy, 1774; British success in "Lord Dunmore's war against the western Indians, 1774.
Teachers and pupils so easily lose themselves in the complexity of the years 1774 to 1776 that the sepa
rate treatment of each set of British actions and colonial responses during those years seems more than justiable. The most material changes in recent years in the treatment of that portion of this period outlined above relate to the Quebec act and Lord Dunmore's war. The monographic study of the Quebec act by Mr. Coffin does not convince all students of (Rept. Amer. Hist. Asso. for 1894, 273-280).
the period that the Quebec act was wholly unrelated to the British coercive measures of 1774; but it shows
quite conclusively that this act did not have its origin wholly or chiefly in the anger stirred up by the " Boston tea party," and that it was not passed especially as a measure of retaliation against the people of the older thirteen colonies. More emphasis is now being laid upon that activity of the British Governor Dunmore, of Virginia, by which the advance of the new westward movement' was made easier through suppression of the western Indians in 1774. As in the years 1767 to 1770, the British government was devoting fully as much time and thought to other affairs in America as to the "destroying of that nest of locusts at Boston.
So great has been the reaction of American sentiment in regard to the Tories or Loyalists of the revolutionary period that it is doubtless unnecessary to call the attention of teachers to those writings of Professor Tyler which startled American students of the revolutionary movement when first put forth, and to the more extensive but less calm presentation of the Tory side of the case by Mr. Fisher." In fact, so far has American acceptance of the legality of the British and Tory position gone in recent years that it sometimes seems almost necessary to call attention to the fact that the older order of things would never give way to the new, were legal and constitutional technicalities always faithfully adhered to. The British constitution and laws had been built up by and in the interests of the existing social and economic order; the American revolutionary party stood for a new and more democratic order, for the sake of which the British themselves were later to ignore and override the very technicalities upon which parliament and king now relied for justification of their policy towards the Americans. These facts must be borne in mind if one is to award the Tories their true place in the revolution as conservative adherents to the old and disappearing order of things in this time of its conflict with the new and rising order.
5. THE NEW BRITISH COERCIVE ACTS, AND COLONIAL DECLARATION OF ARMED RESISTANCE OR REBELLION, 1775.
OUTLINE.-British declaration of existence of rebellion in Massachusetts, and sending of Military Governor Gage to suppress it (spring of 1775); parliamentary passage of Restraining act against New England trade and offer of Lord North's plan of conciliation to the other colonies; attempt of Governor Gage to seize supplies of Massachusetts, outbreak of hostilities at Lexington and Concord,
8 Coffin, "The Quebec Act and the American Revolution" See first footnote under topic 2.
and colonial beginning of siege of Boston and capture of Fort Ticonderoga (April-May, 1775); meeting of second Continental congress, rejection of North's plan of concilia. tion, declaration of armed resistance, last appeal to the king, organization of a Continental army, and beginning of the issue of Continental paper money (May-July, 1775); beginning of settlement of central Kentucky under leader ship of Daniel Boone, 1775.
In the newer texts, slightly more attention is being devoted to the paper money experiences entered upon by the new American continental union in 1775. Monetary problems are among the most difficult of any which teachers and pupils are called upon to study in the whole field of American history. If at this point it can be made plain to the mind of the student that our first Continental currency was simply the attempt of congress to meet the expenses of sudden war by handing out "promises to pay," in the form of printed notes which it hoped to be able to meet in some future and better day, one of the great obstacles in the way of an intelligent study of our later financial history will have been successfully surmounted.1 10
One more in the several stages by which the west is being built up during the revolutionary struggle also demands and should receive attention at this time.11
6. BRITISH DECLARATION OF WAR Against the COLONIES, AND COLONIAL DEClaration of INDEPENDENCE, 1775-1776.
OUTLINE.-British declaration of existence of rebellion in all of the colonies, hiring of Hessians, and other preparations for the suppression of the rebellion (August-Novem ber, 1775); congressional recommendation of setting up of provisional state governments, and beginning of attempted invasion of Canada (November, 1775); parliamentary ex tension of Restraining act to the trade of all of the colo nies (December, 1775); rise of independence movement during the winter of 1775-1776; British repulse of Ameri can attempts to invade Canada, and surrender of Boston to continental army (March, 1776); congressional recom mendation of independent state governments in May, the adoption of state constitutions and setting up of new state governments, and their reflection of the political and social changes wrought by the revolutionary struggle; congressional declaration of American independence in July, and beginning of vigorous endeavor to bring about confed eration and secure foreign alliance.
Any teacher who has access to the more recent writings covering or including the period of the making of the new state constitutions of 1776 to 1783 may well and profitably stop at this point for a special study of those numerous and significant readjustments in politics, society, commerce, and industry porated within these new state constitutions.1
10 For discussions of the finances of the American revolu tion, see K. Coman, "Industrial History United States," 107-113; D. R. Dewey, "Financial History of the United States," 34-59. A list of the larger financial histories covering the revolutionary period may be found on page of Dewey.
11 See second footnote to topic 2.
12 Edward Channing, "History of the United States," III, 388.
The twelve years of agitation between 1764 and 1776 brought rapid crystalization of ideas long but vaguely existing in the American mind. These new ideas were partly the result of the development of old institutions into new meanings under the influence of new environment; partly they reflected only that same advancement made by the more progressive elements in the mother country itself. Whichever of these was their origin, the new ideas found formulation and elaboration in the new state constitutions and governments of 1776 to 1783.13
The social compact ideas could now be tried; the objects and limitations of government could be stated in every form; the long-nurtured prejudice against the executive could be vented; the growth of a privileged class in America could be stopped, and the rights of the individual could be forever preserved in a bill of rights." Slavery, already economically unprofitable and morally distasteful to the majority in the north, was abolished by one northern state after another, until the close of the revolutionary period witnessed an almost complete division of the Federal union, both as to states and territories, between free-soil and slave-soil; a division that was to serve as a keeper of the peace between north and south until Texas, Oregon, and the Mexican cession raised the Wilmot proviso struggle and turned the country to a supposedly new measure of peace in the compromise of 1850.15 The slave-trade suffered with slavery, the revolutionary awakening not only leading to its prohibition by the northern states, but also putting under way the wider movement which was to result in its outlawing in 1808.16
For more than twenty years the attention of students and teachers of American history has been called to the fact that the American revolution was not so much " a quarrel between two peoples as it was a strife between two parties,' 17 to one of which parties belonged both American and English Whigs and to the other both English and American Tories. This general idea is now a commonplace one with students and teachers; even if, as it is charged, none of our text-books happen to tell us that there were 25,000 Americans enlisted in the British army, or that at many times there were more Americans under the British than the colonial flag.1 But it has remained for the writer who makes this latter charge to call our attention to another and much
13 For discussion of the revolutionary constitution-making, see C. H. Van Tyne, "The American Revolution," 136-156; F. N. Thorpe, "Constitutional History of the American People," I, 101-132; C. E. Merriam, "American Political Theories," 38-95; Woodburn, "American Republic," 1-46.
14 “American Nation,” IX, 38.
13 See the writer's paper on "The Bargain of 1844 as the Origin of the Wilmot Proviso (Proceedings Amer. Hist.
Asso. for 1911, pp. 187-195).
1 See W. E. B. Du Bois, "Suppression of the Slave Trade" (Harvard Historical Series, I), 39-52.
17 Justin Winsor, “America,” VI, 1.
18 A. M. Simons, P. 72.
more startling suggestion: that "the dominant interests in the revolutionary party were those from which sprung the present capitalist class" of our country, and that this element "had already learned how to draw to themselves and use in their interest the great mass of the laboring and small business classes;" "19 that the American revolution was but one Revolution" is stimulating reading.
phase or aspect of the European-wide struggle between the older feudal or landed aristocracy and the newly-rising capitalistic aristocracy so familiar to all of us at the present time.
Proof enough of the general accuracy of this assertion is found in the fact that the very constitutions which took great pains to abolish " every vestige of feudal land tenure "20 in the new American states took equal if not greater care to safeguard in every way the other rights of property;" that the new governments, as the old, derived their 'just powers from the consent of the property-owners and taxpayers, not the plain people."21 But it may be asserted, with comparative sufficiency of proof, that the "plain people were led into their support of the revolution, not alone by the strategy of the “ new aristocracy of capital," but by their realization that the ruling aristocracy of Great Britain was the common enemy, and must be overcome if the plain people were to have any opportunity at all for beginning the struggle at home for that larger "democracy" which they sought and of which we to-day are still in pursuit. Time was to prove the "plain people" as yet unequal to successful combat with the new aristocracy which they had helped to victory in America. In the making of the new state constitutions, and in the making of the later Federal constitution, the capitalistic-aristocratic element was dominant.2 The new constitution carried the phraseology of the " rights of man," but they were written in terms of the "rights of property." The time was not yet ripe for the further forward step (which, in fact, we have not taken even yet) by which the plain people" should in their turn overthrow that new aristocracy of "merchants, manufacturers, bankers, and planters" whose leadership brought on and carried to a successful conclusion the American revolutionary uprising against Great Britain and its older landed aristocracy.
7. THE WAR IN THE NORTH, AND CONFEDERATION AND ALLIANCE, 1776-1778.
OUTLINE.-British plan for occupation of Hudson valley and isolation and subjugation of New England; American preparation for defense of New York, beginning of privateering and building of a navy, and failure to bring about
19 Same, p. 71. Mr. Simons' entire chapter on 20 K. Coman, "Industrial History of the United States," p. 119.
21 "American Nation," IX, 150.
22 C. A. Beard, "An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States " (Macmillan, 1913); A. M. Simons, “Social Forces in American History," 81-99; R. S. "Social Forces in American History," Usher, “Rise of the American People,” 31, 45, 61, 106-122, 140-152.
either confederation or foreign alliance in summer of 1776; early British success and final American victory in Hudson valley and New Jersey campaign of August, 1776, to January, 1777; financial and other difficulties of the Continental congress, 1776-1777; early British success in Hudson valley and Philadelphia campaigns of 1777, American victory at Saratoga, final adoption by congress of the Articles of Confederation, and the hard winter at Valley Forge, 1777-1778; failure of British attempt at conciliation, success of French alliance, and final failure of the British campaign of 1777-1778; beginning of European warfare between France and England, 1778.
Three items of some importance fail to find more than passing mention in the ordinary text-book treatment of these first days of the Revolutionary war: the rapid rise of the financial difficulties of the Continental congress; the breakdown of the American army in the face of almost uninterrupted defeat; and the conduct of the British campaign by General Howe.
The treatment of the finances of the revolutionary period by Profesor Dewey in his excellent volume is topical rather than chronological, and serves better the purpose of review than that of bringing to the student the realization of the gradual entanglement of Congress in the meshes of revolutionary finance. For the latter purpose, resort must be had to the larger works on finance, and the details gleaned therefrom must still be arranged and interpreted by the teacher.23
than to the extraordinary military movements" of the British General Howe, who adroitly stretched the conciliatory and olive-branch part of the ministry's policy so as to favor the Whig party in England and the patriot party in America. 25 Indeed, it is not necessary to minimize the ability and achievements of Washington in order to admit the substantial justice of the charge that had the American war been pushed as vigorously and relentlessly by General Howe as was the later Boer war by the British general, Lord Roberts, the American attempt at independence would have suffered the same fate as befell that of the Boers.
Valley Forge, the first climax of American discouragement and suffering, is known to everyone; but few students have occasion to realize the despondency that sat so heavily upon the commander-in-chief of the American armies throughout the greater share of the entire revolutionary period. Washington's letters of 1776 to 1778 carry constant and loud complaints against congressional dependence upon the "broken reed" of a militia, with its "short enlistments," its never-ending "fluctuating state," its "plots and conspiracies," state " quarreling about the appointments," and the habit whole regiments had, upon the expiration of their terms, of "taking off with them many public arms." American officers thought it exceedingly hard" that "many foreigners" were "put over them in the continental service simply because the "effrontery " of the foreigners would take no denial." which that alliance soon became. And Washington himself was so depressed by the policies of the slow and inattentive the spirit of disaffection " which he found nearly everywhere, and the incapacity of Congress, that he more than once thought the game is pretty near up," and that the American army would have to starve, dissolve, or disperse."24
So firmly fixed in the American mind is the conception of Washington as one of the world's greatest generals that scarcely an American history text contains reference to Mr. Fisher's vigorous revival of the contemporary charge that American victory was due less to the genius and ability of Washington
23 See first footnote to topic 5.
24 Extracts from correspondence of Washington, quoted in Caldwell & Persinger, "Source History United States," pp. 204-207.
8. THE WAR IN THE WEST AND ON THE OCEAN, AND THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR IN THE SOUTH, JULY, 1778-SEPTEMBER, 1780.
OUTLINE.-Failure of British to renew campaign in the north in 1778, and American uncertainty of British intentions until 1779; Tory and Indian attacks on Pennsylvania and New York frontiers in 1778, and American retaliation through Sullivan's expedition of 1779; British attempt to incite attack by northwestern Indians in 1778, and Clark's "winning of the northwest" in winter of 1778-1779; beginning of decline of American privateering, victories of American navy in English waters, and Spanish alliance with France in warfare against Great Britain, 1779; British conquest and occupation of Georgia, French suggestion of peace negotiations, American appointment of peace commissioners and statement of terms of peace, and Spanish demand for the southwest, 1779-1780; financial breakdown of confederation and beginning of mutinies of the armies, 1780; overwhelming victory of British over American army under Gates at Camden, treason of Arnold, and American loss of " everything save honor," AugustSeptember, 1780.
That movement running through the years 1778 to 1780 which is least understood and most poorly treated in the average high school course is the one having to do with our foreign relations. The majority of text-books now take note of the fact that the European warfare in which Great Britain became involved as a result of our alliance with France was the main factor in the ultimate success of the AmeriBut they almost as universally fail to call attention to the drag upon American progress Spain joined France in the warfare against Great Britain in the same year in which France requested the American congress to indicate the terms upon which it would The American congress drew up a accept peace. statement of the terms of peace, which included a demand for the Mississippi as our western boundary, and appointed a small group of men to act as negotiators should the peace suggestion be favorably received. Apparently much to the surprise of the American congress, congress, Spain protested against the American claim to the lands between the Alleghenies and the Mississippi, asserting that the king's proclamation of 1763 had made these "crown lands," sub
25 S. G. Fisher, "True History American Revolution," p. 308; for a more detailed discussion, see his "Struggle for American Independence," I, 507-514.
ject to invasion and conquest by any of the nations now at war with Great Britain. In spite of American protests, Spain sent armed forces to seize British posts within this region, and prepared to lay claim to it on the basis of conquest from the British. The dispute thus begun between Spain and the new United States grew in seriousness as the war continued, was the chief cause of the American breach of instructions during the peace negotiations, and is largely the explanation of our unfriendly relations with Spain in and over the southwest from 1781 to at least 1795.26.
9. AMERICAN RECOVERY OF THE SOUTH AND VICTORY At Yorktown, and the MAKING OF THE TREATY OF PEACE, 1780-1783.
OUTLINE.-Russian leadership in European "league of armed neutrality" against England, and entrance of Holland into European warfare against the British, 1780; congressional pledge of statehood, and beginning of state cessions of western lands, 1780-1781; American victories in the south at King's Mountain, the Cowpens, and Guilford Courthouse, and British attempt to transfer the war to 1 Virginia, 1780-1781; mutiny of the Pennsylvania troops because of lack of pay, and failure of first attempt to secure a revenue amendment to articles of confederation, 1781; American recovery of the Carolinas and cornering of Cornwallis at Yorktown, 1780-1781; failure of attempts of King George to prolong the war and of Washington to prepare for its continuation, and beginning of peace negotiations, 1781; Spanish demand for the southwest, French suggestion of division of west between United States and Spain, and American opening of direct and secret negotiations with British, 1781; easy agreement on boundaries, and long struggles over American access to Canadian fisheries, payment of debts due British merchants, and protection and compensation of American loyalists, 1781-1782; French and American criticism of negotiators and acceptance of treaty, and British final reluctant ratification of its terms, 1783.
One of the most puzzling matters encountered by the student of the revolutionary period is that of the "league of armed neutrality," established by Russia in 1780 as a protection of neutral European commerce against British encroachment. Nearly every text-book refers to it, but scarcely a single one makes plain either the content or significance of the new league."
As a matter of fact, the league of armed neutrality represents a largely unsuccessful attempt to mitigate the effects of war upon commerce, by asserting the right of neutral vessels to be free from seizure even when carrying what was generally recognized as 'contraband of war" to the warring countries. Free ships make free goods," ran the new phrase, -meaning that neutral ships made any goods they carried free from seizure. If the new idea prevailed, both the United States and its European allies could more easily obtain the materials of warfare from which British supremacy upon the seas otherwise would largely cut them off.
The most complete, although the oldest, treatment of this controversy is found in Justin Winsor, "America,” VII,
The Russian "league 'league" aided the Americans slightly in that the desire of Great Britain to remain on friendly terms with Russia permitted Russian ships to engage in practically unrestricted trade with all of the enemies of the British. It aided the Americans slightly more in that it furnished the real though not nominal reason for British declaration of warfare against Holland, and thus added one more to the enemies of Great Britain in that European warfare which distracted the main attention of the British away from America and made possible the success of the American struggle for independence.27
10. SUMMARY OF AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT DURING THE REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD.
OUTLINE.-TERRITORIAL: establishment of new, independent nation with definite boundaries; beginning of cession of state western land claims to central government; trans-Alleghany westward movement into eastern and central Tennessee and central Kentucky; and strengthening of American traits of individualism and self-government. CONSTITUTIONAL: Development and formulation of "natural rights or rights of man" philosophy; establishment of written state constitutions and articles of confederation. GOVERNMENTAL: State patterning after colonial governments, with attempt to divide new governments into clearlydefined departments; " informal committees of correspondence," extra-legal continental congress, and authorization of congressional government by articles of confederation. PARTIES: Rise of American Whigs and Tories, and disappearance of Tory party; dependence on informal secret caucuses as party machinery." INDUSTRIAL-ECONOMIC: American freedom from British restriction on commerce and industry, beginning of commerce with Europe, and beginning of manufacturing on small scale; state and general revolu. tionary public debts and paper money problem; northern abolition of slavery and slave trade. SOCIAL ECONOMIC: Revolutionary beginning of overthrow of feudal landed aristocracy and development of capitalist aristocracy; increased assertiveness of laboring and small-farmer classes under influence of "rights of man" philosophy and of revolutionary disturbance of old conditions. RELIGIOUS: Breakdown of English Episcopal church in middle and southern colonies; strength of New England Congregationalism because of support of patriot side; spread of the more democratic" church organizations, especially in the back country.
Through past attempts to summarize the development of the revolutionary period the writer has been brought to a very firm conviction that the "revolutionary period" of American history did not end until 1792; that the events of 1784 to 1792 were but the continued and farther unfolding of that steady series of events and developments started by the British change of policy" of 1764. In 1793, American attention and energy were diverted from this line of development to a new one, dominated by that “struggle for neutral rights" which began with the arrival of Genet and reached its climax and conclusion in the Monroe doctrine of 1823. Nevertheless, it seems best to attempt the above summary of that portion of the revolutionary development completed by 1783.
Of these developments, the chief one, in the view of the present writer, is that beginning of the merg
27 C. H. Van Tyne, “The American Revolution," 313-316.