Turning the World Upside down: the War of American Independence and the Problem of Empire : The War of American Independence and the Problem of Empire 9780313059551, 9780275976934

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Turning the World Upside Down

Recent Titles in Studies in Military History and International Affairs Jeremy Black, Series Editor When Reason Fails: Portraits of Armies at War: America, Britain, Israel and the Future Michael Goodspeed A History of Modern Wars of Attrition Carter Malkasian When Men Lost Faith in Reason: Reflections on War and Society in the Twentieth Century H.P. milmott Between the Lines: Banditti of the American Revolution Harry M. Ward America as a Military Power: From the American Revolution to the Civil War Jeremy Black British Strategy and Politics during the Phony War: Before the Balloon Went Up Nick Smart War in the Age of the Enlightenment, 1700-1789 Armstrong Starkey

Turning the World Upside Down The War of American Independence and the Problem of Empire NEIL LONGLEYYORK

Studies in Military History and International Affairs Jeremy Black, Series Editor

PRAEGER

""^""ESS

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data York, Neil Longley. Turning the world upside down : the War of American Independence and the problem of Empire / Neil Longley York. p. cm. — (Studies in military history and international affairs) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-275-97693-9 1. United States—Politics and government—1775-1783—Philosophy. 2. United States—History—Revolution, 1775-1783—Influence. 3. Imperialism—History— 18th century. 4. Balance of power—History—18th century. 5. United States— Territorial expansion. 6. Messianism, Political—United States. 7. National characteristics, American. I. Title II. Series E210.Y67 2003 973.311—dc21 2003048205 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data is available. Copyright © 2003 by Neil Longley York All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, by any process or technique, without the express written consent of the publisher. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2003048205 ISBN: 0-275-97693-9 First published in 2003 Praeger Publishers, 88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881 An imprint of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc. www.praeger.com Printed in the United States of America

The paper used in this book complies with the Permanent Paper Standard issued by the National Information Standards Organization (Z39.48-1984). 10 987654321

Once again to my parents Eric Kingsmill York (USMC, 1943-1946) and Joel Barlow York from a still grateful son

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Contents

Acknowledgments

ix

Preface

xi

1

Imperial Competition and the Rise of British America

1

Outposts of Empire Military Sideshows

8 17

Britian Triumphant

26

2

Revolt Without Revolution Containment Mortgages, Financial and Psychological Shadow Governments Shooting War

39 41 48 60 66

3

Revolution Embraced, Independence Declared Cutting Ties

77

4

81

Armies and Navies

92

To and Fro

99

The War as Great Power Conflict

111

Clandestine Aid

114

Escalation Letting Go

122 131

Contents

VIII

5

New Nation, New Empire

149

By Land

153

By Sea

165

Boundless

173

Suggested Reading

185

Index

187

Acknowledgments

This is a book that I thought about doing for quite some time. Jeremy Black, professor of history at the University of Exeter and editor of the series in which it appears, gave me the opportunity to finally write the thing and to thank him here is hardly enough—but thank him I do. Thanks also go to Heather Staines, the historian doubling as an editor at Praeger. Knowing that she would read whatever I wrote helped to keep me on course. Thistle Hill Publishing Services recast the typescript into its present form. I was still in graduate school when my thoughts first turned toward the War of American Independence as part of a larger international conflict. Those early thoughts resulted in a seminar paper written at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for the distinguished diplomatic historian Alexander DeConde. That paper in turn became my first published article, back in 1979. Professor DeConde has continued to encourage me, even from afar. Piers Mackesy, then of Pembroke College, Oxford, and Don Higginbotham, then and now at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, also voiced their support along the way, but they—like Professor DeConde—are free from any responsibility for what follows. With funds approved by understanding department chairs and college deans and, more recently made available, by my appointment as a Karl G. Maeser Professor of General Education at Brigham Young University, I have been able to do research at various American and British archives and libraries. Without that funding and those archives and libraries, and without the helpful staffs there and at other institutions that I contacted only by mail, I never could have written what I have here. And without my wife, Carole, I am not sure that I would have had the desire or ability to write anything at all.

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Preface

If buttercups buzzed after the bee If boats were on land, churches on sea, If ponies rode men and if grass ate the cows, And cats should be chased into holes by the mouse, If the mamas sold their babies to the gypsies for half a crown; If summer were spring and t'other way round, Then all the world would be upside down.1 These lines from an old English ballad have often been linked to the British surrender at Yorktown in October 1781: ironic folk lyrics to accentuate an ironic military denouement. According to this tradition the British, as they marched off toward a field to lay down their arms, did so to a number of "airs" and "melancholy" tunes, and one of them was purportedly "The World Turned Upside Down." Not that any of the men in that sad procession sang the words above or even hummed them silently as they listened to whatever the fifers and drummers played; indeed, these particular lyrics may not have even been paired with the tune yet and it is not at all clear what music was offered—or if the vanquished walked with quiet dignity "in a slow, solemn step" or shuffled disrespectfully, even drunkenly As with virtually all scenes of potentially high drama and deep symbolism, the reports made afterward are fragmentary, the accounts contradictory. Even so, Henry P. Johnston could not be bothered with any uncertainty on the subject. Dubious source notwithstanding, he wrote matter-of-factly that the defeated troops "marched out with colors cased, while the tune they chose to follow was an old British march with the quite appropriate

XII

Preface

title of T h e World Turned Upside D o w n / " His history of the campaign was timed to coincide with the Yorktown victory centennial of 1881. He chided fellow Americans for taking so long to erect a monument at the site of that triumph, a civically sacred space where they could share their "common pride." To celebrate Yorktown was to commemorate the new nation being born. "There are few brighter chapters in American history than that which presents the success of the Revolution; and at this particular time we may revive it, perhaps, with advantage, as tending, in a certain way, to strengthen the national good-feeling with which we enter upon the second century of our experience." 2 Johnston gave the French their due; there could have been no victory without them. Nor were his British oafs or ogres. Still, they deserved to lose—not just because of military miscalculation, but because they had not held true to their liberty-loving, Anglo-Saxon heritage. He suggested that Yorktown had been for the United States what Marathon had been for Greece, with Britons becoming to Americans what Persians had represented to Athenians over two thousand years before. Britons needed to lose in order to rediscover their purer selves; sadly, they had been blinded by an overweening drive for power that made them, at least momentarily, oppressors. Moreover, Americans could never achieve greatness until they had formed a nation of their own. Thus both peoples were made better off apart; both could move ahead to fulfill their destiny. "The common Anglo-Saxon civilization of the past has worked upon the whole benignly for mankind," Johnston proclaimed. "Whatever great things are the outcome, we must date them, in a certain measure, from Yorktown." 3 In the long run, then, both nations came out ahead; in the long run, so did the larger world. Johnston was fascinated with the great reversal that had occurred: weak beating strong, servant surpassing master, child teaching parent. He could just as easily have made his point by focusing on another folk tune with a better claim to a place at Yorktown: "Yankee Doodle." As the defeated British passed through the files of victors, Americans on one side, French on the other, the Marquis de Lafayette thought they were behaving badly, averting their eyes from the Americans and giving only sidelong glances at the French. At that, he reportedly instructed American fifers and drummers to strike up "Yankee Doodle," an even neater musical turnabout than "The World Turned Upside Down." In earlier days, going back to the French and Indian War, the British had played "Yankee Doodle" derisively. A livelier march, it was easier to imagine its mocking nature. Lyrics varied; the tune remained essentially the same, as did the message: Americans were no soldiers. It had been understood that the British would not play "Yankee Doodle" at the formal surrender. They were probably disinclined to anyway. It had come to haunt them long before Yorktown. They had played it on their way to Salem in February 1775 to find and destroy

Preface

XIII

a Patriot weapons cache. Instead, they failed and left empty-handed, slow-stepping to "The World Turned Upside Down." Two months later a relief column under Lord Percy bound for the Massachusetts countryside marched confidently to "Yankee Doodle;" some on that April 19 came to regret it. By war's end the Americans had made "Yankee Doodle" their own. And so it remains. "Yankee Doodle" may have begun as a self-mocking colonial American tune that the British adopted and Revolutionary Americans reclaimed. The sentiments expressed in "The World Turned Upside Down" had analogues from antiquity—notably, when Jews in Thessalonica complained of zealots preaching to them in their synagogues about a resurrected Christ as the Messiah. Distraught at what they considered heresy they railed at "these who have turned the world upside down." 4 Jewish zealots that recast themselves as Christians created a new theological world, with great consequences for believer and nonbeliever alike. In their own way American Revolutionaries defined themselves in almost messianic terms: a new people in a new nation for a new age. Their faith lived on in the filiopietism of Henry P. Johnston, whose history of the Yorktown campaign is still well regarded by modern scholars—careful though they are to avoid his patriotic excess. Johnston thought that the British empire had been corrupted and then cleansed, forming what proud Victorians called a "Greater Britain." He believed that Americans would do even better, that they could, in effect, have an empire without imperialism. A later generation has more doubts. Revolutionary Americans may have turned the world upside down by waging a successful war of independence; whether they had thereby introduced a less imperialistic approach to empire-building, turning the world upside down in another sense, is a very different matter. NOTES 1. See Henry Steele Commager and Richard B. Morris, eds., The Spirit of 'Seventy-Six (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), 1246, for the lyrics, and Arthur Schrader, "'The World Turned Upside Down': A Yorktown March, or Music to Surrender By" American Music 16 (1998): 180-215, for the controversy. 2. Henry P. Johnston, The Yorktown Campaign and the Surrender of Cornw (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1881), preface. 3. Ibid., 13. 4. Acts 17:6.

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CHAPTER 1

Imperial Competition and the Rise of British America

[S]o in this most famous and peerlesse government of her most excellent Majesty, her subjects through the speciall assistance, and blessing of God, in searching the most opposite corners and quarters of the world, and to speake plainly, in compassing the vaste globe of the earth more than once, have excelled all the nations and people of the earth. Richard Hakluyt, Principal Navigations (1589)1 The discovery of America, and that of a passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope, are the two greatest and most important events recorded in the history of mankind. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776)2 Adam Smith intended no sacrilege by his boast. Neither had Richard Hakluyt. Hakluyt in fact devoted himself to serving his God as a priest in the Church of England. But he spent nearly as much time in the service of his nation, service that secured him a burial in Westminster Abbey and an island named in his honor off the coast of Greenland. He had set his course early in life. He recalled vividly a visit to his older cousin of the same name when he was still a youth. Spread before his eager eyes were "bookes of Cosmographie" and a "universall Mappe" that showed the world before Columbus. Europe, Asia, and Africa were roughed in; the Americas were nowhere to be found. The elder Hakluyt then turned the boy to the Psalms, where he read of men who "go downe to the sea in ships, and occupy by the great waters, they see the works of the Lord, and his woonders in the deepe." 3

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The youth experienced an epiphany that would continue to inspire him as an adult. He collected information about strange lands, their mountains and rivers, their flora and fauna. Like his uncle he was no mere antiquarian or collector of curiosities. Rather, be became a repository and disseminator of arcane information that he made public in eleven volumes over eleven years, hoping that Englishmen everywhere would take pride in what a few adventurous souls were doing for crown and country in the great unknown. For him the glory of Elizabeth's reign was marked by daring explorers who carried the English flag to the far reaches of the globe. He stressed that in his lifetime England had gone from a political backwater to a leader in world affairs; he marveled that exotic peoples from distant lands traded with the English and even learned to speak their tongue. "For mine owne part, I take it as a pledge of Gods further favour both unto us and them" that such connections had been made, and "to them especially, unto whose doores I doubt not in time shalbe by us carried the incomparable treasure of the trueth of Christianity, and of the Gospell." 4 Trade and empire, empire and religion—they were all of a piece. Hakluyt never traveled to any faraway lands. He did, however, invest financially as well as psychologically in the enterprises of those who did. He not only popularized the efforts of Sir Walter Raleigh in the Americas, and those of Sir Humphrey Gilbert before, but he also pooled his resources with other Raleigh backers. When Raleigh gave up on his North American enterprise, Hakluyt was one of those to whom he relinquished his claims. They were in turn passed on to what became the Virginia Company of London, corporate sponsor of Jamestown. Hakluyt looked east as well as west and became involved in what would emerge as the East India Company, whose motto "Deus Indicat" nicely complemented an Anglican clergyman's dreams. Perhaps most important of all, Hakluyt devised a rationale for oceanborne commerce and overseas colonies, a logic for empire that would not change for centuries to come, even as England was transformed into Great Britain. He apparently composed it just before Sir Walter Raleigh dispatched the settlers who landed on Roanoke Island in 1585 and founded "Virginia" in honor of Raleigh's royal benefactor. The English, Hakluyt warned, had done too little to develop trade with the east and, at their peril, had done almost nothing to open lands to the west. His seeming boast in 1589 had actually been a plea, a jeremiad of sorts, calling on the English to transcend their insularity and share his vision of God's plan for the island nation as world power. He feared that, compared with the Portuguese and Spanish, they had not accomplished much: few great discoveries, no New World colonies. First and foremost was their national duty to spread the gospel because only England's monarchs were true defenders of the faith. Catholic Spain had failed in the sacred charge of lovingly bringing converts to Christ.

Imperial Competition and the Rise of British America

3

Instead, its conquistadors had slaughtered and enslaved innocent natives. Anglican England must do better; it must remove the brutal yoke, liberating the natives while at the same time opening new opportunities for the disadvantaged at home to have a new start abroad. Those immigrants would develop products for international exchange and act as a market for goods made in England. The resulting enterprise would "yelde unto us all the commodities of Europe, Affrica, & Asia, as farr as wee were wont to travell, and supply the wantes of all our decayed trades." 5 England could not be content to set up a few outposts in the Americas. Full-fledged towns had to be established, with busy ports and proper docks that could build warships as well as merchantmen. Because trade routes needed to be protected and rivals held in check, Hakluyt called for a blue water navy to provide a strategic edge in the enlarged balance of power competition that loomed ahead. Knowing that Spain would consider England an interloper in the Americas, Hakluyt was at pains to discount any claim Spain might have to a New World monopoly. He dismissed a 1494 treaty between Spain and Portugal that split the world between the two as irrelevant, an "abomination." That the treaty had received papal sanction was less relevant still. The pope—a Spaniard, he hastened to add—mixed where he did not belong. On the basis of prior discovery, he contended that England's American claim was stronger than Spain's anyway—that John Cabot had made a continental landfall before Columbus. Besides, as he told it, Columbus sailed for Spain by a fluke. Henry VII had agreed to support him before Ferdinand and Isabella eventually came around; only an unfortunate delay prevented the arrangement from becoming final. If settlement rather than first discovery were used as the basis of American territorial claims, Hakluyt contended, then Spain must consider Florida its northernmost boundary. Everything above it was open country. That Hakluyt stressed Cape Breton Island or perhaps Newfoundland as good sites for settlement showed that he did not think France had a valid prior claim either. He knew full well that Jacques Cartier had explored the St. Lawrence River region a half-century before and that the French continued to dabble in New World exploration. Much of what he knew he learned while acting as chaplain to Sir Francis Walsingham during Walsingham's diplomatic mission in Paris. His snooping among documents had caused some French to distrust him as a spy. They could see that, for Hakluyt, Spain may have been the primary threat to English expansion, but any other nation with similar ambitions—France included—was a potential threat and he would advise his queen to make her alliances accordingly. Hakluyt's blueprint for empire laid out in detail what common sense and a few other propagandists had only sketched. A mere handful saw it in his lifetime. Its importance does not lie in its influence; rather, Hakluyt's

4

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"Discourse of Western Planting" shows how one man could express his own hopes and capture the aspirations of others as well, aspirations that would someday drive a nation. That Hakluyt saw the need to sell England on the idea of expansion beyond Europe also shows that interest in empire did not automatically lead to overseas enterprise, nor did interest in overseas enterprise automatically mean English colonies in the Americas. Thus the efforts of John Cabot nearly a century before had not brought a sustained English push into the Atlantic. News of Columbus's first voyage notwithstanding, Henry VII had been far more concerned with consolidating English power in the British Isles. By the same token, he worried more about holding onto what little was left of the English empire in France than he was with any unknown places or northwest passage to Cathay that John Cabot might find. He could little imagine that the hundred years war of his predecessors against France on the Continent would be dwarfed by the later hundred years war of his successors, fought on a bigger stage for much higher stakes. Henry made it clear in his 1497 arrangement with Cabot that he did not want war with Spain over rival claims to the west. Cabot's patent was carefully worded so that the transplanted Venetian, now an agent of English empire, did not attempt to annex the lands of any Christian prince, only that of "heathens and infidels." It was understood that he would stay well to the north of the latitudes sailed by Columbus in his search for wealth and a passage to the Indies. Henry VII wanted oceanic empire on the cheap. He did not put up much money and took few financial risks. Cabot and other investors provided most of the funding, and Cabot and those who ventured forth with him incurred virtually all of the physical risks. Still, they sailed under protection of the king's banner. An attack on them would presumably have been treated as an attack on the crown. Cabot and his heirs received title to lands from the king, an extension of his demesne beyond the realm, but it was a title that could always revert to the original source. They were also promised an exemption from paying customs duties on "all and singular merchandise as they shall bring with them from those places so newly found." 6 Such open-ended trade would someday be curtailed under the rules and regulations of the so-called navigation system and the development of more formal mercantilistic policies. But as so often happens, theory lagged behind practice. Cabot disappeared at sea and his son Sebastian did not secure the family titles. It would be several generations before English enterprise in the New World advanced beyond intermittent exploration and opportunistic raiding. When Sir Humphrey Gilbert dusted off Henry VII's grant to Cabot and successfully lobbied Elizabeth to extend a like privilege to him in 1578, mercantilism remained a vague notion and the navigation system was still incubating. Gilbert, like Cabot eighty years before, was expected to avoid

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5

a direct confrontation with Spain, with a charge to colonize only "remote heathen and barbarous lands." According to his letters patent from the queen, she would disavow any act of his that offended a Christian prince and declare him outside her protection if he acted too aggressively. That was her public posture as well. Privately, Gilbert had proposed to a sympathetic Elizabeth various ways that he could "annoy the King of Spayne." 7 As much as she wanted to avoid a war with Phillip II, she had no intention of letting him have the Americas to himself. Despite a keen interest in the New World, Elizabeth was not so different from her grandfather. Less than a year before she took the throne England lost Calais, its last toehold in France. Elizabeth and her successors through George III would keep up the fiction of an empire across the channel as they redirected their energy elsewhere. She did not have the inclination, much less the wherewithal, to underwrite transatlantic colonizing experiments. She had to rely on cooperative arrangements with those willing to spend their money, not hers. The arguments made by a later generation of mercantilists for the reciprocal empire—with mother country and colonies benefiting equally—therefore had their antecedents during Elizabeth's reign as a matter of state necessity. Public and private enterprise were paired in an imperialistic quid pro quo. The partnership could be quite tangible in profit-seeking motives: Gilbert, like Cabot, was obliged to turn over one-fifth of all the gold and silver that he found to the crown. It could also be less tangible but no less real, as national program was linked to personal project, a blending that blurred the line between the public and private spheres. Ambitious Elizabethans contemplated action from Newfoundland to Florida to Panama to Peru and even to the terra incognita of the South Pacific. Humphrey Gilbert was only unusual in that he came up with a definite plan and executed it. Gilbert would not have made the effort if he had not hoped to make a fortune from it. The New World had first piqued his curiosity in the 1560s, when he was in France and learned of the sniping between Spaniards and French in northern Florida. Knighted for his brutal tenacity when battling Irish Catholics in Munster during the 1570s, he nonetheless failed to profit as he had expected from the plantations set up as part of Elizabeth's pacification program there. "His views on the treatment of subject people, for a man who might well have founded the first settlement among the North American Indians, are of some interest," noted historian David Beers Quinn in a nice bit of understatement. 8 Fighting alongside the Dutch against the Spanish in the Netherlands proved even less lucrative; hence Gilbert's turn west and hopes for a transatlantic windfall. Beyond paying the set percentage on precious metals to the crown, giving "due homage" to Elizabeth, and seeing that laws made for whatever colony he founded were "as neare as conveniently maye be agreable" to the laws of England, Gilbert was granted what at first glance appears to be an otherwise free

6

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hand. Gilbert could name himself "chief governor" if he chose or appoint someone else to act in his stead. He and his heirs would have title to all lands in "fee simple" and could dispose of them as they saw fit.9 Although there were no fixed boundaries, it was assumed that Gilbert would stay well away from Florida. Presumably he would go far enough north that he could claim all lands within six hundred miles of his first settlement. Any European venturing in would be committing trespass; any native in the area offering resistance could be crushed. Gilbert, like most of his countrymen who followed, viewed the lands of North America as a veritable vacuum domicilium. Indigenous pagans, less worthy in God's eyes than protestantized Englishmen, were effectively outside the law and could have no valid title, except to those lands that they held by actual occupation. But Gilbert worried far more about Spaniards than he did Indians. Realistic enough to anticipate the need for local taxes to maintain "an Navy and soldyars for the generall defence," he thought most of the decisive fighting to come would occur between Europeans, not Englishmen and natives. 10 But grand visions of natives improving themselves by choosing Christ and English ways would be difficult to sustain once earthbound competition came into play. Failing at his first attempt in 1578, Gilbert tried again in 1583, but only after organizing a joint stock company to help share the expense. Formed in November 1582, the Merchant Adventurers of Southampton included over one hundred investors, starting with great men who were members of Elizabeth's court like Lord Burghley (William Cecil) and Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas Bromley, and lesser luminaries like Sir Francis Walsingham. They were joined by the more common sort, dozens of Southampton merchants and tradesmen. 11 Cash-poor despite the initial investment, Gilbert was prepared to give away lands to those who would fund the transatlantic passage of prospective settlers—anticipating the headright system someday used in the Chesapeake as a recruitment device. Gilbert even made provisions for institutionalizing Anglicanism among the settlers, setting aside lands for the Church of England as he joined sword with cross, and sword and cross with ledger. Gilbert did not live to see his New World dream come true. He suffered the same fate as Cabot. Had he lived, had he begun a colony, odds are that he would have encountered the same problems that beset the empire later. There was, of course, the ever-present danger of attack by European rivals. If he had attempted a settlement any farther south than Chesapeake Bay he may well have prompted a Spanish retaliatory strike. His halfbrother Walter Raleigh, who inherited the patent, did indeed go farther south. As it was, Raleigh's two attempts at Roanoke did not last long enough to test Spanish patience. By the time that agents for the Virginia Company of London founded Jamestown in 1607, Spanish power in that part of the world had begun to ebb, but Spain would not recognize the

Imperial Competition and the Rise of British America

7

English right to be there until later still, after Carolina had been planted and the English had crept just that much closer to St. Augustine. If Gilbert had concentrated his efforts farther north, he may have encountered opposition from the French. Sure enough, when he made his landfall at Newfoundland in 1583 the Frenchmen fishing there showed no inclination to accept his claims. Likewise for the Spanish and Portuguese and English working those waters. It was their snubbing of his authority that sent him farther south. Whatever punishment he had in store for them perished with him. The unwillingness of foreigners to recognize his authority probably did not surprise him; the unwillingness of fellow Englishmen to give obesiance must have galled. And that is a key reminder to a basic dynamic in all of this: overseas empire-building did not just pit nation against nation; it also pitted rival interests within a single nation against each other. For example, Gilbert's grant displeased the Muscovy Company. Incorporated and granted a royal monopoly a quarter century before, the Muscovy Company sought a northeast passage to China. What would have happened had the Muscovy Company reached its destination, only to find that Englishmen seeking a northwest passage at the behest of the Merchant Adventurers of Southampton had beaten it there? Would the Levant Company have received its charter in 1592, or the East India Company in 1600, had either of these earlier entities succeeded? If so, how would their competing interests have been reconciled? It is unrealistic to assume that all parties would have combined forces to further the greater good, putting aside their private differences to promote the public welfare, agreeing on what was truly in the "national" interest and therefore on how they should unite as Englishmen. There had even been hints that Elizabeth and Parliament might disagree over what limits there were, if any, to crown prerogative and the granting of colonial letters patent. Parliament did not press matters with Elizabeth because it was unsure of itself, but the potential for a future dispute lurked beneath the surface. After the Glorious Revolution, colonizers often sought parliamentary confirmation of crown privileges. Although the crown continued to grant trade monopolies, land titles, and charters, Parliament's growing power brought Westminster more and more into colonial affairs. The uneasy coupling of cooperation and competition carried into individual enterprises, evident, again, even before the first acre was cleared. Gilbert had been given much autonomy but not complete freedom. Laws for his colony were to be "as neare" to those of England's as possible. Who determined what constituted near? And who passed those laws in the first place? Gilbert or his "chief governor" were obliged to have a council to assist them chosen by the "people." Just who were the people to be? If Gilbert held his lands by "fee simple" from the crown and they by "socage" from him, was there an inequity that they would find grating?

8

Turning the World Upside Down

That they would have to be placated was evident in the subsequent charter to Raleigh, and in virtually every charter thereafter, where colonists were specifically entitled to the rights of Englishmen. In yet another gray area, what exactly were those rights? Just as settlers could prove troublesome to proprietors like Gilbert—and to Calverts and Penns later—the proprietors themselves posed potential difficulties for their sovereigns. If Gilbert or his heirs failed to offer "due" homage, did that mean that they forfeited their lands—and as determined by whom and according to what standard? Questions of privileges becoming rights permeated land and trade policies. The king since time immemorial had been revered as lawmaker; he was also expected to abide by higher law. In short, glimmers of all the issues that would vex the builders of empire on both sides of the Atlantic were seen from the beginning. Empire as combined enterprise was inherently problematical, an intrinsic complication that was as important to imperial fragmentation as the separatist strain in Puritanism or the atomizing tendencies of Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier. OUTPOSTS OF EMPIRE Historiographical battles have raged over how best to characterize the arrival of Europeans in North America. Did it herald a process of settlement, with civilization displacing savagery, or of unsettlement, where decadent invaders destroyed once flourishing cultures? Either-or, this-orthat propositions are usually misleading, and the case certainly applies here. Native Americans were not all victims; transplanted English Americans were not all victimizers. As Francis Jennings, a sharp critic of Old World disruption of the New World, put it, peoples on both sides of the Atlantic were fundamentally the same. All were capable of practicing realpolitik. "Indians could be and often were as stupid and vicious as Europeans, which is to say that they belonged to the same human species," concluded Jennings unsparingly. 12 England's complex process of empire-building mixed the conscious with the subconscious, the worldly with the otherworldly, the cooperative with the competitive, the commercial with the military. Planting colonies was hardly a passive affair, and the use of force was always implicit. War therefore became a central part of the English-American experience. Older notions that it was unanticipated or incidental will not do; likewise for descriptions such as "American military history began with defenses against Indian attack" or categorizing everything under "Defensive Warfare and Naive Diplomacy." 13 The colonists were often the aggressors, and they were rarely naive. The eighteen years, 1606-1624, that a refounded Virginia, this time in the Chesapeake, was a corporate enterprise stands as proof enough. Although the first major confrontation between settlers and natives did

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not occur until 1622, there had been skirmishing from the moment that the first landing party waded ashore. The local natives jockeyed for position, their behavior mirroring that of the colonists. This was balance of power competition at its most basic, both sides using the art of diplomacy with the threat of force held in reserve. After all, John Smith had been recruited by the Company because of his fighting prowess. Battlefield experience against Spaniards in the low countries and Turks in Transylvania did not prepare him for Powhatan behavior. But it did instill in him the skills of the soldier-diplomat, accommodating when it suited his purposes, ruthless when it did not. Opechancanough's preemptive strike in March 1622 was proof that many of the Powhatans recognized that time was against them, that an expanding English empire in their part of the world could not be reconciled with their own ambitions and preferred way of life. Their incomplete massacre of settlers along the James River played into the hands of those looking for an excuse to exterminate them. Their attack had been "contrived by the perfidious treachery of a false-hearted people, that know not God or faithe," charged Edward Waterhouse. The natives must now suffer God's wrath because they turned on people who had treated them fair and well, simple farmers content with a tiny portion of Indian wastelands. Those settlers "may now by right of Warre, and law of Nations, invade the Country, and destroy them who sought to destroy us." 14 The bad example of conquistadors cited by Hakluyt was no longer relevant; instead, Waterhouse urged his countrymen to learn how to divide and conquer, as the Spanish had done in Mexico and Peru. Waterhouse's godless "miscreants" would not finally be driven off the peninsula for another half century, though in 1624 the House of Burgesses had authorized campaigns that routinized the fighting into something akin to an annual deer hunt. 15 Those few natives that remained after the 1670s survived on what amounted to tiny reservations. Whatever satisfaction Waterhouse might have taken in that outcome, he failed in his purpose of defending the Company against its critics. He touted all that Virginia had to offer: the iron and wood that could free England from its growing dependence on other European nations for those materials; the hemp and flax for linen, vines for wine, and mulberry trees that could be transplanted there to act as hosts for silkworms; the herds of imported cattle that would fatten amidst plenty and the grain that could be grown on such fertile soil; the promise of a northwest passage to China, perhaps at the western end of the Potomac River. The allure remained. New immigrants crossed the Atlantic and the colony survived. The company did not. For all of the money spent and lives lost, it had never paid a dividend to its shareholders. Political disputes pitting Parliament against crown that involved company leaders did not help either. That Sir Edwin Sandys, one of those crown critics in the House of Commons, stood to profit from the

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enterprise might have displeased James I. In subtle ways, domestic politics possibly colored imperial affairs, not for the first time, not for the last. John Smith left Virginia, never to return, long before the company was stripped of its charter. In sailing along the New England coast to promote yet other colonizing adventures he carried with him the same attitudes and demonstrated the same behavioral tendencies. When the group venerated as Pilgrims founded Plymouth in 1620 they entered an area recommended by Smith that had had considerable if irregular contact with English explorers, fishermen, and traders for nearly a generation. Just as the men who founded Jamestown had fought with local natives before they even sailed up the James, the Pilgrims exchanged shots—bow versus matchlock—on the shores of Cape Cod Bay before they dropped anchor in Plymouth harbor. And just as the Virginia Company of London had hired John Smith because of his supposed military prowess, the financiers backing the Pilgrims turned to Dutch wars veteran Miles Standish. Standish's skill notwithstanding, Plymouth would not have lasted long if the situational planets had not been aligned. The Pilgrims chose an area where the local population had been decimated by contagious disease brought over from Europe—what disease, carried by whom, it is impossible to say. Here and elsewhere European-borne pathogens, as Alfred Crosby has pointed out, acted as effective bacteriological agents of empire. 16 The Pilgrims were fortunate too that the French had pulled back from their movement into New England, concentrating their efforts in Acadia rather than continuing farther south. They were also lucky that the Dutch had yet to follow up their exploration of the Hudson River— apparently the Pilgrims' intended destination—with a settlement on Manhattan Island. Perhaps most important for the survival of Plymouth, the Pilgrims fortuitously placed themselves in the general vicinity of the Wampanoags, who were worried about domination by the Massachusetts to the north and even more powerful Narragansetts to the west. Massasoit, the Wampanoag sachem now remembered for his kindness to the Pilgrims, had good, practical political reasons for befriending the "saints and strangers" who were now his neighbors and, he hoped, prospective allies. Of course, the men and women of Plymouth did not see themselves as trespassers on Indian land. Even without a royal charter—something they would never possess—they thought that what they claimed was rightfully theirs. The charter-empowered Bay colonists of a decade later were even more confident of their title. They usually negotiated for land instead of seizing it outright, or only seized it in the aftermath of a war (which, however, they might well have precipitated). As in Virginia, dealing with the natives blended practical need with a more idealized sense of fair play. Too weak to take whatever they wanted, the early settlers also told themselves that they stayed their hand as the Lord wished, so at times they practiced peaceful accommodation even when might and what they

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believed to be right were on their side. "Legal nicety backed by military force constituted the colony's approach to establishing its legitimacy," commented Neal Salisbury, and that in the face "of potentially destructive forces within and without." 17 What unfolded mimicked what was happening on the Chesapeake, though the numbers involved were larger and the political maneuvering more intricate as a result. Historians have long been fascinated with the Indian-White relations of southern New England, which were sometimes peaceful, sometimes not, and bloodiest during the Pequot War of 1637 and the more general outbreak marked by King Philip's War of 1675-1676. Cultural conflict stands as a root cause, though differences should not be exaggerated. Most of the Indians in southern New England were sedentary farmers rather than nomadic hunters and some even lived in palisaded villages, for the same reasons that Jamestown and Plymouth built their walls. Neither can the conflict be reduced to race war. There was never a time when all of the Indians were united against all of the Whites; indeed, it was rare to see all of the members of a single "tribe" fighting as one, and likewise for the English settlers among them. Competition to dominate the region between the Connecticut River and Narragansett Bay serves as an excellent case study of the larger phenomenon. Onetime enemies became allies as allies became enemies. Disagreements forgotten at one moment for the sake of unity were remembered in the next. The first war erupted when Pequots living in that territory found themselves squeezed on all sides. Their good relations with the Dutch, which had begun to turn bad anyway, did not help once the Dutch decided to abandon their outpost and withdraw from the area. From the Dutch perspective it was not worth the potential fight to keep. Rival groups among the English settlers—from Plymouth, from the Bay Colony, and from Bay Colony expatriates who had moved into the Connecticut River valley—temporarily put aside their differences to make the Pequots their common foe. They were assisted by Mohegans and Narragansetts who had their own plans, proving true the adage about politics making strange bedfellows. Glad to see the Pequots defeated and removed but worried about the prospects for his own people, Narragansett sachem Miantonomi thereafter made a belated call for Indian unity that cost him his life—at the hands of Uncas, a Mohegan, at the behest of the settlers. Ultimately Uncas would come to regret his complicity in English expansion, as the Mohegans went the way of other tribes. And yet even as late as King Philip's War there was no true native solidarity. The colonists did not act in perfect concert either. With greater resources and a larger population, however, they could better afford to make the many mistakes that they did in what was, proportionally, the costliest war in American history. That King Philip—more correctly Metacom, the son of Massasoit—triggered the uprising is but one of the many

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ironies. The Indians had put away their bows in favor of flintlocks, which only increased their superiority over the settlers in forest warfare. Laws designed to keep firearms out of their hands did stop some English from selling them what they wanted, and the Dutch and French were perfectly happy to engage in the trade. Although the Indians were not able to make guns for themselves, they were often able to repair what they had. The settlers had long ago given up breastplates, pikes, and any expectation that their foes would meet them in an open field in closed order, but again and again they stumbled into ambushes from which they could not escape. Success only came when they mastered the weapons tactics of their adversaries, learning what they had derided as a "skulking way of war" and beating them at their own game. 18 Indian fighters like Benjamin Church of the Bay Colony became forerunners to real Daniel Boones and fictional Hawkeyes. A moribund English militia system revived with this warfare, and the minutemen of 1775 could trace their pedigree back to this generation. Virtually every colony except Pennsylvania, whether by original charter or subsequent statute in the local assembly, called for a militia where service was mandatory for almost all adult male residents. They were expected to arm themselves and turn out for training on muster day and prepare for conflicts where no one had the luxury of remaining neutral. Civilian control came as much by default as design, since no regular soldiers were about. General officers received their appointments from provincial officials. On the company level, officers were often elected by their men. Given the growth rate of the colonies, the Anglo-Americans could count on an ever-expanding manpower reserve. Even so, the settlers were fortunate that Indian leaders like Metacom failed in their bids to create a pan-Indian movement. Benjamin Church led the party that tracked Metacom down; it was an Indian member of that party that killed him. Between the wars Massachusetts, Plymouth, the Connecticut river towns, and New Haven had formed the United Colonies of New England—a misnomer, because Rhode Island was deliberately excluded. Roger Williams had questioned settler claims to native lands and criticized the Bay colonists' presumption that they were God's chosen. Williams was determined to make Rhode Island a haven free from such cultural arrogance. His English neighbors, offended by what they dismissed as wrongheaded sanctimoniousness, would not let Williams stand in their way. They claimed that they entered into this "firme and perpetual league of friendship" only because of the "sad distractions in England"—civil war—that left them virtually abandoned, alone to fend for themselves in a hostile wilderness. The sovereignty of each within its "peculier Jurisdiction" was asserted, but without the use of that potentially troubling word. 19 All were pledged to enroll men from sixteen to sixty in their militia and to be willing to put them at the disposal of the

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United Colonies, at the expense of the individual colonies. According to the arrangement agreed to in 1643, each of the four colonies would appoint two commissioners to handle boundary disputes and questions of trade, diplomacy, and war. At least six commissioners had to agree for a policy to carry. The confederation helped resolve a number of worrisome boundary disputes, such as the line between Hingham and Scituate that separated the Bay Colony from Plymouth, and, in another instance, the incorporation of Springfield and its satellite communities into Massachusetts rather than into the Connecticut river towns that had joined to the south. Massachusetts was also able to strengthen its claim on Martha's Vineyard and communities to the north of Boston, all the way into the Maine country. Rhode Island finally secured a charter just one year after the new union was formed but that did not stop the confederation from trying to seize control of the former Pequot lands contained within it. Mohegans and Narragansetts had their own designs on that land. They found themselves having to choose between Rhode Island and the confederation, increasingly as subordinates whichever way they turned. New Haven cared little about affairs east of the Connecticut River but threw in with the other three because it had been thwarted by the Dutch just across Long Island Sound and on the Delaware River, where an outpost had been forcibly closed and its inhabitants expelled. The confederation was no mere defensive pact; it institutionalized expansionism and attempted to minimize conflict among its partners in order to further their interests at the expense of the Dutch, the Indians, and fellow Englishmen in Rhode Island. It is a stretch to call the Confederation the "acorn" from which grew "the mighty oak" of an independent nation or the first American experiment in grassroots federalism.20 It is also an exaggeration to reduce it to a front for the Atherton Company and its real estate schemes or to dismiss its professed desire to spread the gospel as disingenuous. 21 Its members never worked well together; mutual suspicion proved inescapable. It fell apart in the early 1660s, to be reconstituted on the eve of King Philip's War, but was mostly ineffectual during the conflict. Naturally its commissioners behaved more as ambassadors from independent states than as representatives of a single people. Although Rhode Island was never invited to join the others, it did end up siding with them by the later stages of King Philip's War, as the fighting carried all of the way into Providence. The confederation barely addressed much less resolved the issue of sovereignty Could Massachusetts, for example, be bound by the decisions of the other three if its General Court rejected what its commissioners agreed to do? Massachusetts, the dominant partner in an unequal relationship, decided to act on its own at least once, without consulting the other members when it offered—but never actually extended—aid to disgruntled French settlers in Acadia.

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What is more, the confederation did not recognize the authority of the mother country until a decade after it was founded. Crown and Parliament never did recognize it. Despite all of the changes that transformed the empire during the seventeenth century, there was almost no interest back in London to create an intercolonial assembly, either to tie the colonies together more effectively or to the mother country more tightly. The New England Confederation stood out as a disturbing anomaly to imperial administrators who preferred to keep the colonies apart so that they could not act in concert against London's preferences. Massachusetts had marked itself as a problem child in the imperial family by its behavior very early on, which resulted in the loss of its charter in the 1630s. The charter was restored in the 1640s by Parliament as it moved toward deposing Charles I, but that does not mean Parliament's view of the colonies differed fundamentally from that of the Stuarts. The navigation system set up under Charles II in fact had clear antecedents under the Commonwealth and Protectorate. The reigns of Charles II and his brother and successor James II brought ambitious policies designed to make imperial reality conform with mercantilistic theory. Massachusetts had petitioned Cromwell to be recognized as an autonomous commonwealth in the 1650s, thereby serving notice that it wanted to remain in the empire on its terms. An investigatory commission sent after the Restoration met with an uncooperative General Court that seemed to believe Massachusetts was joined to England by compact and that it owed allegiance to crown and Parliament only because it chose to offer it. The negative impressions left on those 1664 commissioners were reinforced in the findings and recommendations of Edward Randolph the next decade. Randolph condemned Massachusetts as disputatious, even disloyal. Merchants there ignored the navigation acts and openly smuggled, with little fear of conviction in the local commonlaw courts if caught. Customs collectors holding crown commissions were easily ignored and just as often bribed to turn a blind eye. The governing elite restricted the franchise to congregational church members, thus taxing many freeholders who had no political voice, and denied the authority of London to interfere with that arrangement. And so on; Randolph had a long list. Massachusetts was stripped of its charter after a hearing before the privy council. Charles II approved an interim government that put the colony on a course leading toward the Dominion of New England. Given the intractability of some colonists, some imperialists became convinced that consolidation was at last unavoidable—but on London's terms, not Boston's. They pieced together the Dominion between 1684 and 1688, and eventually included within it eight once-separate entities—all of the colonies north and east of the Delaware River. The idea was to bring greater order and efficiency to the empire, reminding the colonies of their

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subordination to the mother country and the need for that hierarchical arrangement if the empire were to survive. Standardization and centralization made sense to the Dominion's advocates, colonial misbehavior aside, to ensure better defense and a steadier flow of goods. Its champions not only justified it as an attempt to contain trade within the navigation system and prevent the drain of wealth to potential enemies, but they also defended it as an attempt to bring greater equity within the colonies, to free the people of Massachusetts and surrounding colonies from Puritan oligarchs. Knowing the jealousies that had divided the various colonies, pitting Rhode Island and New Hampshire against Massachusetts, say, or New Jersey against New York, they had reason, they thought, to expect gratitude as well as resentment. And if it somehow worked, then perhaps the remaining colonies, from Pennsylvania through Carolina, could be combined into a second dominion. No second experiment followed, however. The Dominion of New England stands as the one great attempt at imperial reform in British North America, and it failed miserably.22 In Massachusetts some of its most outspoken critics were the very dissident elements who had complained about the Puritan oligarchy. Under the Dominion representative assemblies were eliminated; instead, a crownappointed governor, lieutenant governor, and thirty-four man council ruled. Land titles were put into jeopardy; new quitrents were proposed; town incorporation procedures were altered; vice-admiralty courts, introduced in the Randolph years, would have more cases brought within their purview. Consequently some who had welcomed change now spurned it and plotted to overthrow the Dominion. The Glorious Revolution provided their excuse. Hearing that William of Orange had landed in England, in April 1689 leading Massachusetts dissidents formed a council of safety, garnered the militia's support, had Governor Edmund Andros and other Dominion officials jailed in Boston, and prepared to govern the colony as an interim government until they could get their old charter restored. Disgruntled New Yorkers followed their lead as soon as they heard about what had happened, forcing Dominion officials there to step down or leave. They did all of this before knowing if William and Mary would succeed in their bid to dethrone James II and with the assumption that, if they did, they would disavow the Dominion. As it turned out, their gambit succeeded—in part. William and Mary did not denounce those who overthrew the Dominion as rebels and accepted their professions of allegiance. Although the new monarchs let the Dominion end ignominiously and restored the independence of the colonies that had constituted it, they did not return to the old status quo. Massachusetts had to accept a new charter and with it the presence of a crown-appointed governor. With time many Bay colonists would come to revere their new charter as a written expression of fundamental law, as sacred as the original 1629 grant. The Puritan oligarchy faded away, which

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in the long run probably smoothed relations within the colony as well as in the surrounding region. Other adjustments, in Massachusetts and the neighboring colonies, eased tensions as well. London would never again try to reform the colonies by vacating charters or through radical restructuring, even though advised to by centrists like William Blathwayt, who warned that only a hard-line approach would ensure imperial survival. William and Mary did not renounce mercantilism and backed the creation of a Board of Trade to replace the ineffective old Lords of Trade. But they always focused on Europe first and their overseas empire second. If they looked toward the Americas, it was more likely the West Indies, which generated more revenue and seemed to be a better mercantilistic fit than the mainland. They returned Edward Randolph, a Stuart appointee imprisoned with Governor Andros in Boston, to the colonies in 1692 as surveyor general of the customs service—a promotion. Andros, a friend of King William from his days in the Dutch wars, came back as governor of Virginia. He succeeded Francis Nicholson, his lieutenant governor under the Dominion who had been forced to leave New York. Nicholson moved on to become governor of Maryland. These two career army officers were joined in a new civilian posting by another soldier, Richard Ingoldesby, as governor of New Jersey. Ingoldesby had led a small contingent of regulars into New York in the aftermath of the uprising there in 1689. Their presence signified the strategic importance of colonies as military outposts, not just commercial enclaves. But these and other professional soldiers were subsumed within an imperial apparatus that continued to be formed haphazardly, with erratic enforcement of the navigation laws. What enforcement there was still relied to a large extent on local law and local officials. It is significant that regular troops had been involved in quarrels within settled areas rather than out on the frontier. The first large contingent ever sent to the mainland had arrived in Virginia over twenty years earlier in response to Bacon's Rebellion, a civil war brought on in part by frontier disputes, but the troops came to restore order among the settlers, not campaign against the local natives. Before Nathaniel Bacon died in October 1676 he had hinted that Virginia could be truly free only outside the empire. Had he survived and pursued that course, the one thousand troops under Colonel Richard Jeffreys that arrived the following February would have smashed him. But by then Governor Berkeley had restored order and had little use for Jeffreys or his men. That their presence was resented by both sides in the former contest did not bode well. That they left before too long was good for everyone involved. Massachusetts was not alone in preferring to live "with" rather than "under" English rule, as historian Richard Johnson put it.23 For several generations after the crises of the 1670s and 1680s the colonies and mother country enjoyed an "enduring political settlement" because so many

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sought to avoid confrontation through "pragmatic adaptation," not because fundamental issues had been resolved. The politics of avoidance helped preserve the empire, at least in the short run. Virtually no one wanted conflict, even mercantilists in London who feared that a relaxed approach gained nothing. The sense of Englishness carried into empirebuilding was strengthened more than it was weakened through the first century, even in Puritan New England. There, cultural pride was juxtaposed awkwardly with political and religious alienation. The readiness with which so many living under the Dominion of New England had been willing to find a pretext for resistance, and the ability of well-placed dissidents to control local affairs, using civil government and the militia to do so, was cause for concern. Likewise for the resentments of Virginians who saw Jeffreys and his troops as intruders, inserted where they did not belong. 24 If forced to choose sides, how many colonists would stay loyal to the empire and how many would throw their allegiance to a colony cum nation? It was not a choice that anyone had to make yet. So long as New France and its Indian allies loomed as a greater danger, forcing some sort of transatlantic cooperation, the potential problems could be pasted over. MILITARY SIDESHOWS In 1629 English entrepreneur and adventurer David Kirke led a little fleet up the St. Lawrence River. Armed by Charles I with a letter of marque and a commission to conquer lands in his name, Kirke waylaid French shipping and sailed to Quebec, where Governor Samuel de Champlain reluctantly acceded to his demand that the town be surrendered. Kirke had failed in his bid to take Quebec the year before; now he had the satisfaction of making the capital of New France the spoils of war and the center of his own empire within an empire. That war had begun in 1627, triggered by a dispute over the marriage arrangements of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, sister of Louis XIII. The deeper cause was a growing English-French rivalry on the Continent that carried into the English channel and across ocean highways to scattered colonies. And then, seemingly as soon as it all started, it stopped. England and France had signed a treaty even before Kirke took Quebec, but, three thousand miles away, he had no way of knowing that. Once informed he took his time leaving. Quebec did not formally pass back into French hands until 1632, after a second treaty had been signed. Short of funds during his ship-money dispute with Parliament, Charles traded real estate for cash— the remaining £400,000 of his wife's dowry. The disappointed Kirke also lost Acadia, which he, his brothers, and an ambitious Scot, Sir William Alexander, the future earl of Stirling, had grabbed and claimed—with their king's blessing. Alexander had actually arrived there well before the Kirkes. He secured a patent to "Nova Scotia" from James I in 1621. Thrust

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together with the Kirkes by circumstance, he reconfigured his plans, first for a smaller Nova Scotia, then for no Nova Scotia at all. Alexander and the Kirkes turned their attention to Newfoundland. They competed with the mostly English settlers and mix of English, Basque, and French fishermen, and Anglo-Irish Catholic George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, who had claimed most of the Avalon peninsula. Calvert intended to hang onto his interests there even though he had shifted his focus to a new Maryland grant, far to the south in the Chesapeake. Calvert had entered an already confused situation on Avalon in the early 1620s, when the Newfoundland Company, with a royal charter dating back to 1610, began to fall apart. He prevailed against it; now Kirke threatened to displace him. It was not at all clear what was Calvert's, what was Kirke's, what was Alexander's, and what belonged to others. Eventually frustrated in Newfoundland, Alexander tried to keep his American dream alive by joining with Sir Ferdinando Gorges and a consortium known as the Council of New England. He fared no better with his new partners. 25 The royal charters granted over those years were vague and only added to the confusion; so too the civil war and Interregnum, and it took years after the 1660 Restoration to sort through all of the claims and counterclaims. Developments on Newfoundland were hardly unique. The titular chaos there at the northern edge of England's American empire was matched by events at the southern tip in Barbados, settled roughly at the same time, with overlapping claims and disputed titles not resolved until the 1660s. If anything, Barbadians showed an independent streak, an insistence on local rights and resentment of the emerging navigation system, that outstripped that of settlers on the mainland. 26 Explorers and settlers, like the currents that carried them, often followed the path of least resistance. To try to reconstruct all of this by looking at maps done after the fact—maps that show neatly divided parcels on one island or in a mainland colony, maps depicting this island as plainly Spanish or that as Dutch, or this river on the mainland as dividing what was indisputably French from what was English—is to miss the point. There was very little clarity, in part by accident, in part by design. Rival claims within empires, just like rival claims between empires, could lead to bloodshed. But most often rival claimants avoided a test of arms. Incidents like the Spanish extermination of French Huguenots at Fort Caroline in 1565 are notable for their rarity. The Spanish response to English Puritans on Providence Island was more typical. The Spanish always considered them interlopers, settling where they had no valid claim. They also saw that the enterprise was poorly planned and executed, and that they needed to exert but slight pressure for it to collapse altogether—which it did in 1641, after only a decade. 27 Similarly, the English never recognized the validity of Dutch claims to the Hudson River valley, which bisected their Chesapeake and New England settlements, but there was little they

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could do about it in the 1620s. They bided their time. Indeed, imperial competition was often a waiting game on both sides of the Atlantic. Colonists in the Americas and imperialists back home wanted to act at the right moment, when they were stronger than their opponents and the risks involved were worth taking. In the 1667 Treaty of Breda, England and France attempted to settle disputes on the New England frontier. Under it the Kennebec River marked the southern boundary of Acadia. Lands to the north of the Kennebec belonged to France, as did Cape Breton Island. England retained Newfoundland. That same year, in the Treaty of Madrid, Spain conceded the right of Englishmen to colonize in the New World. Three years later the Spanish recognized Carolina as a legitimate settlement and even English title to Jamaica, taken by a fleet that Cromwell dispatched in 1655. At the same time, in anticipation of future disputes, the Spanish began to reinforce their hold on Florida by constructing Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine. The original Carolina charter had specified a southern boundary far below that point; the Spanish, with good reason, doubted that the English would forever renounce their claim or not enlarge their ambition. Nor did the French assume that a treaty granting them Acadia would bring perpetual security. Jean Baptiste Colbert became Louis XIV's key minister in a program to bolster the French navy and, for the first time, send regulars to New France. Treaties aside, on the mainland as well as in the Caribbean, there was no true peace "beyond the line." 28 Pirates raided and governments winked at their outrages; colonists broke trade laws to locate new commercial partners and fooled no one in doing so; European powers and their colonies prepared for the next round of fighting and negotiations; all tended to find divine sanction for their actions. Boundaries were tentatively marked at best, which is why, in the eighteenth century, French forts continued to go up in New York in what the French considered their territory, and the British matched them by moving north along the Lake Champlain corridor toward the Richelieu River. Similar developments occurring to the south pitted Carolinians and their Indian allies against Spaniards and tribes that sided with them. What was best for colonists may not have always been best for the mother country, and vice versa. Lurking throughout was the potential for a divergence rather than a convergence of interests. As early as the 1620s the French and English residents of St. Kitts had agreed not to fight each other for control of the island unless obliged to by their home governments. They lived that way for nearly a century, until St. Kitts passed entirely into British hands. Building on informal agreements going back a generation, in 1650 the United Colonies of New England signed an agreement with New Netherland that established boundaries separating Dutch and English territory. These colonists acted on their own and expected

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London and Amsterdam's endorsement after the fact. Amsterdam sanctioned the treaty; London did not. The English, from James I through his son Charles I and into the Interregnum and Restoration, refused to acknowledge New Netherland as a legitimate colony, which explains the 1662 Connecticut charter that extended that colony's—and England's— claim far to the west of the Hudson River. Once England ended the war with Spain begun under Elizabeth it began to see the Netherlands as a potential threat to its commercial and colonial ambitions, from the Indian Ocean to the North Sea to the western Atlantic. In 1654 Cromwell had even gone so far as to form an expedition to capture New Netherland. His invaders reached Boston, where they were joined by some New Engenders, but went no farther. Cromwell worried as much about the Spanish as he did the Dutch; hence the naval force that he sent the next year to take Jamaica after failing at Hispaniola—the first instance of the English seizing New World territory from another European power. It would be another ten years until James, duke of York, received title from his brother to the area held by the Dutch. He used the Royal Navy and regular troops to stake his personal proprietary claim as he also advanced the national interest. Onetime allies like the Dutch, then, could end up being perceived as dangerous as longtime enemies like the Spanish, which French readers of Hakluyt had understood. But the danger they posed might not be recognized by mother country and colonies at the same time or for the same reasons. Virginia too had attempted to conduct its own foreign policy, going back to Company days. Like the United Colonies it worked out its own arrangements with New Netherland. Even in the midst of Anglo-Dutch trade wars it operated independently, despite having agreed to obey new navigation laws—and doing so under duress only when a fleet sent by Parliament in 1652 sailed into the Chespaeake to bring the Royalist governor, Sir William Berkeley, into line. To many Virginians the Dutch were good trading partners; to most mercantilists in London the Dutch had displaced the Spanish as the primary threat to their expansionist ambitions. Thus the series of wars that began in the 1650s and did not end until the 1670s. Thereafter the English and Dutch competed more commercially than militarily, in an expanding world of overseas empire where it was as possible to find excuses not to fight as it was to find reasons for war. France's reemergence as the primary threat to English aspirations and Dutch security sped the process along. Massachusetts, for its part, had always regarded France as a greater threat than either the Netherlands or Spain. It took territory in Acadia during the 1650s even though France and England were not at war. Upset by the Treaty of Breda, which recognized French title to Acadia, Massachusetts— acting independently—informed Governor Frontenac of New France that, as far as it was concerned, the border separating them was at Penobscot

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Bay, not the Kennebec River. Massachusetts longed to control the Maine country, all the way up to the Bay of Fundy. When Acadia finally passed into British hands in 1713, Bay colonists would see that as a restoration of what had always been rightfully English: Nova Scotia reclaimed, not Nova Scotia created. Thus, when Americans in the 1840s talked about a reannexation of Texas they continued an old tradition of justifying a present policy as righting a past wrong. Ultimately Massachusetts's regional fear became a pressing imperial concern, as the Glorious Revolution pushed England and France toward confrontation. The one constant in the so-called great wars for empire between 1689 and 1763 was that England, reconstituted as Great Britain in 1707, took one side, France the other. Their allies and enemies shifted from one conflict to another. In the first war Spain was allied with England; in the last three it tied itself to France. In the second war Austria fought alongside Spain and France; in the third war it switched sides, and then back again in the last war. Prussia switched at the same time, in the opposite direction, to join Britain in that final struggle against France, Spain, and Austria. Rivalries important at one moment shrank in the next. Former friends became enemies and enemies friends as national interests came into conflict or temporarily coalesced. Despite the Family Compact between Spain and France in 1733, neither power automatically rushed to the aid of the other. Britain did not always plunge into conflict to help its allies either, and there were years when Anglo-French relations were friendly enough that cooperation rather than competition prevailed. Nor did colonists always help their respective mother countries or each other. It was often difficult to interest New Englanders in New York affairs, or Southeners in either region, unless they could see something to be gained for themselves. Pursuit of self-interest was no European monopoly. Stereotypes notwithstanding, the Iroquois did not always side with the British against the French, even in the days of the covenant chain. Longhouse politics could be every bit as machiavellian as those in Boston and London. Those Iroquois who agreed to become subjects of the British crown in 1713 and therefore part of the British empire no doubt planned to use their nominal subordination within that arrangement to exercise effective superiority over other tribes excluded from the formal imperial family. The Iroquois remained neutral when they could and fought for measured purposes when they could not. So too for southern tribes. Given the many changes that have taken place in the diplomatic relations between the United States and Germany or Japan in the past half-century, and more recently between the United States and Russia, none of this should be considered as anything other than the geopolitical behavioral norm. In the imperial grand scheme of things during the first three wars for empire, American affairs were a secondary worry—less important than

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dynastic and territorial disputes on the Continent, though hardly unimportant. In declaring war against France in May 1689, England listed as a grievance French hostility toward English interests in the New World. This did not lead to any London-sponsored operations against New France or French colonies in the West Indies. It did, however, provide Massachusetts with the excuse it was looking for to do something about the French in Acadia. In the 1630s Plymouth had sought its neighbor's assistance to hold onto an outpost at Penobscot Bay. Massachusetts demurred and the post was closed under French pressure. Massachusetts had its own plans for that region and saw no advantage to helping a neighbor who was also occasionally a rival. But now things were different. Not only was Plymouth itself about to be absorbed into Massachusetts, but the Bay Colony also had become much wealthier and stronger over the intervening years. Willliam Phips led a force of seven hundred men who intimidated the tiny garrison at Port Royal into surrendering in 1690. Immensely pleased with themselves, the Bay colonists went home, and not long after the French reoccupied what they had been obliged to abandon. When, in the treaty negotiations that followed seven years later, London decided it was more important to obtain French recognition of William and Mary as legitimate monarchs than it was to hold onto Port Royal, the Bay colonists did not have much of a basis for complaint. After all, they had left Port Royal soon after they took it instead of leaving behind a garrison. Besides, before deep-seated resentment could set in, Port Royal fell a second and final time in 1710, again to an essentially colonial-financed and -manned expedition. This time the diplomats kept it, proving that the mother country and her colonies really could have reciprocal interests. The potential for Anglo-American reciprocity increased as the importance of overseas empire, and of New World holdings within that empire, grew. So did the possibility for friction. The British fared much better in the second war than they had in the first and could therefore drive a much harder bargain in 1713 than they had in 1697. Britain acquired undisputed title to much of Acadia and to all of Newfoundland and St. Kitts. Spain, because it entered the war on France's side, gave up title to Gibraltar, which the British took in 1704, and was forced to allow Britain a piece of its New World slave trade through the asiento. Britain did not win these gains primarily because of the Royal Navy—successful allied efforts on the Continent proved more decisive, but it had emerged by Utrecht as an unrivalled naval power, far ahead of the French and now even the Dutch, and better positioned to increase its wealth and power in the battle for control of colonial markets. The Marquis de Vaudreuil, governor-general of New France, advised Paris that Britain would not stop there: it would not be satisfied until it had swallowed North America. Gone were the days when the French

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could look longingly at the Hudson River Valley and dream of an ice-free southern outlet for their fur trade. The British, not the French, were winning the power struggle there, and Vaudreuil was convinced that they would soon press for control of the St. Lawrence and access to the Great Lakes and Mississippi basin. He knew that they had resisted giving the French title to Cape Breton Island, with the right to fortify it, in the negotiations at Utrecht because they still wanted it for themselves. He knew that they kept the boundaries to the Hudson Bay country vague because they fully intended to push farther south toward Quebec and west into unexplored lands. Naturally Vaudreuil and his successors, like the British, took advantage of blurred treaty lines. Despite a century of settlement there was still confusion over Acadia's boundaries, confusion that the French exploited. They kept part of Acadia even as Port Royal and the peninsula where it was located were taken from them in 1713. They built Fort Beausejour on the isthmus above the Bay of Fundy connecting the peninsula with the mainland. They contended that that particular piece of real estate and the land running north from there up to the St. Lawrence (in modern-day New Brunswick) did not fall within the area that the British had secured as Nova Scotia. The British built Fort Lawrence just to the east of the French outpost. Neither recognized the legitimacy of the other; neither sought to precipitate a confrontation and yet both by their very existence helped make a future incident likely. Vaudreuil estimated that the British colonies could easily put sixty thousand armed men into the field. To oppose them, he complained, he had fewer than five thousand militia and six hundred regulars. More needed to be done to woo the Indians in the buffer zone between New France and the British colonies. Even then he could not rely on them to offset the difference. He had to be reinforced from France. "It cannot be, for an instant, doubted but the English, on the first rupture between France and England, would employ all their efforts to seize the whole of Canada, and consequently the entire of North America," he warned, "whence might follow the loss of Mexico, from which they would expel the Spaniards in a few years without any resistance." 29 Vaudreuil thought he had proof enough of British ambitions in a failed Anglo-American expedition against Quebec in 1711. Commanded by Sir Hovenden Walker, the combined force numbered seven thousand, nearly two-thirds of them regulars carried on sixty transports escorted by a dozen warships of the Royal Navy—an impressive armada by North American standards. This was far beyond what the Kirkes could have imagined and only underscored how pathetic Phips's aborted 1690 assault on Quebec, with fewer than two thousand colonial militia and a motley fleet of converted merchantmen, had been. The overland force that was supposed to strike Montreal simultaneously with Phips's assault on

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Quebec had been barely strong enough to raid a few outlying villages before scurrying back south. Walker represented something different, a first-time commitment by London of men and money to conquest. But Walker's confidence was dashed along with ships and lives on the foggy, rocky shores of the St. Lawrence, and the irresolute admiral put about. He recrossed the Atlantic, and grumbling New Englanders sailed home. A polyglot overland force of colonial militia and Indians that was supposed to take Montreal and link up with Walker reversed its steps when it heard the news of the fleet's departure. Walker had won few friends in Boston even before abandoning the campaign. New England ways confused and angered him. Promised assistance by provincial officials that was slow in coming, price gouging by local merchants, sailors and soldiers deserting with the apparent complicity of the lower sort, and countless other irritations only served to increase his disdain. The people of Boston cared as little for him as he did for them. "The result was a form of Anglo-American tension in Boston between civilians and British regulars that boded ill for the future," observed historian Douglas Leach. "Indeed, the sun of History in its relentless march across the heavens of time was beginning to throw a shadow toward Lexington Green." 30 Granted, so long as we do not leap ahead to thinking that the Anglo-American split was inevitable and therefore everything that follows from here is an anticlimax. The only combined Anglo-American operation of any note that succeeded in the first three wars came at Louisbourg. That Cape Breton Island was understood to pose both a military and economic threat to the colonies is proof again that strategic imperial thinking tended to treat the generation of revenue and securing of territory as opposite sides of the same coin. So long as the French held the island they were poised on New England's flank, able to disrupt the cod industry and interrupt transatlantic trade between England and its mainland colonies. But with Cape Breton taken, Anglo-American domination of the fisheries would be complete and communication between New France and the Louisiana country could be cut off. "By this means," Robert Auchmuty advised, "Quebeck must, in the run of very little time, fall into the hands of the English; and the Indians, wanting the usual protection and supplies from France, will be obliged to court the English for both." 31 As it turned out, Louisbourg fell to the very combined Anglo-American expedition that Auchmuty recommended. Governor William Shirley of Massachusetts had determined that his province would act alone if need be. Although Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York rebuffed his requests for aid with this reason and that, Connecticut and New Hampshire threw in with Massachusetts and even Rhode Island expressed support. In April 1745 William Pepperrell, a successful merchant from the Maine country with virtually no military expe-

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rience, led the three thousand-man expedition, carried by merchantmen and escorted by privateers, to Cape Breton Island. He was heartened when Commodore Peter Warren sailed up from Antigua, with the Admiralty's blessing, to assist him. Louisbourg's thick walls were not enough to withstand the siege, and the undermanned garrison surrendered in June. New England was jubilant. Pepperrell, made a baronet, was proud; Warren, promoted to admiral, was satisfied. Still, mutual respect notwithstanding, Pepperrell and Warren had not worked together all that smoothly Warren in particular was frustrated by what he saw as unsoldierly conduct among the New Englanders. For the moment success masked the differences. This latest war had not gone all that well for the British anywhere in the world, except on Cape Breton. Vaudreuil had been premature in seeing a grand British design to take all of North America. London's thinking on colonial affairs was hardly that farsighted. And yet imperial officials were headed in that direction, whether they understood it or not. British, French, and Spanish ambitions became more difficult to reconcile as their colonies came into closer proximity. Georgia, last of the British mainland colonies to be founded, was a direct result of that process. Designed to be a buffer zone between the Carolinas and Florida, Georgia marked Britain's southern frontier line, an example of what was at once defensive and offensive expansion. In the third war, with France and Spain again allied, Britain had approved the Georgia militia's attempt to take St. Augustine even before Pepperrell moved on Louisbourg. It failed. Georgians were hard pressed to defend themselves against the Spanish and their Indian allies. Just as British-Americans were bumping against the Spanish to the south and the French to the north, they were finding their ability to move west hampered. Finally following up on the explorations of La Salle and others, the French had begun to stake their claim to the Mississippi basin. Well before the fall of Louisbourg they had established themselves in an arc from Fort Niagara down to Natchez, New Orleans, Biloxi, and Mobile, giving notice to the Spanish as well as the British that they were there to stay. Perhaps British and French expansionists realized, as Howard Peckham contended, that "empire lay west, in the American continent's vast rich interior." Even so, notions of what that empire could be and how much ought to be invested in creating it remained vague. The rivals continued their catch-as-catch-can approach to expansion. The subsequent intrigue among Europeans and natives in the lands between the Appalachians and the Mississippi River extended what had long typified diplomacy on the New York frontier. Spain, growing weaker by the decade, saw that it would have to content itself with Florida and accept a French wedge between Florida and Texas. British-Americans, not so accepting, began to show a fear of encirclement that would drive later imperial affairs and the early foreign policy of an independent United States.

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London's seeming insensitivity to that fear, symbolized by the return of Cape Breton Island to France in the 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, did not help matters. Reciprocity had its limits, it turns out. From London's perspective it was more important that the empire regain what Britain had lost in India and its Dutch allies surrendered in Flanders than hanging onto Louisbourg. What appeared to the king's men as pro-imperial policy, pure and simple, might strike others across the Atlantic as designedly anti-American. Some New Englanders were privately happy at having their longtime illicit trading partners on Cape Breton restored, but most were aggrieved. They had lost ten times the one hundred who died taking Louisbourg to contagious disease during garrison duty in the intervening years, and to what purpose, they could now ask. For them, Louisbourg began to look like another Cartagena in 1741, where American lives had been squandered. In the long run it was not so much the resentments of the moment that counted most; rather, it was how disgruntled colonists in the decade leading up to revolt looked back on these developments. During the entire contest culminating in negotiations at Aix-la-Chapelle, grumbled Benjamin Franklin in 1770, "the taking of Louisbourg by the New-England Forces, was the only Feat that was done against the Enemy." Instead of being rewarded for their valor, instead of being recognized for their service to the empire, "This very Conquest, gained by New-England's Blood and Treasure, was all we had to offer the Enemy, in order to obtain a Peace on any Terms; so scandalously was that War conducted." 32 To disillusioned British-Americans of the 1760s and 1770s, this war and the others that came before it stood as proof of the empire's failure to satisfy. All too often familiarity bred contempt, experienced firsthand by some and remembered vicariously by even more who came later. BRITAIN TRIUMPHANT In June 1754 Benjamin Franklin joined a score of other delegates at the Albany Congress. The Board of Trade had authorized this meeting with the expectation that the colonies would work together in the war with France that seemingly everyone knew loomed ahead. Aix-la-Chapelle had brought a break in the fighting, not a true resolution of imperial differences. In previous wars intercolonial cooperation and transatlantic coordination had been haphazard at best. London wanted something more effective in a war where the American scene of action would take center stage. Franklin had a proposal for improving imperial relations that would restructure the relationship between mother country and colonies. Its origin has continued to elude historians. Franklin knew of the United Colonies of New England and it has been suggested that elements of what became the final Albany Plan reflected his admiration for that earlier

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arrangement. There are others who argue that Franklin had a more immediate source of inspiration: the Iroquois league that he first became familiar with in the 1740s, when he attended treaty negotiations between Pennsylvanians and various Indian leaders. Whatever the source of his ideas, Franklin, the autodidact as polymath, read widely, observed astutely, and borrowed where he saw fit. For him, form followed function: Decisive leadership was required, but so was a sense of imperial partnership; power had to be concentrated and yet it also had to be shared. The federal arrangement that he had in mind was suited, he believed, to that peculiar set of circumstances that tied mother country to colonies and colonies to each other. Originally he had hoped that the colonies would act on their own, if only in their collective self-interest. Ultimately he saw that London would have to sanction his plan if it were to have any chance of success, a reflection of chronic intercolonial rivalry and London's jealousy of any colonial quest for increased power. The final outline that the Albany delegates approved in July called for an executive appointed by the crown to preside over an intercolonial congress, with delegates selected by the assemblies in each of the colonies. Representation would be proportional, with Massachusetts and Virginia to have seven delegates apiece and the rest fewer, down to two each for Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Neither Georgia nor Nova Scotia were included in the total; presumably provision for them would have been made later because this "one General Government" was intended to be inclusive for the mainland colonies. It would convene as needed "for their mutual Defence and Security, and for Extending the British Settlements in North America." Land purchases and trade agreements with Indians, even warfare with them, would fall within the new congress's purview. It would also have the authority to raise and pay troops, and to "equip Vessels of Force to guard the Coasts and Protect the Trade on the Ocean, Lakes, or Great Rivers." It would set tax rates for each colony to meet; any reapportionment would be based on payments into a general fund, those paying the most having the most delegates seated in congress. General army and naval officers could be appointed by the congress, but each colony would retain its own militia; there would be no army beyond it. In other matters "each Colony may retain its present Constitution." 33 The president general would have a veto over anything done in the intercolonial congress. The crown would too, an extension of the little exercised but still important royal disallowance. If Parliament refused its imprimatur, then the new blueprint would be shelved. Parliament did not refuse to endorse the Albany Plan; instead, it simply let it lie once it was dispatched to London. Not a single colony approved it. "Every Body cries a Union is absolutely necessary; but they when they come to the Manner and Form of the Union, their weak Noddles are presently distracted," Franklin lamented afterward. 34

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In an early draft Franklin had stipulated that the presiding officer be a "Military man" because he expected French action in the Ohio Valley to precipitate conflict. The French had begun a string of new outposts at Presque Isle and Le Beouf to cut off the west from New York and Pennsylvania, culminating in Fort Duquesne on the Ohio River, at the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers. "The Confidence of the French in this Undertaking seems well-grounded on the present disunited State of the British Colonies, and the extreme Difficulty of bringing so many different Governments and Assemblies to agree in any speedy and effectual Measures for our common Defense and Security," Franklin had warned before traveling to Albany.35 He left Albany still fearing that British America was on the verge of being encircled. "Our people, being confined to the country between the sea and the mountains, cannot much more increase in number" while the French, if unchecked, "will increase much more, by that acquired room and plenty of subsistence, and become a great people behind us." He wanted two new colonies to be founded between the Ohio River and Lake Erie, thereby preventing "the dreaded junction of French settlements in Canada, with those of Louisiana." Friendly relations with Indians in the Ohio country would be crucial, both for the acquisition of land titles and alliances in the event of war. He cautioned that no single colony could pull this off alone; only an enterprise launched under the auspices of his proposed Albany Plan would work, "to the great increase of Englishmen, English trade, and English power." 36 Virginia, Franklin knew, had decided not to send anyone to Albany, the Board of Trade's preferences notwithstanding. Rather, it chose to conduct its own foreign policy and send a young militia officer, George Washington, to warn the French out of the Ohio country. Washington had been dispatched by his lieutenant governor, Robert Dinwiddie, who was determined to protect Virginia's claim by charter to that region. Dinwiddie was also concerned about protecting the investment made in those lands by the Ohio Company, which had its own royal charter and included many leading Virginians among its investors. In his mind he was only doing as imperial authorities expected—men who, though sure they wanted France stopped, were not yet committed to war as the best way of doing it. Washington could not persuade the French to leave. Neither could he oust them, as he learned in the summer when he and his command were surrounded at a hastily erected Fort Necessity, forced to surrender, and sent packing. Although the Albany delegates had agreed to confederate, most had done so reluctantly. At Albany there had been "wheels with wheels"— historian Fred Anderson's apt wording for the political maneuvering that occurred there. 37 Lieutenant Governor James DeLancey of New York had had his own agenda. So did the Iroquois delegates, who were hoping that

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they could keep a hand in the Ohio country, regardless of what they had given up in the 1744 Lancaster treaty. When Virginians boycotted, they realized that their charter claims and those of the Ohio Company were at odds with what Pennsylvanians and New Yorkers wanted. Rhode Island and other colonies that had no direct real estate or military stake in frontier affairs also had no interest in endangering local power by giving up any authority to an intercolonial congress or crown-appointed executive. The Board of Trade had not wanted some sort of grand federal retooling either. It preferred a commander-in-chief to coordinate fort building and troop raising and a "commissary general" to manage Indian affairs.38 William Johnson and Edmond Atkin, as Indian superintendents for the northern and southern tribes, respectively, ended up performing the role of the Board's proposed commissary general. Before they were named to their posts General Edward Braddock was sent at the head of an expeditionary force from Britain to act as commander-in-chief. In effect, Braddock was cast in the role of "captain general" that had been proposed to William III in 1696, near the end of the first of the wars for empire. The king did not act on the recommendation, but only because the fighting was winding down, not because he or his advisers believed that he lacked the authority to impose such an executive authority over the colonies, in war or peace. With the stakes of imperial competition now raised, George II went where his predecessor had not ventured. Still, his sending Braddock to push the French back from the forks of the Ohio, like the French presence there, was a form of prenuclear brinkmanship. Although both Paris and London wanted to control the Ohio country, neither was sure that it wanted a formal war to achieve it. Braddock was overall commander, but his campaign to take Fort Duquesne was to be one prong of a three-pronged assault. Governor William Shirley of Massachusetts commanded a second column, which would move west along the south shore of Lake Erie from Fort Oswego to take Fort Niagara, and William Johnson would lead a third north along Lake George to drive the French from Fort St. Frederic (Crown Point), just beyond where Lake George joined with Lake Champlain. All totaled ten thousand men, including regulars (most of them going with Braddock), militia, and Indian allies were enlisted on the British side. This was a small number by the standards of what was to come, but, in 1755, when technically Britain and France were still at peace, it was a sizable force. Shirley never got near Niagara, and Johnson was effectively stopped in his tracks. Braddock's expedition became an unmitigated disaster that cost Braddock his life. For some in later generations, Braddock's blunder and George Washington's bravery in trying to rally the troops were the only memorable moments in the war until Wolfe prevailed at Quebec four years later. Braddock's debacle has left a misleading impression of the entire conflict, giving us the stereotype of the invisible, invincible native

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warrior and the all-too-visible, inept professional soldier, the one at home in the woods, the other hopelessly lost and incapable of winning on American soil.39 British success in the remnant of Acadia, with a relatively bloodless example of ethnic cleansing that saw many of the French settlers removed from the area, did not offset the disasters of 1755. Britain and France made their dispute official the next year. Even so, mutual declarations of war did not bring a quick change in the overall picture. The French were too weak to do more than push back British assaults; the British and Americans were too poorly organized and too badly led to capitalize on their superiority in men and materiel for another two years. Historian Francis Parkman turned the war into a titantic struggle between a decaying, feudalistic New France and a progressive, dynamic British America. Within that struggle it was also, through Parkman's pen, a personal contest between two tragically heroic figures: for the French, the Marquis de Montcalm, for the British, General James Wolfe. Attractive dramatic touch aside, Parkman probably made too much of both men. They played vital roles, but Montcalm—his victories at Oswego in 1756, William Henry the next year, and Carillon (Ticonderoga) the year after that regardless—was hardly a military genius. The same could be said of Wolfe, who was alternatively impetuous and indecisive, his victory on the Plains of Abraham outside Quebec in September 1759 being a very near thing, with credit normally going to Wolfe that should go to his brigadiers. Before the British showed decisive leadership in the field there emerged a decisive leader at home: William Pitt. This rising star of British politics proclaimed that he, and he alone, could save the empire. Pitt, who bordered on megalomania, could not singlehandedly work miracles and it took him well over a year and a half after he formed his own ministry to bring results. Still, after taking charge near the end of 1756 he pressed for victory more doggedly than any of his predecessors had in any of the earlier wars, primarily in North America, but also in the West Indies, the Mediterranean, and India. Just as Abraham Lincoln would have trouble finding the commanding general he needed in the Civil War, Pitt went through the earl of Loudoun and James Abercromby before settling on Jeffrey Amherst. Loudoun, like Braddock before him, had complained bitterly about the foot-dragging of colonial governments: slow to procure supplies and provide quarters for the regulars, slow to mobilize their militia, slow to spend any money without promises of reimbursements and subsidies. Loudoun wanted a centralized command system that would allow him to take what he needed when he chose. Pitt preferred persuasion to coercion and produced better results. He continued the tradition of letting the colonies have freedom to act, controlling their own militia, choosing their own officers, and setting the terms of enlistment, length of service, and pay rates. He even tried to

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get regulars and militia to pull more effectively in tandem, clarifying who took orders from whom. Pitt offered to equip militiamen with arms and ammunition at Parliament's expense if the assemblies would clothe, feed, and house them, a fair enough arrangement in the eyes of most colonial politicians. The pompous Loudoun could not get the seven thousand men he demanded from the colonies for 1758. After Pitt had him recalled and a more forgiving approach was put in place, twenty thousand men were promised and more funds were raised by the assemblies—even though that meant tax increases—than in previous years. Pitt wanted fifty thousand men for the 1758 campaign and nearly got them. The French, by contrast, could not hope for more than a third that number, French regulars, French Canadians, and Indian allies combined, with defeat on the Continent at Rossbach the previous year, ensuring that France would not send many reinforcements across the Atlantic. Amherst personally led a force of ten thousand, the lion's share being regulars, who took Louisbourg in July—a much stronger Louisbourg than it had been in 1745. General John Forbes led a smaller, mixed force to Fort Duquesne in November, which the French abandoned rather than try to hold, and destroyed to prevent from falling into British hands. The British built Fort Pitt in its place. Abercromby failed miserably at Carillon in the summer, but the force that he sent out thereafter under Colonel John Bradstreet succeeded in taking Fort Frontenac, at the northern outlet of Lake Ontario. Bradstreet's success reopened the Mohawk River Valley, closed since the capture of Oswego two years before, and, equally important, helped swing wavering Cayuga and Seneca over to the British side. The successes of 1758 laid the foundation for the triumphs in 1759 and 1760 that would eventually end the war, though British victory could not be considered a sure thing until the enemy had been beaten decisively along the St. Lawrence. Thus, the significance of Wolfe's rout of Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham and the subsequent fall of Quebec. The French failed to relieve Quebec after Wolfe took it and with that failure sealed the doom of Montreal—and, militarily if not necessarily diplomatically, of all of New France—in 1760. When Amherst finally advanced on Montreal it had been virtually cut off from the interior, Niagara falling in July 1759 and other western outposts—Presque Isle, Le Beouf—being abandoned in the aftermath. Only the far west—Detroit, Michilmackinac, and tiny outposts in the Illinois country—would remain in French hands. Amherst marched methodically up the Champlain corridor, swept all before him, and led a veritable juggernaut to Montreal: nearly ten thousand regulars, eight thousand provincials from New Jersey and New York as well as New England, and perhaps seven hundred Iroquois. Capitulation was a foregone conclusion. Amherst's force at Montreal, unlike Wolfe's at Quebec, had not needed much naval support. But just as General Wolfe had relied on Vice-

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Admiral Charles Saunders to sail up the St. Lawrence, Amherst had needed Admiral Boscawen at Louisbourg in 1758, as Clive needed Pocock for his campaigns in India. It could be contended that the greatest victory of 1759 came through the Royal Navy at Quiberon Bay off the coast of France, not the British army across the Atlantic at Quebec. There Admiral Sir Edward Hawke dispersed a French fleet in a running engagement on stormy seas. Hawke's stroke underscored Britain's naval supremacy, which enabled Pitt to move forces at will around the world, prevent the recapture of Quebec and launch a later campaign in the West Indies. No one could have predicted that success in one theatre would help produce failure in another. With Clive's victory at Plassey in 1757, Britain, through the East India Company, solidified its power on the subcontinent, at the expense of France and, more significantly, of the local nawabs. The Company became even more of a force in imperial affairs, and great expectations of future wealth were raised. Exaggerated political importance and failed economic enterprise would combine in a precarious fashion in the years after the war. In order to help a business in one part of the empire, British politicians, by manipulating tea prices, would be seen as hurting colonists on the other side of the world. In 1763, however, the Boston tea party was not even a glint in anyone's eye. By the time that Amherst dictated terms for New France's surrender the British and Americans had occasionally found ways to collaborate fairly well. In a few instances—notably Bradstreet's combined regulars, militia, and Indians at Frontenac in 1758—everything jelled (as Cowpens in 1781 would be one of those rare instances where disparate elements came together for Americans in the next war). A Nova Scotia-born regular and veteran of Louisbourg in 1745, Bradstreet knew how to draw on the strengths of his hermaphroditic force. True, there were still basic differences between regulars and militia, but there had been independent companies of regulars raised in the colonies and even a few full regiments of provincials, such as the 60th or Royal Americans, put on the regular establishment. Joining them were ranger companies. If, on one hand, the Anglo-American rangers were rarely as good as their French Canadian counterparts, on the other British regulars often proved a match for French professionals. Major Robert Rogers of New Hampshire led the most famous ranger corps. Rogers's journal, published soon after the war ended, was intended to show that rangers had mastered the art of forest fighting. Instead, it showed that Rogers had had as much luck as skill and sometimes not enough of either. His most famous raid—against the St. Francis Indians in 1759—had cost him too many men to too little purpose. 40 By contrast the regulars usually performed as needed, Braddock's fiasco proving more the exception than the rule. The slaughter of the 42nd Highlanders by Montcalm's troops at Carillon in 1758, kilted Scots of the Black Watch hacking impotently with their claymores at the abatis as

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French musket balls cut them down, should be an indictment of Abercromby, not of so-called "European tactics" unsuited to an American setting. Had Abercromby been patient enough to haul field pieces to the top of an adjacent hill, there to enfilade Fort Carillon instead of sending men forward in a suidical frontal assault, the results would have been much different. In 1777 the British would force the Americans to abandon the position by doing what should have been done nineteen years before. The stupidity of one general should not be confused with the failings of an entire system, something to keep in mind when reviewing events at Breed's Hill in 1775. That France's military defeats after many years of fighting led to diplomatic losses surprised no one. Those of Spain, who entered the conflict belatedly in 1762, were of a different sort. France's foreign minister, the due de Choiseul, had pressured Charles III of Spain to declare war against Britain, even as he was beginning secret negotiations with London to end the fighting. Peter III, an admirer of Frederick the Great, had succeeded the tsarina in Russia. Choiseul guessed that Peter III would end the war with Prussia if he could, which in turn would cause Austria to withdraw from the contest, potentially leaving France to face Prussia on the Continent alone. He moved accordingly, and Peter sat on the throne just long enough for Choiseul's maneuver to succeed. After Louis XV added a personal plea, urging his "cousin" to preserve the Family Compact, Spain joined in with the goal of retaking Gibraltar and invading Portugal to tear it away from Britain. But Spain's timing was all wrong. Britain's success against New France had been matched by victories in the West Indies. The British occupied St. Lucia and Grenada, and they seized Guadeloupe from the French in 1759. They then grabbed Dominica in 1761; Martinique fell the next year. Britain stole a march on Spain and declared war first. That made Cuba fair game, and Havana was taken in 1762; so was Manila, before the Spanish there had even learned of the declaration of war. Cuba and the Philippines would be restored to Spain, but at the cost of Florida, as territory became bargaining chips on the negotiating table. Spain gained title to Louisiana, France ceding it only to avoid turning all of the Mississippi basin over to the British. Spain had never accepted France's domination of the lower Mississippi, despite supposed Bourbon unity. More worried about securing the Gulf of Mexico and maintaining the fiction that it was a Spanish lake, Madrid would have preferred getting New Orleans and a tiny slice of land around it to keeping all of Florida, even without upper Louisiana. The French regained Martinique and Guadeloupe, but they had to sign over other West Indies islands to the British. In Africa they gave up Senegal and in India they lost ground they would never recover. They had to return Minorca, which they had taken in 1757, to Britain and, most crippling of all, they

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had to relinquish all of New France, with the exception of two tiny islands in the St. Lawrence where they could dry fish.41 Britain's taking virtually all of France's North American empire resulted as much from fortunate military outcome in 1762 as it did from original strategic intent in 1756, and even then it did not take concrete form until the peace talks began. Returning islands and retaining a continent did not represent some sort of fundamental imperial reconceptualization, putting a new commitment to a land empire in place of an old commitment to overseas commerce. Advocates of empire, in the Hakluyt tradition, cast their nets wide. Whether it be sugar or molasses from West Indies islands or furs and rice and tobacco from the mainland, different means led toward the same end: increased wealth for increased power, according to providential design. The celebration in British America matched that in Britain. "A long, dangerous, and expensive War now closes with an honorable Peace," preached Anglican minister James Horrocks to his Williamsburg flock, "and for this we are ordered to a most reasonable, pious Duty, to return our solemn Thanks to that great and good God, who hath taught our Hands to war, and our Fingers to fight so very successfully." For Horrocks and others who linked British nationalism, provincial American pride, and global imperial growth into one seamless whole, the future was bright. Britons everywhere would have expanded opportunity within an empire of liberty. "They have set the World a fair Example that the highest Ambition of Princes shou'd be to govern a free People, and that no People can be great or happy but such as are so." 42 Horrocks was confident that the empire would fulfill his expectations. But a French diplomat played the role of Greek chorus. Louis XV's ambassador to the Turkish empire, the Comte de Vergennes, posted at Constantinople, warned a British acquaintance: You are happy in the cession of Canada: we, perhaps, ought to think ourselves happy that you have acquired it. Delivered from a neighbor whom they have always feared, your other colonies will soon discover, that they stand no longer in need of your protection. You will call on them to contribute toward supporting the burthen which thay have helped to bring on you, they will answer you by shaking off all dependence.43 As foreign minister to Louis XVI during the War of American Independence, Vergennes would be in a position to turn his prediction into a selffulfilling prophecy. Even so, all of that lay in the future. Britain ended its contest with France—sometimes considered the first true world war—as the master of overseas empire. So long as France had been the enemy, colonies and mother country could be joined by a common cause and overlook their differences. Colonial militiamen knew that British regulars

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t h o u g h t t h e m p o o r soldiers. Wolfe a n d A m h e r s t w e r e fairly typical: h a p p y to let A m e r i c a n s scout, forage, a n d p e r f o r m routine duties, b u t reluctant to h a v e too m a n y of t h e m a b o u t a n d u n w i l l i n g to rely o n t h e m in battle. A m e r i c a n militiamen could b e just as uncharitable, c o m p l a i n i n g of m i n d less discipline a n d p l o d d i n g c a m p a i g n s . H a d there b e e n n o p o s t w a r i m p e rial crisis, n o e v e n t u a l confrontation of o n e t i m e allies, the fondness of old v e t e r a n s for c o m r a d e s - i n - a r m s m i g h t h a v e d o m i n a t e d other less pleasant m e m o r i e s . But n e w grievances b r o u g h t n e w m e a n i n g s a n d altered old m e m o r i e s , magnifying frustrations a n d shrinking satisfactions, r e s h a p i n g the e m p i r e as it w a s according to w h a t it h a d b e c o m e . NOTES 1. Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations Voyages Trafjiques & Discoveries of the English Nation, 12 vols. (Glasgow: James MacLehose and Sons, 1903-1905), l:xx. 2. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Edwin Canaan, ed. (New York: Modern Library, 1937), 590. 3. Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, l:xvii. 4. Ibid., l:xxi. 5. David B. Quinn and Alison M. Quinn, eds., Discourse of Western Planting (London: Hakluyt Society, 1993), 4. 6. Cabot's patent of 5 March 1497 is reprinted in W. Keith Kavenagh, ed., Foundations of Colonial America, 6 vols. (New York: Chelsea House, 1983), 1:18-19. 7. David Beers Quinn, ed., The Voyages and Colonising Enterprises of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, 2 vols. (London: Hakluyt Society, 1940), 1:170-175. 8. Ibid., 1:17. 9. Ibid., 1:188-194. 10. Ibid., 2:276. 11. Ibid., 2:326-335. 12. Francis Jennings, The Invasion of America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975), 153. 13. Howard H. Peckham, The Colonial Wars, 1689-1762 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964), 1; and Daniel J. Boorstin, The Americans: The Colonial Experience (New York: Random House, 1958), 345. 14. Edward Waterhouse, A Declaration of the State of the Colony and Affaires of Virginia (London: G. Eld, 1622), dedicatory epistle, 23, resp. 15. William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large, 18 vols. (Richmond: Samuel Pleasants, 1809-1823), 1:128, no. 32. 16. Alfred W. Crosby, Ecological Imperialism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986). 17. Neal Salisbury, Manitou and Providence (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), 181. 18. Patrick M. Malone, The Skulking Way of War (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993). 19. From the 1643 confederation, as printed in Harry M. Ward, The United Colonies of New England, 1643-1690 (New York: Vantage Press, 1961), appendix A, 384-391.

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20. Ibid., preface. 21. Which is the view offered in Jennings, Invasion of America, 177-326. 22. Viola Florence Barnes, The Dominion of New England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1923); David S. Lovejoy, The Glorious Revolution in America (New York: Harper & Row, 1972); and the different view in J. M. Sosin, English America, 3 vols. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1980-1985). 23. Richard R. Johnson, Adjustment to Empire (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1981), 420,409, resp. 24. Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, Torchbearer of the Revolution (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1940); and Stephen Saunders Webb, 2676: The End of American Independence (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984). Contrast both with Wilcomb E. Washburn, The Governor and the Rebel (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1957). 25. Henry Kirke, The First Conquest of Canada (London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1908); George Pratt Insh, Scottish Colonial Schemes, 1620-1686 (Glasgow: Maclehose, Jackson & Co., 1922); and Gillian T. Cell, English Enterprise in Newfoundland, 1577-1660 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1969). 26. A Declaration Set forth by the Lord Lieutenant Generall the Gentlemen of the Councill & assembly occasioned by the view of a printed paper (Hague: Samuel Broun, 1651); and Vincent T. Harlow, Barbados, 1625-1685 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1926). 27. Karen Ordahl Kupperman, Providence Island, 1630-1641 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993). 28. Carl Bridenbaugh and Roberta Bridenbaugh, No Peace Beyond the Line (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972). 29. Vaudreuil to the Duke of Orleans, February 1716, in E.B. O'Callaghan, ed., Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New-York, 15 vols. (Albany: Weed, Parsons, and Company, 1853-1887), 9:868. 30. Douglas Edward Leach, Arms for Empire (New York: Macmillan, 1973), 147. 31. Auchmuty's April 1744 proposal is printed in Massachusetts Historical Society. Collections, first series 5 (1798): 202-205. 32. A piece from London's Public Advertiser, 29 January 1770, reprinted in Verner W. Crane, ed., Benjamin Franklin's Letters to the Press, 1758-1775 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1958), 185. 33. From the text printed in Leonard W Labaree et al., eds., The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, 34 vols. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959-), 5:387-392; also see Lawrence Henry Gipson, The British Empire before the American Revolution, 15 vols. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1936-1970), 5:113-166. 34. Franklin to Peter Collinson, 27 December 1754, in Labaree et al., eds., Papers of Franklin, 5:454. 35. Franklin to Richard Partridge, 9 May 1754, in Labaree et a l , eds., Papers of Franklin, 5:274. 36. Ibid., 5:457,458,459, resp. 37. Fred Anderson, Crucible of War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000), 83. 38. Board of Trade report, 9 August 1754, printed in O'Callaghan, ed., Documents, 6:901-903. 39. For balanced views see John E. Ferling, A Wilderness of Miseries (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1980), and John Morgan Dederer, War in America to 1775 (New

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York: New York University Press, 1990), as well as Leach, Arms for Empire, and Anderson, Crucible of War. 40. Robert Rogers, Journals of Major Robert Rogers (London: J. Millan, 1765). 41. Zenab Esmat Rashed, The Peace of Paris 1763 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1951). 42. James Horrocks, Upon the Peace: A Sermon (Williamsburg: Joseph Royle, 1763), 5, 6-7, resp. 43. [John Lind], Three Letters to Dr. Price (London: T. Payne, 1776), 138n.

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CHAPTER 2

Revolt Without Revolution

When Britain first, at Heaven's command, Arose from out the azure main, This was the charter of the land, And guardian angels sung this strain 'Rule, Britannia, rule the waves; Britons will never be slaves/ James Thomson, Masque of Alfred (1740)1 Let us, your sons, by freedom warm'd, Your own example keep in view, 'Gainst TYRANNY be ever arm'd, Tho' we our TYRANT find—is you. Rule Britannia, rule the waves But never make your children slaves. Massachusetts Spy, 10 November 17742 A poet in constant search of patronage, James Thomson enjoyed his biggest success in August 1740 when he was invited to stage Alfred for Frederick, Prince of Wales, at the prince's Cliveden estate. The climax of this dramatic allegory, which Thomson and his partner, David Mallet, designed to flatter their patron, came near the end. Alfred, a ninth-century Saxon king, had been defeated by the Danes and went into hiding, fearing that all was lost. The blind bard who came forward to restore his confidence and send him forth to retake the island recited Thomson's lines as set to music by Thomas Arne. Alfred enjoyed a modest London run on Drury Lane thereafter and is now all but forgotten; "Rule Britannia" lives

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on as an unofficial national anthem, sung on occasions great and small to stir national pride. Choosing the playhouse over the presbytery, Thomson had left his native Scotland and Edinburgh religious studies behind to make his way in London. Though his income fluctuated widely and some English critics thought him cloyingly romantic, a thick-tongued bumpkin from the borderlands, he moved in London's most elite social circles—the country boy who made good. He celebrated Britishness as a Scottish Whig committed to the principles of the Glorious Revolution. Defender of the 1707 Act of Union, he believed that Scotland and England would prosper as one, forming a stronger partnership that would take the United Kingdom to dizzying heights. His epic poem "Liberty" anticipated the sentiments expressed in "Rule Britannia." Rome had fallen; Britain was rising as "the nation of the Free." Indeed, "the winds and seas are Britain's wide domain" and "swarming southward on rejoicing suns, gay colonies extend." 3 The land of the free would produce the empire of liberty, he proclaimed. Champion of Britain as world power, he was not, like Hakluyt, interred in Westminster Abbey, though a plaque commemorating him would be placed among tributes in the Abbey to other poets (including Shakespeare, from whom he borrowed shamelessly). Boston-born Isaiah Thomas would eventually reject Thomson's idealized British empire. As founder and editor of the Massachusetts Spy he printed (and perhaps even wrote) a satire on "Rule Britannia," satire with a pointed warning: the empire of liberty had become tyrannical; loving parent had become abusive, the imperial family dysfunctional. Thomas was not yet a revolutionary, he was not yet even committed to the protest movement that someday became a revolutionary tide. But the more disillusioned he became with Great Britain, the more he created a new view of himself as American rather than as British-American. Like thousands of others he found that the hyphenated identity that had been such a source of pride could, with changed circumstances, be a source of frustration. Thomas was the proverbial self-made man. Apprenticed as a child to a newspaper owner from whom he ran away, returned to as a partner when a young man, then bought out, Thomas was prickly and opinionated. His sympathies for imperial protest became deeper with each new policy devised in London to make Boston more obedient. At the same moment that British troops were preparing to march on Lexington and Concord, he was dismantling his press and packing his type. He relocated forty miles to the west in Worcester, where he could be a printer for Massachusetts rebels—anticipating the shooting before it started, serving a government that existed in a gray area, somewhere between a revolt to secure rights in the empire and a revolution to leave that empire altogether. One of Thomas's first printing projects after setting up shop in Worcester was to gather eyewitness accounts of the fighting on April 19, 1775, that would

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prove British soldiers had been sent to oppress, not protect, to enslave, not to free. CONTAINMENT There is no sharp demarcation between the end of the French and Indian War and the beginning of imperial unrest. During the war Virginia saw the "parson's cause" dispute resulting from the Two Penny Act. Massachusetts was jostled by the writs of assistance controversy, which John Adams would consider essential to the future Revolutionary movement because of James Otis's stirring (though failed) defense of American rights. Britons and Americans alike suffered the growing pains of an empire with many disparate parts whose interests could be at odds. Early evidence of that unrest came from the west. Rumors that New France would pass into British hands circulated many months before the actual transfer took place. Natives long allied with the French worried about their future under a new regime. Compounding the problems, tribes that had fought alongside the British resented Jeffrey Amherst's cutback on the trade goods passed out to them. Amherst felt that the gift and tribute system was an expendable drain on resources; the Indians felt that they were being punished when they ought to be rewarded. Amherst had been warned that his attempt at economizing could trigger an uprising. Sure enough in 1761 there was an outbreak on the southern frontier, where Cherokees upset by the loss of supplies, particularly guns and ammunition, lashed out. With settlers driven back toward the east and a small retaliatory force roundly beaten, Amherst dispatched a much larger column—nearly three thousand men—on an expedition deep into the Cherokee homeland, destroying villages and burning crops. Amherst was fortunate that the Indians did not unite; the Cherokees fought almost alone, as Creeks and Chickasaws stood apart, waiting to see if Cherokee misfortune would work to their advantage. It did not. Although Amherst was shortsighted in his Indian policy he understood that incorporation of a vast new territory into the empire would prompt an expansionst surge. Speculators invested in and settlers moved onto lands once contested with France, from the northeast in old Acadia and into the New Hampshire grants, and all along the Appalachians, spilling through mountain gaps into the expanse beyond. Anticipating a postwar progrowth policy and not knowing that Louisiana would pass into Spanish rather than British hands, in early 1763 Amherst recommended that the British maintain old French and Spanish forts and build new outposts along the far edge of their new territory—at the mouth of the Mississippi and at the Mississippi's confluences with the Ohio and Illinois Rivers. Not giving much thought to the natives living in what he viewed as British backcountry, Amherst expected pioneers to flood the area. That

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movement, combined with Amherst's policies, French withdrawal, and native anxiety, helped produce "Pontiac's rebellion" in the spring of 1763— as if one Ottawa chief who was involved in the fighting around Fort Detroit had precipitated the entire conflict. Actually the same dynamic was reproduced here as had been seen to the south with the Cherokees and even echoed what had happened with King Philip nearly a century before in New England. The natives were coordinated loosely rather than truly confederated and, even though thousands of warriors from dozens of tribes chose war, it was not a pan-Indian movement. Not all of the Ottawas joined Pontiac; the Seneca, and not even all of them, were among the few Iroquois to take arms. The mysticism of Neolin, the Delaware prophet, notwithstanding, most fought for practical reasons and had limited goals: fairer treatment in the fur trade and more trade goods, and a check on the spread of white settlement, not a literal return to precolonial ways. Detroit, Pitt, and Niagara withstood the initial onslaught and were eventaully relieved; all of the smaller outposts scattered in between fell. That some soldiers caught in the outposts that were overrun survived by seeking sanctuary among French traders living within their walls is proof that this was not race war. That natives expecting French aid were turned down by the commander at Fort Chartres—despite the fact that, technically, New France was not yet British Canada—portended failure. Amherst asked colonial governors to mobilize their militia for garrison duty so that regulars could be freed for field service. They did not respond as quickly as the aggravated general expected. Relieved to finally be going home in the fall of 1763, Amherst left before it was all over, but only after sanctioning biological warfare through smallpoxinfested blankets given to various Indians in the course of negotiations. Pontiac parleyed in October 1764, following others who had already decided on peace over war as General Thomas Gage, Amherst's successor, and Sir William Johnson, placated them. A dividing line drawn by the Board of Trade and endorsed by George III attempted to restore order to what had become chaotic. Approved in October 1763, while fighting still raged in the Ohio country, this line was intended to separate Indian from settler, at least temporarily, until a more detailed, long-term policy could be devised. "It is just and reasonable, and essential to Our Interest and the Security of Our Colonies" that the Indians "with whom We are connected and who live under Our Protection" not be "molested or disturbed," proclaimed George III.4 There should be no surveying or settling beyond the line; those colonists who had ventured west of it should return east; those wanting to trade with the Indians must secure licenses to prevent "Frauds and Abuses." Amherst had proposed that all of British North America be contained and secured. London followed the basic logic of his approach in its proclamation line, but with a significantly different application. Instead

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of protecting the outer limits of Anglo-American expansion, the defensive perimeter was reconfigured, with outposts to keep white settlements from spreading to the Ohio country and the larger Ohio-Mississippi basin. Although it was hardly an Appalachian iron curtain designed to choke off all growth, it was intended to regulate the process and reflected a concern that the farther that the colonists moved from the coastline, the more difficult it would be to manage American affairs. Thus the desire was to redirect rather than stop expansion, channeling settlers south toward Florida and north through the Maine country and into Nova Scotia. Support of an expansionist policy regardless, Amherst had recommended that some troops be bivouacked in more settled areas as well as on the frontier "to retain the Inhabitants of our antient Provinces in a State of Constitutional Dependance upon Great Britain." 5 Many Indians were not sure what to make of the new policy. Groups of Delaware who had left New Jersey for the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania earlier in the century, then had been pressured to move again to the eastern Ohio country, wondered what was next. Distressed by the erection of Fort Duquesne, they had not sided with the French in the last war. When the British stayed and built Fort Pitt, many of the Delaware decided to throw in with those who been allied with the French and now rose against the British in 1763. They made their peace but were suspicious of the proclamation line and the notion of an Indian preserve. When, in the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768, the Iroquois passed to Britain dubious suzerainty over lands stretching down the south bank of the Ohio to the Tennessee River, their suspicions were vindicated. But it would another six years before some Delawares allied with the Shawnee and other local tribes to resist what they deemed to be white encroachment. The line drawn on paper had never acted as a true barrier. Even though the Ohio Company had to put a moratorium on its surveys and sales, its charter was not vacated. Meanwhile smaller groups of settlers continued west undeterred—such as those who took the trail blazed by Daniel Boone, whose first trek into Kentucky came after, not before, the proclamation line, and well before the meeting at Stanwix, when in theory Kentucky was opened for settlement. White movement into Kentucky precipitated Lord Dunmore's War in 1774. Shawnee who lived north of the Ohio but hunted south of the river did not believe that the Iroquois had had a valid title to pass to the British. With some but not much help from other tribes they tried to drive the settlers out. White Virginians who had been itching for a fight won and, since Dunmore's expansionistic ambitions complemented their own, the Scottish governor was almost popular for a time. The Shawnee were not the only losers. So were Pennsylvanians who wanted to keep friendly relations with the natives, including the arms trade, so that they could secure the area around Fort Pitt—recently evacuated by the regulars as the region was incorporated

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into Westmoreland County. Virginians occupied the post before Pennsylvanians took control, showing that boundaries remained vague, land claims overlapped, and intercolonial rivalries always lurked in the background. Perhaps, as John Richard Alden suggested, London would have been wiser to let the colonists fend for themselves. 6 No doubt they would have failed to develop an effective western policy on their own, divided as they were over who owned what to the west and, in the case of Connecticut and Pennsylvania, even argued over who had rightful title to the Susquehanna Valley. The actions of the so-called Paxton Boys showed that Pennsylvanians were divided among themselves as well as against their neighbors over Indian policy and that it could have been worse had the colonists been left entirely to their own devices. British troops that so many colonists resented might have been welcomed instead, as Indians of the transappalachian West came to play the same symbolic role once played by the French—thereby delaying if not preventing the break that Vergennes had predicted would come. If Spain had been stronger it could have shared that role. Since the line dividing New France from Louisiana had never been well defined, a stronger Spain might well have claimed that Louisiana straddled the entire Mississippi and, on the east bank, extended from the western ridges of the Appalachians all the way to the Ohio River. But a weak Spain had to content itself with hanging onto what it could around New Orleans. Lacking Alden's hindsight and not so cynical as to pit Indians against whites or colony against colony so that they might play the role of savior, imperial administrators groped for a coherent policy. They had never been of one mind, some like the earl of Shelburne wanting to assist the process of expansion, others like the earl of Hillsborough wanting to impede it. Hillsborough prevailed when he became the first secretary of state for American affairs in 1768 and in effect displaced Shelburne, who stayed on for a time as secretary of state for the southern department. But Hillsborough's agreeing to the terms negotiated at Stanwix shows that even the American secretary saw expansion as inevitable. Slowing the process was not the same as stopping it; a desire to protect the fur trade and the interests of client tribes was not the same as committing to some sort of Indian homeland. Even with Hillsborough in and Shelburne out, plans to develop the West for future settlement went ahead, if only on paper. The Ohio Company, whose origins went back to the end of the third war for empire, found itself in competition with more recent arrivals. Its claim to two hundred thousand acres was dwarfed by the millions sought by these latecomers. All of them sliced up the transappalachian West, the most ambitious of them extending across the Mississippi into what was—for the moment, at least—incontestably Spanish territory

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The Franklins, father and son, invested in the Illinois Company, as did Sir William Johnson and other notables. They sought a grant of over one million acres in the area between the Mississippi and Wabash rivers up to the shore of Lake Michigan and extending into modern-day Wisconsin. Encouraged by a sympathetic Shelburne, then thwarted by Hillsborough, the Franklins shifted their energies to another company, which had an equally ambitious scheme for a parcel closer to home, in Kentucky between the Ohio and Catawba Rivers. Their disadvantage of overlapping the Ohio Company's claim and potentially running afoul of George Washington and other Virginians was offset by the advantage of including George Grenville and the earl of Camden among the investors, with plans to call their proposed colony "Pittsylvania" in honor of the "Great Commoner" before they reformed themselves as the "Vandalia Company" in honor of the queen. 7 Nevertheless, for all of the conniving and maneuvering, Franklin made precious little from his investment in western lands. Inability to realize his western dream helped sour Franklin on the London-Philadelphia connection. Franklin's transformation from proud British-American into American Revolutionary nicely illustrates the difficulty of reconciling different views of the imperial future. Franklin composed his 1751 Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind as a loyal subject of the crown and citizen of the empire. In it he depicted North America as a place of unique opportunity where land was cheap and the chance for upward social mobility in a labor-dear economy virtually limitless. The population, he predicted, would double every twenty years just through natural increase. Within a century there would "be more than the People of England, and the greatest Number of Englishmen will be on this side the Water." Britain had nothing to fear from this growth pattern. "Therefore Britain should not too much restrain Manufactures in her Colonies." Turning the empire-as-family analogy to his purposes he emphasized that "a wise and good Mother will not do it. To distress, is to weaken, and weakening the Children, weakens the whole Family."8 Franklin thought it a logical absurdity that someone might consider keeping Martinique and Guadeloupe and return any captured mainland territory to France. "The Foundations of the future Grandeur and Stability of the British Empire, lie in America," he wrote after the fall of Quebec. If both New France and Louisiana were retained, he predicted, "all the Country from St. Laurence to the Missisipi, will in another Century, be fill'd with British People." Britain's trade would boom and the Royal Navy would grow so that British influence could extend "round the Globe, and awe the World!"9 Franklin left little room for the natives in his grand American vision. Indian removal as imperial policy did not disturb him much, and he preferred that Africans not be brought in at all, though his was not a simple notion of a white man's paradise—given his aversion to the large number

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of German immigrants moving into Pennsylvania. But it was not Franklin the cultural elitist of the Observations who would have raised eyebrows in London; it was Franklin the veiled critic of the navigation system. Parliament had passed the Iron Act the year before—hence the timing of the essay and Franklin's allusion to manufactures. That piece of legislation was part and parcel of the carrot and stick approach to regulating business enterprise within the empire: encourage colonies to produce iron and even export it to Britain, but forbid colonial production of steel. Although the act did not threaten to shut down an established steel industry and promised a stimulus to iron production, Franklin feared what it portended for the years ahead. Franklin's enthusiasm for the empire was contingent on the political freedom, economic growth, and territorial expansion for the colonies that he believed it should ensure. By the French and Indian War he had broken with the Penns as proprietors because he believed they were insensitive to colonial needs and aspirations. The same impulse that caused him to lobby for Pennsylvania's reconfiguration as a royal colony would someday press him to go further, rejecting a king after having first rejected a governor. Franklin, as Gerald Stourzh contended, had a deeply ingrained sense of "manifest destiny," early on for American colonies within the British empire, later for the nation that left it.10 The nationalistic tendencies hinted at by Franklin in the 1750s would become full-blown in the 1770s. Natives, Franklin and other expansionists believed, could not be allowed to stand as impediments to progress; neither could the British. Later generations would echo them. Clarence Alvord, student of the transappalachian West, wrote with the same filiopietistic tone as Henry P. Johnston. To try to stem the American advance, he scoffed, "was foolishness; the destiny of the West could not be thwarted." A good Turnerian, Alvord the scientific historian talked less of providential design than he did of social evolution and "the logic of history," but to the same end: "Man-made law and governmental policy could not delay the day of delivery, let the visionless politicians of the Old World confer as much as they would." 11 The revolutionary moment that Alvord would see as fulfilling national destiny struck many of Franklin's contemporaries as something to avoid, if possible. English reformer and British naval officer John Cartwright had striven mightily to improve the imperial vision and save an empire as it teetered on the edge of dissolution. By Lexington and Concord he had drafted a bill that he hoped someone would introduce for him in Parliament. The statue erected to his memory by admirers in an eponymous Bloomsbury park lauds him as the "first English writer who openly avowed the Independence of the United States." Actually he was nowhere near the first, and he wanted greater freedom for Americans within the empire, not a severing of ties. Political economist and dean of Gloucester cathedral, Josiah Tucker, had called for full independence before

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Cartwright put his mind to the problems of empire. But Tucker wanted to let the Americans go because they were too much trouble to keep. Why, he contended, suffer the costs of imperial administration when Britain could dominate American markets without the political aggravation or financial overhead? He did not believe that there was an Atlantic community that could be contained within the empire. Cartwright disagreed—provided, that is, that British imperial thinking became less mercantilistic. At the heart of Cartwright's "Grand British League and Confederacy" was a program for orderly expansion. Cartwright proposed to add another nineteen colonies to the existing eighteen and to redraw the lines of many of those eighteen. To the east, he divided old Acadia between Nova Scotia and the new colony of Gaspesia. The Maine country claimed by Massachusetts he set apart as Sagadahock, with yet another new colony, Champlania, to fill the area between a reduced New Hampshire and Quebec. He sliced off the top half of New York and called it Catarakua, and the western portion of Pennsylvania became Senekania. In the transappalachian West, beginning with Chactawria above West Florida, he created a half dozen colonies running upstream along the Mississippi to Missisangia, whose northwest border was marked by the Lake of the Woods. All of the land running in a line east from there to Labrador would also be incorporated into colonies. Once each new colony attained a population of fifty thousand it would join the others as an equal and send delegates to an intercolonial congress presided over by a crown-appointed "ambassador general." In addition each colony would have a resident minister plenipotentiary to strengthen the link to the crown. Commissioners from the existing colonies would meet with counterparts appointed by Lords and Commons to put the plan into action and work out the details. Thereafter Parliament would step out of the picture—rightfully so, because the only proper imperial connection had been through the crown. Parliament would no longer tax the colonies or regulate their trade, and all British troops would be removed from the American interior. The new intercolonial congress would raise its own funds and troops for self-defense. Cartwright referred to the colonies as "states," even "nations," within the confederacy to underscore his emphasis on an equitable empire, a new relationship where cooperation displaced coercion and a federalistic concept of shared power displaced older hierarchical notions of superiority and inferiority. "We must either relinquish at once our claim to sovereignty, or fix on their neck with strong hand the galling yoke of slavery," he warned. 12 Anticipating what Thomas Jefferson would later advocate for the national domain in the United States, Cartwright's plan was also reminiscent of what Benjamin Franklin had called for in Albany—and it failed just as completely, for the same basic reasons. Franklin could not generate much support in 1754, on the eve of a war when Britons and

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Americans needed each other to fight the common foe. If Franklin had little chance then, Cartwright had no chance at all when some Britons and Americans were preparing to fight each other. This is not to say that Whitehall and Westminster did nothing to alter imperial arrangements. They did with the Quebec Act. Unfortunately for them this 1774 attempt at reorganizing the West became another example of offending one imperial constituency while pleasing another, neighbors this time, not people separated by half the globe. Putting the Ohio Valley within the purview of officials in Quebec made sense in some ways but was almost incredibly stupid in others. French Canadians forced to become members of Britain's empire were pleased—more because of other concessions, be it noted—while land speculators and settlers to the south were stunned and resentful. Combined with other grievances that had accumulated at the same time, the Quebec Act would become fodder for American protest. By Cartwright's standards the Quebec Act had not done much, but that is not the point. Cartwright tried to renew faith in an empire of liberty and remind his countrymen that colonies had been founded "on the true principles of freedom." Past precedent mattered less than timeless verity; no law, he stressed, was valid unless just, and no law could be just unless the people gave it their consent—a principle inherent in nature as created by God, antecedent to and surpassing any frame of government. Empires, like nations, could therefore justify themselves only on the basis of their ability to protect the people and secure their rights. "Kings and constitutions of government are the creatures, not the creators, of these rights," Cartwright proclaimed—to him a simple restatement of old Whig principles. 13 But his advocacy of a new imperial arrangement that would see Ireland joined with Britain in a parliamentary union like that of England and Scotland in 1707, and his call for parliamentary reform at Westminster to ensure more equitable representation for Britons, mixed as they were with his American proposal, came at the worst possible moment. Suspicion had displaced trust; resentment had replaced gratitude. There could be no imperial commonwealth unless there was agreement on what constituted the common good of its members. Whatever agreement there had been before was soon to be shattered. MORTGAGES, FINANCIAL A N D PSYCHOLOGICAL Gone were the days of Henry VII's empire on the cheap. Great Britain now led the world in ocean-borne commerce and as the preeminent builder of trading stations and full-fledged colonies abroad. In part it owed that rise to the development of what historian John Brewer has called the "fiscal-military state." 14 Brewer traced a symbiotic relationship between more troops and larger fleets, expanded commerce and extended

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empire, and the growth of governmental bureaucracy with its higher taxes and deficit spending. First appearing with the competition between England and France on the Continent following the Glorious Revolution, the new administrative state swelled with Britain's spread overseas and took firm hold as the competition for empire deepened. Domestic spending did not increase dramatically over this same period; rather, the lion's share went to expenses related to trade, diplomacy, and war. A vigorous anti-French, anti-Catholic foreign policy, all in the name of preserving a Protestant nation and securing the Glorious Revolution, proved perenially expensive. Repairing old and building new warships drained coffers; maintaining the army was somewhat less costly, though it did require overlooking the unconstitutional (a standing army in peacetime) in order to sustain the legal (Parliament's authority to raise troops). Land taxes, which once accounted for most public monies, were eclipsed by excise and customs revenues with the ever-growing need for cash. Some costs were more visible than others, as political as they were economic. Britain faced heavy expenses and the prospect of unpopular new taxes, especially among recalcitrant colonists. Policy makers also knew that Britain had more enemies than friends among the major powers. France and Spain awaited the opportunity to correct what they feared was a dangerously imbalanced balance of power distribution in Europe and abroad. So, to a lesser degree, did the Netherlands, Austria, Russia, and even Prussia. War was always a possibility in such a volatile setting. Mending diplomatic fences was one thing; dealing with debt incurred by imperial expansion was another. Pitt's critics grumbled that he had spent the nation into oblivion in his quest for victory and bought that victory at too high a price. At the beginning of the wars for empire the national debt had been negligible, as revenues kept pace with expenditures. Through each successive conflict the debt grew so that by 1763 it stood at roughly £140 million, nearly double what it had been when war was declared seven years before. Annual interest on that debt stood at just under £5 million; annual expenses were expected to be about £8 million. If annual revenues, without significant additions, could only be expected to bring in around £10 million, the shortfall was obvious, the public policy implications ominous. There was no thought of paying off the national debt any time soon; rather, the concern was to keep it from growing larger still, and that meant annual revenue had to stay ahead of annual expense and the annual interest combined. Traditionally colonial Americans had stood apart from most of this. In fact, in the years leading up to the French and Indian War the Treasury had routinely spent more to keep customs commissioners posted in colonial ports than those agents had collected in fees under the navigation system, on average spending £8,000 annually while bringing in only a quarter of that amount. During the war London had assisted the colonies with

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subsidies totalling nearly £1 million. Meanwhile the Board of Trade estimated that some £700,000 was lost in public revenue each year to smuggling—much of it carried on between American merchants and their ostensible French enemies. George Grenville, who headed his own ministry in April 1763 as first lord of the treasury, was determined to do something about imperial income and expense; he was also determined to clarify parliamentary authority and curtail colonial misbehavior. 15 Eton and Oxford educated, Grenville had sat in Commons for over twenty years and learned the political ropes in various ministerial posts before rising to the top. Symbolically he has carried the burden of precipitating a crisis ever since. True, Grenville saw economic issues and political problems as variations on a single theme and he decided that the colonies needed to carry more of their own financial weight and be reminded of their subordinate place in the empire. But it should be remembered that he was following through on what others before him set in motion and that the policies he championed enjoyed overwhelming support as they made their way through Parliament. Moreover, Grenville encouraged as well as discouraged colonial enterprise, his developmental approach being reflected in the bounties that Parliament under his direction approved to promote colonial hemp (for cordage) and flax (for sailcloth). Grenville's policies now appear foolish, but Grenville was no fool. He knew that he would be taking a calculated risk. He, like virtually every member of Lords and Commons, believed that the king-in-parliament reigned supreme over the empire, in far-flung colonies as well as in the realm—in dominions as well as in the royal demesne. That all colonies existed by crown charter, that all public business was conducted by the crown's authority, that all colonial laws were (again, in theory) subject to the royal disallowance stood as proof enough to British politicians that the crown was supreme. They also agreed that since the Glorious Revolution the crown and parliament had been joined, at once distinct and yet inseparable. Beyond that there were notable divisions. Grenville made no distinction between taxation and other forms of legislation; ipso facto, Parliament had the authority to impose whatever taxes it chose on the colonies. The Marquess of Rockingham and those like Edmund Burke who followed him agreed that Parliament had the authority to tax the colonies, but they disagreed with Grenville over how that authority should be wielded. Better to let sleeping dogs lie, they felt. Yet another group, formed around William Pitt, Grenville's brother-in-law, believed that there was a distinction between taxes—funds offered to crown and parliament as the gift of the people—and the general run of legislation. To them it was neither constitutionally correct nor politically wise to finagle with the navigation system to produce American taxes.

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Easily outnumbered Pittites stood aside as Grenville pushed his program through Parliament and George III signed it into law. Under a new currency act, the colonies were forbidden to print any more of the paper money that they had issued during the war. Grenville wanted to drive it out of circulation to prevent inflation and devaluation; henceforth it could not be used as legal tender and its value was pronounced "null and void." 16 A 1733 act concerning the trade in foreign molasses, sugar, and rum was altered in 1764 to improve regulation and raise revenue. It increased the duty on foreign sugar and banned foreign rum from the colonial trade altogether. Parliament lowered the duty on foreign molasses by half, down to three pence per gallon, but enforcement through the customs service and vice-admiralty court system was supposed to be stronger, and there were additional duties on foreign textiles, indigo, coffee, and wine. These new laws were joined the next year by a quartering act that extended certain provisions of the mutiny act across the Atlantic. Colonies having regulars garrisoned within their boundaries were directed to provide barracks or, alternatively, secure rented space in vacant buildings or publicly licensed inns or boarding houses, and at provincial, not imperial, expense. Grenville hoped this would prevent the sort of confusion that had produced confrontations between Loudoun and local authorities during the late war as well as shift part of the financial burden. Knowing that this could provoke protest among some colonists, Grenville made sure that private residences were not mentioned. Civilians, by law in Britain, could not be forced to house soldiers in peacetime. He did not want to give any Britons concerned about a standing army an excuse to find common cause with aggrieved cousins across the Atlantic. Still, Grenville fooled no one and critics condemned the quartering act as a type of hidden tax. The stamp act was the linchpin to Grenville's program. Stamped paper—that is to say, paper impressed or embossed with a watermark— would be required for everything from newspapers to college diplomas to virtually every type of legal document. The idea was not original to Grenville. Two generations earlier a member of the Board of Trade had observed that "it has ever been the Maxim of all polite nations to regulate their Government to the best advantage of their Trading Interest." Consequently, any "improvement of the Plantations" did little good if those plantations were an expense to London, so he wondered "whether the duties of Stamps upon Parchment and Paper in England may not with good reason be extended by Act of Parliament to all the American Plantations." 17 Grenville could argue that introducing stamped paper in the colonies was no great innovation; it was simply a carryover of what had been law in England for several generations. Indeed, he could add, he was

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only doing from London what some colonies had done themselves through their assemblies to raise money during the war. There was the rub, and Grenville knew it. It was one thing for a colonial assembly to levy a tax, but quite another for Parliament to do it. Grenville also knew that English households were taxed overall at much higher rates than American households, perhaps twenty times as high. To him, Americans paying 1 percent or less in annual local or provincial taxes could better afford a tax hike through the navigation system. Besides, they would be benefiting directly because the funds raised would help cover the expense of maintaining the twenty regiments it was estimated would be needed in North America for frontier duty and general security Even then the colonists were being asked to shoulder only about a quarter of the annual £400,000 burden, with the stamp act accounting for perhaps £60,000 of that total, the rest coming from the new "sugar" act and from stricter enforcement of old navigation laws already on the books. Grenville's calculated risk was based on a miscalculation. What to Grenville was a fair comparison of tax rates was to many colonists irrelevant, their sense of equity being relative, their frame of reference provincial, not imperial. He saw the ledger columns recording subsidies and reimbursements during the war. They thought more about the expenses they had incurred that were not reimbursed, totaling even more. But of all the voices around the empire that could raise a hue and cry, those on the mainland of North America may have been the least likely to shout loud enough for Grenville to hear. He was naturally more attuned to the voices of political factions and interest groups in Britain than to those overseas. And of the overseas interests, he was more likely to listen to the East India Company and its powerful lobby than he would to any agent sent from the Americas. In the Americas, West Indies planters were more likely to get his attention than merchants or farmers on the mainland. The islands, after all, still sent more commmodities, by market value, to Britain than the mainland did and, despite their much smaller free white population, consumed nearly as many exports from the mother country. Fundamentally the art of governing a large empire is no different from running a small country: there are always disparate interests to be served and rivals for favors needing to be placated. The genius is in not offending any one group too much or too often, so that even if few are perfectly pleased, none is too disaffected. Grenville failed by provoking dissatisfaction and disaffection without sufficient means to limit their effects. His determination to dominate as a politician impaired his ability to lead as a statesman. Grenville's program did not represent some sort of "new" imperialism; rather, it should be considered, as John Tyler labeled it, a "revival of orthodox mercantilism." 18 Grenville viewed regulating trade and producing

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revenue through that regulation as complementary activities, something done haphazardly, perhaps, in the past, but nevertheless implicit in what Adam Smith would condemn as the "mercantile system." Both the sugar and stamp acts were explicit that "revenue" was "to be raised" and used "for defraying the expences of defending, protecting, and securing" the colonies.19 Grenville thereby entered that nebulous region of colonial relations where others had stumbled about before, with hostile reactions that anticipated what would occur in the stamp act crisis. Grenville created no new administrative apparatus to enforce his program. He added to and bolstered what already existed. Customs collectors and vice-admiralty courts that had important roles to play dated from the 1670s. Their very existence was a reminder that partnerships on paper could turn into rivalries in practice. Provincial government was supposed to be a component of the larger administrative apparatus, a link in the imperial chain where the necessity of local authority was combined with the desire to have each part work to strengthen the whole. Instead, adversarial relationships had developed from the beginning, often pitting one part against another. Every mainland colony that revolted in 1775, from Virginia as the first founded to Georgia as the last, had a governor and assembly, and all of the assemblies except that of Pennsylvania were bicameral. They had evolved the same general forms, whether proprietary colonies like Maryland and Pennsylvania, quasi-autonomous charter colonies like Connecticut and Rhode Island, or "royal" colonies with crown-appointed governors, like the remaining nine (if Delaware is included as a distinct entity, setting aside its connection to, and shared governor with, Pennsylvania), to perform similar functions. What constituted a privilege and what existed by right could be confusing, particularly since custom—long usage—was understood by some to take what began as a political privilege and turn it into a governmental right. To repeat: having the rights of Englishmen was not really the issue, since each charter granted them; instead, the issue was what those rights entailed. And even for those colonies like Virginia where the representative assembly existed specifically by statutory provision, not customary practice, it could be unclear where imperial jurisdiction ended and provincial authority began. Grenville dredged up all of these old questions whose answers had proved so elusive, and at a particularly poor moment. Higher taxes are rarely popular, regardless of the source or purpose. Postwar dislocations were predictable, possibly unavoidable, but they became jumbled in people's minds with Grenville's program. So too with drought in one place, severe winter in another, and other disruptive forces of nature. What struck Grenville as justifiable struck critics as not; what Grenville saw as logical, critics dismissed as illogical; what Grenville considered necessary for the empire, critics railed at as harmful to the colonies; what Grenville

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interpreted as the extension of old policies and forms, critics condemned as dangerous, even unconstitutional, innovations. Technically, foreign vessels had been excluded from trade within the empire since the reign of Charles II, and foreign goods that could—or could not—be carried were carefully enumerated as new navigation laws were added to the statute books. In reality, foreign carriers were never excluded and illicit goods circulated constantly. For merchants and consumers where smuggling had become an accepted way of doing business, tighter control presented a real economic hardship. Barbadian and Jamaican sugarcane plantation owners stood to benefit if colonial carriers were driven to them from Dutch islands like Curacao and St. Eustatius or French holdings like Martinique and Guadeloupe, but mainlanders could complain of preferential legislation. Thus the new sugar act helped turn a popular because permissive imperial relationship into a resented because enforced arrangement. Likewise for the stamp act. Printers could not print without stamped paper, whether it be books, almanacs, pamphlets, magazines, or newspapers. Courts could not operate either, with the least expensive stamped sheet—a simple filing—costing three pence and the most expensive—a license to practice law—costing £10. College students might well resent paying an additional £2 for their diplomas. Bills of lading for ship cargoes had to be stamped; so too land sales and articles of indenture. Without stamps surveyors could not survey, liqour merchants could not sell liquor, gamblers could not gamble with their dice and cards. In short, the cost of doing business stood to rise everywhere, which meant that the cost of business would go up for virtually everyone. Violations of the stamp act could, like the sugar act, be prosecuted before vice-admiralty court judges, proving that, in Grenville's mind, the stamp act was part of the navigation system. It consequently became a new source for an old grievance. The more cases brought before viceadmiralty courts, with their crown-appointed judges and juryless trials, the more grumbling there would be that provincial common-law courts, with their local juries, were being unfairly and unconstitutionally supplanted. The complaints did not end there. Building again on the foundation laid under Charles II, Grenville had put incentives into the enforcement system. Proceeds from the public auction of ships and cargoes confiscated and condemned for having violated the stamp and sugar acts were to be divided three ways: one third to the informant or complainant, one third to the customs collector or stamp distributor— whichever applied, and one third to the governor, for the crown's use. That a governor like Francis Bernard of Massachusetts might use his third to line his own pockets only sharpened antipathy toward a system that many colonists thought inherently corrupt and designed to reward cronyism, not ensure efficiency. Bringing Royal Navy commanders and crews

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into the spoils system through seizures made at sea broadened the range of complicity, at least in some colonists' eyes. The stamp act generated a firestorm of colonial protest, bringing what historian Edmund S. Morgan called the "prologue to revolution." 20 Legislatures passed resolutions condemning it, and their concerns led to an intercolonial congress. Pamphlets and newspaper pieces decried Grenville and appealed to those few at Westminster who had stood against him. Some London merchants added their voices, questioning the policies of a ministry that had upset so many and proved so potentially disruptive to trade within the empire. Boycotts of British goods and calls for "home manufactures" to replace them went forth. Protest turned violent in some places, most notably in Boston, which renewed its reputation as a hotbed of unrest, a reputation first earned by the first generation. Most of this was wasted on Grenville, whose ministry had fallen in July 1765. Rockingham, his successor, tried his hand at reaching the same end by a different means. Hard on the heels of a statute repealing the stamp act he pushed through a declaratory act "for the better securing the dependency of his Majesty's dominions in America upon the crown and parliament of Great Britain." At once firm assertion and artful dodge, one key sentence was carefully constructed to simultaneously please both sides in the dispute, stipulating: That the said colonies and plantations in America, have been, are, and of right ought to be, subordinate unto, and dependent upon the imperial crown and parliament of Great Britain; and that the King's majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons of Great Britain, in parliament assembled, had, hath, and of right ought to have, full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the colonies and people of America, subjects of the crown of Great Britain, in all cases whatsoever. 21

Rockingham left out the word tax purposely. Like Grenville, and unlike Pitt, he believed that Parliament had the authority to tax the colonies if it chose. Even though constitutionally closer to Grenville than to Pitt, politically he was closer to Pitt in seeing it as unwise and needlessly divisive to pass legislation like the stamp act. Rockingham was convinced that if economic grievances were eliminated, constitutional disputes would cease. Because of this he had the duty on molasses reduced yet again, this time to one pence per gallon, and made it apply to all molasses. That he did not distinguish among sources—British, French, Spanish, or Dutch—showed that his interest in revenue took precedence for the moment over containing trade within the empire. British West Indies planters would be displeased, he understood, but he planned to mollify them by eliminating duties on sugar that they shipped to the mainland colonies. He also saw to

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it that drawbacks on various duties were expanded and that rates were lowered and in some instances even discontinued, with American wheat going to Britain duty-free and American rice flowing into the Mediterrrenean without charge as well. Rockingham hoped that, overall, more colonists and more Britons would be with him than against him and that he could successfully juggle the many interests within the empire, gradually increasing revenues without inciting an adverse response. Had Grenville still headed the ministry when word came of riots in the colonies he might well have sent troops to quell them. Rockingham, by contrast, heeded the advice that Franklin gave in testimony before the House of Commons in February 1766. If troops were sent "they will not find a rebellion," he warned, but "they may indeed make one." When asked if the colonists would help Britain in the event of a new war with a European rival, Franklin told his listeners ambiguously that Americans were "zealous for the honour and prosperity of this nation, and, while they are well used, will always be ready to support it, as far as their little power goes." The operative phrase is "while they are well used." 22 In effect, Franklin stated that American loyalty was conditional, dependent on how close the real empire approached the ideal of reciprocity—a mutually beneficial partnership rather than a master and servant relationship, or, in the more common characterization, that of parent and child. During debates in Commons over Grenville's program, Isaac Barre, one of Pitt's proteges, asked that Parliament tred lightly down the parental path. Making a plea intended to be appealing to Rockingham as well as Pitt, Barre urged fellow M.P.s to exercise parliamentary authority "with the same tenderness as parents do theirs over their children, and not lay too heavy burthens upon them in infancy, lest they prevent their growth or deform them." To which Charles Townshend huffed that the colonies had been founded only because of a caring mother country. "Nourished up by our indulgence until they are grown to a degree of strength and opulence, and protected by our arms, will they grudge to contribute their mite to relieve us from the heavy weight of that burden which we lie under?" he asked accusingly. Unwilling to let Townshend snatch his familial analogy away, Barre retorted that the colonies had never been treated lovingly. "They planted by your Care? No! Your oppressions planted them in America." He denied that they had been "nourished" and "protected." On the contrary; they had been abandoned children, left to fend for themselves. 23 Thomas Paine's dismantling of the empire-as-family analogy lay another decade ahead. Accepting, for the time being, the notion that Britain was the mother country and the colonies her children, some of those children nevertheless complained that the mother played favorites. The East India Company became the most resented of those supposed privileged siblings. For all intents and purposes the East India Company

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was the British Empire for that part of the world, a perfect example of how the public and private could be blurred. The governor general for the company was effectively the top imperial authority on the Indian subcontinent. The sentiments someday expressed in the phrase that what was "good for the United States is good for General Motors, and what's good for General Motors is good for the country" would have resonated with Company officials and the many members of Parliament who held Company shares. Inefficiently, even corruptly, run, the Company verged on bankruptcy in the 1760s. It depended on tea sales for most of its profits. In 1767 Parliament levied a duty of three pence for pound on tea, which would have cut into the Company's already narrow profit margin, except that at the same time it provided the Company with a drawback for all tea that it sold in the American colonies. Because tea was an enumerated article and the Company had a virtual monopoly on its source, little tea from outside the Company orbit should have been available in the mother country or the colonies. But as much as half of the tea consumed in both places was smuggled in by Dutch carriers from other growers and at a lower price. Slipping income notwithstanding, the Company continued to pay high dividends to its investors instead of reducing its debt. It ended up with warehouses full of tea it could not sell, despite the rising rates of tea consumption. Parliamentary concerns about the Company's growing insolvency as well as resentment against rampant smuggling explains why the duty on tea was retained when other components of the program it had been part of were repealed in 1770. It also explains the Tea Act of May 1773, which enabled the Company to dump its surplus tea in the American market at a price that no one else could match and available only from licensed merchants, with an even more extensive drawback program. 24 Colonial indignation at the Company's privileged position and Parliament's presumed authority to grant it precipitated the protests and resistance culminating in the Boston Tea Party of December 1773. London responded with the "coercive" or "intolerable" acts the following spring, the first parliamentary program in the postwar years truly designed to at once punish and reform the colonies, beginning with Massachusetts. Back when Benjamin Franklin had thought that Britain and America could work harmoniously toward the same goal, he ridiculed any notion that American growth presented a threat to British interests or that the colonies would become independence-seeking troublemakers. He chastised those who warned that eliminating France from North America would precipitate a break. "Canada in the hands of France has always stunted the growth of our colonies," colonies that were "the frontier of the British empire." Naturally they would grow, because American growth was expected within an expanding world enterprise. Turning his 1754 disappointment after Albany into proof of his assertion, he reminded

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naysayers that "their jealousy of each other is so great that however necessary an union of the colonies has long been, for their common defence and security against their enemies, and how sensible soever each colony has been of that necessity, yet they have never been able to effect such an union among themselves, nor even to agree in requesting the mother country to establish it for them." They had too many differences to join as one and strike out on their own. "I will venture to say, an union amongst them for such a purpose is not merely improbable, it is impossible." But then he added, most tellingly, "When I say such an union is impossible, I mean without the most grievous tyranny and oppression." 25 Tyranny and oppression are in the eye of the beholder. With the rise and fall of ministries between 1763 and 1770—a total of five within those eight years, and the fluctuating programs of each new ministry, finding consistency and coherence in all of this requires some very fine sifting indeed. But enough alienated colonists managed to find it by 1774 that they could talk about a conspiracy against their liberties. They linked the otherwise vaguely related: stamp act with tea act, Quebec Act with coercive acts. They were matched by exasperated Britons who thought they detected a colonial conspiracy to thwart rightful authority. They too mentally fastened together the loosely connected: urban riots and frontier disturbances, Boston "massacre" and the Gaspee affair. Both could cite evidence that neither accepted as proof. Theirs were exaggerated fears, we now know, but they hardly reached the level of clinical paranoia. Besides, conspiracy as reason for troubled times enjoys a long pedigree, which peoples everywhere—not just American Revolutionaries or British imperialists— have used to explain what is to them otherwise inexplicable. Chief Justice Mansfield, who held no stock in patriot arguments, at least understood their psychological—perhaps to him, pathological—dimension. Using one of James Otis's pamphlets as an example he pointed out that what is believed is more important than what is accurate. "It may be called silly or mad, but mad people, or persons who have entertained silly and mad ideas, have led the people to rebellion, and overturned empires." 26 Hence the primacy of "perception of reality" over reality, as historian Bernard Bailyn has noted. 27 Disputatious Britons and Americans reached this point by eliminating benefit of the doubt. The wrongs that they once saw as perpetrated by individuals eventually came to be imputed to the entire society; whether colonial or British, the problem could be perceived as systemic and endemic. Colonists more often reacted against tyranny anticipated than tyranny experienced: virtually all of the protests in 1765 against and violent reactions to the stamp act occured before November 1, when the law took effect, not after; the 1773 Tea Party was also preventive—to destroy the Company tea before it could be landed and sold. Colonial perception could be of a sustained campaign to curtail local liberties even though the

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reality was quite different. Until Lord North, backed by solid majorities in Lords and Commons and George III, inaugurated the get-tough policies of 1774, London had vacilliated and accommodated as often as it had held firm. The stationing of troops in Boston in 1768, their withdrawal from the town proper after the 1770 "massacre," and their return in 1774—their specific law enforcement role still unclear—illustrates the fluctuations nicely. Before the coercive acts colonial American affairs, imperial growth notwithstanding, had almost always been a secondary concern. As a case in point, Grenville's fall in 1765 had had little to do with imperial issues in general or American policy in particular. Rather, conditions in the royal household mattered more. George III had never cared much for Grenville, turned to him reluctantly, and wanted him out when he made it clear that he would try to undermine the earl of Bute, the king's confidant, and that he was opposed to the queen mother acting as regent should the king be incapacitated. During the first four years of his ministry North did not seek confrontation; he preferred the pragmatic to the dogmatic. Policy by policy, his approach before the Tea Party could have been confused with that of Pitt or Rockingham when in fact he had far more in common with Grenville, both in his concern for the finances of empire and his worry that Americans had forgotten their place in the grand scheme of things. But even Grenville had never thought of himself as anti-American. When Americans complained about taxation without representation, he told friends that he would not oppose seating colonists at Westminster if that is what it took to satisfy them and return order to the empire. Grenville has been forever tied to the notion of "virtual representation," which critics then and since have denounced as a canard, a contrivance intended to silence dissident Americans and keep Parliament unsullied by their presence. "All British subjects are really the same," opined Grenville associate Thomas Whately. "None are actually, all are virtually represented in Parliament," he stressed, meaning that each member of Commons looked out for the needs of the entire empire, not just the interests of his immediate constituents. 28 Whately did not invent the phrase to justify Grenville's program; it had been employed for generations, without having any disingenuousness imputed to it. And as Americans would find once they formed their own nation, it is difficult to have a government imbued with a vision of the larger public interest without it. The problem was not with virtual representation; it was virtual representation in an empire that had lost its shared identity, as the spirit of contention displaced the sense of community and comity. Centrists sought greater control; localists sought greater autonomy. Each colonial crisis resurrected desires among imperial centrists to consolidate and make administration more efficient. Even as late as the Gaspee affair of 1772 there were those who thought the long-term solution was combining Rhode Island

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and Connecticut into a single royal colony. What to them might have appeared primarily a question of economy and stability would have struck localists as evidence of a disregard for their fundamental rights. The 1774 act that all but set aside Massachusetts' charter to reconstruct the province's government and make it more compliant only underscored the problem of mixing reform with punishment, and the transatlantic power struggle that could result. At heart "the dispute between Britain and the colonies was not over Parliament's right to regulate this or that trade, to tax a particular activity, or to pursue a specific policy," historians John McCusker and Russell Menard reminded us; rather, "the conflict centered on the issue of power over the long haul, on the shape of things to come, on who would determine the future of the British Empire in the Americas."29 The adherence of virtually every British politician to the doctrine of indivisible sovereignty and the supremacy of the king-in-parliament was not the insurmountable obstacle here. The Quebec Act is usually remembered as a success for appeasing French Canadians and as a failure for estranging colonists to the south, and not as an indicator of the flexible, ad hoc approach to colonial management that might have been taken had calm prevailed. What mattered most was the state of mind that made any sort of structural modification in the imperial arrangement seem unattainable. It was that state of mind on both sides of the Atlantic—a reflection of social fragmentation and political disputation, not constitutional impossibility— that made every plan to restructure the empire fail. "No other line of pacification remains, than either that the Colonies be admitted into the Parliament of Great Britain by a general British Union/' pled a longtime advocate of imperial reform, Thomas Pownall, in 1774, "or that they have a Parliament of their own under an American Union/'30 Few in Britain or the colonies were listening to him, fewer still to John Cartwright and his call the next year for an imperial confederacy. Change was in the wind—the change that reformers predicted and sought futilely to avoid. SHADOW GOVERNMENTS One of the most oft-quoted passages about the American Revolution is John Adams' observation that it occurred first in the "minds and hearts of the people." 31 Adams was not contending that it happened to all of the people at the same moment and in the same fashion; he is also remembered for having stated that the ratio of revolutionaries, loyalists, and those preferring to sit out the contest varied from state to state, with enthusiasts and opponents being almost evenly divided in some places. "Divided we have ever been, and ever must be," he sighed. 32 What fascinated him was the process that turned so many—himself included—from subjects of the king defending their rights as Englishmen into men and women who eventually rejected that king and replaced monarchy with

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republicanism. To a large extent that revolution was subconscious before it was conscious and well underway before the fighting at Lexington and Concord. Prior to committing the revolutionary act of reconstituting provinces as states in a new nation and leaving behind one empire to found another, thousands of Americans had built a new sense of identity and system of loyalties. They did this with so little interference that they were only half-aware of what they had wrought. As legal scholar John Phillip Reid has shown in his case study of Massachusetts, local domination enabled dissidents there to feel that they operated within certain higher law traditions—that they restored rather than innovated, and that, as the conscience of empire, they were calling on Britain to be true to its own traditions. 33 The self-styled "patriots" of Massachusetts had counterparts from New Hampshire to Georgia. They carried their assumptions about American rights and Britain's wrongs into the stamp act congress of October 1765, the first intercolonial gathering since the Albany meeting eleven years before. The Albany meeting had been called by London; the New York City meeting was called for by disgruntled members of the colonial assemblies, who in nearly every instance constituted a solid majority. Those who wanted the meeting had decided to move outside the existing governmental apparatus to demand a hearing, an extralegal rather than an illegal act, and in that distinction there was all the difference in the world. The call originated in the Massachusetts General Court and received a mixed response. The legislatures in Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia were not in session and the royal governors of those colonies refused to convene them. With those tactics they were able to block the sending of any delegates to New York. By contrast, the governor of Maryland, a proprietary rather than a royal appointee, acceded to the recessed assembly's request that a special session be called to choose delegates. The New Hampshire assembly was also between sessions, but its leading members assured Massachusetts that it would abide by whatever was decided at the congress. Delaware assemblymen, also not sitting, decided to act on their own and choose delegates. The assemblies of New York, New Jersey, and South Carolina were in session and went around or ignored their uncooperative, royally appointed governors to select delegates. Likewise for Pennsylvania, the other proprietary colony. Governor Bernard of Massachusetts, opposed initially to the whole idea, went along after the fact, hoping to control the proceedings by having a say in deciding which three men would go to New York. In Rhode Island and Connecticut, where all colonywide posts were elective, delegates were chosen by the assembly and, with gubernatorial support, they represented the entire colony, not just the legislators. And thus twenty-seven men from nine colonies, with varying degrees of official sanction, met for nearly three weeks in New York City. The

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delegates in no sense thought of themselves as revolutionaries in the making. Four died before the fighting erupted in April 1775, a half dozen or so became—or, perhaps, more correctly, remained—loyalists and the rest supported the revolutionary cause, though some more enthusiastically, and sooner, than others. But in 1765, taken case by case, it would have been difficult, perhaps even impossible, to predict which way most would turn. The delegates drafted a set of resolutions and messages to George III and both houses of Parliament. Not only did they dispatch them to London, but they also made copies for the press to be circulated throughout the colonies—essential to a gradual reshaping of the public mind. They couched their demands in conciliatory language, opening with an effusive proclamation of "Affection" for and sense of "Duty" to George III. As loyal subjects they recognized that they owed "the same Allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain, that is Owing from his Subjects born within the Realm," a phrase designed to assuage, but it was followed with the qualifier that they owed "all due Subordination to that August Body the Parliament of Great Britain." Whatever that "due" subordination was, it did not include being taxed by Westminster. "It is inseperably essential to the Freedom of a People, and the Undoubted Right of Englishmen, that no Taxes be imposed on them but with their own Consent, given personally or by their Representatives." Seating Americans in Parliament would not solve the problem. Because of "their local Circumstances" they could not be effectively represented there, which meant that "no Taxes ever have been or can be constitutionally imposed on them but by their respective Legislatures." Avoiding the Pandora's box of natural rights standing alone, they claimed that they were "intituld to all the Inherent Rights and liberties of Natural Bornd Subjects, within the Kingdom of Great Britain."34 With Grenville out and Rockingham in, Parliament was already working toward repeal of the stamp act anyway. The artful dodge in the declaratory act where complete legislative authority was claimed, but without use of the word tax, was matched by the clause dealing with the many protests against the stamp act, including the resolutions that came out of the congress in New York City as well as from individual legislatures. They were all declared "utterly null and void." Beyond that Parliament said nothing, and, more importantly, did almost nothing to correct what both Whitehall and Westminster dismissed as a misperception of the imperial relationship. The next intercolonial congress would not convene for another nine years. During that interval, colonial society was being subtly transformed. Resistance to imperial authority had become so routinized that the very existence of that authority could be said to be in doubt. What is most striking is not that parallel institutions had grown up distinct from and as

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alternatives to the imperial system, but that they had become rival systems of allegiance and power within that larger system. Protest and resistance reshaped provincial government; provincial government helped give form to protest and resistance—a mutually reinforcing relationship that was not supposed to exist and yet did. And all of this, again, came about extralegally rather than illegally, as dissidence incubated in the gray areas of empire. For instance, Governor Bernard of Massachusetts dissolved the legislature in June 1768. The previous February, acting on its own, it had sent a circular letter to the assemblies of other colonies. Prompted by the Townshend program, the letter repeated many of the sentiments that the General Court had expressed in 1765 after, and in support of, the stamp act congress. Canceling the fall session as well, Bernard intended to deprive his opponents of a forum. To counter him, the Boston town meeting called on all of the towns to send delegates to a special meeting in Boston, there to act as a quasi-legislative body to protest the expected arrival of troops and to show Bernard the limits to his power. The response was gratifying: Nearly as many towns sent delegates to this extralegal assembly as would have turned out for the formal legislative session. They resolved to resist the troops' landing and pledged that their towns would back their resolution. The troops came ashore unopposed in October, but by then the point had been made—to Bernard and to others who had not understood before the difference between power and authority. Bernard had authority but little real power; the extralegal assembly had only the power of local support and public opinion—but opinion, in the form of consent, as David Hume had written, is the ultimate source of effective authority. 35 Bernard, like Thomas Hutchinson after him and then Thomas Gage after Hutchinson, pitted himself against the "liberty party" in a contest over legitimacy. All three lost, not because no one supported them, but because what support they had was too weak and dispersed. What happened in Massachusetts would happen, one way or another, in all of the colonies that became involved in the 1775 revolt. In Virginia, for example, the royal governor dissolved the House of Burgesses in 1769. The legislators did not, as he expected, go home. Instead they walked down the street to the Raleigh Tavern, went upstairs to the Apollo Room and passed resolutions to continue their political oppositionism and to engage in economic warfare through boycotts of certain goods. They behaved extralegally, not illegally, in asking Virginians to choose between them and the governor as their legitimate voice. What occurred in 1769 occurred again in 1774—a different governor, a different set of grievances, but the same general problem, and the same basic issue as to what constituted legitimate authority. Just as there was no well-planned conspiracy in London to subvert colonial liberty, early on there was no calculated plan to undermine imperial

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authority. But what sprouted locally and spontaneously did become intercolonial and coordinated. The Sons of Liberty, first appearing in New York City, then Boston, then elsewhere, are a case in point. So too for committees of correspondence, first to link the towns within the borders of one colony, then to link "patriots" together intercolonially. So too with local committees of safety designed to combine moral suasion with more obvious forms of intimidation. The sequence could vary; Massachusetts did not always lead, to wit: Virginia's burgesses had requested sister legislatures to form intercolonial committees in May 1773 in response to a royal investigation of the Gaspee affair in faraway Narragansett Bay. Within a year the legislatures in all of the colonies that eventually revolted had formed those committees. The first Continental Congress stands as both cause and effect of the larger phenomenon as it unfolded. Samuel Adams had seen the need for a new congress in October 1773 to act as the basis of an "American commonwealth"—within the empire, of course—but it took the coercive acts as catalyst to bring it about. 36 Delegates from every colony but Georgia that eventually rose in revolt would converge on Philadelphia in September 1774. The process by which they got there is almost as important as anything they did once they convened in Carpenters' Hall. In Rhode Island and Connecticut not much had changed since 1765: the delegates could be considered official representatives of the colonies because their selection was approved by the duly constituted provincial governments. As with the stamp act congress, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts legislators acted without waiting for the governor's approval. Unlike Bernard, however, Thomas Gage, still commander-in-chief of British armed forces in the colonies as well as newly arrived governor of Massachusetts, dissolved the legislature. Anticipating his response, the legislators had rushed to choose delegates before Gage could declare their official business over. In Delaware the legislature called itself into session to choose delegates after the governor refused to act—a small step beyond where they had ventured in 1765. Six of the remaining colonies took a much bigger step: their delegates were chosen extralegally, by special county meetings. Virginians took the biggest step of all. Acting on the recommendation of legislators angered by Lord Dunmore's ending their session, county meetings of freeholders elected delegates to a provincial convention that met in August, under the nose of the royal governor in Williamsburg. The provincial convention in turn chose delegates to the Continental Congress and did so with the blessing of most members of the House of Burgesses—some of whom attended the convention. Dunmore had ended their session when they voiced opposition to the emerging coercive acts and their support of a congress. With the provincial convention they sidestepped his authority even as they affirmed their loyalty to the

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king who appointed him. Anticipating the Continental Association that the congress in Philadelphia would call for to wage economic warfare through an embargo, Virginia's provincial convention—answering the call for help from Boston—urged residents of the Old Dominion to boycott British goods. Most towns and counties passed resolutions pledging their support and with those resolutions began to form a new public. Half of Virginia's counties participated in the process that led to that first provincial convention. They did not agree on every particular— whether, for example, Parliament had the authority to regulate colonial commerce or had no authority over the colonies at all—but they did agree on delegating authority to the convention for provincial affairs and to the proposed congress in Philadelphia for intercolonial matters. Thus the expressions of confidence in the "prudence" and "abilities" of their delegates to Williamsburg from the men of Accomack County, who agreed to "cheerfully submit to any measures which may be concluded upon" there. Thus too the similar promise of freeholders in Albemarle, who also pledged their support of whatever was decided in Philadelphia "as most expedient for the American good." 37 Virginia's provincial convention became a quasi-state government. The House of Burgesses deferred to it while it rebuked Dunmore. Like the protonational conclave in Philadelphia, it was self-perpetuating. It met again in March 1775, this time in Richmond, and part of its business was to name delegates for the second Continental Congress. The convention thereby challenged Dunmore's authority, the governor having condemned congress and anyone who condoned it. Dunmore had acted as instructed by the earl of Dartmouth, Hillsborough's successor as the American secretary, and Dartmouth had done the bidding of his king. Since George III stood so far removed at this point, the convention could still feel that it was somehow being loyal to him. It also took under its wing independent militia companies that had started to form on their own in various counties, the experience of having mobilized during the French and Indian War now being turned to a markedly different purpose. It was in the midst of debates over this that Patrick Henry exclaimed "give me liberty or give me death," though for the most part his colleagues thought that liberty was still attainable within the empire. When the provincial convention met for a third time in July it organized a committee of safety to act as an executive committee to handle affairs between the convention's sessions, including raising, training, and maintaining an army. Technically speaking, the official government seat was still in Williamsburg and Dunmore was still the governor; effectively, Richmond had become the capital.38 Despite the three thousand regulars at his back, Gage was in an even more precarious position than Dunmore. His attempt to implement the changes outlined under the Massachusetts Government Act had come to naught. He appointed local judges and sheriffs; the towns ignored him

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and most of his appointees dared not attempt to take office. He moved the capital to Salem with the closure of the port of Boston but returned soon after because the atmosphere there was so hostile and he felt so exposed. Refusing to call a fall session of the legislature gained him nothing. Delegates from the previous meeting called their own extralegal assembly for October—in Salem. When it convened it became like the provincial conventions forming elsewhere. It called on towns to pay taxes—to the convention, not to royal officials—and to raise a force of five thousand militia. Each town was instructed to have at least one company of fifty men, a third of those to be ready as minutemen. All were to arm themselves and muster for drills. With Worcester having already set the example, it advised the towns to have all of their militia officers resign and then hold elections for new officers as a way of purging the uncommitted from their ranks. In effect the convention and the towns that heeded it violated the 1691 charter in order to save it, since the charter gave the governor authority to commission militia officers. The convention did this while swearing allegiance to crown and empire. It did what it had to do to protect the people, it claimed, acting only until the proper relations between mother country and colonies had been restored, and professing great—and no doubt for the most part sincere—hope that such a peaceful resolution was in the offing. Most residents of most towns went along, though not all. Those opposed made the same complaint as critics of the Continental Congress. How could Congress, those critics asked, presume to speak for all Americans? How could a provincial convention with no legal standing, asked dissident Bay colonists, presume to represent the people of Massachusetts? For them what had developed was a case of might trying to make itself right. But prevailing opinion bestowed legitimacy as the de facto eventually became de jure. SHOOTING WAR If any British regular should have understood the colonists it was General Thomas Gage. He had fought alongside them in the French and Indian War, had lived among them in the following years, he had even married one of them. As early as 1768 he predicted that dissident Americans— self-proclaimed patriots that he dismissed as "demagogues"—would someday "struggle for independency." He warned London that they would alter their constitutional arguments to fit their needs. Thus, if denying Parliament's authority to tax them did not succeed, then they would deny Parliament's authority over them altogether. If appealing to George III did not accomplish their purposes, they would "deny the prerogatives of the Crown, and acknowledge their King no longer than it shall be convenient for them to do so." Given such tendencies, he advised

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imperial administrators, they must do all they could "to keep them weak as long as they can, and avoid everything that can contribute to make them powerfull." 39 Gage could be at once cynical and naive, prescient and dim-witted. He repeated his warnings periodically and, with North's get-tough policies of 1774, was thrust into a position to do something himself as the new governor of Massachusetts. What might have appeared so simple and clear to him from New York City instantly became complicated and murky when he arrived in Boston. He put the best face on his circumstances that he could, convincing himself, perhaps, if no one else. "Sympathetic and well affected People" warned him in June that dissidents would "try to raise the Province to Arms." He had a difficult time believing the danger was that great. "However prone their Inclinations may be to so wicked a Project," he reassured Dartmouth, "I trust they want the Power to effect it."40 And if something were to occur in Massachusetts he did not think that the neighboring colonies would interfere with his efforts to restore order. He erred, in a miscalculation as great as that of Grenville the previous decade. Over the next ten months Boston came under siege before his very eyes, an island of imperial power in a sea of local resistance to imperial authority. With each week, seemingly, more of the countryside slipped away from Gage, sometimes because of inaction, sometimes because he tried to act. He could not stop the provincial convention from meeting and saw little point to try to work through a reconvened legislature. Sending troops to this town or that to bolster local support, lending assistance to a local judge here or sheriff there or local militia officer somewhere else, did nothing to reverse the political course. If anything he hastened it by playing into patriot hands, those troops serving, in the minds of some, as proof of insidious designs hatched in London to strip Americans of their rights. In October 1774 an order in council forbade the importation of munitions into the colonies, prompting complaints that London thereby intended "to make us an easier prey to the vulture jaws of tyranny." 41 At roughly the same time Dartmouth instructed Gage and the other royal governors to collect and secure munitions under their care. But that raised the question of ownership: Did those guns and that ammunition belong to the crown or to the people of the colonies? When troops set forth on their missions, did they march on the king's roads—or the people's? If regulars sortied out of Castle William in Boston harbor, were they returning to a fort belonging to the people of the province who paid for it or to the king in whose dominion it stood? What might otherwise have been a mere abstraction, a theoretical issue of who held ultimate authority, became very real. Gage had acted decisively just the month before, sending a detachment to bring in munitions from a powderhouse outside Charlestown. The regulars made off with their prize before residents could react, and the local

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militiamen who converged on the scene milled about fruitlessly until drifting home. December saw a reversal, with New Hampshire patriots secreting away munitions stored at Fort William and Mary in Portsmouth harbor before Gage could retrieve them or put them under stronger guard. The following February he sent an expedition of over two hundred men under Colonel Alexander Leslie to seize stockpiles rumored to be stored in Salem. Sailing to Marblehead and marching from there to Salem, the regulars deceived no one, despite choosing a Sunday when they hoped everyone would be in church. Salem residents refused to lower a drawbridge to the north side of town unless the British agreed to cross over but a short distance, not leave the road to conduct a search, then reverse course and march back with nothing to show for their long hike. The British protested against the king's road being blocked; local inhabitants countered that the road was theirs, not the king's, and that they "had a Right to do what they pleased with it." After also being told that the drawbridge was privately held and the owners were within their rights to refuse lowering it, Leslie momentarily contemplated applying force and drew his men into ranks for volley firing. Discretion being the better part of valor, Leslie accepted the terms, knowing that militiamen from the area were mustering—"the Alarm flew like Lightening," according to a newspaper account. 42 Putting what is now recognized as a positive political spin on the outcome in his report to Dartmouth, Gage stated that Leslie had accomplished his mission. Technically he had, but effectively he only embarrassed himself while raising the neighborhood in arms. By the spring of 1775 Gage had seven regiments—roughly 3,500 men— in Boston and warned London that he would need many more—perhaps twenty thousand in all—to restore order in the province. Until then he thought it too risky to attempt much. Dartmouth's orders were confused and confusing, leaving virtually everything to the general. Gage had earlier confessed that "a check any where would be fatal, and the first Stroke will decide a great deal." 43 He fulfilled his own prophecy on April 19, 1775, when the proverbial best-laid plans got lost in a Clausewitzian fog of war. Admittedly Gage did not send his men blindly into the countryside. He selected the target carefully: Concord, now home to the provincial convention and a munitions depot. He sent out surreptitious scouts, had his spies gather intelligence, and put a relief column of over one thousand under arms in case the seven hundred picked men of the raiding force got into trouble. Knowing that the patriots had an even more extensive spy network and intelligence-gathering operation, the day before his planned raid he sent mounted patrols to cut off communication between Boston and the countryside. An out-of-touch Dartmouth had urged him to arrest ringleaders. Gage wisely chose not to attempt any arrests and run the risk of creating political martyrs; rather, he directed Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, the commander, to destroy whatever munitions he could. Gage

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also instructed him not to plunder private property, in the false hope that locals would note the distinction and not feel too aggrieved. But Smith's light infantry and grenadiers created martyrs of an even more potent sort, in an operation that came apart as it was being launched. Gage cut the timing too close. He expected Smith to cover the sixteen miles from a marshy area across the backbay from Boston to Concord in five hours, take two hours to demolish materiel, then retrace his steps—in all, to march over thirty miles in twelve hours, a raid to start at midnight and end at noon. Word was out before Smith's men could get off the common where they assembled to be rowed across the backbay and, to make matters worse, they were already over two hours behind schedule once they formed their order of march. They fell further and further behind as they encountered opposition. It would be past eight and after dark before Smith was safely on the Charlestown peninsula, under the fleet's guns. What happened before then was nearly disastrous. Smith was supposed to pass through Lexington without pause, if possible, which it was not. Minutemen from the town had assembled on the green that bordered the road; shots were exchanged, blood was shed, and everything changed. Emerson's "shot heard round the world" of course came over four hours later at the north bridge near Concord; no matter, because every shot fired that day had the same symbolic effect. The what ifs continue to fascinate: Would Smith have surrendered at Lexington had Brigadier Percy not arrived there with the relief column first? If Percy had gotten off earlier and met Smith in Concord, would the fighting along "battle road" have gone differently? If, near the end of a long day of fighting, Salem's four hundred militiamen had stopped the combined columns from reaching the Charlestown peninsula, would the entire British force have been bagged? And so on, and so on. What is striking is the mixed emotions of the local militiamen, between three thousand and four thousand of them from as many as forty towns over the course of the day, who were determined to defend hearth and home but without fully realizing that they were going to war. Before Smith's column reached Meriam's Corner—on the way back to Boston, not on the way out to Concord—the militiamen had been very tentative. Captain John Parker's men did not block the regulars' route in Lexington and most were withdrawing from the green as the first shots were fired. Their neighbors to the west did not try to prevent Smith from entering Concord, though they knew something—they were not sure what—had gone awry five miles to the east. The men of Concord, Acton, Bedford, and outlying comunities confronted the British directly at the north bridge, but afterward withdrew to consider their next move. Even at Meriam's Corner they did not engage the British they were trailing until a rear guard of grenadiers fired on them. This was a far cry from the intense fighting later in the day, when Percy and Smith's men went bayonet against clubbed

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musket in a desperate struggle with local militia who chose to stand or die. "The whole Country was assembled in Arms with Surprizing Expedition," 44 commented Gage, who should not have been surprised. The militia did not go home this time. Aid from neighboring colonies requested by the provincial convention in the event of hostilities materialized, with militiamen streaming in from Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire to join new comrades-in-arms from Massachusetts towns who descended on Cambridge. Provincial conventions acting through committees of safety scrambled to build a munitions industry but had to do so basically through inducements to private enterprise, offering bounties to producers of saltpeter for gunpowder, to builders of powder mills, and to makers of firearms. As quasi-governments they set price controls and quotas, all in an effort to put fifteen thousand fully equipped men in the field who could threaten the British in Boston. The town had already been under siege in a more subtle sense; all subtlety was now stripped away. "These People Shew a Spirit of Conduct against us, they never shewed against the French," complained Gage two months later, after the bloodletting at Bunker Hill.45 Oddly, he did not seem to grasp the difference between his two American wars. So who fired the first shot at Lexington? Gage reported matter-of-factly to London that militiamen in Lexington did. Lexingtonians like John Parker told a different story and their version has prevailed in the popular memory, April 19 becoming for later generations a similitude of December 7 in an unfolding "myth of injured innocence," as David Hackett Fischer put it.46 We will never know who shot first, but then the question is not especially relevant anyway. In many minds on both sides of the Atlantic a state of war already existed. Thus, even if someone had presented irrefutable evidence that one side had fired first, that side could still contend that the other side had started the war. Two weeks before Lexington and Concord the Massachusetts provincial convention accused Britain of effectively committing an act of war by placing a standing army among civilians in peacetime, against the wishes of the local population, in order to coerce them into submitting to tyrannical measures. Fearing that those troops could be used at any moment as the instrument of ministerial oppression, they claimed that they had readied themselves as a function of self-preservation, and no more. George III and his ministers did not see it that way. The king had lain before his attorney general and solicitor general letters from Gage written between June and December 1774. Based on what they read there they ruled that the provincial convention had committed "high treason" by "seising the Publick Money" and taking over the militia in order to wage war.47 Acting as directed by the king, Dartmouth informed Gage that the evidence he amassed did indeed show "the history of an actual and open rebellion." 48 Dartmouth empowered him to end it. Gage chose the raid on

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Concord. He could have—he would have, with more men—decided on something else. George III then turned to Parliament and was pleased that a joint resolution by Lords and Commons in February declared Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion and empowered the king to do what he needed to end the uprising. The king endorsed North's move that same month to cut off all of New England's ocean-borne trade and at the same time offer not to impose any new taxes if the colonists would take on a fair share of the imperial burden by a requisition system through individual legislatures. Parliamentary elections the previous fall that North interpreted as a mandate for his hard-line policies only strengthened the king's resolve. Equally important, George III for quite some time had been expecting hostilities to eventually erupt, confiding to North in November 1774 that "blows must decide whether" New Englanders "are to be subject to this Country or independant." 49 He would have denied that expecting war helped bring it on, however. If ever they had made "a proper and dutiful application" he would have been happy, he said, to grant them "every just and reasonable indulgence." 50 Disgruntled Bay colonists saw themselves in the same innocent light. Like their king they believed that they had reacted, not acted, that they had responded to violence, not precipitated it. Patriots laying siege to Boston and Britons determined to retake the Massachusetts countryside both believed that God was on their side and that they fought a just war. The Continental Congress said as much for patriots around the colonies in its July 1775 declaration "setting forth the cause and necessity of their taking up arms." After ticking off a litany of grievances, most notably the declaratory act, the Quebec Act, and Gage's actions against the people of Massachusetts, Congress—Thomas Jefferson, leavened by John Dickinson, that is—lamented "we are reduced to the alternative of chusing an unconditional submission to the tyranny of irritated ministers, or resistance by force." Grief aside, reluctance to act notwithstanding, "Our cause is just. Our union is perfect" and true Americans were "resolved to dye Free-men rather than live Slaves." 51 But Americans were not united in the "common cause" and the doctrine of just war had only been vaguely defined by theologians and jurists. Some of them had extended acts of aggression to include economic sanctions and legislative enactments as well as shots on the battlefield. Consequently, once either party to the imperial dispute became convinced that it had been wronged, that it had been attacked, then it could do all it deemed necessary to defend itself. Ironically, as a result, just war doctrine may have hastened rather than deterred conflict, as it led each side to believe that it had been wronged and bore no responsibility for what followed. "We have been dragged reluctantly into an unnatural civil war," lamented one New England minister, so "we we must either resist unto blood or be slaves" because "no other alternative is left us." 52 Not surprisingly, there were

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many who saw war as a form of deliverance, a way to separate good from evil. Others not sharing that apocalyptic view may have been fatalists of another stamp who accepted warfare as an ineradicable part of the human experience. Just war doctrine had not been intended to bless American patriots or anyone else with a sense of moral absolution, yet, because of its vagueness, it did so anyway. 53 This was no peculiar regional phenomenon, a vestige of Puritan New England typology. Virginia patriots were not so different in their assumptions about themselves and their adversaries. Acting on the orders of Governor Dunmore, on April 21 a British naval officer assisted by a dozen royal marines had removed gunpowder from the provincial magazine in Williamsburg. The mayor and aldermen protested to Dunmore that the powder belonged to the colony, not the crown. While they talked in the governor's palace, the town's independent militia company waited impatiently on the green, some of the hotter heads wanting to seize Dunmore and retrieve the powder, which had been whisked to a Royal Navy vessel in the York River. Dunmore assured them that the powder had been removed only because of fears of a slave uprising; the concerned townsmen said they wanted it returned for that very reason. Neither was being completely honest with the other. Dunmore lied to prevent a confrontation and instead brought on the very crisis he sought to avoid. Tempers cooled, town leaders went home, and militiamen dispersed, but word had already spread to the countryside and House Speaker Peyton Randolph had to dissuade yet more militiamen from marching on the capital. Patrick Henry, delaying his departure for Philadelphia to sit in the second Continental Congress, stirred up his neighbors in Hanover County as he had other Virginians earlier in Richmond. "We must fight," he had harrangued the March meeting of the provincial convention; "an appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts, is all that is left to us," he cried.54 With rumors abounding about Dunmore and stolen gunpowder now joined by news of the fighting at Lexington and Concord, he set off for Williamsburg on May 2 at the head of Hanover's militiamen; they too eventually, if reluctantly, reversed their tracks. That Dunmore had threatened to free slaves, arm them, and use a scorched-earth policy to stop his opponents only added to the sense of injury and alarm among Virginia patriots. Dunmore psychologically though not literally barricaded himself in his mansion, finally venturing out for the new legislative session that he consented be called for June 1. Seeing that he had virtually no voice left in Burgesses, he removed to Yorktown, then to a warship in the York River, inviting legislators to wait on him there. They demurred, the legislative session was undone, and the provincial convention stepped into the political vacuum. In July, knowing of the battle at Bunker Hill, it organized the colony into military districts and reorganized the militia while calling all males age sixteen to fifty to be enrolled. As Dunmore tried desperately to

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gather support, the provincial convention became the real power in the colony, nevertheless swearing allegiance to George III and promising to disband the independent militia whenever the danger had passed. But it did not pass; royal government in Massachusetts and Virginia did. It hung by a thread elsewhere, as the royal governors fled North Carolina and New Hampshire before the end of summer. Imperial authority held on longer in Georgia, and in New York Governor William Tryon lingered on the fringes of public life into 1776. Taking refuge aboard a British warship during the fall of 1775, he stayed in New York harbor until going ashore for the summer campaigns of 1776. It took another two years for him to decide that force was not working. Dunmore was even more never-say-die in his approach. Driven out of Virginia by 1776, he returned to England, awaiting his chance to restore crown rule. He thought the Cornwallis campaign of 1781 would finally give him his opportunity; he was wrong. No two royal governors lost power and authority in the same sequence. In all of this there was no one example that other colonies followed. Each worked out its own arrangements in a contentious atmosphere that pitted one group against another against yet another. This was no simple, cutand-dried contest between future loyalists and revolutionaries, as the revolution for home rule became a revolution to see who would rule at home—a favorite theme among some historians. Settlement and migration patterns of the Revolutionary Era, from the middle colonies south to Georgia, had seen diverse groups come together uneasily, groups divided along ethnic and religious as well as social and political lines. But the result was the same throughout the seaboard, extending inland: Governments were being reconstituted—some from within existing frameworks and some from without, men were under arms, and new identitites were being forged as American belief in a British empire of liberty faded. NOTES 1. The Works of Cowper and Thomson (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1854), 119. 2. Massachusetts Spy, 10 November 1774. 3. Works of Cowper and Thomson, 107. 4. Proclamation of 7 October 1763, printed in Clarence S. Brigham, ed., British Royal Proclamations Relating to America, 1603-1783 (Worcester: American Antiquarian Society, 1911), 215. 5. From Amherst's report in Clarence Walworth Alvord and Clarence Edwin Carter, eds., The Critical Period, 1763-1765 (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1915), 7. 6. John Richard Alden, General Gage in America (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1948), 145-146. 7. Pittsylvania proposal in the Public Record Office/Colonial Office 5/232, fos. 343-374; overviews in Thomas P. Abernethy, Western Lands and the American

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Revolution (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1937); and Jack M. Sosin, Whitehall and the Wilderness (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1961). 8. Labaree, ed., Papers of Franklin, 4:233, 229, resp. 9. Franklin to Lord Kames, 3 July 1760, in Labaree, ed., Papers of Franklin, 9:7. 10. Gerald Stourzh, Benjamin Franklin and American Foreign Policy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954). 11. Clarence Walworth Alvord, The Mississippi Valley in British Politics, 2 vols. (Cleveland: Arthur H. Clark, 1917), 1:103. 12. [John Cartwright], American Independence: The Interest and Glory of GreatBritain (London: J. Wilkie, 1775), 30. 13. Ibid., 22. 14. John Brewer, The Sinews of Power (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989), xvii. 15. John L. Bullion, A Great and Necessary Measure (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1982). 16. Danby Pickering, ed., The Statutes at Large, 46 vols. (Cambridge: Joseph Bentham, 1762-1807), 25:104 (4 George III c. 34). 17. Martin Bladen, 1716 "discourse/' in Frederick Madden and David Fieldhouse, eds., The Classical Period of the British Empire, 1689-1763 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985), 113,114, resp. 18. John W. Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1986), 23. 19. Pickering, ed.. Statutes at Large, 26:33 (4 George III c. 15) and 26:179 (5 George III c. 12). 20. Edmund S. and Helen M. Morgan, The Stamp Act Crisis (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1953). 21. Pickering, ed., Statutes at Large, 27:20 (6 George III c. 12). 22. Franklin on 13 February 1766, in Labaree, ed., Papers of Franklin, 13:142,150. 23. Commons debates of 6 February 1765 in R.C. Simmons and P.D.G. Thomas, eds., Proceedings and Debates of the British Parliament Respecting North America, 6 vols. (Millwood, NY: Kraus International Publications, 1982-), 2:16. 24. Pickering, ed., Statutes at Large, 30:74-77 (23 George III c. 44); discussed in Benjamin Woods Labaree, The Boston Tea Party (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964). 25. From Franklin's 1760 pamphlet on "The Interest of Great Britain Considered: in Labaree, ed., Papers of Franklin, 9:74, 73, resp. 26. Mansfield in the House of Lords, 3 February 1766, in Simmons and Thomas, eds., Proceedings, 2:130. 27. Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1967). 28. [Thomas Whately], The Regulations lately Made concerning the Colonies and the Taxes Imposed upon Them considered (London: J. Wilkie, 1765), 109. 29. John J. McCusker and Russell R. Menard, The Economy of British America, 1607-1789 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1985), 357. 30. Thomas Pownall, The Administration of the British Colonies. London: J. Walter, 1774), 82. 31. Adams to Hezekiah Niles, 13 February 1818, in Charles Francis Adams, ed., The Works of John Adams, 10 vols. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1850-1856), 10:282.

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32. Adams to Thomas McKean, 31 August 1818, in Adams, ed., The Works of John Adams, 10:63. 33. John Phillip Reid, In a Rebellious Spirit (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1979). Also see Reid's magnum opus, Constitutional History of the American Revolution, 4 vols. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1986-1993). 34. From the October 1765 memorials to the king and to Parliament printed in C.A. Weslager, The Stamp Act Congress (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1976), 204-209. 35. This is an idea that Edmund S. Morgan pursued provocatively in Inventing the People (New York: W. W. Norton, 1988). 36. The arch-revolutionary Adams of John C. Miller, Sam Adams: Pioneer in Propaganda (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1936) is considerably toned down in Pauline Maier, The Old Revolutionaries (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980), 3-50. 37. William J. Van Schreeven and Robert L. Scribner, eds., Revolutionary Virginia: The Road to Independence, 2 vols. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1973), 1:112,113, resp. 38. John E. Selby reviews these developments in The Revolution in Virginia, 1775-1783 (Williamsburg: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1988). 39. Gage to William Barrington, 10 March 1768, in Clarence Edwin Carter, ed., The Correspondence of General Thomas Gage, 2 vols. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1931,1933), 2:450. 40. Gage to the Earl of Dartmouth, 26 June 1774, in Carter, ed., The Correspondence of General Thomas Gage, 2:357. 41. Royal American Magazine 2 (February 1775): 45. 42. Boston Gazette and Country Journal, 6 March 1775, supplement. 43. Gage to Dartmouth, 2 September 1774, in Carter, ed., The Correspondence of General Thomas Gage, 2:371. 44. Gage to Barrington, 22 April 1775, in Carter, ed., The Correspondence of General Thomas Gage, 2:674. 45. Gage to Barrington, 26 June 1775, in Carter, ed., The Correspondence of General Thomas Gage, 2:686. 46. David Hackett Fischer, Paul Revere's Ride (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 327. 47. The report, dated 2 February 1775, is in PRO/CO 5/159, fo. 48; also see their finding of 13 December 1774 in ibid., fos. 3-4. 48. Dartmouth to Gage, 27 January 1775, PRO/CO 5/765, fo. 365. 49. George III to Lord North, 18 November 1774, in Sir John Fortescue, ed., The Correspondence of King George III, 1760-1783, 6 vols. (London: Macmillan, 1927-1928), 3:153. 50. George III, message to Parliament, 10 February 1775, in Simmons and Thomas, ed., Proceedings, 5:408. 51. Worthington C. Ford, ed., The Journals of the Continental Congress, 34 vols. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1904-1937), 2:154,155. 52. Nathan Perkins, A Sermon (Hartford: Eban, Watson, 1775), 4, 8-9, resp. 53. See Neil L. York, "Our First 'Good 1 War: Selective Memory, Special Pleading, and the War of American Independence," Peace and Change 15 (1990): 371-390. 54. As cited from Van Schreeven and Scribner, eds., Revolutionary Virginia, 2:368n.

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CHAPTER 3

Revolution Embraced, Independence Declared

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. Declaration of Independence (1776)1 Empires have their Rise to a Zenith—and their Declension to a Dissolution Thus by natural Causes and common Effects, the American States are become dissolved from the British Dominion....A DECREE is now gone forth, NOT to be recalled! And, thus has suddenly arisen in the World, a new Empire, stiled, The United States of America. An Empire that as soon as started into Existence, attracts the Attention of the Rest of the Universe; and bids fair, by the Blessing of God, to be the most glorious of any upon Record. William Henry Drayton (1776)2 W h e n George III took the throne in the m i d s t of the French a n d Indian War h e pressed for a c h a n g e in Britain's diplomatic a r r a n g e m e n t s o n the Continent. H e w a n t e d Britain to steer its o w n course, b u t his ties to H a n o v e r a n d therefore, b y proximity, to Frederick the Great of Prussia, m a d e taking an i n d e p e n d e n t course difficult. Differences w i t h William Pitt over subsidies

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to Prussia—neither man liking them, but the king wanting to end them more abruptly than his minister—helped produce the feud that led to Pitt's resignation. They both understood that Prussia's tying up France on the Continent indirectly assisted their war effort in the Americas. Nonetheless deferring to Prussia represented traditional Eurocentric political concerns; the expanding American empire reflected a growing maritime interest and global perspective, as future came into conflict with the past. It is somewhat ironic, then, that one of the complaints leveled against Britain by disgruntled Americans was that involvement in Britain's empire meant involvement in otherwise avoidable wars. George III may have felt confined by Frederick II; unhappy Americans felt even more trapped by their king. And the American patriot who made the accusation most trenchantly was, in another small irony, a recently arrived Englishman: Thomas Paine. Paine stepped ashore in Philadelphia at the end of November 1774, searching for a new start—like Benjamin Franklin a half century before. He carried with him a letter of introduction from Franklin, to whom he went as the friend-of-a-friend. Though at thirty-seven hardly the "young man" that Franklin recommended to his son-in-law, Richard Bache, Paine could summon the exuberance of youth when he attached himself to a cause. He left as a champion of the laboring poor, men and women of little consequence in the political culture of Georgian England. That is where he started life, the son of a staymaker in Thetford, Norfolk, learning his father's trade before running off to sea, then to London and back to the trade he despised. He never settled long into a stable life, in London, in Lewes, or, at one point, back in Thetford, trying his hand at this and that. Despite his few years of formal schooling he taught for a time. He was twice removed from a government post as an exciseman, the second time for writing a pamphlet calling for higher wages. By 1774 his world was collapsing around him. He had married again after his first wife died and now he and his second wife were separated. Blackballed as a government employee, he had never done that well as a staymaker and he had to close his tobacconist shop and sell his goods at public auction to pay creditors. Franklin's letter almost literally gave him a new lease on life. Franklin suggested to Bache that Paine might make a good tutor or clerk or perhaps a surveyor. Paine himself dreamed of opening a school. He was lucky to be taken on by Robert Aitken, like Paine an emigrant—in his case from Scotland, to help with Aitken's newly founded and struggling Philadelphia magazine. Paine wrote pieces for it and for newspapers, decrying the evils of slavery and the unjust treatment of Native Americans. By the fall of 1775 he had also brought the empire within the range of his pen. He quickly went from predicting American independence to advocating it. In doing so he simply accelerated a process that took much longer with others: for example, Samuel Adams, who had been predicting

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a break as early as 1768 but was not clearly in favor of independence for another seven years. "I hesitate not for a moment to believe that the Almighty will finally separate America from Britain," Paine wrote passionately. "Call it independence or what you will, if it is the cause of God and humanity it will go on." 3 Within a matter months he no longer used the qualifier "if" as he burst onto the political and literary stage in January 1776 with Common Sense. Paine's presentation of "simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense" surpassed all other Revolutionary Era pamphlets in influence. Paine was as proud of it as anything he ever wrote because he believed that it gave Americans the strength they had lacked to leave the empire and, just as important, the courage to renounce monarchy and embrace republicanism. His "motive and object" in this and in all of his political writings, he reminisced near the end of his life, "was to rescue man from tyranny and false systems and false principles of government, and enable him to be free."4 Heretofore American patriots had been reluctant to criticize George III. More often than not they condemned Parliament and looked to the king as intercessor. But Paine made the king a source of the problem, not an aid in finding a solution to it. "I reject the hardened, sullen-tempered Pharoah of England for ever, and disdain the wretch, that with the pretended title of FATHER OF HIS PEOPLE can unfeelingly hear of them slaughtered, and composedly sleep with their blood upon his soul." Paine did not just spurn a monarch; he pilloried monarchy, denouncing George III as a "royal brute" and dismissing William the Conqueror as a usurping "French bastard." There should be no kings and no subjects. "Of more worth is one honest man to society, and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived." 5 In the America he envisioned, only the law could be king. Whatever his personal beliefs, Paine tapped astutely into his readers' religiosity. More important than his anti-Catholic swipes or his equating of monarchy with popery was his understanding of the concept of a chosen people. He talked only in passing about British monarchs and took as his primary text the Old Testament and the prophet Samuel's admonition to the people of Israel that they not displace the rule of judges with the rule of a king. Paine conceded that there could be good kings as well as bad. The danger lay in giving any individual who reigned by an accident of birth rather than by proven merit so much authority and power. Knowing that American patriots had long taken pride in the unwritten English constitution, he belittled it as suitable for the "dark and slavish times in which it was enacted" but wholly inadequate for a more enlightened age. Britain's monarchy was "ridiculous" and British attachment to the combination of crown and Parliament derived "more from national pride than reason." The English constitution, he stressed, had not

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produced mixed and balanced government. It never could so long as the "republican materials" that went into the composition of the House of Commons were contained within a hereditary system, a system where monarchy and aristocracy dominated even though they contributed "nothing towards the freedom of the State." In Britain as elsewhere, he argued, the hereditary system had failed the people and covered "the world in blood and ashes." 6 For Americans the potential to change that world came at Lexington and Concord: tragedy as opportunity, to be seized before it passed. There could be no more talk of reconciliation. Britain, the mother country, was now "a parent red with the blood of her children" and therefore "the blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, 'TIS TIME TO PART." Americans had to fulfill their destiny in a nation of their own. Implicitly, even without the bloodshed Britain and America had to go their separate ways. The child's growth was being stunted by an overbearing parent. "There is something absurd, in supposing a Continent to be perpetually governed by an island," observed Paine, the social psychologist. 7 Britain had stood in the way of the maturation process, the inevitable passage from child to adult. "A government of our own is a natural right" and that government, in order to be true to America's national destiny, had to be republican in form.8 Thomas Paine, political philosopher, also wrote as Thomas Paine, governmental reformer. He advocated state legislatures with delegates elected annually who handled local affairs; he supported the Continental Congress as a real central government that presided over national affairs. Representation there, he emphasized, should be by men from state districts, with each state to have at least thirty delegates. Although Congress did not adopt the specific forms Paine preferred, nor did Pennsylvania's new state government, Paine's ideas affected the thinking in both places. Moreover, seeing new written constitutions replace colonial charters as states displaced colonies gratified the onetime staymaker, who had not put much stock in custom or tradition as legal guarantors. Paine helped make the uncommon common, the illegitimate legitimate, as one identity displaced another, first among hundreds, then thousands. Only with that fundamental change underway could Jefferson claim that his declaration simply presented the "common sense of the subject."9 Where Paine cleared, Jefferson plowed. But Paine was far more than a new breed of American nationalist. Combining Lockean rationalism with Rousseauian romanticism, he formed vague notions of a future world community born of democratic republicanism. When he wrote that "the sun never shone on a cause of greater worth," that "the cause of America is the cause of mankind" and that "we have the power to begin the world over again," he expressed transcendent ambitions. 10 He believed ardently in America as a frontier nation with dynamic people settling new lands

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and venturing overseas for peaceful competition through the exchange of goods. "To unite the sinews of commerce and defence is sound policy; for when our strength and our riches play into each other's hand, we need fear no external enemy," he trumpeted. 11 Americans would replace the war and battlefield of Britain's monarchistic empire with the free trade and open marketplace of a commercial republic. France and Spain, he insisted, had been hostile only because America was tied to Britain. Freed from old jealousies provoked by petty mercantilism, Americans and their onetime enemies would become friends, trade partners rather than imperial rivals. 12 Or so went Paine's dream; others, far less interested in and sympathetic to the dreamer's populist political notions, would share it. Twenty years later George Washington closed the era as Paine opened it, expressing a belief in the ability of Americans to stand on the world stage without being bound by the rules of an earlier age. CUTTING TIES Looking back years later, Paine would compress the six months between Common Sense and a declaration of independence by Congress into what struck him as an inconsequentially brief moment. But it was neither brief nor inconsequential. That American patriots could wage war for well over a year without deciding that they had to become revolutionaries—that it only made sense to fight for freedom in a new nation rather than for rights in the old empire—is a reminder of how wrenching it was to create a new sense of the American self. Redefined identity was more an unintended outcome than a product of conscious design, the pithiness of Common Sense notwithstanding. When a second Continental Congress convened in May 1775, the fighting that had erupted a few weeks before sharpened but did not change the focus. The delegates there were still determined to defend American rights and seek a reconciliation. As Rhode Islanders announced, they would persevere in their "just and necessary war" until they had their "just and equal liberty" restored. 13 Not yet Paine's royal brute, George III still presided in American minds as father of the imperial family. In dispatching delegates to Philadelphia the Massachusetts provincial convention affirmed the assertion of rights made there the previous October and protested against "the ruinous and eniquitous measures" that "at present convulse and threaten destruction to America." Once again Massachusetts would not be alone in trying to pair what only hindsight tells us proved impossible: to, in concert with delegates from other colonies, achieve "such farther measures, as shall to them appear to be best calculated for the recovery and establishment of American rights and Liberties, and for restoring harmony between Great-Britain and the Colonies." 14

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Those instructions, drafted in December 1774, were not revised as a result of Lexington and Concord, nor were the commissions for any of the other delegates, all of whom came with similar charges. And yet in a session that lasted for nearly three months, from May 10 to August 1, Congress assumed the role of a central government. Wisely—and unavoidably—it recommended and requested rather than directed and ordered. Though still a product of extralegal activity, it continued the process of self-legitimation and the contest for loyalty, both of which were nearly as important as anything that occurred on the battlefield. After the first Congress, Pennsylvania delegate Joseph Galloway alleged that the proceedings in Carpenters' Hall had fallen under the sway of duplicitous radicals bent on independence, the so-called Lee-Adams junto. There never was such a simple grouping then, or as some later historians have attempted to find, a clear division of radicals, moderates, and conservatives. Nor would there be in the second meeting, where colonists disillusioned with the empire nevertheless still considered themselves loyal to it, and so they groped about—the philosopher's blind men in a dark room looking for a black cat that was not even there. Congress continued the economic warfare it began under the Continental Association and sent another address to the king. It also conveyed messages, as before, to the people of Great Britain and Canada, and, for the first time, to the people of Jamaica and Ireland. Congress looked for moral support in Britain and a burst of transatlantic and inter-American activism. John Dickinson and some others, like Joseph Galloway in the first congress, wanted commissioners sent to London to meet with British leaders. Dickinson wrote the appeal to the king, just as he had in the last session. John Adams went along with it, though this "olive branch petition," as it became known, embarrassed him. It is almost obsequiously submissive in tone, but that was as much a function of trying circumstance as it was Dickinson's personal preference. Compliant passages could not obscure explicit complaint: Americans had been wronged, not by a good king but by his bad ministers. Therefore he had to interpose himself between them and restore peace and justice. George III had no such intention, of course. He did not respond to the petition, he would not have received any commissioners from Congress, and, at this point, he had no interest in sending over commissioners of his own to meet with Congress, which to him represented traitorous radicals. Only a handful of Pittites in Parliament pressed him to receive American commissioners or to dispatch some of his own. North acted with his full support, which meant that Dickinson had unintentionally set the king up to become bad at some point too, eventually making him no father and the empire no family. In writing once more to their British "brethren," the men in Congress took a firmer stance in their hyperbole, targeting both pocketbook and conscience. They appealed to their distant siblings' sense of justice and

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tried to shame them into disavowing Westminster's policies: "If you still retain those Sentiments of Compassion, by which Britons have ever been distinguished, if the Humanity, which tempered the valour of our common Ancestors, has not degenerated into Cruelty, you will lament the Miseries of their Descendants"—plea as demand. They even raised the spectre that what first happened on one side of the Atlantic could just as easily happen next on the other. Besides, no one could ever defeat the descendants of liberty-loving Britons. What if British fleets could destroy American towns? "These are inconsiderable Objects, Things of no Moment to Men, whose Bosoms glow with the Ardor of Liberty" because they could retreat inland "and without any sensible Diminution of the Necessities of Life, enjoy a Luxury, which from that Period you will want—the Luxury of being Free." Britain would only emasculate itself and make its benighted people vulnerable to attack. "Do they deliver you, weak and defenceless, to your natural Enemies?" 15 No great imagination was required to fill in the blanks of those unnamed foes. So pled—so threatened—the inheritors of that imperial pride first carried over the sea by Hakluyt's contemporaries, but now posed as a challenge to Hakluyt's descendants. Searching desperately for a better time to which they could refer, they idealized the empire before the war, the navigation system before Grenville, as if turning back the clock were somehow possible, or actually desirable. True, they elicited some sympathy, they stoked some fears, but not enough to pressure a change in governmental course—as had been the case during all the disputes of the previous decade, with the exception of the stamp act crisis. Success then in generating transatlantic protest and dividing the factions at Westminster had misled too many patriots thereafter. They overestimated the amount of support they enjoyed in Britain. They also exaggerated the power of an American boycott, something that would come back to haunt Thomas Jefferson when he was president and tried to play the American trade card. Nor were members of Congress able to find common cause with others in the empire whose circumstances they were convinced more closely paralleled their own. In endeavoring to draw them in Benjamin Franklin made one last stab at imperial reorganization and on a scale that dwarfed his 1754 Albany Plan. No sooner had he returned from his long stay in London than he took a seat in Congress. He drafted "Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union" and submitted them to his colleagues for their perusal in July. He started out modestly enough by formalizing procedures, some of which Congress had already improvised for itself in what he styled "a firm League of Friendship." He then issued an open invitation: Any and every Colony from Great Britain upon the Continent of North America not at present engaged in our Association may upon application and joining the

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said Association be received into this Confederation Viz, Ireland, the West Indies Islands, Quebec, St. Johns, Nova-Scotia, Bermudas, and the East and West Floridas: and shall thereupon be entitled to all the advantages of our Union, mutual assistance and Commerce. Each was asked to send delegates to Congress, joining together to act as one. So they would remain until the troops were removed, damages were paid for "this unjust war," and restrictive legislation was repealed. "On the arrival of these events the Colonies will return to their former Connection and Friendship with Britain," the Articles promised, "but on failure thereof this Confederation will be perpetual," they continued, menacingly.16 Franklin developed his plan at essentially the same moment that Congress made its appeal to Canada, Jamaica, and Ireland, each appeal tailored to the audience at hand. Canadians were called on as "fellowsubjects" and "fellow-sufferers" to put aside their religious differences, Protestants and Catholics uniting in "defence of our common liberty." Even if they were content for the moment, Congress cautioned, the arrangement that London had allowed and that Canadians found so amenable to their needs could be taken away in an instant, at a whim. Do not "waste your lives in a contest with us," Congress warned, because they might be called on to fight France at some point, were the civil war to broaden into a general conflict.17 Having endorsed the taking of Ticonderoga by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, who led a freelance operation instigated by Connecticut and Massachusetts, Congress assured Canadians that the conflict would not be directed toward them. Patriots were only securing themselves from possible attack, they said. Within months that would change. Congress took a different tack with Jamaicans, emphasizing their shared tradition of autonomy under a once beneficent empire now turned oppressive. Clear-thinking, freedom-loving Jamaicans, like their mainland cousins, had not been "enervated into effeminacy" like the people of India or "debauched in luxury" like so many Britons; consequently they could see through the sophistries and recognize a concerted effort to strip them of their liberties.18 Presumably, if Jamaicans responded favorably, settlers on the other ten smaller, more lightly populated islands in the British West Indies might decide to as well. To the Irish, Congress sent a missive as long as the other two combined. "Your parliament had done us no wrong; You had ever been friendly to the rights of mankind" and "your nation has produced patriots, who have nobly distinguished themselves in the cause of humanity and America." 19 Sure enough the Irish too had long protested Westminster's presumptive authority to tax. A declaratory act for Ireland dated from 1720 and served as a model for the 1766 act applied to Americans. Members of the Irish

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parliament jealous of their prerogatives resented Westminster's 1720 assertion as much as any colonial assemblymen feared the later enactment. Colonial politicians could point to a legislative tradition dating from the early seventeenth century; the Irish could trace their parliamentary lineage to the thirteenth century and constitutional disputes over custom and law spanning three hundred years. They too had resentments against the navigation system. Likewise they had complained about British troops stationed among them whose expense was a form of indirect taxation. It was Isaac Barre, an Anglo-Irish member of the British Parliament, after all, who had called Americans protesting the stamp act "sons of liberty," applying to the colonists what Irish patriot Charles Lucas had first used to describe countrymen who protested British heavyhandedness in Ireland nearly twenty years before.20 Yet for the all professions of sympathy that the Irish extended to rebellious Americans they could have no true empathy with them. The AngloIrish Protestant Ascendancy that dominated the island needed Britain to maintain itself and identified with British culture in ways that protesting Americans never did and never could. Their resentments were just as real, their suspicions often just as deep, but different social circumstance dictated a different political response. The Anglo-Irish who were perfectly willing to take advantage of the American war to improve their own position in the empire had no interest in following the American example because, again, their situations were not analogous. The same held true for Jamaicans and Canadians, demonstrating that the difference was not just a function of distance—the number of miles separating "core" from "periphery." 21 The empire had managed to accommodate some of its component parts better than others, and distance was but one of many factors in the imperial equation. The rhetorical contortions required of the congressional appeals show this all too well. French Canadians knowing the resentments against them as well as against London engendered by the Quebec Act were skeptical of the common-cause argument. 22 The more that their southern neighbors inveighed against an imperial system that did not guarantee the sanctity of representative assemblies, the more they might worry about intolerance for their own traditions, which did not include a strong attachment to local legislatures. Jamaica's absentee planters looked more favorably on a navigation system that had often given them preferential treatment. They were disinclined to protest its extension and may have resented the "put thy house in order" tone of the letter to their island. Who were dissident mainlanders to tell them they should have grown more grain and less sugarcane so that the trade embargo that Congress ordered the previous year—aimed at Britain—would not have hurt them so much? Strong as their trade ties to the mainland colonies were, their overall economic ties to the mother country were stronger still. Fearful of slave uprisings, they looked

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to regulars and the Royal Navy for help. But, like the Anglo-Irish elite, their connections were born of more than just economic enterprise or military security; they identified with Britain more deeply than the rising patriot leadership on the mainland. 23 Nations grow out of, and once formed remain, "imagined communities," as Benedict Anderson phrased it.24 The challenge facing every aspiring nation or group of nationalists looking to form a nation is to develop a sense of belonging, a belief in the existence of a shared ideology and interest. Use of an "us versus them" psychology in any nationalist construct is risky, particularly when the intention is to expand the number of "us" and reduce the number of "them." Some Canadians enlisted in the patriot cause; most did not and most who did not preferred neutrality. Nova Scotians, who existed apart from Canadians along the St. Lawrence corridor, lived by and large in a garrison society, more closely tied to Britain through the army and navy than other colonists. Most of them leaned toward Britain, despite their New England origins. Like so many Scots exiled after Culloden and living on the Carolina frontier, they remained loyal—proof that local circumstance could outweigh inherited prejudice. Ethnically Spanish Floridians, concentrated in St. Augustine and Pensacola, with scattered settlements in between, had little understanding of or interest in the dispute that had become all-consuming to the north. Georgia sent no delegate to the first Continental Congress, and the second opened with only one from one small constituency there. Most Indians, from the Georgia backcountry into the Iroquois longhouse of New York, would just as soon have been left alone. Franklin's proposed league had included a provision for "a perpetual alliance offensive and defensive.. .with the Six Nations," but Congress had no chance of attaining it. Many thousands of loyal subjects within the revolting colonies were unpersuaded as well. Even some patriots who had led the protests of earlier years were put off by the actions of Congress and the protorevolutionary governments in each colony—hence the withdrawal from the patriot movement of Maryland lawyer Daniel Dulany, who had figured so prominently in the pamphlet war against the stamp act, or the reluctance of Joseph Wanton to press matters after the shooting started, the same Joseph Wanton who as governor of Rhode Island had thwarted imperial authorities investigating the sinking of the Gaspee. There was no pat institutional solution to such primal problems of identity. The decade from the stamp act to Lexington and Concord had seen a steady stream of proposals to reconfigure the empire, to find a governmental answer to the political question of how power could be wielded legitimately and equitably while preserving the transatlantic community and the empire as family. Some reformers lobbied for colonial legislative autonomy, others for intercolonial congresses in one form or another. Still others wanted colonists seated at Westminster and, among them, some

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would have been content with representation in the House of Commons while some pushed for colonial peerages and seats in the House of Lords as well. There were even a few—apparently including Franklin at one point—who called for a grand imperial parliament to supersede Westminster and all of the colonial legislatures. Every proposal, whether Franklin's at Albany, Joseph Galloway's revision of it at the first Continental Congress twenty years later, or John Cartwright's "confederacy" on the eve of war, accentuated the deepseated desire to find a solution and its disconcerting elusiveness. Success depended on contingent factors, on a state of mind and social condition that did not exist; if they had, the imperial crisis would not have escalated so dangerously. Inability to accommodate the ambitions of growing colonies does not explain it all. The very Englishness of an expanded Britain made it virtually impossible to envision an empire where the political capital and cultural center could be Boston or Philadelphia or the forks of the Ohio rather than London. Knowing this, in March 1775 John Adams dismissed any talk of seating Americans at Westminster.25 Fair representation would mean that at some point Americans must outnumber Britons in the House of Commons, and London, he emphasized, would not let that happen. Without fully realizing it he had underscored the futility of reform in an age when the commonwealth was barely imaginable. Add to this another consideration. The thirteen rebellious colonies accounted for only half of Britain's New World empire, and it was a minority—admittedly a vigorous minority—that rose up in arms in those thirteen. From London's perspective the crisis was localized rather than empirewide, and that in itself would have limited any desire for a complete structural overhaul. The Continental Congress was not looking to seize power and crown itself king. Busy with practical matters and reluctant to become mired in debate, it set aside Franklin's July 1775 proposal and did not return to it for almost a year, and only then because war aims had finally changed. In the interim an ad hoc form of federalism had evolved, with Congress making suggestions to the provinces—not yet states, remember—and the provinces looking to Congress for guidance. In October the New Hampshire convention instructed its delegates to seek advice on what it should do next. In November Congress responded, vaguely, that it should "establish such a form of government as, in their judgment, will best produce the happiness of the people, and most effectually secure the peace and good order of the province, during the continuance of the present dispute between G. Britain and the colonies." 26 A frustrated John Adams had decided by the previous summer that independence was necessary because "the Cancer is too deeply rooted, and too far spread to be cured by any thing short of cutting it out entire." 27 He wished that Congress had done more—that it had taken the occasion to give all of the provinces

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directions on how to reconfigure themselves as "states," though not necessarily as states permanently outside the empire. Adams had stumbled toward what Josiah Tucker predicted would be the inevitable American position. Tucker was convinced that Americans who pursued the logic of their view could decide only on independence. There were no halcyon days of empire when all were content, when all was bliss. Americans had smuggled as long as there had been a navigation system and they would never change, stressed Tucker. Before Gage's blown escapade in the countryside he had argued that London could choose from five courses of action: let things go as they were; grant Americans representation in the House of Commons; use force to compel obedience; shift the seat of empire to an American city like Philadelphia or New York; or let the colonists go. Only the last option made any sense to him. 28 Tucker reduced human behavior to the materialistically predictable: all people behave according to their self-interest, and too many Americans, he argued, believed that their best interests and those of Britain were in conflict. Because loyalty could not be imposed, because American minds could not be changed—but American trade could be dominated even without the navigation system, Tucker urged an unlistening government to let the colonists go. Tucker was sure that Americans wanted independence—that in some sense he knew them better than they knew themselves. Britain, he predicted, could expect Canada to behave in a like manner some day and with as much "Malevolence and Ingratitude." 29 Even if Tucker was right about the "logic" of the patriot position, he failed to see that rebellious Americans were not behaving logically, at least as a political economist understands logic—which is not the same as saying they behaved irrationally. Through the fall of 1775, for every John Adams wanting independence there were probably two other patriots wanting reconciliation. There continued to be, as Adams observed, "a Strange Oscillation between Love and Hatred, between War and Peace." 30 Thus the messages from leaders in New York and New Jersey, as well as from Pennsylvania and Maryland, urging Congress not to do anything precipitate, anything that could frustrate their desire to reunify the empire. Sometimes patriots in the provinces acted independently of Congress, but more often they did not. They deferred to the delegates there on how the war should be fought and how reconciliation could be sought. Each instance where a provincial convention or assembly subordinated itself to Congress strengthened Congress's status as a nominal national government. Nevertheless delegates to Congress, who by and large shared the provincialism of their colleagues back home, did not see themselves as having a mandate to press for independence. At the very moment that Common Sense was printed in January 1776 a congressional committee struggled—still—over how to fulfill two wishes: first, that America be free; second, that it remain tied to Britain.

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A hint of change in the offing came in March when George Wythe and Richard Henry Lee moved that George III be blamed as "the Author of our Miseries"—not his ministers, not Parliament. 31 Their motion failed resoundingly. It was another two months before such direct criticism of the king became possible in Congress and only because he had effectively disowned them. "The rebellious War now levied is become more general, and is manifestly carried on for the Purpose of establishing an independent Empire,'" he told Parliament angrily. After refusing to receive the olive branch petition, he had already accused patriot leaders of oppressing "our loyal Subjects" and committed his government to do everything in its power "to suppress such Rebellion, and to bring Traitors to Justice."32 As he wished, Parliament then cut off access to all trade in the empire. Any ship, any cargo, from the rebellious thirteen colonies would be seized and condemned as contraband. The ban would be lifted only when imperial authority had been restored, colony by colony. In response Congress threw open all American ports to the ships of the world, in effect declaring the navigation system defunct. A relieved John Adams could now hope that Congress would cease what to him was its dithering. Adams forgot that he had once felt as the slow-moving colleagues who aggravated him still did. In April North Carolina's convention authorized its delegates to go along with a motion for independence, although they were not authorized to make it themselves. In May Virginia's delegates were empowered to make the motion. In response to a request by the provincial convention, Massachusetts towns debated the question of independence and came down overwhelmingly in favor of it. At roughly the same moment Congress recommended that "the respective assemblies and conventions of the United Colonies" form "such government as shall, in the opinion of the representatives of the people, best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular, and America in general." 33 In other words, the provinces should reconstitute themselves as states, which Virginia did soon after its delegation called on Congress to lead an independent nation. Thus the now famous sequence of events: Richard Henry Lee's motion on June 7 that "these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved"; 34 the formation of a committee to write a declaration justifying independence; Jefferson's draft and Congress's emendations; approval of the Lee motion for independence on July 2; endorsement of the revised Declaration two days later. Perhaps, as numerous historians have suggested, the Declaration's symbolic killing of the king was the ultimate revolutionary act. George III, once chastised only obliquely, now became the source of all American

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troubles. "The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having, in direct object, the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States," alleged the Declaration. Eighteen times on twenty-eight charges "He," not Parliament, was indicted and rhetorically arraigned in the court of public opinion. His guilt, like American rights, was presumably self-evident. "A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people." 35 Those who did not see the validity of the case against the king were deemed unfit to remain among these "free people." Over the course of the war every state imposed loyalty oaths. Some applied them to civilian officials and military officers; the most zealous extended them to every free white male. The intention behind them all was to require good Americans to differentiate themselves from the bad by swearing allegiance. Good Americans were expected to exchange old empire for new, fragmented community for a new society, dysfunctional family for a new relationship. Eighty thousand colonists left, by choice or under duress, rather than comply. An even larger number held their tongues and submitted to the new regime. 36 Naturally the loyalists lamented their fate and saw something tragic in all of this: the political crisis leading to war, the war itself, the resulting breakup of the imperial family One loyalist group wrote a parody of the Declaration of Independence to prove that "patriots" had abused them more than the supposedly abused "patriots" had been wronged by their king. 37 Like most propaganda it probably changed few minds and appealed only to those predisposed to that way of thinking. While loyalists blamed patriots for the cataclysm, patriots blamed everyone but themselves. The great imperial historian Charles M. Andrews found blame enough for all in what he too viewed as a tragic if nonetheless explicable outcome. An enthusiastic internationalist, Andrews thought that, in the aftermath of World War I, Britons and Americans could work together informally to bring about a more progressive, more liberal world order—new partners for a new age, with a second chance to lead the world. 38 Interestingly enough, Thomas Jefferson had also lamented the Anglo-American split. "There is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do," he wrote a full seven months after Lexington and Concord, saddened that he could no longer live in what he deemed an unjust empire. 39 He carried that sentiment into his rough draft of the Declaration. Congress excised it. In later years Jefferson distinguished between his text and the final version issued by Congress, primarily because his indictment of slavery had been deleted. Looking ahead to the future American empire, he rarely glanced back over his shoulder at what once was or what might have been. Not only had he outgrown the old association, but any hint of a fond attachment to it also might have proved embarrassing. Even so, his lamentation

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is worth reading as an obituary for the original dream of an Anglo-American empire of liberty. Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren, we have warned them from time to time of attempts of their legislature to extend a jurisdiction over these our states, we have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration & settlement here, no one of which could warrant so strange a pretension: that these were effected at the expence of our own blood & treasure, unassisted by the wealth or the strength of Great Britain: that in constituting indeed, our several forms of government, we had adopted one common king, thereby laying a foundation for perpetual league & amity with them: but that submission to their parliament, was no part of our constitution, nor was in idea, if history be credited: and we appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, as well as to the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations which were likely to interrupt our correspondence, they too have been deaf to the voice of justice and consanguinity, & when occasions have been given them, by the regular course of their laws, of removing them from their councils the disturbers of our harmony, they have by their free election re-established them in power, at this very time too they are permitting their chief magistrate to send over not only soldiers of our common blood, but Scotch & foreign mercenaries to invade & deluge us in blood, these facts have given the last stab to agonising affection, and manly spirit bids us to renounce forever these unfeeling brethren, we must endeavor to forget our former love for them, and to hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends, we might have been a free & a great people together; but a communication of grandeur & of freedom it seems is below their dignity, be it so, since they will have it: the road to glory & happiness is open to us too; we will climb it separately, and acquiesce in the necessity which announces our everlasting Adieu!40 Note that Jefferson had not given up on the idea of empire; rather, he gave up on the idea of a transatlantic Anglo-American imperial partnership. Revolutionary Americans disavowed a king, they abandoned monarchy as a political system, but they kept the inherited vision of empire and recast it as their own. That they would be independent some day had long been predicted. "All colonies have their date of independence," Isaac Barre commented in the House of Commons in 1766, during debates over the colonial situation, and "the wisdom or folly of our conduct may make it the sooner or later."41 It came sooner than expected and not as he had hoped. American visions of empire became strongest during the years of imperial crisis, when Britain would stand as opponent rather than ally, an obstacle blocking the path of American greatness. "Providence will erect a mighty empire in America," predicted Samuel Adams in 1774, as tensions mounted. An "Empire is rising in America" and "God knows when it will be in the power of this Country amply to revenge its wrongs." If Britain had accelerated the process by "multiplied oppressions," then as far as Adams was concerned it would have only itself to blame. 42 A crusader nation was being born.

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ARMIES A N D NAVIES Before there was a nation there was an army; to some extent because there was an army there could be a nation. In June 1775 the Continental Congress adopted the patriot forces laying siege to Boston, raised reinforcements to assist them, and appointed a general to lead them all. Even though there had been some interest in mobilizing an intercolonial militia at its previous sitting, Congress did not act until it reconvened, with knowledge of Lexington and Concord prompting it to action. It did not attempt to take direct charge of the colonial militia. Instead, after resolving to help New Englanders defray the cost of fielding their troops, Congress called for riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia to sign up as recruits in the "American continental army" and then march to Boston. They and the New Englanders would come under the command of General George Washington in what was on paper, at least, a single military organization. That New Englanders went along with a subordination of the regional to the protonational, with John Adams pushing vigorously for a Virginian as commander-in-chief, is yet another example of survivalist nationalism. So too with the selection of other general officers, whose appointments reflected the need to balance regional and provincial loyalties with the need to find skilled men to fill posts. Washington's military experience factored into his selection, as did his being from Virginia. It also mattered that he had cultivated the style of a gentleman, a leader in the planter aristocracy. As a member of the House of Burgesses as well as a delegate to the Continental Congress he satisfied the requirement for someone who was committed to civilian control of the military. "But as the sword should in all free states be subservient to the civil powers," the Massachusetts provincial convention had advised Congress when requesting its aid, "we tremble at having an army (although composed of our countrymen) established here without a civil power to provide for and control them." 43 In nominating Washington, Adams understood all of this and shared in the determination not to produce an American Caesar or an American Cromwell. Washington wore a uniform in Congress, perhaps his old Virginia militia blue coat faced in red, perhaps the new blue and buff design that he would soon be wearing outside Boston. Just which is unclear—and thus unclear whether he was looking ahead to a new identity or back toward the old. Fellow delegates presumably took the uniform as a mark of the Virginian's enthusiasm for the cause and willingness to take the field if called upon, not as a gambit to seize power. Washington was already a Cincinnatus in the making. The quick response to the call for riflemen nicely captured the spirit of what historian Charles Royster has called the "rage militaire"—a widespread if short-lived passion for enlisting in defense of the patriot cause. 44 People caught up in the excitement of the moment believed that virtue

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and valor would combine to ensure victory over corruption and tyranny. "Our Troops are animated with the Love of Freedom," proclaimed Congress before there had been any real test of strength. "We confess that they have not the Advantages arising from Experience and Discipline: But Facts have shewn, that native Courage warmed with Patriotism is sufficient to counterbalance these Advantages." 45 The rise and fall of the riflemen as frontier American supermen exposed the naivete of that belief, the "facts" actually speaking against congressional enthusiasts. Thirteen companies of riflemen totaling nearly thirteen hundred men marched for Boston in 1775. Two companies came from Virginia, two from Maryland, and the rest from seven Pennsylvania counties. Lancaster and Cumberland each contributed two of the Pennsylvania companies; five other counties formed one each. Congress had asked the Pennsylvanians for six companies but gladly expanded the number to nine, those nine pulled together as the Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment. Local newspapers followed the riflemen eagerly, from their recruitment in June and July to their arrival at the American camp in Cambridge that August and September. One Cumberland County contingent made the 440-mile trek, on foot, in twenty-six days. Daniel Morgan's Virginia company moved even faster, covering six hundred miles in three weeks. The others made good time as well. Attired in hunting shirts and homespun, in buckskins and even breechcloths, some wearing moccasins festooned with porcupine quills, many equipped with tomahawks and hunting knives as well as their guns, the riflemen presented quite a spectacle. They bore "in their bodies visible marks of their prowess, and show scars and wounds which would do honor to Homer's Iliad," gushed one spectator who saw them on the march. They gave demonstrations of their marksmanship and performed feats of derring-do. The Boston Gazette touted them as "an excellent Body of Troops," men "heartily disposed to prosecute, with the utmost Vigour, the Noble Cause in which they are engaged." 46 No one was more pleased with the stir they caused than George Washington, who understood their public relations value. He had arrived the month before to a languid camp and "found a numerous army of Provencials, under very little command, discipline, or order," he complained. 47 In the aftermath of the bloodletting at Breed's Hill on June 17 nothing much seemed to be happening. The British held Boston, islands in the bay, and now the Charlestown peninsula; the New Englanders, lacking a navy or artillery, could be said to laying siege to them in only the loosest sense. Washington expected the riflemen, whose guns were accurate at well over two hundred yards—twice or thrice the range of a British Brown Bess musket, the standard military arm—to somehow provide a decisive edge. Remembering, perhaps, his frontier service under Braddock, Washington wished that his entire army could be dressed like the riflemen, starting

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with himself and his officers. After all, it was not as if the New Englanders already had uniforms. Hunting shirts of various hues from ash to brown to gray would, he thought, provide natural camouflage and be more functional than the close-fitting, often brightly colored uniforms of regulars, and they could help ease "those Provincial distinctions which lead to Jealousy & Dissatisfaction."48 He wanted Congress to find a way to supply him with ten thousand hunting shirts so that he could begin the transformation. To underscore his hopes for a new type of army fighting a new type of war, in January 1776 he had the Pennsylvania regiment redesignated the First Regiment of the Army of the United Colonies in what he hoped would be the first step toward a truly "national" force—before there was a nation, indeed, before Congress and perhaps even Washington himself had decided that forming a new nation was necessary. There would never be a truly integrated American military, however. The Continental army did evolve into the United States Army, but throughout the war it existed alongside state regiments and even more numerous militia regiments and companies. They all set their own standards: terms of enlistment, rates of pay, inducements to serve, nature and amounts of equipment. Interestingly enough, the move for an integrated military force that predated the nation was abandoned soon after the nation was formed. The Continental army as it took shape between 1775 and 1777 formed its regiments by state. Even Washington's brief experiment was effectively one of changing labels, not shuffling men. With the exception of engineers and artillerists, the troops had never been blended: New Yorkers tended to be in the same regiments, Rhode Islanders the same, and so on, because renumbering did not mean shaking the provincial mix. The old Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment, which had been redesignated the First Regiment of the Army of the United Colonies, became the First Regiment of the Pennsylvania line in January 1777. By that time almost all of the original riflemen had been replaced with new recruits wearing traditional uniforms—in their case brown coats faced in green, and they were armed with muskets and bayonets. In 1779, with the first true guidelines for standardized uniforms, they changed their coats to blue, their facings to red, as they moved ever further from the look and the weapons tactics of the first group. To Washington's chagrin the original riflemen had brought no decisive edge to the patriots' New England campaign in 1775-1776. And they were expensive. Better paid than almost all the other troops, they had also been exempted from routine duties. Congress paid out over $15,000 to the Pennsylvanians alone to help them refit: shoes and shirts, canteens and kettles, powder horns and bullet pouches, even new rifles. And for what, Washington eventually asked himself. When the British evacuated Boston in March 1776 it was because artillery had been placed on Dorchester

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Heights and they thought better of trying to take the position by storm. The vaunted marksmanship of the riflemen had hardly affected them in the nine months that the frontiersmen had been around. Riflemen might have been useful as light infantry but there was little call for scouting, skirmishing, and flanking movements—the stock in trade of light infantry. It was the rare rifle that had been adapted to take a bayonet. There was no complicated technical problem involved: Cutting back a stock to fit a socket-style bayonet was not difficult. Rather, it was a question of a different approach to war. Riflemen were not inclined to stand in the open, ready to receive a bayonet attack. That was not war as they knew it, war as they preferred it. By the time that the British withdrew, taking over a thousand loyalists with them, Washington had come to regret that the riflemen were even in camp. General Charles Lee apparently cursed them; he and others wished that they had never come. More often than not their independent, unorthodox ways got them into trouble. Bored with camp life, some deserted; others were sent home because they were not the expert marksmen they had claimed to be; still others stayed but spent time in the guardhouse for drinking, carousing, and general mischief-making. Washington realized, belatedly, that Boston had not been a very good setting for riflemen. With the shift of action to New York in the summer of 1776 he thought that could change. His army for the subsequent campaign was as large as it would ever be: well over twenty thousand men, a mishmash of continentals, state regiments, and militia. Perhaps two thousand were riflemen, scattered throughout all three contingents. There would never be more of them serving under Washington. They fared no better than the American army in general—even worse in some instances, a Hessian soldier jeering that they were mostly "spitted to the trees with bayonets." 49 In all fairness to the riflemen, they did not always fail. In innumerable small engagements, from the New York campaign of 1776 through Yorktown in 1781, where they could fight in the mobile, loose order that they preferred, where they could capitalize on superior range and marksmanship, they did quite well. The closer the setting to forest warfare conditions, the better they did; the further removed, the worse. The importance of frontier fighting techniques that carried all the way into the Illinois backcountry notwithstanding, the most decisive engagements occurred nearer the seaboard. When supported by musket- and bayonet-equipped regulars, riflemen performed yeoman service in big-unit actions, from Freeman's Farm in 1777 to the Cowpens in 1781. Still, by war's end, George Washington had long since abandoned any notion of building his army around them. They were useful for specialized tasks—scouting, sniping, raiding—but the Continental army had become fairly Europeanized by Yorktown, learning how to march and wheel in column, fire in line by volley, and be ready to deliver—or receive—the "thrust of cold

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steel." The drill technique introduced by von Steuben at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-1778 was an indicator of what lay ahead. Washington found himself in the same position as Amherst in the previous war: trying to form and lead a multitiered army best adapted to local conditions. Amherst had always relied on the provincial militia and Indian allies to perform certain tasks that the regulars were ill-suited to or never mastered. In the end the regulars won the day in crucial engagements, but there is more to war than major battles. It is hard to imagine how the British could have prevailed without the militia and other irregulars. So too for Washington and his Continentals, who were never identical to British line troops, but much closer to them than they were to irregulars like the riflemen. No one who pushed to improve the American military, from Timothy Pickering to Charles Lee, could change that dynamic. The Continentals trained with a manual of arms only slightly different from those used by the British and French, and with good reason. Linear tactics adapted to American conditions—to the personality of American troops as much as to American terrain—were indispensable to military success. Without knowing it, Revolutionary Americans were well on the way to replicating, initially on a much smaller scale, John Brewer's "fiscal military state." They did it in more dramatic fashion too, suddenly, not gradually, with a nation born in war, that war providing the legitimacy for state power. The traditional focus of historians on constitutional experiments—Articles of Confederation, the subsequent Constitution— can obscure the political actions coming as a response to day-to-day operational necessity that shaped governmental forms. Although the Continental Congress, from beginning to end, was a unicameral legislature, it eventually created executive departments within, such as finance, foreign affairs, and war. Even earlier—at the same moment, in fact, that it provided for field officers to serve under Washington—it looked toward the appointment of an adjutant general, a quartermaster, paymaster, chief engineer, and commissary general. They would be joined by a chief physician. Each was to have his own small staff. It would be going too far to call any of these true "departments," but collectively they marked the beginning of a national bureaucracy—again, before there was even a nation. It was all very much a piecemeal, ad hoc process. Continental troops with long-term enlistments suffered most from the congenital bureaucratic breakdowns. Congress had no independent source of revenue, so it unavoidably engaged in deficit spending, first with bills of credit, then with paper money. With no authority to tax, it had to rely on the states for men and materiel. It assigned them quotas, turning to a requisition system that, as another in the long list of ironies, was reminiscent of North's spurned February 1775 proposal. But then North's stillborn program

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involved Parliament and colonial assemblies, while Congress's involved a new national government and states—no small difference. For eight years Congress would struggle to feed, clothe, equip, and shelter its soldiers. That Howe's troops could weather the winter of 1777-1778 in and around Philadelphia without much difficulty while Washington's starved and froze at Valley Forge was a testament to the superiority of British logistics as well as to the inadequacies of the American system. But then it never really was a "system." National, state, even local governments competed for goods, driving up prices, skewing supply and demand to unintentionally produce artificial scarcities. Recruits came in ever decreasing numbers, as the "rage militarie" passed quickly. There would never again be anything like the turnout of New Englanders and middle colony riflemen in 1775. Just as Congress had to rely on states for money and materiel through a quota and requisition system, it had to rely on state and local authorities to use conscription to fill the ranks. Thus, after 1776 most of the men who served in the military were in some sense drafted, even if just as militia brought up for short-term duty, and those who enlisted as Continentals often had to be lured with cash bounties or the promise of land. In some ways it was even worse at sea than it was on land. An attempt to cobble together a navy came close on the heels on Congress's formation of the Continental army, though without the same sense of urgency. Washington acted on his own initiative after he arrived in Cambridge to adapt, at congressional expense, a half dozen ships to disrupt British trade and transport. Handed a fait accompli, the politicians in Philadelphia followed in the general's wake. In August 1775 Rhode Island pressed them to move faster and fund a fleet. Congress did not respond until October. It organized a committee to preside over naval affairs, established a marine corps the next month, and a month after that called for an ambitious building program: thirteen frigates, to be constructed at docks and slips in six provinces, from Virginia to New Hampshire. Only half ever got to sea; none survived the war under an American flag. The last to strike its colors was the Trumbull, taken in June 1781. One of the British frigates that forced the surrender was a former sister ship, Hancock, captured four years before and rechristened Iris. Often desperate just trying to stay ahead of such losses, the navy committee went through the same sort of bureaucratic evolution as its army counterparts in Congress, including regional boards that divided the nation into departments for midlevel management. Although Congress did not create an admiralty court system, it endorsed the admiralty system set up in eleven states to handle prize cases. As with so much else that Revolutionary Americans did, they followed the example of Britain with their armies as well as their navies. Not everyone went along, libertarians and loyalists questioning the validity of new bureaucracies, whether

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national or state. Even so, as with the 1765 dispute over stamped paper, source of authority could make the difference between acceptance and rejection: our Congress versus their Parliament, our court versus theirs. National identity could be built institution by institution, act by act. The Continental navy did not compile a particularly distinguished record. The first fleet that it assembled—eight ships in the spring of 1776— raided Nassau in the Bahamas and captured some supplies, but overall it did not accomplish much. Its greatest embarrassment came at the disastrous Penobscot Bay expedition of 1779, the most ambitious American amphibious operation of the war. Outgunned and outclassed by a smaller British squadron, virtually all of the Continental, state, and privateering vessels were sunk, run aground, or captured—more than twenty warships lost and a like number of transports. The Continental navy's largest warship, the seventy-four-gun America, was laid at Portsmouth in 1777 and launched in 1782, only to be given to the French. A "white elephant," as historian William Fowler called it, the America would have served no real purpose for the Americans anyway. 50 Only one of the twenty or so ships begun under the naval construction program survived the war: the frigate Alliance, which set sail in 1779 and later proved itself under John Barry. Sold at auction in 1785, it worked the China trade for a few years and ended its days as a stripped and abandoned derelict. The most innovative advance in naval design and weapons tactics during the entire war for either side—David Bushnell's submarine the American Turtle—developed apart from the Navy program. It had no measurable impact. 51 The Continental navy could never have done anything more than convoy merchantmen, provide coastal defense, and raid British shipping. That it had any frigates at all is a testament to the adaptability of the American maritime trade, with its port facilities, skilled craftsmen, experienced deckhands, and master mariners. But Americans struggled to build one seventy-four-gun ship of the line; the British had thirty or so on active duty at any given time and as many as one hundred ships of the line somewhere at sea. Building merchantmen was one thing; building and outfitting warships was another. The six royal dockyards in England where virtually all British ships of the line were built and repaired represented huge capital investments—as did the ships themselves, of course— and were the biggest manufacturing operations in the pre-industrial British world. The exploits of John Paul Jones, Gustavus Conyngham, and a few other intrepid commanders aside, the Continental navy did not perform the same service for the American cause as the Continental army. Therefore the national navy was even more fortunate that there were state navies and privateers—these last effectively the militia of the high seas. The militia turned what they had learned fighting the French and Indians in the previous war against the British; so too the mariners who had raided

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French ships then, British now. Whether they operated with formal letters of marque and reprisal or not, privately owned brigantines, schooners, and sloops harried British shipping and seized hundreds of prizes worth millions of dollars. After taking their profit they often provided muchneeded supplies for the larger war effort. Naturally, just as the militia were a mixed bag, so were the privateers. Sailors jumped ship as often as soldiers deserted. Privateers were less likely to risk all in an engagement, not unlike many militia units. Since the privateers did not sail at the behest of Congress or the states, the joining of private interest with public need was happenstance at best. It was hardly the way to efficiently run a war, one could argue, but then—as would be seen on land as well as at sea—the disjointedness of this all made it just that much more difficult for the British to prevail. American warships, from Continental frigates to privately owned coasters, further complicated British naval strategy and played a part in Britain's defeat. TO A N D FRO Rebellious Americans were fortunate to have time and distance on their side from the outset. In the spring of 1775 Admiral Samuel Graves, commander of the British naval forces in North American waters, had only thirty warships under his charge: a few ships of the line, a couple of frigates, the rest sloops, schooners, and even smaller vessels. With them he was supposed to assist Gage, the other royal authorities from New Hampshire to Georgia, and patrol nearly two thousand miles of coastline. Gage decided against Graves's advice that he fortify Dorchester Heights and Charlestown and tear down buildings that would block his field of fire. Not personally decisive, Graves could hardly settle upon which way to turn with his own command. Yankee whaleboats bedeviled smaller British vessels that operated close to shore in Boston harbor, and calls for assistance came pouring in from all of the colonies. Nothing the rebels assembled could stop Graves's ships from raiding here and there, but raids served only to rile the local population, and the shelling of Falmouth (now Portland, Maine) in October was an especially poor choice. Amassing sufficient naval and land forces took many months. An augmentation approved by Parliament called for boosting the army to fiftyfive thousand by the end of 1775, but raising the men was not easy. In the summer, as a stopgap measure to combat "the unnatural rebellion," George III transferred some Hanoverians so that British troops would be available for American duty.52 Shifting those five battalions to Gibraltar and Minorca continued the shuffling of troops begun a year before the shooting even started, as one regiment was ordered here, another there. Still, it was clear that that would not be enough; a more sustained effort would be required. Whitehall and Westminster recognized that mercenaries

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would have to be hired. Russia's Tsarina Catherine declined to make any troops available, as did the Dutch, and Britain could expect no help from a Prussia that resented the end of subsidies before the previous war had even ended. So Britain turned to Hesse Cassel and other German states for twenty thousand men. Breed's Hill had shown, far more clearly than Lexington and Concord, how having too few troops and too little direction could prove catastrophic. In the interim, rebellious Americans had many months in which to entrench themselves politically and build a rudimentary war economy. Gage proved lethargic and ineffective. His days during the French and Indian War as commander of the 80th Foot, the first true light infantry regiment in the British army, had long since passed. He was more comfortable in his office than in the field. Troops trickled in from Canada and elsewhere in the empire but not in the numbers he wanted. They served only to swell the numbers of his stymied garrison. Gage never did get twenty thousand troops. His successor, William Howe, received that and more: over thirty thousand men and a huge fleet under his brother Richard, not intended for New England in 1775 but for New York in 1776. Howe would have at his disposal the largest armada Britain had ever dispatched across any sea, assembled for an incredibly complex operation. By the time that Howe began concentrating his forces for the big push in New York, rebellion had spread as far south as the Savannah River and had been taken north to the St. Lawrence. London simply did not understand how weak royal authority was and how difficult it would be to restore once it lost control. Field commanders like Howe—reluctant even to fight Americans—seemed equally unsure about how much force to apply. Howe always wanted more troops, he often hesitated to deliver the decisive thrust, and occasionally he even appeared opposed to using force at all. Some point to his having to campaign against former comrades-in-arms as a reason, others to his having been splattered with the brains of an aide at Breed's Hill. Perhaps it was simpler still: he did not know how to beat into submission a people that he was also supposed to woo back into the empire, a man made irresolute by the contradictory nature of his task. The same could possibly be said of his brother the admiral. This is not to say that Whitehall and Westminster or their generals and admirals were unique in using confused means to a confused end. Congressmen in Philadelphia could miscalculate too. The two-pronged invasion of Canada that they authorized to begin in the summer of 1775 was based on the erroneous assumption that many there would want to become the "fourteenth colony" fighting for rights in the empire. An Irishborn veteran of the British army, Richard Montgomery, led one prong. Building on the foundation laid by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, and the subsequent creation of a northern department, Montgomery moved

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up Lake Champlain with a couple of thousand men to St. Johns, then swung over to Montreal, encountering intermittent resistance and also only marginal support as he went. Arnold led the other prong, which wound its way up the Kennebec River in the Maine country, expecting a short march overland from there to Quebec. Ignorance of the terrain almost killed them all. As it was, instead of taking over eleven hundred men to the gates of Quebec, Arnold arrived with under seven hundred, linking up with Montgomery and half that number who had headed east from Montreal. Unable to breach the city walls with their light artillery pieces, fearful that the expiration of enlistments and onset of winter would weaken them even more, they attempted an assault on New Year's Eve. Montgomery was slain, Arnold wounded, and nearly half their men ended up killed, injured, or captured. The survivors huddled outside the walls. Spring brought reinforcements for both sides, and the invaders were driven back down the St. Lawrence to the Richelieu River and Lake Champlain before the British counterassault petered out at Valcour Island in October 1776. Canada continued to beckon to some who could not accept the outcome there. Delusive dreams of the fourteenth colony would persist as dreams of the fourteenth state for some years to come. Just as in the north Revolutionary Americans learned the hard way the limits to their appeal, in the south the British learned how hard it could be to regain lost territory. Because of the prevailing assumption that New England stood apart from the other colonies, that the rebels there were more numerous and more recalcitrant than anywhere else, there was not enough attention given to mobilizing and organizing loyalists in other colonies. Thus came the frequently cited observation of James Robertson. "I never had an idea of subduing the Americans," commented this British staff officer whose American experience dated back to the French and Indian War. "I meant to assist the good Americans to subdue the bad." 53 He believed that loyalists would come forward in droves after the British had beaten the rebels. Trap and destroy Washington's army and all would change; the timid would become brave, and the "king's friends," backed by the king's troops, would retake control from subversives who, outside New England, had not been a true majority. Since Washington was never crushed it is a moot point. Perhaps Robertson would have been proved wrong; perhaps not. Loyalities could be tenuous and more fluid than either side wanted to admit. As it was, Patriots solidified their control in Virginia with a victory at the Battle of Great Bridge in December 1775; likewise for North Carolina patriots the following February at Moore's Creek Bridge. In both instances the primary combatants were Americans on opposing sides. Howe detached a small fleet and a few thousand troops under Henry Clinton in June 1776 in a half-baked, halfhearted attempt to restore royal authority to the South as he prepared to take New York. Clinton found little support

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for the king's cause as he sailed down the Carolina coast. The South Carolina provincial convention had firm control of the tidewater area, with loyalists thoroughly intimidated and local Indians neutral, for the moment. The royal governor fled, as had his counterpart in North Carolina months before. At Charleston the local defenders rebuffed Clinton, and it would be another two years before any significant effort was made to restore imperial authority anywhere below the capes of the Delaware River. Clinton made his way north to join Howe in New York harbor. So did Governor Dunmore, who finally sailed out of the Chesapeake, leaving behind the fiction of imperial authority in Virginia. Washington had plenty of time to prepare for Howe's assault on New York. He could guess that Howe would want to secure the lower Hudson as the first step toward isolating New England, either to retake it or keep it off to the side while pacification proceeded elsewhere. Deciding how to position his motley army was another matter. He therefore scattered his troops, with some in New Jersey, some on Manhattan Island, and some on Long Island. He knew that no matter what he did they would be outnumbered and that the British would have greater freedom of movement with naval superiority—a naval monopoly, actually, so he had to hope that he could anticipate what Howe would do before he did it, and stay one step ahead. He did not anticipate all that well; he nevertheless regained lost steps to stay just far enough ahead to avoid losing everything. Howe landed troops on Long Island in August; Washington gathered nine thousand or so to try to stop twice that number. Outthought and outfought, they failed, and all was nearly lost before a fortuitous evacuation across the East River to Manhattan. Twice on Manhattan—once in September, once in October— Washington and his men were almost cut off and surrounded. Each time Howe took too long to execute his maneuver, thereby allowing Washington to elude him as he had on Long Island. Driven off Manhattan altogether, Washington unwisely left behind the garrison of Fort Washington, thinking that the post could be held and that, in tandem with Fort Lee across the Hudson in New Jersey, it would prevent the British from moving upriver. But Fort Washington, with its garrison of well over 2,500 men, fell quickly and easily in mid-November, before the very eyes of its namesake. Washington almost waited too long before deciding that Fort Lee should be evacuated. Leaving behind a couple of thousand men in the Hudson highlands, Washington fled across New Jersey, with Howe in a not-too-vigorous pursuit. On December 7 Washington reached the east bank of the Delaware with fewer than four thousand men. Six months before he had had five times that number. Whatever can be said about Howe's failure to end the fighting with a crushing victory, there can be no question that his army outclassed that of the Americans; so much for the canard that European

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professionals could not best citizen soldiers on American soil. Anticipating a British assault, Congress abandoned Philadelphia for Baltimore and left Washington, who arrived in the city shortly thereafter, to conduct the war as he saw fit. "These are the times that try men's souls," Thomas Paine had written as he accompanied the retreating American troops. "The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country" 54 Sure enough, men broke ranks and slipped away, disillusioned. Some even took Howe's offer of a pardon if they would swear allegiance to the crown. "I think the game is pretty near up," wrote a despondent Washington. "No Man, I believe, ever had a greater choice of difficulties and less means to extricate himself from them," he lamented. 55 Paine, however, did not lose faith in the cause or the man he would soon be celebrating as the "American Fabius." Paine had also written that "he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." 56 Washington would prove him correct, even prophetic. Scrounging for reinforcements, Washington came up with about six thousand men—not to defend Philadelphia, because Howe had ended his campaign for the year, taking most of his troops back toward New York City while a couple of small cantonments were left in western New Jersey. Washington decided to attack them and to do so before the end of the year, when, again (recalling the Canadian campaign) many enlistments expired. This would be his annual trial: Short-term enlistments meant that he would rarely have more than a small core of experienced Continentals around him as some men went home and others dribbled into camp. He divided his little army into two columns, one to strike Trenton, the other Bordentown. The force intended for Bordentown never got across the Delaware, the other, under Washington's direct command, crossed on Christmas night and smashed through to victory. Washington was daring; he was also lucky. The Hessians at Trenton were in too much of a holiday stupor to stop the Americans, so over nine hundred of them ended up prisoners, marched in triumph through Philadelphia and then off into the countryside as prisoners of war. Disproving all the subsequent stereotyping about his cool calculation and his unwillingness to risk utter defeat by exposing his army, Washington impetuously recrossed the Delaware on December 30, this time with no specific aim beyond heartening local patriots and not giving New Jersey over entirely to the British. Just below Trenton Washington prepared to repel a relief column under Charles, Earl Cornwallis, sent out by Howe after he received word of the Trenton attack. Washington did not expect such a quick response. Many of his men were untried militia who could not have withstood a full-blown assault, which Cornwallis intended to

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launch on January 3. With his back to the Delaware Washington pulled off another of his great escapes, slipping away from Cornwallis and fighting through Princeton to the relative safety of the hilly, wooded area outside Morristown. Toying with the idea of raiding the British depot at New Brunswick, he wisely chose not to press his luck yet again and marched off toward Morristown. There he settled into winter quarters, knowing that he was fortunate to have any troops left at all. His whirlwind action "pumped new life" into the American cause even if, as Don Higginbotham has emphasized, the cause was not "hanging as precariously as some have contended." 57 It bought Washington some hard-earned respect; it gave his soldiers some much needed time. "A few days ago they had given up their cause for lost," commented an English traveler, on hand for the scene. "Their late successes have turned the scale and now they are all liberty mad." He thought it unlikely that they would panic again. 58 Even so, Howe was not overly worried; he expected to take care of his unfinished business the following spring. British strategy for the coming year was clear and direct: take up where they had left off to defeat Washington and end the rebellion. The orders to Howe for the 1777 campaign from the secretary of state for American affairs, Lord George Germain, more or less repeated back to Howe what Howe had said he would do in 1776; namely, seize the Hudson River corridor and choke off New England. A plan bandied about since the stalemate at Boston in 1775, it complemented yet other plans to move back down Lake Champlain to retake Crown Point and Ticonderoga. By our having the entire command of the communications between Canada and New York, which is both convenient and easy, being almost altogether by water, the troops from both these provinces will have it in their power to act in conjunction, as occasion or necessity may require. In consequence whereof, the provinces of New England will be surrounded on all sides, whether by His Majesty's troops or navy, and liable to be attacked from every quarter, which will divide their force for the protection of their frontier settlements, while at the same time all intercourse between them and the colonies to the southward of the Hudson's River will be entirely cut off.59 Germain approved a three-pronged assault that would take Howe north up the Hudson with a force of twelve thousand men, General John Burgoyne south down Champlain with eight thousand, and Major Barry St. Leger to link up with them somewhere near Albany with another four thousand who would proceed east along the Mohawk River. Assuming that Washington would try to interpose himself between Howe and Burgoyne, the American forces would be concentrated and then compressed, Britain would have its one decisive battle to conclude its one grand campaign, the rebellion would collapse, and order could be restored. If that scenario did not develop they assumed that others, equally favorable,

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would. In one Burgoyne would drive east into the Connecticut River Valley after reaching the southern tip of Lake Champlain. He would take the war back into New England, perhaps even link up there with Howe, or they could converge on Boston as Howe moved overland from Newport, Rhode Island, which had been taken by British forces in December 1776. They assumed too much. The 1777 campaign became an object lesson in how poor execution can exacerbate unrealistic planning. Howe was supposed to have moved farther up the Hudson in 1776 than he did. But because British general Guy Carleton, already overextended by Valcour Island, wanted to pull back up Champlain, and Washington was not yet driven out of the New York area altogether until November, Howe was forgiven his lassitude. With a reinforced Burgoyne having replaced Carleton and a full campaign season ahead, 1777 was supposed to be different. Howe was overall field commander as well as the general of one army. He and Burgoyne were expected to coordinate their movements. They were not inclined to, and Germain did not compel them to cooperate. Therefore when Howe expressed a desire to take Philadelphia first and in the process draw Washington into battle before turning north, Germain let him have his way. He just asked him to do whatever it was he decided he had to do in time to assist Burgoyne. Beyond that he could act at his discretion. So Howe dithered and dallied. By April he had decided to sail around New Jersey and take an expeditionary force up the Delaware to Philadelphia. In early June he had changed his mind and decided on a direct overland route. He changed his mind yet again, reversing the line of march, calling it a feint, so that he could go back to his plan to move by sea. He loaded his men onto transports in late July, sailed to the mouth of the Delaware, thought better of it, reversed course, and sailed into the Chesapeake to march toward Philadelphia after landing at the north end of the bay in August. Howe's men staggered ashore after a month onboard ship; most of the horses had not survived. Their journey along the coast and up the bay took nearly as long as a transatlantic voyage. Meanwhile Burgoyne began his movement south along the shore of Lake Champlain, expecting Howe to link up with him in the Hudson River Valley. The Americans retreated before him, not making a stand at Ticonderoga, felling trees and doing whatever they could to slow his advance as he worked his way toward the Hudson. It was the end of July before he got out of the woods, far behind schedule. His first tangible setback came when a foraging expedition of eight hundred men, primarily Brunswickers, was ambushed and swallowed whole in the Vermont country. A relief force sent to retrieve them nearly shared their fate. The mostly militia force under John Stark and Seth Warner that won the day at Bennington cost Burgoyne dearly. But he pressed on even after learning that the western flanking force under St. Leger had turned back after failing to

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take Fort Stanwix. St. Leger's combined force of regulars, loyalists, and Iroquois had not even been half the size of the projected four thousand. By then knowing that Howe was not going to join him, Burgoyne continued on anyway General Henry Clinton, left in command at New York, agreed to take a smaller force, maybe three thousand men, up the Hudson to assist a tardily worried Burgoyne. Clinton got past the small American force and forts in the highlands, but he did not venture within fifty miles of Burgoyne. Burgoyne's Indian allies began to slip away; loyalists did not turn out in hoped for numbers, from either Canada or New York, while local militia poured in and swelled rebel ranks. Burgoyne found himself with fewer than six thousand facing nearly twice that number under General Horatio Gates. With the exception of some seasoned Continentals and Daniel Morgan's riflemen, the Americans were pretty green, but Gates chose the field of battle and Burgoyne could not push through, either at Freeman's Farm on September 19 or Bemis Heights on October 7. Unable to advance, unable to retreat, Burgoyne surrendered to Gates on October 17, the first great battlefield victory for the Americans. Just as everything was coming apart for Burgoyne, Howe finally accomplished his mission. He had roughly fifteen thousand men under arms, the Americans eleven thousand. He outflanked Washington at Brandywine Creek on September 11, dispatched a force that nearly wiped out Anthony Wayne's contingent in a smaller action at Paoli a week and a half later, and marched into Philadelphia on September 26. It took another two months for the British navy to sweep a pesky Pennsylvania state flotilla out of the Delaware and assist the army in taking a few forts along its banks. Washington did not want to go into winter quarters without attempting some sort of countermeasure. He struck back October 4 at Germantown, on the northern outskirts of Philadelphia. Early progress turned to later confusion; he was lucky to extricate his forces and set up camp at Valley Forge. Howe went out after him in early December but turned back to Philadelphia when it was clear that he was expected and Washington was still able to put up a fight. Wags would say that "Philadelphia took Howe"—that occupying the rebel capital stood for little when the rebel army was encamped a day's march away and, to the north, a British army had been lost to another rebel band. Howe and Burgoyne fell victim to their own foibles. They had been foolishly arrogant, professionals who behaved unprofessionally. By contrast, Washington, at risk to himself, had sent Gates some of his best men, proof that he had a better grasp of the strategic imperative than did his opponents. Amateurish Americans had cooperated better with each other and, even if as much by luck as by planning, at Saratoga showed how to bring greater force to bear. For all of their material advantages the British looked inept. "This war has been wantonly" begun and "foolishly continued" charged one critic, supposedly an army officer, even before

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the 1777 campaign season opened. If wiser policies had been followed "we might have reclaimed these people, but the opportunity is lost forever, and we can never subdue them." 60 Opposition leaders in Parliament who had been unable to stop their king and his minister from using force made political hay of Howe's hollow victory and Burgoyne's embarrassing defeat. By and large they did not, like the anonymous writer just quoted, call for recognition of American independence, but they did demand a new approach. "A great empire and little minds go ill together," Edmund Burke had warned before Lexington and Concord. 61 For Burke, for others, the 1777 campaign was what could happen when small minds prevailed. Such was the unfortunate issue of the northern campaign: The event of an expedition which was undertaken with the most confident hopes, and for some time pursued with very flattering appearances of success. It was supposed the principal means for the immediate reduction of the colonies; but it has only served, in conjunction with other operations, which in the first instance have succeeded better, to demonstrate the difficulties attending the subjugation of a numerous people at a great distance, in an extensive country marked with strong lines, and abounding in strong natural defences, if the resources of war are not exceedingly deficient, and that the spirit of the people is in any degree proportioned to their situation. It may now, whatever it was in the beginning, be a matter of doubt, whether any superiority of power, of wealth, and of discipline, will be found to over-ballance such difficulties.62 For most historians the 1777 campaign marks a turning point in the war. Whether they settle on American victory at Saratoga or American resilience in the face of defeat in Pennsylvania as the proximate cause, they emphasize that France entered the war in 1778 because of events during that year. There is not much to argue with there, if the emphasis is placed on the timing of intervention, not intervention itself. Moreover, to conclude that the conflict was therefore transformed from a civil war within the empire to a world war is to miss an essential truth: The conflict had always been fought within an international balance of power context; it had been a world war from the beginning, a fact that only became more obvious in 1778. It is doubtful if the rebellion would have even begun without the expectation that it would evolve into a great power conflict. Revolutionary leaders understood quite well that their fate could only be decided in part on American battlefields. NOTES 1. Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 5:514. 2. William Henry Drayton, A Charge on the Rise of the American Emp (Charlestown: David Bruce, 1776), 2, 3,10, resp.

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3. Philip S. Foner, ed., The Complete Writings of Thomas Paine, 2 vols. (New York: Citadel Press, 1945), 2:20, from a piece Paine wrote for the Pennsylvania Journal, 18 October 1775, as "Humanas." 4. Paine to John Inskeep, February 1806, in Foner, ed., Writings of Thomas Paine, 2:1480. 5. "Common Sense," in Foner, ed., Writings of Thomas Paine, 1:25,29,14,16, resp. 6. Ibid., 1:6-7, 8-9,16. 7. Ibid., 1:21, 24. 8. Ibid., 1:29. 9. Jefferson to Henry Lee, 8 May 1825, in Andrew A. Lipscomb, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 20 vols. (Washington, DC: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, 1904-1905), 16:118. 10. "Common Sense," in Foner, ed., Writings of Thomas Paine, 1:17, 3, 45, resp. 11. Ibid., 1:35. 12. Ibid., 1:19-21. 13. Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 3:274. 14. Massachusetts Provincial Congress, 5 December 1774, printed in Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 2:14-15. 15. Ibid., 2:163-171, 8 July 1775. 16. Ibid., 2:195-199. 17. Ibid., 2:68-70, "To the oppressed Inhabitants of Canada," 29 May 1775. 18. Ibid., 2:204-206, 25 July 1775. 19. Ibid., 2:212-218, 28 July 1775. 20. See Neil Longley York, Neither Kingdom nor Nation (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1994), 85-86. 21. Jack P. Greene handles all of this expertly in Peripheries and Center (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986). 22. George Wrong, Canada and the American Revolution (New York: Macmillan, 1935); and Gustave Lanctot, Canada & the American Revolution, 1774-1783 (London: George G. Harrap & Co., 1967). 23. Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy, An Empire Divided (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000). 24. Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities, revised ed. (London: Verso, 1991). 25. Adams as "Novanglus," 6 March 1775, in Robert Taylor, ed., Papers of John Adams, 10 vols. (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1977-), 2:307-327. 26. Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 3:319. 27. Adams to Moses Gill, 10 June 1775, in Taylor, ed., Papers of John Adams, 3:21. 28. Josiah Tucker, Four Tracts, Together with Two Sermons, On Political and Commercial Subjects (Gloucester: R. Raikes, 1774), 157-158 (Tract IV). 29. Josiah Tucker, Tract V (Gloucester: R. Raikes, 1775), vii. 30. Adams to James Warren, 6 July 1775, in Taylor, ed., Papers of John Adams, 3:61-62. 31. Discussed in Edmund Cody Burnett, The Continental Congress (New York: Macmillan, 1940), 137. 32. Speech of 26 October 1775 in Simmons and Thomas, eds., Proceedings, 6:69-70; and proclamation of 23 August 1775, in Brigham, ed., Royal Proclamations, 229.

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33. Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 4:342, resolution of 10 May 1776. 34. Ibid., 5:425. 35. Ibid., 5:514. 36. William H. Nelson, The American Tory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1961); Wallace Brown, The Good Americans (New York: William Morrow, 1969). 37. As taken from Claude Halstead Van Tyne, The Eoyalists in the American Revolution (New York: Macmillan, 1902), Appendix A, 309-317. 38. Charles M. Andrews, The Colonial Background of the American Revolution, revised ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1931), 185, 188; and A.S. Eisenstadt, Charles McEean Andrews (New York: Columbia University Press, 1956), 212-214; but also Richard R. Johnson, "Charles McLean Andrews and the Invention of American Colonial History" William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series 43 (1986): 519-541. 39. Jefferson to John Randolph, 29 November 1775, in Julian Boyd, et a l , eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 29 vols. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950-), 1:269. 40. From the facsimile in Julian Boyd, ed., The Declaration of Independence, revised ed. (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1999), Document V. 41. Barre in Commons, 3 February 1766, in Simmons and Thomas, eds., Proceedings, 2:144. 42. Adams to Arthur Lee, 4 April 1774, and William Checkley, 1 June 1774, in Harry Alonzo Cushing, ed., The Writings of Samuel Adams, 4 vols. (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1904-1908), 3:102,128, resp. 43. Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 2:77,2 June 1775 (resolution of 16 May 1775). 44. Charles Royster, A Revolutionary People at War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979). 45. Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 4:140, resolution of 13 February 1776. 46. Boston Gazette and Country Journal, 14 August 1775; also Neil L. York, "Pennsylvania Rifle: Revolutionary Weapon in a Conventional War?" Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 103 (1979): 302-324. 47. Washington to Samuel Washington, 20 July 1775, in W. W. Abbot, The Papers of George Washington: Revolutionary War Series, 12 vols. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1985-), 1:135. 48. Washington to Congress, 10-11 July 1775, in Abbot, Papers of George Washington, 1:89. 49. As taken from Edward J. Lowell, The Hessians (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1884), 65-66. 50. William M. Fowler, Jr., Rebels under Sail (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976), 252. 51. Frederick Wagner, Submarine Fighter of the American Revolution (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1963). 52. Order in council, 28 July 1775, PRO/CO 5/130, fo. 27. 53. Cited in Troyer Steele Anderson, The Command of the Howe Brothers during the American Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1936), 145. 54. "The American Crisis," in Foner, ed., Writings of Paine, 1:50. 55. Washington to Samuel Washington, 18 December 1776, in Abbot, ed., Papers of Washington, 7:370. 56. "American Crisis" in Foner, ed., Writings of Paine, 1:50.

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57. Don Higginbotham, The War of American Independence (New York: Macmillan, 1971), 170. 58. Nicholas Cresswell, The Journal of Nicholas Cresswell (New York: Dial Press, 1928), 179. 59. As printed in John S. Pancake, 2777: The Year of the Hangman (University, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 1977), 87-88. 60. A Fetter to the English Nation (London: G. Corrall, 1777), 9, 25. 61. Burke in Commons, 22 March 1775, Simmons and Thomas, eds., Proceedings, 5:631. 62. The Annual Register for 1777 (London: J. Dodsley, 1778), 175-176.

CHAPTER 4

The War as Great Power Conflict

News from America is slow. The Delay is at least a sort of Protraction of our own political existence: for the event, I consider, as Ruin: be the Victory to which ever Host it pleases the Almighty to give it, poor England will have fallen upon her own Sword. William Pitt, earl of Chatham (1777)1 The fate of empires often depends upon events that are little foreseen till the moment of their appearance. William Legge, earl of Dartmouth (1775)2 Benjamin Franklin suffered the most humiliating and infuriating day of his life on 29 January 1774. Ostensibly, as agent for the Massachusetts lower house, he had gone to the too aptly nicknamed "cockpit" at Whitehall for a final privy council hearing on the assembly's petition to have Governor Thomas Hutchinson and Lieutenant Governor Andrew Oliver removed from office. On that matter the meeting was purely pro forma: The council had no intention of removing either man and so ruled at the meeting's conclusion. As far as king and council were concerned the charges against them were trumped up by a faction that had come to dominate the Massachusetts House, a faction that did not truly represent the people, a faction determined to disrupt the imperial union. Though in London the past decade, Franklin was at the center of this Boston dispute. Late in 1772 he had sent letters to Thomas Cushing, speaker of the Massachusetts House, from Hutchinson and Oliver to Thomas Whately. They had written them between 1767 and 1769, when Hutchinson was still lieutenant governor and Oliver provincial secretary

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There they revealed their frustrations with the course of Massachusetts politics and their desire that London exercise a firmer hand. Franklin did not reveal how he obtained the letters, except to deny that he stole them. Cushing circulated the letters among his colleagues, and Samuel Adams saw to it that they were published. Franklin had not expressly called for that course of action; just the opposite. Once they were in print he defended publication: Despite being private correspondence they were between public men about public affairs and Adams had decided that the people should know what those royally appointed officials thought about their constitutional liberties. Hutchinson said nothing in those letters that he had not said more recently in his debate with the House and council over colonial rights and imperial duties. Even so, that he had written opinions in private before he pronounced them in public struck his political opponents as subversive, as part of a conspiracy. Franklin's ordeal in the cockpit presents a stark contrast to his testimony in Commons eight years before. Then he had spoken as an expert witness, Rockingham using him to discredit Grenville's program and clear the way for his own. Franklin's political stock would never be higher; opposition leaders heeded his advice and colonists back home came to see him as a spokesman for their rights. But he had felt his influence in London slipping ever since, despite acting as agent for four colonial assemblies. He had become a lobbyist who feared he did not have the ear of anyone who mattered. And now this. Dressed very nattily in a new velvet suit he stood for an hour, silent, expressionless, as Solicitor General Alexander Wedderburn verbally cut and slashed him in a room crowded with sniggering curiosity seekers as well as privy councillors. Franklin did not respond when Wedderburn finished, and he left the chamber persona non grata in government circles. Two days later he was removed from his post as deputy postmaster general, which he had held for over twenty years. Wedderburn did not just accuse him of being a thief. He called him a conspirator, "the first mover and prime conductor" in a plot against the king's loyal servants. Franklin and self-serving, disloyal assemblymen wanted Hutchinson out because he had thwarted their plans "to blow up the province into a flame." By conniving with a "junto" within the assembly, Franklin had "forfeited all the respect of societies and of men." Wedderburn hinted that Franklin had forgotten himself; a mere colonial agent who moved "in a very inferior orbit," he delusively seemed to think himself "the minister of a foreign independent state," so clouded was his mind "with the ideas of a Great American Republic." 3 Whether he intended it or not, Wedderburn's ad hominem diatribe ventured onto potentially dangerous ground. Wedderburn did not simply argue on the basis of pure prerogative—that the king had made his appointments and so be it. "His Majesty's choice followed the wishes of

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the people," he asserted. Wedderburn denied that Hutchinson had lost "the confidence of the people." 4 There was no proof beyond the accusations of tainted provincial politicos. The people, then, had a role to play. But how much of a role? On the one hand, Wedderburn argued that the assembly misrepresented the people's true position; on the other, he also stated that time in office was not to be determined by a popularity contest. He thereby joined a long line of confused politicians who spoke—who still speak—in the name of the people without understanding the implications of their arguments. Although thoroughly disillusioned with the ministry, Franklin did not give up all hope. "It has long appeared to me that the only true British Politiks were those which aim'd at the Good of the whole British Empire, not those which sought the Advantage of one Part in the Disadvantage of others," he wrote later. He then repeated sentiments that he had first expressed six years before, when he first sensed that he could only do so much to shape the course of empire, whether in Philadelphia or London. "Hence it has often happened to me, that while I have been thought here too much of an American, I have in America been deem'd too much of an Englishman." 5 For so many years Franklin, the proud citizen of empire, had believed that he could be both—that he could think of Pennsylvania as his country, that as an agent he could talk to his employers of Massachusetts as "our" country and not see such identities as irreconcilable with loyalty to the empire. Changing circumstances brought changing identities, for Franklin and for others. As world wise as he was, he too could try to make reality conform to his preferences. Distressed by the coercive acts, which Parliament passed in the spring of 1774, he thought that perhaps the coming fall elections would bring relief through a weakened ministry and strengthened opposition. They did not. The ministry actually gained seats and the opposition remained as fragmented as ever. Franklin was consequently not surprised when Pitt's reform proposal in Lords went down to defeat the following January, nor was he surprised when the government turned its back toward the Continental Congress and refused to communicate with it. He had long talked about going home. Now he finally resolved to leave and took ship for Philadelphia that March. Once at sea he grumbled that if Britain had been wiser "we might have gone on extending our Western Empire, adding Province to Province as far as the South Sea" because no American he ever talked to, "drunk or sober," wished for independence. 6 He landed in May to news of what had happened at Lexington and Concord the previous month. Within days he was seated as a delegate in the Continental Congress. Apparently just before he left England he penned a "Dialogue between France, Spain, Holland, Saxony and America." There he repeated a warning that he had hinted at in a few other pieces written for the London

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press. For instance in 1773 he offered twenty "Rules by Which a Great Empire may be Reduced to a Small One" that oozed sarcasm: do not let the people have any voice in government, tax them "insensitively," dismiss their complaints as groundless, ignore their contributions, and the like. Given Franklin's reputation as the first internationally famous American, as indeed the first American who could be considered a notable internationalist, rule nineteen is particularly interesting. "If you see rival Nations rejoicing at the Prospect of your Disunion with your Provinces, and endeavouring to promote it," he wrote tongue-in-cheek, "let not that alarm or offend you." 7 The "Dialogue" took up where the "Rules" left off. Britain appeals, in turn, to Spain, France, Holland, and Saxony, telling them that it is about to "chastize" the "disobedient" Americans and asking that they not interfere. Each demurs, reminding Britain that in the past it had harmed them all. To Britain's plaintive "O Lord! where are my Friends!" they respond, together, that it had none. 8 Franklin gave fair warning. The cost of Britain's imperial rise was diplomatic isolation. Former enemies and current rivals wanted Britain checked and awaited the moment to restore what they deemed a lost balance of power. France stood foremost among them, at once the most powerful and most aggrieved. Franklin had left Europe in 1775 embarrassed and exhausted, a discredited colonial lobbyist. He returned in 1776 as a commissioner for the new United States of America to secure an alliance with France. One can imagine his satisfaction in February 1778 when he signed the resulting treaty. He wore the same velvet suit at Versailles as he had four years earlier in the cockpit. CLANDESTINE AID Diplomatic isolation posed as many difficulties for Britain as its perennial problems with the Bourbon powers. Political alignments on the Continent were changing, and the "old system" that Britain had used for nearly a century—allying itself with others who could help check Bourbon ambitions—could no longer work as effectively Hamish Scott has examined this shift in detail. "Anglo-French rivalry continued and even intensified after 1763, but it was rapidly ceasing to be the main factor in European diplomacy," Scott concluded. 9 With Spain's slip in stature and the rise of Austria, Prussia, and Russia in relation to France, the low countries became less important as a theater of competition and eastern regions correspondingly became more important. As a case in point, Prussia's Frederick II remained upset by the end of subsidies but saw no great advantage to ending his dispute with London. Instead he patched up differences with Austria and Russia, enough so that in 1772 all three sliced off portions of Poland, kept them, and did so without consulting Britain or France. At the same time Britain did not want to become embroiled in

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these new political arrangements anyway. It had no interest in siding too closely with Russia during its war with Turkey from 1768 to 1774, and that in turn made it difficult for Britain to solicit Russian aid for its continued competition with France and Spain—or for its war against rebellious colonists. But then, things could have been worse. "The warlike preparations now agitating throughout all Europe show that Hostilities are more to be apprehended than a continuance of Peace to be hoped," warned one concerned Englishman. 10 His fears were just slightly premature. Britain was fortunate that the Family Compact joining France and Spain weakened in the 1760s, neither power being all that interested in assisting the other in its disputes. Spain was not looking for an excuse to renew hostilities. France would eventually, but it wanted to wait until it was ready. All three powers tripped over one another in the African slave trade; none wanted fighting to result because of the rivalries there. Britain protested French annexation of Corsica in 1768, and there was widespread British sympathy for Corsican freedom fighter Pascal Paoli. It did nothing to stop well-wishers among Britons, but it also did nothing to boot France out. France, in the meantime, looked on rather than intervened when Anglo-Spanish disputes arose. Some came from the last war—such as the so-called ransom of Manila that Spain did not pay, which to France was no more serious than its own dispute with Britain over postwar Newfoundland fishing rights, and therefore no reason for the Bourbons to ally in a new round of fighting. France also left Spain to its own devices in the Falkland Islands dispute, which brought the most serious diplomatic crisis in Anglo-Spanish relations between 1763 and 1775. The Falklands were economically insignificant and of marginal strategic importance, except to those looking for steppingstones to a Pacific basin empire. But nationalistic frenzy swept both Britain and Spain after Spanish forces ejected the small British garrison at Port Egmont. Britain readied a fleet larger than anything sent to sea in the previous war before calm was restored and questions of ownership and occupational rights were swept into a convenient diplomatic dustbin. Lord Weymouth, who had wanted to use force to decide the matter, resigned in protest after both sides blinked. Earlier Weymouth had been opposed to the use of force in Corsica, which put him at odds with other members of the ministry. Predictably London had as much difficulty pursuing a consistent foreign policy as it did a coherent American policy when factional infighting caused political vacillation. Though not quite as tumultuous, French politics could have the same effect on French foreign policy. The due de Choiseul, Louis XV's key minister from 1758 to 1770, awaited the opportunity to strike back at Britain but he had not found it before being displaced. His successor, the due D'Aiguillon, was not so anxious for revenge, so he discontinued many of Choiseul's more aggressive policies.

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When D'Aiguillon fell with the accession of Louis XVI in 1774, the comte de Vergennes came to power. Vergennes would serve as foreign minister and Louis's most trusted adviser until his death in 1787. Although political rivals, Choiseul and Vergennes agreed on foreign policy essentials: check Britain to restore the balance of power, and concentrate on overseas rather than Continental issues to find—or make—the opportunity. To his champions Vergennes stands as the diplomatic genius of his age, Talleyrand's superior, Metternich's equal, a master of realpolitik who not only engineered French intervention in the American war but also planted the seed in Catherine the Great's mind for what became the league of armed neutrality Restoring the naval rebuilding program that Choiseul started and D'Aiguillon stopped, Vergennes patiently pieced together his puzzle, determined to make good on his 1763 prediction that the Americans would seek independence. 11 Vergennes foresaw opportunity: the American rebellion could turn unintentionally into an American revolution, and he could help bring the process along. Even astute observers in Britain had guessed that American protests would foment rebellion, rebellion would lead to revolution, and, along the way, Americans would seek foreign aid. Vergennes wanted to give it to them without hurting French interests or plunging France prematurely into a war with Britain. By the fall of 1775 he was confident that "the Americans have made up their minds and will persevere." Given Britain's "inevitable enmity" to France and determination to bring rebellious Americans to heel, it was France's "duty," he advised Louis XVI, to foster American resistance and hope that resistance led to a war for independence. 12 Before year's end he had dispatched an agent, Julien Achard de Bonvouloir, to Philadelphia so that the Continental Congress would know France waited in the wings. Bonvouloir was hardly the only or even the first agent dispatched by Versailles to investigate American affairs. Choiseul sent men over before he fell in 1770, but they had found little disaffection. Much had changed in the intervening years. Vergennes instructed Bonvouloir to pass himself off as an Antwerp merchant, gather intelligence, and meet with members of Congress but make no specific promises. In November Congress had formed a committee of secret correspondence—what has been called a "state department in embryo"—to handle foreign affairs.13 Meetings between committee members and Bonvouloir took place quietly, unofficially, each participant in cloak and dagger fashion following different routes and slipping away into the darkness afterward. Committeemen expressed their need for munitions, their desire to recruit military engineers, and their willingness to enter into some sort of alliance. "They wanted to know if France would help them, and on what conditions," Bonvouloir reported. "I replied that I thought France wished them well; whether she would aid them, that might

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happen." When they pressed for details he replied "on what basis, I knew nothing; but that if this should come about it would certainly be on just and equitable terms"—perfectly ambiguous, which is what Vergennes had wanted. 14 Congress sent Silas Deane to France in March 1776 with the hope that he could get something more tangible. "The present object is great," Deane wrote as he was about to embark, eager "to enter on the great stage in Europe." 15 Yale graduate, one-time teacher, then lawyer, then merchant, the former delegate to Congress from Connecticut hoped this mission would restore his sagging reputation. In Bonvouloir fashion he was to masquerade as a private merchant. Arthur Lee, a Virginian residing in London who was brought in on the enterprise, sent Deane marked dictionaries after he arrived in Paris. Deane was to use the dictionaries to encrypt and decipher messages. They added to the sense of intrigue. Benjamin Franklin, a member of the "secret" committee, wanted Deane to make contacts and even contracts with private sources, try for an audience with Vergennes, and pick his way carefully through a diplomatic minefield. Allowing rebellious Americans to seek unofficial aid was one thing; publicly supporting them was quite another, and Franklin did not want France to be backed into a corner. Deane quickly gained an informal audience with Vergennes at Versailles and submitted Congress's request for one hundred field pieces and arms, ammunition, and uniforms for twenty-five thousand men. Vergennes listened politely but noncommittally. Officially his hands were tied; unofficially he had already found a surreptitious way to help, thanks to a French playwright. Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, bon vivant and author of "The Barber of Seville," happened to be in London when fighting erupted in the colonies. An admirer of the American cause not averse to profiting from his patriotism, he took it upon himself to contact Versailles in September 1775, urging assistance to the rebels and offering his services in that cause. Vergennes decided to make the most of Beaumarchais's offer, but he did not rush. Acting with Louis XVI's permission and allocating funds soon matched by the Spanish government, Vergennes and Beaumarchais set up a dummy mercantile firm called "Roderique Hortalez et Cie." in June 1776. Beaumarchais was by then back in Paris, and Deane became privy to the scheme. Deane had no diplomatic standing and was limited by his pidgin French and quirky temperament. Understanding the importance of Beaumarchais's operation, he essentially stood back and watched. In the greatest evasion of international law and stretching of neutral rights during the war, a French version of American lend-lease to Britain in World War II, Beaumarchais and Vergennes pulled off their operation. Because the Americans put up no money and had no repayment schedule, some of them thought they were receiving a gift. Beaumarchais took

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French and Spanish funds slipped to him by Vergennes as seed money for Roderique Hortalez and spent it on surplus munitions from French arsenals made available only to him. He chartered eight ships to carry 30,000 muskets, 300,000 pounds of gunpowder, and uniforms for 25,000 men, plus tents, artillery pieces, and sundry other items. Weighing anchor alone and at intervals, not sailing by convoy, seven of the eight ships ran the gauntlet of British naval patrols. Their cargoes were indispensable to American forces fighting in the campaigns of 1777, especially troops charged with stopping Burgoyne. Many of Gates's men at Saratoga wore uniforms sewn by French seamstresses and carried muskets once stacked in armories at Charleville, Maubeuge, and St. Etienne. Thus—and the significance of this should not be missed—clandestine foreign aid preceded, and paved the way for, direct aid through formal alliance.16 Deane devised plans of his own. He negotiated with private French merchants to export munitions. With no cash in hand he had to buy on credit and could never be sure when or how Congress would honor his agreements. He—and Congress—were lucky to find merchants who would take the risk of a contract with an unproven partner. In December he reported to Congress that he had arranged for 200,000 pounds of gunpowder from France by way of Martinique and another 100,000 pounds of powder through Amsterdam. "The fate of my country depends, in a great measure, on the arrival of these supplies," he boasted, not without reason. 17 He was proud to think that he acted, from the summer on, as the commissioner of an independent nation. Or so the Continental Congress declared. It would be another year and a half before France became the first European power to recognize the claim and agents without portfolio like Deane could become official diplomats. Deane also liberally dispensed commissions to European soldiers seeking a place in the Continental army. He felt "well nigh harassed to death" by the number of applicants who sought him out.18 Some of them proved to be good finds, dedicated to the American cause; others were not. Deane also ran various ill-conceived schemes past Congress: sending Continental navy frigates into the Baltic Sea to raid British shipping; using those frigates to sack Glasgow; issuing letters of marque to European privateers so that they could seize British merchantmen, sail them across the Atlantic, and share the proceeds of prize court trials. Deane could scarcely act in secret. Even London newspapers knew of his schemes. He advised Beaumarchais early on that Lord Stormont, the British ambassador in France, "is attentive to everything done by me" and that "his spies watch every motion of mine, and will probably watch the motions of those with whom I am known to be connected." Deane did not know the half of it. Stormont and his counterpart at the Hague, Joseph Yorke, were quite well informed. Buying information posed no problem for them. They could even draw on a British secret service of sorts, an

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intelligence-gathering operation run by William Eden. Using his post as an assistant to Lord Suffolk, secretary of state for the northern department, Eden kept dozens of spies on his payroll. He spent large sums—over £50,000 for 1776 alone—but it is not clear what he got for his money. Some writers emphasize the efficiency of Eden's spy ring and argue that Whitehall and Westminster should have paid more attention to what the spies reported. Others scoff that the spies did not report anything that could not have been learned through less formal—and less expensive—gossip and hearsay. What is certain is that they slipped at least twice: first, in not seeing that Edward Bancroft, an American living in London who reported to them on his frequent visits with Deane, was a double agent; second, in failing to detect a plot involving Deane to burn the royal dockyards that was not exposed until a damaging fire had been set at Portsmouth. Stopping Deane or even Beaumarchais would not have solved Britain's problem. They had not started anything new. Two enterprising French merchants, Pierre Penet and Emmanuel de Pliarne of Nantes, had shown up at Washington's headquarters in Massachusetts when the Continental army was already desperately low on munitions. Washington sent them to Philadelphia, where they arrived not long after Bonvouloir departed. Acting entirely on their own they proposed a commercial arrangement, offering to provide military supplies in exchange for goods they could sell in Europe and the West Indies. They struck their deal; both parties benefited. Months before Deane even set sail for France, colonial merchants sympathetic to the patriot cause and hungry for profits had been making arrangements with their counterparts in the West Indies and arms dealers in Europe, even in England. Generations of smuggling had created trade networks that proved indispensable to the transatlantic shipment of illicit munitions. In practical terms carrying gunpowder or muskets or even cannons was not so different from transporting rice and tobacco. But under international law neutral carriers were not to deal in the goods of war. Even so, the potential profits to be made proved irresistible. Deane himself had used his position in Congress to purchase supplies on public accounts and improve his personal fortune. So did colleagues whose commissions—which critics saw as kickbacks—were sanctioned by Congress as the price of doing business. In what was largely a seller's market, the competition could be stiff, the prices inflated, and the traffic in contraband barely concealed. Everyone knew about it; short of declaring war and forming a naval blockade, the British could do little to stop it. Merchants on Dutch-owned St. Eustatius carried on a brisk business in contraband with colonial merchants well before Lexington and Concord. The tiny, eighteen-square-mile island became the busiest West Indies port of the war, with three thousand ships stopping there annually until a British squadron intervened in 1781, after Britain had declared war on the Netherlands—in part because of what had gone on at St. Eustatius for six

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years. Admiral Rodney believed that his seizure of the island eliminated one of Britain's greatest threats and the rebels' primary source of aid. Support of the rebellion had not meant just illicit trade. In November 1776 the island's governor had ordered that harbor guns return the salute of the American brigantine Andrew Doria, an honor reserved for the warships of sovereign nations. At London's insistence the Dutch government investigated the incident and brought Governor de Graaff home for an inquiry. It did not remove him, however; he returned to the island and resumed his post. 19 Dutch misbehavior was not confined to the colonies. A 1674 AngloDutch treaty intended to bring improved relations after three commercial wars had specifically exempted naval stores from the list of contraband items, and the Dutch, contending that "free ships make free goods"—a phrase invoked by Americans after the war, insisted on that interpretation. They also insisted that their defensive pact with Britain did not apply in these circumstances. Publicly the Dutch government promised to police its quays to make sure no contraband slipped through; privately it did nothing, even when American ships ran up Dutch colors to hide their true identities. Joseph Yorke saw a half-dozen American merchantmen anchored at Amsterdam in August 1775, two putting in directly from Philadelphia, one from New York, one from Virginia, one from Carolina, and another by way of St. Eustatius. They carried mixed cargoes— rum, rice, tobacco, sugar, coffee—that he could guess they would exchange for munitions. 20 None was stopped from clearing port. Yorke's first complaints dated from nearly a year before. All seemed to fall on deaf ears. Stormont went through the same process as Yorke: public disavowal and private complicity, as American and European vessels loaded munitions for the rebels. Only in Denmark and Portugal did authorities make some effort to control the contraband. Their friendly neutrality did not last. Portugal ironed out differences with Spain that had earlier pushed it toward Britain, and Denmark entered the league of armed neutrality. Their merchants joined the ever-lengthening list of dealers in contraband. Spain, even Sweden, had dock scenes similar to those in the Dutch Republic and France. There is no way to calculate how much was shipped, how much arrived, and what percentage those imports represented in the totals used during the war. Naturally smuggling records are rare. Some estimates put the amount of imported gunpowder as one third of the total used by American troops between 1775 and 1777; others put it much higher. Firearms totals, though nowhere hear as high, are equally hard to pin down. What is certain is that long experience with conflict and the recent French and Indian War notwithstanding, there was no munitions industry to speak of in the colonies in 1775: perhaps one or two powder mills in operation; hundreds of gunsmiths capable of making firearms, but scat-

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tered across the landscape and unaccustomed to producing large numbers in a short time, according to some standardized pattern. That the colonies had plenty of wood and iron ore—the basic resources necessary for a gun—did not mean that an industry could be built rapidly from scratch. Charcoal, saltpeter, and sulphur are the primary ingredients of gunpowder. The first two could be obtained locally; the third had to be imported in huge quantities, perhaps millions of pounds. By war's end a munitions industry had been pieced together, although dependence on imports would never end and in 1779 Congress became so desperate that it considered contracting with Pierre Penet—the Nantes merchant who visited in 1775—to set up shop somewhere in the United States and produce twenty thousand muskets a year.21 The deal fell through, but not because shortages had been eliminated. Some were on the production end, some on distribution. All were compounded by the competition among national, state, and private agencies that had the same deleterious effect on procurement as the three-tiered army system had on recruitment. That a merchant like Robert Morris could serve in Congress and also get rich off of contracts caused resentment and raised thorny questions about individual advancement and community responsibility, private enterprise and public regulation. Perhaps most troubling for Americans who read Paine's indictment of monarchy too literally was the new nation's dependence on Old World balance of power politics. Revolutionary leaders turned Britain's diplomatic isolation to their advantage whenever they could. Initially Congress's idea of alliances with Britain's enemies was more commercial than political—thus the congressional committee set up in September 1775 to seek trade ties, two months before the committee of secret correspondence was formed. Even with the second committee there was a reluctance to pursue formal diplomatic relations, especially if those relations would tie American hands. John Adams, for one, agonized over what course Congress should take, months before either committee took shape. He thought the colonies should declare themselves independent before seeking any alliance in any form. At the same time he thought the threat of forming alliances might force Britain to back down and give the colonists what they wanted. He was willing, then, to use independence as a threat, a means to an end, not as a final condition, and approached foreign intervention in the same manner. That is the approach of a political pragmatist, not some naive revolutionary ideologue or republican enthusiast. 22 He had no illusions about American or European motives: They would use each other to get what they wanted because that was the way of the world. Surely it was no coincidence that Congress linked a declaration of independence, formation of a national government, and taking "the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances" by creating committees to address all three matters simultaneously. The men in Congress had

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never expected to act alone. "Foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable," they had assured themselves—and warned Britain—in their July 1775 declaration on taking up arms. 23 Benjamin Franklin carried a John Adams-like do-whatever-it-takes attitude with him to France in the fall of 1776 when he went as Congress's commissioner to seek a formal alliance. In April 1777 Congress created a committee for foreign affairs to replace the old secret committee, an indication that the new nation would have to institutionalize its diplomacy more formally, if not act more publicly. Franklin would meet Vergennes, who, perhaps as early as January 1777 and certainly no later than the following July, was ready to recognize American independence and intervene militarily. Vergennes suggested as much to the marques de Grimaldi, Spain's prime minister. Grimaldi would not go beyond offering to mediate between colonies and mother country. Grimaldi's successor, the conde de Floridablanca, was nearly as cautious. When, by the end of the year, Saratoga had not changed the Spanish position and the French navy had nearly completed its rebuilding program, Vergennes decided to press on anyway and take France to war. ESCALATION Astute warning in the "Dialogue" regardless, Franklin had momentarily lost his international perspective when he returned to Philadelphia from London in 1775. "A separation of course will be inevitable," he wrote to one English friend, and "if you flatter yourselves with beating us into submission, you know neither the people nor the country." 24 Whether he exuded confidence as mere facade or as genuine conviction, rhetorically Franklin had been caught in the revolutionary tide. "We have not yet applied to any foreign power for assistance, nor offered our commerce for their friendship," he informed another friend. "Perhaps we never may," he wrote nonchalantly. 25 Then Franklin the realist spoke. "Yet it is natural to think of it, if we are pressed," he added, and "as the events of war are always uncertain, possibly, after another campaign we may find it necessary to ask aid of some foreign power." 26 Thus, as Washington lost ground in New York and retreated toward the Delaware, Franklin boarded a ship that would take him to France, where he linked up with Silas Deane and Arthur Lee as supplicants to the court of Louis XVI. Franklin took with him a copy of the so-called model treaty approved by Congress the month before he left. "You are hereby instructed to use every Means in your Power for concluding" a treaty with the French, "conformable to the Plan you have received." 27 Because the plan discussed commercial ties rather than a military alliance, it has been held up by some historians as an attempt by the new United States to have a new foreign policy, a policy free of political entanglements, thereby giving

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form to the ideas expressed in Paine's Common Sense. "I have always been of Opinion, that we must depend upon our own Efforts under God for the Establishment of our Liberties," declared Samuel Adams. 28 "I don't love to be intangled in the Quarrels of Europe," echoed his cousin John. "I don't wish to be under Obligations to any of them, and I am very unwilling they should rob Us of the Glory of vindicating our own Liberties." 29 This from a man who sailed for France in February 1778 to assist Franklin and the others, not knowing that they had negotiated two treaties, one commercial, one military, with France a week before he set sail. Far from being offended by their actions, he would become an enthusiast for diplomatic intrigue on his second trip to Europe in 1780, first as he pressured the Dutch for loans and later as he negotiated for peace. Congress had indeed been reluctant to seek a formal alliance with France, more out of practical circumstance than some sort of commitment to a new style of diplomacy. Delegates knew that if they asked for too much they might get nothing at all. As war dragged on, however, some shared Jefferson's fear that, unless the United States secured a formal alliance, the British might "return to their senses in time," recognize American "independence and sovereignty," and then dupe the newly free nation into accepting a "commercial treaty" or even "a league of mutual offence and defence" that would put them right back where they had started. 30 But the French could not be put on a Revolutionary American timetable. Through 1776 and into 1777 Vergennes had not wanted a public tie in any form with the United States. Military alliance especially brought too many possible complications, not the least of which would have been war, then and there, with Britain. France would await the proper moment, when it was in its self-interest to intercede. "The ruling Policy of every State is unquestionably Self-Interest," wrote Nicholas Ray during the stamp act crisis. An American who had moved to London, Ray stated what was obvious to him and no doubt to others as well: "the Policy therefore of every State of Europe, and particularly our inveterate Enemies, must induce them to wish a Revolt of our Colonies on the Continent of NorthAmerica."31 But timing was key. Stormont in Paris and Yorke at the Hague protested the illicit munitions trade and pressured the French and Dutch governments through diplomatic channels. They did not threaten war and therefore objected less than they would have, had war been desired. Then as now, the significance of diplomatic incidents is minimized or exaggerated, depending on the desired behavior. Vergennes and the American commissioners who sought him out all practiced hardheaded politics, each using the other in ways that Machiavelli would have approved. The model treaty is a case in point. It involved more than commercial ties and the promise of most-favored nation trading status. It called for "a firm, inviolable, and universal Peace,

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and a true and sincere Friendship" between the two nations. Under it they would pledge to defend each other's merchant marine in their respective territorial waters; it also pledged them to protect each other from depredations by the Barbary pirates in international waters. Under it France would renounce any claim to British territories in North America, mainland or island, if "they shall be united or confederated" with the United States. The United States, in turn, would agree to recognize French title to other West Indies islands that France might take by conquest. 32 Above all else, it was essential that France recognize the United States as a sovereign nation. Commercial arrangements were negotiable; political independence was not. Worried that Americans might at some point seek a reconciliation, the French were as concerned that political independence be the first priority as were Americans. Knowing that, the Americans could soft-peddle blackmail. Not long after Franklin arrived in France he received additional instructions. "If France desires to preclude the Possibility of North America being ever reunited with Great Britain now is the favourable moment," Congress emphasized, and "a decided part now taken by the Court of Versailles and a vigorous Engagement in the War in Union with North America would with Ease sacrifice the fleet and Army of great Britain at this time chiefly collected about New York."33 Congress, in other words, was willing to pursue a combined operation with the French—not the same thing as a formal alliance, but a possible first step toward one. The American attempt to buy French ships of the line "compleatly manned" and to hire French troops, as Britain hired Germans, are also indicators of a willingness to join the nations in the council chamber as well as in the marketplace. 34 Although Americans never explicitly threatened to seek reconciliation with Britain to get their way, French fear of that outcome made it easier for Congress to obtain treaties and to receive repeated grants and loans from the French government. It would be the French who suggested two treaties instead of one. In December 1777 Louis XVI finally authorized his ministers to negotiate formal arrangements with the Americans. Some of what had been written into the model treaty ended up in the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, and some was worked into the Treaty of Alliance as well; both of them were signed on February 6, 1778. The agreement was divided into two treaties because the French assumed that Britain would declare war in any event. Maintaining the fiction that France and the United States had entered into a simple defensive pact, the Treaty of Alliance bound the two if "war should break out between France & Great Britain during the continuance of the present war between the United States and England." 35 It stipulated only that a state of war needed to exist for the treaty to take effect; it did not specify whether France or Britain had to act first—just in case. As it turned out neither nation declared war nor did either recog-

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nize that a state of war existed until June, when British and French frigates exchanged shots. The first treaty essentially provided the reason for Britain to go to war and the second laid out the Franco-American response in anticipation of that action. Room was left for Spain to revise and sign either treaty. Spain did not; it worked out its own arrangement with France in April 1779 and did not go to war with Britain until June. It did not ever ally itself with the United States. American Revolutionaries were fortunate that France and Spain needed each other, because the Revolutionaries needed them both. Even before the two treaty approach had been decided upon, the commissioners—as instructed by Congress—requested "the Aid of Ships of War," they sought joint action "to unite the Forces of the said States with those of France and Spain" against Britain, and they promised "to make no Peace but in Conjunction with those Courts, if Britain should declare War with them." 36 Although the French wanted Britain to attack first so that they could claim they fought only in self-defense, they were planning their first operation before the event occurred. They intended to dispatch a fleet under Admiral d'Estaing across the Atlantic before the British— worried about a cross-channel invasion, a move on their western flank through Ireland, or attacks on their Mediterranean holdings—could reinforce Admiral Howe. They got the jump they hoped for but not the victory they wanted. D'Estaing sailed first to the Delaware, arriving after the British had left Philadelphia. He sailed on to New York but chose not to try to force his way into New York harbor past Howe's smaller but better positioned fleet. That d'Estaing was not able to catch the British at sea or with their guard down at anchor showed that the fortunes of war had not suddenly turned against London. The year 1778 could have gone much worse for the British than it did. Anticipating a Franco-American alliance, the king's men even had a new strategy to try. Germain sent it to Clinton, just named Howe's successor, in a "secret" March dispatch. Germain, the dutiful minister, characterized everything as coming from George III when in fact he provided much of the thinking behind the new policy. Clinton was to use his discretion; he was urged rather than ordered, but with the Howe and Burgoyne fiasco fresh in all minds, the cost of departing too far from crown preference was understood. After assuring Clinton that reinforcements would arrive by the summer, Germain stated bluntly that the king was convinced "that the War must be prosecuted upon a different Plan, from that upon which is has hitherto been carried on." 37 Troops should be redistributed to better protect both Florida to the south and Canada to the north. Those moves, essentially defensive, were to open greater offensive possibilities. If Washington could not be lured into a decisive action early in the campaign season, then Clinton should shift his emphasis. He could choose to keep Philadelphia or, if

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that tied up too many resources, pull out of the city, build forts on the lower end of the river, and combine those forts with a naval blockade to seal Philadelphia off from the sea. With New York as his operational center, Clinton could use the first part of the remaining season to board troops on ships for extensive coastal raiding, north all the way into the Maine country, destroying ships, docks, warehouses, and war materiel, anything that aided the rebel war effort. Once that mission was accomplished he could return, with greater resolve and many more men, to what he had dabbled at two years before: a Southern offensive. Convinced that loyalists outnumbered rebels in Georgia and South Carolina, Germain and the king wanted Clinton to begin a pacification program that could not even have been attempted in New England and had never really been tried in the middle colonies. Proof that imitation can be a form of flattery, British regulars were to be to loyalists what Continentals had become to local militia: the foundation upon which a new army could be built, a core around which loyalists could rally—"such appear to be the Methods taken by the Rebels for strengthening their Army." Germain thought Georgia would fall easily but that South Carolina would take a more sustained effort. After seizing Savannah Clinton was to lead a much larger force, reinforced by whatever loyalist and Indian auxiliaries could be assembled, to cut Charleston off from the countryside, then seize it. Once Charleston had fallen and the enemy had been driven into the backcountry, Clinton could move into North Carolina. In his rear, rebel militia would be disbanded with loyalist militia replacing it; rebel government would be displaced and legitimate authority would be restored as royal governors returned and new assemblies were formed; the people would be expected to take new loyalty oaths to the crown; trade would gradually be restored under the navigation system. At the same moment that Clinton launched these offensives he could take further advantage of his naval superiority for raiding the Chesapeake, to the same purpose as the earlier raids to the north, all of this to be done before the French arrived in strength. "It might not be too much to expect that all America to the South of the Susquehannah," Germain predicted, hopefully, "would return to their Allegiance and in the Case of so happy an Event, the northern Provinces might be left to their own Feelings and Distress to bring them back to their Duty, and the Operations against them confined to the cutting off all their Supplies and blocking up their Posts." 38 Clinton got off to a modest start in 1778. He had over twenty-five thousand men in the general vicinity when he relieved Howe, with roughly fourteen thousand of them in Philadelphia, just over half as many in and around New York, and then half again that number in Newport. From that total he had to cull eight thousand, most for duty in the West Indies and

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some for Florida. Clinton, never sure of himself, all too ready to resign, had luck on his side. Evacuating Philadelphia under Washington's watchful eyes, he marched his army across New Jersey to the safety of New York, despite Washington's attempt to harry him at Monmouth Courthouse. His fleet having made it past the Delaware capes and into New York harbor before d'Estaing could cut if off, the French sailed to Newport for a collaborative effort with American forces assembled there under General John Sullivan. French and British fleets maneuvered for the weather gauge until a storm blew them willy-nilly. The British fleet fell back on New York; the French also wanted to withdraw to make repairs. The Americans barely escaped Aquidneck Island as the French left the scene and the British on land held. Clinton's northern coastal raiding did not amount to much, but the small force that he sent to begin the southern campaign succeeded better and more quickly than he had any right to expect, Savannah falling to Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell before the year ended. British gains in 1778 were not reversed in 1779, despite Spain's midyear entry into the war. The British did withdraw from Newport, but being there had not gained them much anyway. The not-so-combined failed Franco-American operation in Rhode Island was followed by an even more disastrous effort far to the south. While Washington waited for d'Estaing to return from the West Indies and help him take New York, the admiral instead squandered men and materiel at Savannah. The dismal Franco-American effort in Georgia paled in comparison to a failed FrancoSpanish operation across the Atlantic. Sending warships into the English Channel and threatening a move on Ireland and the Isle of Wight as well as incursions at Plymouth and Portsmouth to demolish royal dockyards, the allied effort was effectively becalmed while the proverbial English wind spared Britons from the onslaught of this mislabeled "second armada." With more luck than skill Admiral Charles Hardy managed to move the channel fleet back and forth between Spithead and the Scilly Islands while his adversaries did virtually nothing. French troops waiting on transports for the British navy to be cleared away ended up debarking; there would be no invasion—a glorified raid, actually, intended to drive Britain to the bargaining table, not occupy English soil. Meanwhile Gibraltar held, nothing of great consequence occurred in India, and a little British fleet raided Portsmouth, Virginia, torching ships, docks, and supplies with virtually no loss. It marked the beginning of an intermittent Chesapeake raiding campaign that would eventually take the British to Richmond and beyond, all the way to Charlottesville. If anything 1780 proved worse for Britain's enemies, which at year's end expanded to include the Netherlands—proof, if any is needed, that the war did not proceed along some sure line of British descent to defeat. True, Britain experienced growing unrest and North matched Clinton in

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the number of times he expressed a desire to step down, but the political opposition was still divided and French entry into the war had infused defenders of the empire with renewed zeal. The coalition brought together by Catherine the Great as the league of armed neutrality deepened rather than dampened enthusiasm for the cause, many Britons believing that Russia, Denmark, Sweden, and other league members were taking advantage of their crisis to press petty trade grievances. Militarily Washington's main force suffered no great losses in the field but it lurked impotently outside British lines in New York. In the meantime Congress found it increasingly difficult to fund a war effort in the midst of rampant inflation that made a paper dollar almost worthless. Connecticut Continentals mutinied in 1780, Pennsylvanians followed in January 1781 with an even more serious uprising over broken promises and logistical failures, and Washington came much too close to seeing his entire army fall apart. While the war effort seemed to be withering away in the North—never enough money, enough men, or enough supplies, in the South it was being swept away. By June Clinton had led a markedly successful campaign, for him a veritable lightning strike, shifting troops from New York to South Carolina, taking Charleston and over four thousand American prisoners, and returning to the North before the French could bring any fleets into North American waters. Clinton left Cornwallis behind to mop up militarily, which he did decisively at Camden in August, and to begin a pacification program that would bring the return of imperial authority. Cornwallis eased Charleston back into the navigation system, with rice being exported and goods from Britain being imported. Rebel politicians were out and loyalist politicians in, as the way was paved for the restoration of civilian authority. In the hinterlands a brutal, even merciless guerrilla warfare ensued, matching and then surpassing anything experienced already in New York and New Jersey. Here was true civil strife, neighbor against neighbor, kinsman against kinsman, warfare studied closely by later historians looking to understand the psychology of insurgency and counterinsurgency. 39 This was not Cornwallis's type of war. According to the 1778 master plan, the army was to carry the war into North Carolina, then into Virginia. Impatient to continue into this next phase, Cornwallis moved prematurely. "Wastage" had finally begun to take its toll on the British army: more soldiers were lost through attrition from disease, desertion, and battle than were gained through replacements. Cornwallis, plunging deep into rebel territory at a time when he could expect virtually no reinforcements, moved inland, where naval superiority and the strategic mobility that superiority provided would avail him nothing. Targeting Hillsborough, North Carolina, he moved his relatively small army north in two columns, the westernmost contingent being swallowed whole at King's Mountain in October 1780. Retreating, then regrouping, he set off again,

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this time to lose his left column at Cowpens in January 1781, where an overconfident Banastre Tarleton came up against a resolute—and risktaking—Daniel Morgan. Instead of retreating a second time, Cornwallis pressed on in an attempt to prevent Morgan from rejoining the main force under Nathanael Greene, which had been gathered in the aftermath of Gates's fiasco at Camden. The Americans won the race across North Carolina. Greene turned to fight at Guilford Courthouse. In a hard-fought, bloody mess, the British and Americans bounced off each other, Greene going south to disrupt the pacification program, Cornwallis marching east to the North Carolina coast, then swinging north to join British forces already in the Chesapeake region. The most dramatic result of all this movement would be the FrancoAmerican victory at Yorktown in October 1781—the one, the only, campaign where the allies worked effectively as partners. The Americans had long been fortunate to have Washington as their commander-in-chief. Washington was in turn fortunate that the commander of the French units affiliated with his army was the comte de Rochambeau. Rochambeau and his men had arrived the year before and in the interim the French general had learned to work well with the aloof Virginian. Before Rochambeau's arrival Washington had been suspicious of French motives, which was one reason for abandoning 1778 plans to invade Canada again. Washington trusted Lafayette, who was eager to make the attempt, but not Lafayette's countrymen. Vergennes's assurances that France had no desire to recreate New France notwithstanding, Washington feared "this would be too great a temptation, to be resisted by any power actuated by the common maxims of national policy."40 Once the French returned they might not want to leave, and that was a risk he did not want to take. If this fear, however groundless, helped persuade Congress to abandon the scheme, it was just as well. Too many in Congress shared James Robertson's notions about "good" and "bad" Americans (or Canadians) and who could be expected to win the day. Obsessed with retaking New York City, Washington had to be persuaded by Rochambeau that a rapid march south to catch Cornwallis in Virginia before Clinton could relieve him would prove a better course of action. Admiral de Grasse, whose fleet had been playing a cat and mouse game with the British naval forces under Rodney in the West Indies, was emphatic that he would only come north for a limited time and that he— like d'Estaing three years before—would not attempt to navigate past Sandy Hook and shoot his way into New York harbor. For Washington it was essentially go after Cornwallis or do nothing. Clinton had shown the ability to move rapidly and decisively in his Charleston campaign the year before. Washington, in concert with Rochambeau and de Grasse, bettered him. Their skill was matched by their opponents' ineptness. Repeating all too closely the poor coordination

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between Howe and Burgoyne that marked the 1777 campaign, Clinton and Cornwallis drifted right into Washington's hands; likewise Hood and Graves at sea, who failed to seal off the Chesapeake from de Grasse and de Barras. The British had known as early as July that de Grasse would sail north at some point and probably to the Chesapeake. They were surprised but then, like Gage in 1775, they should not have been. Clinton afterward complained that Cornwallis marched into Virginia "without my approbation, and very contrary to my wishes and intentions," and that he "disapproved of an attempt to conquer Virginia before the Carolinas were absolutely restored." 41 Cornwallis, playing Burgoyne to Clinton's Howe, countered that Clinton had never given clear commands, often contradicted himself, and left the impression that he would never have to shift for himself. Clinton did vacillate, at one point asking Cornwallis to give him men for his own operations, at another promising him reinforcements. Oddly enough, three years after having left Philadelphia Clinton toyed with attacking it up the Delaware, even as Cornwallis was entrenching himself at Yorktown. Clinton especially blamed the ministry and the navy for the debacle as well. By the time that Clinton finally put together a relief force it was too late: Cornwallis had been taken before the fleet even left New York harbor. Cornwallis surrendered on October 19. Eight thousand British and German soldiers marched off as prisoners of war, as a mix of seven thousand Continentals and militia looked on, many of them having tasted victory for the first time. That they tasted it all was because the British had erred, they had been lucky, and they had been the beneficiaries of astoundingly generous French aid: nine thousand regulars, a fleet of over thirty ships of the line, siege guns, munitions, uniforms, cash and loans, and a willingness to let Washington lead. In this enterprise the junior partners provided the lion's share of resources necessary for victory in the field. Of course, underlying that victory in the field was a resilience in the patriot cause that did not come from France. Washington, whose only trip home to Mount Vernon in six years had been on the way to Yorktown, personified what had become seemingly inextinguishable—inextinguishable, that is, given the way the British chose to try to put out the revolutionary fire. This does not in any sense mean that Yorktown was superfluous to the survival of the cause. In the months leading into the campaign, Austria and Russia had offered to mediate an end to what appeared to be a stalemate. Vergennes thought Congress should accept their offer and Congress was starting to lean that way before Cornwallis ensnared himself. Revolutionaries too need victories to keep hope alive. Piers Mackesy has argued more vigorously than any other historian that Yorktown need not have spelled British doom. For one thing it need not have happened at all. Instead of turning north from Wilmington after the fighting at Guilford Courthouse, Cornwallis could have waited for trans-

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ports to take him back south to check Greene's advance into the Carolinas. If that had happened there would have been no Yorktown, Washington would still have been sitting on his hands outside New York, Greene probably would have been driven back, and pacification below the Chesapeake could have continued apace. But even without creating that or like scenarios, Mackesy contended that Yorktown had not done irreparable military damage. The British still held Halifax, New York, Charleston, Savannah, and St. Augustine. Clinton still had well over twenty thousand men in his command and, with de Grasse's departure, the British once again had naval superiority. Washington, for one, had not thought that Yorktown brought a conclusive end to anything. He pleaded with de Grasse to stay so that they could take Charleston or, if that was too ambitious, Wilmington. That six months later de Grasse would follow glory in the Chesapeake with defeat and capture in the West Indies proved Washington's point that a victory here, a success there, ensured nothing in the absence of peace. The British, as Washington understood and Mackesy reminded us, had other strategic options. "To me it seems that if the British had persevered a little longer, they could have won the war,"42 Mackesy concluded. The British nation, as Mackesy saw it, had lost its political nerve and that was a more important loss than any military defeat. "The War of American Independence was a series of highly contingent events," Jeremy Black has stressed, "and thus must undermine notions of inevitable American victory."43 Repeating a theme woven through much of his writing, Black emphasizes counterfactual outcomes as well as contingent developments. For instance, he suggests that Jacobite victory in the 1745 Scottish uprising might have triggered a revolt in the mainland American colonies and, with the French still to the north, the entire nature of that uprising would have been different; likewise the range of possible results. The point in all of this is not which vignette is most plausible, but to not use hindsight as a way of making what did happen synonymous with what might have happened. LETTING GO Setting aside counterfactual speculation, Piers Mackesy, like most historians, treated Yorktown as the effective end of the conflict. According to at least one account, Lord North exclaimed, "Oh God! It is all over" when he heard the news from Virginia. "This was the universal feeling," claimed Mackesy 44 With Yorktown, agreed Don Higginbotham, "realistic Englishmen recognized that the former colonies were lost forever."45 In point of fact the feeling was hardly "universal," and "realistic" depends, of course, on how one defines it. Before the war Pitt had predicted that "America, if she falls, will fall like the strong man" and take the nation and empire with her.46 Cornwallis's

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defeat and what it seemed to portend underscored those sentiments. Echoing Pitt, who died in 1778, another Englishman warned that "Great Britain is undone when America is independent." 47 George III agreed, which is why he was determined to salvage victory from defeat and press on with the war. North sagged in aimless despair, but not George Germain. He had perennially exaggerated the closeness of victory, predicting in March 1781 that the rebels would seek a truce and in June that Cornwallis would soon "extinguish" rebellion in the South. Wrong on both counts, undeterred by Yorktown, he pushed for more troops and fleets for new American campaigns. The king took a like resolve into the session of Parliament that opened in late November 1781. Lamenting the reversal at Yorktown, he nevertheless urged his listeners to be firm. "The last misfortune" in the field "calls loudly for your firm concurrence and assistance, to frustrate the designs of our enemies, equally prejudicial to the real interests of America and to those of Great Britain." 48 Given their charge by their king, government supporters in both houses tried to rally moderates and fence sitters. "The moment of calamity was by no means the moment for a great people to give way to despondency," contended Baron Southampton, as did many others. 49 Dissident Lords issued a protest and dissident members of Commons complained bitterly, but in the end Parliament backed the king. As a new year opened the Opposition remained fragmented and the king's men struggled to stay united. By mid-January they were beginning to come apart. North had been wavering since 1777 and saw that Germain, whose bellicosity outstripped even that of the king, would have to step down if the government were to have any chance of surviving. Germain resigned, thereby extending the ministry's survival a couple of months. The king came to see that he could no longer call for new offensives on the mainland of North America and still enjoy majority support. To him that only meant finding an alternative way to the same end: If the rebels could not be coerced directly, through battles on the North American mainland, then perhaps they could be coerced indirectly, with Britain beating their allies elsewhere and forcing them to the negotiating table by that route. "Though Internal Continental Operations in North America are not advisable," he believed, "the prosecution of the War alone can preserve us from a most ignominious Peace." 50 As the weeks passed fewer and fewer Parliamentary leaders stood with the king, as difficult as it was for them to break with him over how to go about ending the war without losing any colonies. Hints that the ministry was on its last legs came with the passage, on February 27, of Henry Conway's motion in Commons to end offensive military operations in the colonies. Even so it was only a partial renunciation of North's policies and it passed by a bare majority. It stipulated

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That it is the opinion of this House, that the farther prosecution of offensive war on the continent of North America, for the purpose of reducing the revolted colonies to obedience by force, will be the means of weakening the efforts of this country against her European enemies; tends, under the present circumstances, dangerously to increase the mutual enmity, so fatal to the interests of both Great Britain and America; and, by preventing an happy reconciliation with that country, to frustrate the earnest desire graciously expressed by his Majesty to restore the blessings of public tranquility.51 Conway's motion said nothing about independence. On the contrary, it reaffirmed the desire for reconciliation, a desire widespread even among members of the opposition. Conway claimed that Americans "wished for a peace, and would willingly treat for one." In the meantime the war effort would be redirected toward France, Britain's real enemy. Vergennes understood this perfectly well, which was why he wanted Americans to take the offensive and drive the British out of their coastal strongholds. If they simply waited for the British to evacuate he feared that the British would chip away at their revolutionary zeal, supplant it with their old Francophobia, and renew their attempts to unite Britons and Americans in common cause against the traditional foe. Vergennes may have been as wrong about Revolutionary American susceptibility to British influence as Conway was about the Revolutionary American attachment to independence, but he did correctly gauge British antipathy to French designs. Anticipating what would someday become known as the domino theory, a featured element in the rhetoric of Cold War zealots, John BakerHolroyd proclaimed in Commons that "we must fight France in America, or we must fight her in the west, in the east, or at home, in the rich fields of Britain."52 For Holroyd, as for many of his parliamentary colleagues and even for the king, the civil war within the empire had to be considered within the larger context of worldwide conflict. The search for peace with the colonists, which was as old as the war itself, had taken on a greater urgency—and became all the more elusive—because of it. Before Lexington and Concord the king had shown virtually no interest in discussing imperial disputes with dissident colonists. Some members of the First Continental Congress had hoped that they could send commissioners to London. No commissioners were appointed, and they would not have been received at Whitehall or Westminster even if they had made the trip. Not until the end of 1775 did George III change his mind about sending commissioners himself, and that only in part. He opposed recognizing the Continental Congress as a legitimate governing body, so he would not meet with a delegation from Congress nor would he send anyone directly to Philadelphia. Rather, in an odd combination of olive branch and sword he appointed the Howe brothers to find those interested in restoring "lawful authority" and returning the colonies to

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"Our Protection and Peace," this as they also prepared for the great offensive in New York set for the summer of 1776.53 Germain had not wanted to go himself; he had not wanted the Howes appointed either, fearing that they would be too likely to make concessions that would not stand ministerial or parliamentary review. After all, Admiral Howe had talked with Franklin before the Philadelphian left London and both brothers were suspected of being too sympathetic to the rebels and too inclined toward opposition views. Nonetheless the Howes had tremendous leeway. They could restore civil authority and lift restrictions on trade in those areas where provincial conventions had been dissolved and enemy troops disbanded. They could use North's February 1775 resolution as the basis for new working relationships with each individual colony. Congress was not to be part of the mix and, though broader reforms could be discussed, the colonists were not to impose any conditions, and all of them needed to accept the always nebulous "due subordination to the Authority of the Parent State." The Howes issued a proclamation in June 1776 and had it distributed even as they prepared their invasion. Admiral Howe wrote hopefully to Franklin of establishing a "lasting peace and union with the Colonies." 54 Franklin responded two weeks after the Declaration of Independence. "If by peace is here meant a peace to be entered into between Britain and America as distinct states, now at war, and his majesty has given your lordship powers to treat with us of such a peace," then something might be arranged "before we enter foreign alliances." Franklin then let his doubts and his pent up anger slip through. But I am persuaded you have no such powers. Your nation, though, by punishing American governors who have created and fomented the discord, rebuilding our burnt towns, and repairing as far as possible the mischiefs done against us, might yet recover a great share of our regard, and the greatest part of our growing commerce, with all the advantage of that additional strength to be derived from a friendship with us; but I know too well her abounding pride and deficient wisdom to believe she will ever take such salutary measures. Her fondness for conquest as a warlike nation, her lust of dominion as an ambitious one, and her thirst for a gainful monopoly as a commercial one (none of them a legitimate cause of war) will all join to hide from her eyes every view of her true interests, and continually goad her in those ruinous distant expeditions, so destructive both of lives and treasure, that must prove so pernicious to her in the end as the Crusades formerly were to most of the nations of Europe. 55

Admiral Howe finally met unofficially with Franklin and two others sent by Congress in September. His brother the general, busy in the field, did not attend. "I have not authority, nor do I ever expect to have, to treat with the Colonies as States independent of the crown of Great Britain," Howe confessed to Franklin. 56 With independence a non-negotiable issue

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there was not much Franklin could say in response. "We are sorry to inform your Lordship," wrote the disappointed Howes to Germain, "that the Infatuation and Perseverance of the People and their Leaders have hitherto afforded no opportunity for the effectual operation of the Civil Commission with which His Majesty hath been pleased to charge us." 57 That did not keep them from seeing themselves as peacemakers as well as warriors, however, nor did it stop London from making a more sustained and carefully planned attempt to find an imperial middle ground in 1778. Parliament would have been involved only after the fact with anything done by the Howes. That changed in 1778, with reports from Saratoga having been followed by news of the Franco-American alliance. Crown and Parliament were now willing to deal directly with the Continental Congress and to offer more than the admiral and general had been authorized to dangle before the rebels. "I feel it to be very unpleasant, But I have no doubt that in our Situation It is not only necessary to take this Step, but to take it instantly," wrote an anxious Wedderburn. 58 The Howes would be joined by three new commissioners: the earl of Carlisle, William Eden, and George Johnstone. Carlisle, titular head, was appointed to placate the Bedfordites and help ensure their loyalty to the ministry; Eden, a barrister, supposed spymaster, and onetime secretary to the Board of Trade, had been friends with Carlisle since their Eton days; and Johnstone was a naval officer and past governor of West Florida, a critic of North in Commons who was nonetheless opposed to American independence. At the same time that the three appointees received their orders from the crown, Parliament passed laws to prove that reform was possible and that therefore the rebels should return to the empire and Congress should negotiate with the commissioners. One statute restored the 1691 Massachusetts charter, setting aside the changes made in 1774 as part of the coercive acts; another ended the privileged status of East India tea that dated from 1767; yet another empowered the commissioners to suspend the 1766 declaratory act until an accommodation could be reached. 59 North got around the problem of the Declaration of Independence by deciding to treat any agreement reached by Congress with the commissioners as tacit renunciation. He could then ignore what Congress by its own action made irrelevant. The commissioners had just enough leeway, North hoped, to make discussions attractive. Charters, they could promise, would not be treated so cavalierly as before, troops would be withdrawn if the colonies demonstrated they would provide the men and money for their own defense, trade policies would revert to the practices common before 1763, and hostilities would be suspended until the details could be worked out. Showing a perennial blind spot on the question of representation, North instructed the commissioners to tell the Americans they could have some seats in the House of Commons but the number "ought to be very small"—certainly not enough to affect the outcome of the legislative

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process, which of course was the whole point of representation. 60 Congress itself, North and the commissioners hoped privately, would disappear as the individual colonies resumed their place in a modestly reformed empire. If Congress refused to negotiate, the commissioners were empowered to go around it and appeal to loyalists in individual colonies and to the people at large. North's conciliatory package made its way through Parliament without too much difficulty, but only after pointed and heated debate. In Lords the duke of Richmond argued that Americans had moral and constitutional right on their side and that they should therefore be forgiven for having declared independence. "America still has affection for this country," he believed, and if troops were removed as a show of good faith, followed by an easing of the navigation system, then perhaps they would return to the fold. If, however, it was too late, if Americans could not be dissuaded from severing all ties to Britain while joining themselves to France, then they should be left alone. Even though fellow Pittite the earl of Shelburne was even more caustic in his criticism of how the ministry had gotten them to this point "he said that he never would consent that America should be independent." 61 He would not pull out the military; rather, he would end offensive action and attempt to persuade the rebels that, under a modified navigation system, they would have better prospects than as an independent nation, and that they could still be made to see that they "should have one friend, one enemy, one purse, and one sword." 62 By contrast the earl of Hillsborough grudgingly accepted the necessity of a commission but decried this "most disgraceful day" that his "much-injured country" had ever experienced. 63 Unwilling, like Hillsborough, to hold his nose and go along, Earl Temple contended that American behavior had shown that his deceased brother, George Grenville, had been right: The rebels wanted independence all along. Trying to talk to them was "folly," even "abject cowardice." They understood only force, and therefore more force should be brought to bear.64 Folly or no, the commissioners departed in April 1778, carrying the king's charge and Germain's wish that "your Negotiations may be attended with the happy consequence of restoring Peace between Great Britain and the Colonies, upon the Ground of that Connexion, which, so happily for both, subsisted between them." 65 To their consternation they arrived in June at a Philadelphia made chaotic by Clinton's evacuation, then underway. Congress knew of the offer of an alliance from France, it refused to talk with anyone who would not concede complete independence, and it was pushing more vigorously than ever to compel the people to swear allegiance "under the Pain of Forfeiting their Estates and Property." 66 As president of Congress Henry Laurens informed Admiral Howe, nominal commission member, "your Lordship may be assured, that when the King of Great-Britain shall be seriously disposed to put an

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End to the unprovoked and cruel War, waged against these United States, Congress will readily attend to such Terms of Peace, as may consist with the Honor of Independent Nations, the Interest of their Constituents, and the sacred Regard they mean to pay all Treaties."67 And yet for all of that Carlisle and Eden went on to New York, not back to London. Congress snubbed them, so they appealed directly to the people in a proclamation that they tried to circulate as widely as possible. Their efforts brought no change. Still, grasping at straws, they wrote to Germain in October that the proclamation has certainly had its Effect; for there is good Reason to believe that the Spirit of the Revolt is much abated, that the Congress is becoming an Object rather of awe than of confidence to the People; and that the French connexion is generally disliked. Under such circumstances We shall not presume to conjecture what system of operations may be thought most expedient and practicable by His Majesty and His Parliament. But the Crisis is certainly favourable for the rise of measures tending to break the whole Rebellion and to make a Great Proportion of the Inhabitants of this continent to restore themselves to the Intercourse and Affection of their fellow subjects.68 Carlisle and Eden's refusal to accept the Revolutionaries' claim put them in line with the wishful thinking that had sent them across the Atlantic in the first place. Indeed, when Germain laid out the grand strategy of 1778 to Clinton he also expressed the hope that the commissioners would be so successful that no campaign would be necessary, with negotiations bringing a "speedy & happy Termination to the War."69 Few were yet willing to, in effect, think about the unthinkable. Having defined themselves as an expansive people, having for generations talked of a mother country with colonial children, they could only with great difficulty reconceptualize the empire. Even the great diplomatic historian Samuel Flagg Bemis, writing between the world wars of the twentieth century, could not escape the feeling that much had ridden on the Carlisle commission's success or failure. "Had the offer been accepted, the first and what might have proved to be the greatest of the self-governing commonwealths of an unimpaired British Empire would have taken root," he lamented. If that had occurred "it is not too exaggerated a conjecture that a Pax Britannica might be ruling the world today." 70 Like his contemporary, Charles Andrews, Bemis had let his internationalist preferences for the present color his interpretation of the past. It gave him something in common with George III and his nemesis William Pitt, who saw only ruin for Britons and Americans in a world where they lived apart. However much British imperialists worried about losing some of their American colonies, the concerns of loyalists ran deeper, their feelings of loss more immediate and infinitely more visceral. The Howes had done nothing substantive for loyalist groups in 1776; likewise with Carlisle in

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1778. Sensing that the ministry was losing its resolve after Yorktown in 1781, loyalists inundated London with various schemes to renew the military effort. William Smith, chief justice of New York, advised Shelburne that there were "three great means of recovering your Colonies—Be generous to lessen the number of Malcontents—Show affection to your friends, and be active against the impertinent and irreconcilable foe."71 Fellow New Yorker Samuel Seabury pled that Britain not give in, that it persevere so that "this important Part of the British Empire might soon be recovered." 72 Loyalists dusted off old plans and contrived new ones, from the failed strategy of isolating a recalcitrant New England to resuming the pacification program begun in the South that Cornwallis disrupted by his move north. All of these proposals were filed and never acted upon. "While Justice is offered in one hand the Sword must be held in the other," urged Joseph Galloway in the summer of 1782.73 Sadly for Galloway, he would have as little impact on imperial policy at war's end as he did before it began, when he presented his plan at the first Continental Congress. Even though loyalists were in no position to influence policy, they were correct in assuming that British politicians were loath to give up any territory. Not surprisingly, peacemaking efforts aimed at keeping all of the American colonies within the empire continued even after most of the guns fell silent. When Clinton relieved Howe in 1778, he had been added to the peace commission. Likewise for Guy Carleton when he replaced Clinton in 1782, and for admirals Arbuthnot and Digby, successors to Admiral Howe. "The decay of the Power of Congress and the total failure of their Paper Money, open a fair and flattering prospect of a speedy and happy termination of the American War," Germain wrote to Clinton and Arbuthnot in August 1780 when encouraging them to be vigorous as peace brokers. 74 Whitehall and Westminster had the same expectations of them as they had had of the Howe brothers in 1776 and Carlisle two years later: military success meant little if there were political failure, and allowing rebellious colonies to go their own way was the ultimate political failure. Carleton consented to succeed Clinton in March 1782 only with the understanding that he could negotiate with Congress or Washington or others in order to find a solution short of independence, and that he might renew the fight on a limited scale if that is what it took to drive rebels to the bargaining table. Upset to find that, instead, he had been sent to preside over an evacuation, he was ready to resign and go home by July 1782. Even so he and Digby did not finally set aside their charge as peace commissioners until March 1783, long after British negotiators in Europe had recognized American independence as a first step toward ending the war. Bringing George III to that point had proved painful. "I shall never lose an opportunity of declaring that no consideration shall ever make me in the smallest degree an Instrument in a measure that would annihilate the

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rank in which this British Empire stands among the European States, and would render my situation in this Country" unbearable, the king told North in January 1782.75 Knowing that his ministry would soon fall, suspecting that any attempt by the king to have his way by threatening to abdicate could be disastrous, North responded that "Peace with America seems necessary, even if it can be obtained on no better terms than some Federal Alliance, or perhaps a less eligible mode." 76 Verging on despair, the king conceded North's point. Relieved that the king would finally let him go, North accepted what to him appeared inevitable. Whitehall and Westminster set out on their new course reluctantly, tentatively. George III had to turn to the opposition to form a new ministry. Rockingham, North's successor, was the king's second choice. The king preferred Shelburne, who, like him, did not want to recognize American independence and would persist in holding out for something short of it if he could. But Shelburne did not have a sufficient following to head his own ministry and Rockingham did. Rockingham agreed to lead the government only if the king promised not to block American independence. At least the king and his minister could agree that the first priority was to prevent the Franco-American alliance from doing more damage than it had already done; next would be to work out a peaceful accommodation with the rebels that would draw them away from Versailles and closer to London, whether it be by commercial or territorial concessions. The Americans helped the process by making it known that they were willing to discuss separate peace terms, despite the 1778 treaty that promised the French they would not. Richard Oswald, sent to talk quietly and unofficially with the Americans, and Thomas Grenville, sent to do the same with the French—and the Spanish too, if they would send someone to Paris, had the same directions: they were to concede American independence. Showing how far London had come since the Carlisle commission, they were "to make the offer of the said Independency in the first instance instead of making it a conditional article of the general treaty."77 They were also to find a way to wean the Americans from the French, but without offending either party—a tricky business at best. Shelburne, one of the secretaries of state in Rockingham's coalition ministry, tried, through Oswald, to maneuver the Americans into a position where they would accept independence as a grant from Britain, with certain conditions being imposed, despite everything that had been agreed to about not imposing conditions. British troops still occupied New York, Charleston, and Savannah, the rebellious thirteen colonies were hemmed in north and south and in the militarily confused transappalachian West, so Shelburne thought he could demand that the United States end its alliance with France, deal justly with loyalist claims, and allow Britain to trade with the new nation duty-free. "If the Negotiation breaks off all our Rights in America [are] to Stand as before" and the "war will be pressed

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with the utmost vigour," he instructed Oswald to warn them. 78 Oswald was not the man to make veiled threats in order to hold out conditional independence. Still, like Shelburne, his free trade rhetoric was mixed with mercantilistic notions that the navigation system could be modified to the satisfaction of Britons and Americans, and to the exclusion of potential rivals. Neither man went as far as Josiah Tucker, and Tucker did not venture as far as Adam Smith. Oswald also shared Shelburne's desire that Americans choose something short of a complete separation. The king too had urged Oswald to seek "a national substitution for the dependent connection with Great Britain" in a "political League of Union or Amity."79 All three men hoped that Americans would accept some form of "union," informal or formal, political or commercial—precisely what they could not say; that would depend on what course the negotiations took. As it turned out Shelburne was not able to impose any conditions. Rockingham died in July 1782, and Shelburne led a new ministry without enough strength to stay in office long. North, his political disgrace short-lived, returned to power in February 1783 in an uneasy pairing with Charles James Fox, a Rockinghamite who disagreed with Shelburne's foot-dragging approach, and the new ministry hastened through Parliament the treaty that had been negotiated during Shelburne's tenure. The British agreed to evacuate the territory that they still held within the United States, and they surrendered all claims to the transappalachian West. They did not insist on free trade with the new nation nor did they grant Americans any trade privileges with the empire they had chosen to leave. They did little to secure loyalist claims or provide for their future, a virtual abandonment that loyalists had seen coming, prompting some to ask that they be allowed to reach their own arrangements with another European power—maybe even France—that might take them under their wing. Interestingly enough, the Fox-North ministry adopted a softer line than Shelburne on the question of American independence and agreed to it without condition. It took a harder line on commercial questions and had no interest in Shelburne's vague notion of a federal union linking the two nations. Whitehall was consistent, however, in allowing the Americans to come out ahead in the diplomatic give-and-take. Americans negotiators could not obtain a Maine boundary on the St. John River and had to settle for the St. Croix to the south, but a less cooperative Britain might have dusted off William Alexander's 1621 grant for Nova Scotia, which could have been interpreted as extending farther south still to the Penobscot— controlled by the Royal Navy since the disastrous 1779 American expedition. Or, again, American advantages granted by Britain could be seen in the generous Newfoundland fishing and drying privileges. The Americans were also lucky, as when the British accepted the Lake of the Woods, with a direct line to the Mississippi, for the northern boundary in the far

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west. If London had insisted on the forty-fifth parallel as the line west as well as east across New York, Britain would have surrendered lower Ontario but the United States would have lost the upper Great Lakes and the top slice of a future western empire. Part of this was based on calculated generosity; part derived from geographical ignorance. Whitehall and Westminster mulled over many possibilities before deciding on their final course. Yorktown did not precipitate this pondering of hypotheticals. Apparently Adam Smith had suggested four possible outcomes and jotted them down back in 1778: The rebellious colonies would finally give in and the mother country would concede little if anything; the colonies would go back to the so-called old system before 1763 when they enjoyed general autonomy; "part, but only a part" of the colonies would submit; the rebels would win the war and claim everything from the mouth of the Mississippi to Hudson Bay. If this last development should indeed occur, then Britain, before recognizing American independence, ought to "restore Canada to France and the two Floridas to Spain," thereby rendering the former colonies "the natural enemies of those two monarchies and consequently the natural allies of Great Britain."80 The actual outcome, of course, was different. Nonetheless these hypothetical scenarios are useful reminders that the longer the war lasted and the more parties that became directly involved, the greater range of possible outcomes there could be—which policy makers on all sides well understood. Very little was fixed; almost everything seemed susceptible to change. Although what was settled at the negotiating table in 1782 turned out differently from the scenarios sketched above, they do show the alternative views being considered—and that what most now see as somehow natural, even inevitable, came about through diplomatic maneuver. The general message conveyed in the treaty stayed consistent even as the details changed during negotiations. This latest Peace of Paris was supposed to bring a "firm and perpetual Peace" between the United States and Great Britain as they put aside "all past Misunderstandings and Differences."81 Both nations agreed to the traditional euphemistic language of diplomacy to portray peace as the natural condition, war as an aberration. Between the signing of preliminary peace articles in November 1782 and a cease-fire in January 1783, George III opened a new parliamentary session. With Shelburne struggling to be an effective head of government, the king commented on how difficult it had been to accept American independence and that he still thought "reconciliation" and "union" possible, though what he meant by union was unavoidably vague. 82 In doing so he had not sounded so different from Franklin, who in his negotiations with Oswald and occasional talks with Grenville had expressed "a strong desire for peace" and "a constant attention to the idea of establishing a solid Union between England and America." 83 Whether Franklin, who was as adept at diplomatic intrigue as his British counterparts, pondered a federal

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arrangement outside the empire rather than within, a pact between sovereign states mimicking the old Albany Plan or anticipating a modern commonwealth arrangement, only he could say—if he himself knew. What he did know throughout was that he could accept terms only when independence was recognized as an existing condition, not granted as a privilege, and that all parties understood that the United States had been created by Americans themselves, not their French allies. He wanted Britain to cede Canada to the United States. Realizing that he could hardly insist at the bargaining table for what could not be taken on the field, he was content to have Canada shrunk back to its pre-Quebec Act dimensions, thereby safely enclosing the once hotly contested Ohio country within the boundaries of the new nation. That he circumvented his hardwon 1778 treaty with France to achieve that end most likely did not cause him to lose sleep. He knew that as he and the other American negotiators— John Adams, John Jay, and Henry Laurens—took advantage of circumstance to get what they wanted for their nation, so too had Vergennes for his, going into the war and now coming out of it. Revolutionary Americans secured generous peace terms because of balance of power rivalries that they could turn to their advantage, not their battlefield prowess—and that only because the British and French and even the Spanish found it in their interest to allow those American gains. Americans were fortunate that men like Shelburne and Vergennes worried as much about what Russia and Austria might do, if allied, against the Ottoman Turks as they did about an upstart nation across the Atlantic. George Rogers Clark's campaign in the Illinois country did not, as tradition once had it, win the transappalachian backcountry for the United States. American settlers had a tenuous hold in eastern Kentucky and Tennessee; most everything else was up for grabs—as local tribes would all too soon discover. Although France had no desire to reclaim lost territory, Spain did. Ambitious Spaniards wanted to expand north out of New Orleans to claim all transappalachian lands east of the Mississippi and south of the Ohio as part of old Louisiana, and they wanted to push east to reclaim Florida, lost to them in 1763. During the fighting Louisiana governor Bernardo de Galvez had winked at the illicit American munitions trade and various small-scale filibustering enterprises. Madrid sanctioned his actions after the fact but it also insisted that he not allow Americans to use New Orleans as a staging center for their operations. With Spanish entry into the contest he led his own expeditions, taking Mobile and then Pensacola. Vergennes's drive to cripple Britain made it in France's strategic selfinterest to go along with American actions in seeking a separate peace, and to put the concerns of one ally over another. Vergennes was not averse to limiting the United States to territory east of the Appalachians but, unlike the Spanish, he was not determined to prevent American expan-

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sion. If the British were willing to grant Americans a western boundary on the Mississippi, then that was Spain's problem, not his. Letting the British keep Canada also made sense, if that caused Americans to be more committed to an alliance that most understood had been a marriage of convenience. Tearing a page from Choiseul's diplomatic manual twenty years before, Vergennes pulled out on the Spanish before they could accomplish their war aims. They retook Minorca; they still wanted Gibraltar; they even had designs on Jamaica. Vergennes would not prolong the fighting to help them. Not wanting to confront Britain alone, Spain began negotiations in the wake of American and French peace talks with London. Revolutionary Americans had not necessarily all had the same expansionist priorities. New Englanders wanted Nova Scotia; Southerners wanted Florida and the Mississippi basin. With Nova Scotia firmly in British hands New Englanders had to be content with the Maine country and with rights to a share of the cod fisheries off Newfoundland, more important than land in Nova Scotia anyway. Southerners would not get Florida, which reverted to Spain. Nor would they have clear claim to all the transappalachian lands that they wanted. Britain granted Americans a western border on the Mississippi and with it a right of transit on the river all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, but the British were in no position to make good on that promise south of Natchez. The Spanish, not a party to those negotiations, did not recognize that right, and they also insisted that Britain had agreed to a boundary too far south when setting the northern limits to Florida. Both issues would complicate Spanish-American relations in years to come. If Britain, by holding Canada, would take on the same symbolic function in American minds once played by the French when it was New France remained to be seen. The loss of thirteen American colonies did not plunge Britain to an imperial nadir. It held onto more American colonies than it gave up, colonies that generated wealth for the empire and gave Britain a powerful presence in the Western Hemisphere. Unlike France, whose losses in 1763 truly were catastrophic, Britain was on the verge of a new expansionist surge across a larger world stage. The empire upon which "the sun never set" lay ahead. That Raleigh had first used the phrase in reference to Spain's overseas empire now serves as a cautionary note about imperial hubris, but after the shock of the American war wore off, Britain's imperial future looked brighter than ever. Britons still celebrated their "empire of liberty," though perhaps less fervently than before, now that it was so huge and the peoples within it so diverse that it no longer seemed to contain a "family" in the old sense. Meanwhile the children of the original imperial family who had ventured off on their own employed the same rhetoric and even adopted some of the same behaviors. Americans, like Britons, would struggle to find a national identity to complement an imperial ideology.

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NOTES 1. The earl of Chatham (Pitt) to Earl Temple, 24 September 1777, Add. Ms. 42087 (Grenville Papers), fos. 187-188, British Library. 2. The earl of Dartmouth to William Knox, 3 July 1775, in Historical Manuscripts Commission, Reports on Manuscripts in Various Collections, 8 vols. (London: John Faulconer, 1901-1909), 6:119. 3. From the hearing of 29 January 1774, in Labaree, ed., Papers of Franklin, 21:48, 65, 58-59, resp. 4. Ibid., 21:43, 46. 5. From Franklin's apologia before leaving London, in Labaree, ed., Papers of Franklin, 21:417. 6. Ibid., 21:548, 549. 7. Ibid., 20:389-399. 8. Ibid., 21:600-604. 9. H. M. Scott, British Foreign Policy in the Age of the American Revolution (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), 32. 10. C.K. [Charles Knowles?] to the marquess of Rockingham, January 1771, Rockingham Papers, Wentworth Woodhouse Muniments, Sheffield Archives, WWM RI-1355. 11. John J. Meng, 'The Comte de Vergennes: European Phases of His American Diplomacy" (Ph.D. dissertation, Catholic University of America Press, 1932); Orville Murphy, Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes (Albany: SUNY Press, 1982). 12. Vergennes to Louis XVI, sometime in 1775, printed in John Durand, ed., New Materials for the History of the American Revolution (New York: Henry Holt, 1889), 45. 13. Alexander DeConde, A History of American Foreign Policy, 3rd ed. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1978), 1:25. 14. Bonvouloir in Durand, ed., New Materials, 3. 15. Silas Deane to his wife, 3 March 1776, in Charles Isham, ed., "The Deane Papers," New-York Historical Society. Collections, 5 vols. (1886-1890), 1:121. 16. Cargo manifest in Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, 204 reels microfilm (Washington, DC: National Archives, 1959), Item 156,478-482 (reel 176); Claude Van Tyne, "French Aid before the Alliance of 1778," American Historical Review 30 (1925): 20-40; and Helen Augur, The Secret War of Independence (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1955). 17. Deane to Beaumarchais, 24 July 1776, Isham, ed., "Deane Papers," 1:161. 18. Deane to Congress, 28 November 1776, Isham, ed., "Deane Papers," 1:375. 19. J. Franklin Jameson, "St. Eustatius in the American Revolution" American Historical Review 8 (1903): 683-708; Jan Willem Schulte Nordholt, The Dutch Republic and American Independence, trans, by Herbert H. Rowen (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1982), 31-46. 20. Joseph Yorke to the earl of Rochford, 3 August 1775, PRO/CO 5/138, fos. 168-169. 21. PCC, Item 147, 111, 117-118 (reel 158); Item 19, V, 73 (reel 26); Item 78, XVIII, 291-293 (reel 100); the overview on "home manufactures" and imported muni-

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tions in Neil Longley York, Mechanical Metamorphosis (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985). 22. Contrast the portrait of Adams and other Revolutionary leaders presented in James H. Hutson, John Adams and the Diplomacy of the American Revolution (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1980) with that offered in Felix Gilbert, To the Farewell Address (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961). 23. Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 2:154, 6 July 1775. 24. Franklin to David Hartley [?], 3 October 1775, in Francis Wharton, ed., The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 6 vols. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1889), 2:60. 25. Franklin to Joseph Priestley, 7 July 1775, in Wharton, ed., The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 2:59. 26. Franklin to Charles Dumas, 19 December 1775, in Wharton, ed., The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 2:65. 27. Instructions of 24 September 1776, in Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 5:813. 28. Samuel Adams to James Warren, 17 April 1777, in Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Fetters of Members of the Continental Congress, 8 vols. (Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution, 1921-1936), 2:330. 29. John Adams to James Warren, 3 May 1777, in Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress, 2:354. 30. Jefferson to Franklin, 21 August 1777, in Boyd, ed., Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 2:26-27. 31. Nicholas Ray, The Importance of the Colonies of North America (New York: John Holt, 1766), 8. 32. Approved on 30 September 1776, Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 5:768-778. 33. Congress to the commissioners, 21 December 1776, Burnett, ed., Letters of Members, 2:182. 34. Franklin to Vergennes, 5 January 1777, in Mary A. Giunta, ed., Documents of the Emerging Nation (Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, 1998), 31. 35. Treaty of Alliance, 6 February 1778, from Hunter Miller, ed., Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America, 8 vols. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1931-1948), 2:35-41. 36. Commissioners to Vergennes, 8 December 1777, in Giunta, ed., Documents, 49. 37. George Germain to Henry Clinton, 8 March 1778, in Benjamin Franklin Stevens, ed., Facsimiles of Manuscripts in European Archives Relating to America, 1773-1783, 25 vols. (London, 1889-1898), no. 1062. 38. Ibid. 39. See Harry S. Ward, Between the Lines (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002); also Mark V. Kwasny, Washington's Partisan War (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1996); and John S. Pancake, This Destructive War (University, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1985). 40. Washington to Henry Laurens, 14 November 1778, in John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, 39 vols. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1932-1945), 13:254. 41. Benjamin Franklin Stevens, ed., The Campaign in Virginia, 1781, 2 vols. (London, 1888), 1:11.

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42. Piers Mackesy, Could the British Have Won the War of Independence? (Worcester, MA: Clark University Press, 1976), 28. 43. Jeremy Black, War (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000), 172. Also see Black's Britain as a Military Power, 1688-1815 (London: University College London, 1999), 170; War and the World (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998); War for America (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991). 44. Piers Mackesy, The War for America, 1775-1783 (London: Longmans, 1964), 435. 45. Higginbotham, War of Independence, 383. 46. Pitt, as quoted by William B. Willcox, "Why Did the British Lose the American Revolution?" Michigan Alumni Quarterly Review 62 (1956): 318. 47. Henry Trafford to George Germain, 17 January 1782, PRO/CO 5/8, fo. 71. 48. George III, 27 November 1781, in William Cobbett, ed., The Parliamentary History of England, 36 vols. (London: T.C. Hansard, 1806-1820), 22:637. 49. Ibid. 50. George III to North, 15 December 1781, Fortescue, ed., Corres. of George III, 5:313-314. 51. Cobbett, ed., Parliamentary History, 22:1071. 52. Ibid., 22:1042. 53. Instructions to the Howes, 6 May 1776, Add Ms. 34413 (Auckland Papers), fos. 45-53 BL. 54. Howe to Franklin, 20 June 1776, Wharton, ed., Diplomatic Correspondence, 2:98. 55. Franklin to Howe, 20 July 1776, Wharton, ed., Diplomatic Correspondence, 2:103-104. 56. Lord Howe, conversation with Franklin, 11 September 1776, Wharton, ed., Diplomatic Correspondence, 2:144. 57. The Howes to Germain, 20 September 1776, PRO/CO 5/177, fo. 69. 58. Wedderburn notes, February 1778, Add. Ms. 34413 (Auckland Papers), fo. 133 BL. 59. Pickering, ed., Statutes at Large, 32:3-5 (18 George III c. 11-13). 60. Historical Manuscripts Commission, The Manuscripts of the Earl of Carlisle (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1897), 322-335. Also see Weldon A. Brown, Empire or Independence (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1941). 61. Cobbett, ed., Parliamentary History, 19:842. 62. Ibid., 19:850. 63. Ibid., 19:843. 64. Ibid., 19:849. 65. Germain to the commissioners, 12 April 1778, PRO/CO 5/180, fo. 2. 66. Ibid., fo. 107. 67. Laurens to Howe, 6 June 1778, PRO/CO 5/180, fo. 97. 68. Commissioners to Germain, 15 October 1778, PRO/CO 5/181, fo. 37. 69. Germain to Clinton, 8 March 1778, in Stevens, ed., Facsimiles of Manuscripts, no. 1062. 70. Samuel Flagg Bemis, The Hussey-Cumberland Mission and American Independence (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1931), 3. 71. PRO/CO 5/1089, fo. 21. 72. Ibid., 5/82, fos. 632-636, 23 March 1782.

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73. Ibid., 5/1089, fo. 244, Galloway to Shelburne, 10 July 1782. 74. Ibid., 5/178, fos. 99-110, Germain to Clinton and Arbuthnot, 3 August 1780. 75. George III to North, 21 January 1782, Fortescue, ed., Corres. of George III, 5:334-335. 76. North to George III, 21 January 1782, Fortescue, ed., Corres. of George III, 5:337. 77. Instructions to Grenville, 26 May 1782, PRO/FO 2, fos. 108-111. 78. Shelburne to Richard Oswald, 26 April 1782, in the Shelburne Papers, vol. 71, fos. 21-25, William L. Clements Library. 79. George III to Richard Oswald, 31 January 1782, in the Shelburne Papers, vol. 70, fo. 98. 80. Printed in the American Historical Review 38 (1932-1933): 714-720. 81. Treaty in Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:151-157. 82. Speech of 5 December 1782, Cobbett, ed., Parliamentary History, 23:204. 83. Grenville, note of 30 May 1782, PRO/FO 2, fo. 118.

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CHAPTER 5

New Nation, New Empire

I HAVE thus shewn wherein consists the true political welfare of a civil community. The foundation is laid in a judicious distribution of property, and in a good system of polity and jurisprudence; on which will arise, under a truly patriotick, upright, and firm administration, the beautiful superstructure of a well governed and prosperous empire. ALREADY does the new constellation of the United States begin to realize this glory. It has already risen to an acknowledged sovereignty among the republicks and kingdoms of the world. And we have reason to hope, and I believe to expect, that GOD has still greater blessings in store, for this vine which his own right hand hath planted, to make us high among the nations in praise, and in name, and in honour. Ezra Stiles (1783)1 Most of the distresses of our country, and the mistakes which Europeans have formed of us, have arisen from a belief that the American Revolution is over. This is so far from being the case that we have only finished the first act of the great drama. We have changed our forms of government, but it remains yet to effect a revolution in our principles, opinions, and manners so as to accommodate them to the forms of government we have adopted. This is the most difficult part of the business of the patriots and legislators of the country. It requires more wisdom and fortitude than to expel or to reduce armies into captivity. Benjamin Rush (1786)2 George W a s h i n g t o n h a d a g e n i u s for political theatre, a n almost u n c a n n y k n a c k for accentuating the d r a m a of already d r a m a t i c m o m e n t s . H e d e m o n s t r a t e d it w h e n h e w o r e his u n i f o r m at the Continental Congress in

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the spring of 1775; he showed it again in the summer when he promoted riflemen as Indian fighters come to beat the British. But he showed it most brilliantly when he could appear to be renouncing instead of taking power—which is not to say that his behavior was disingenuous even if studied. After all, as a young man he had laid out a detailed guide on how to comport himself in public. Although some historians have noted his affection for Addison's "Cato" and his later self-conscious awareness of analogies drawn between his behavior and that of Roman heroes like Fabius and Cincinnatus, others have made rather too much of his limited formal education and his supposedly narrow range of interests. "His mind was great and powerful, without being of the very first order," wrote Jefferson over a decade after Washington died, "and as far as he saw, no judgment was ever sounder," Jefferson conceded in what some consider a backhanded compliment. 3 At the same time Jefferson could only marvel that his fellow Virginian's reputation was so unsullied compared with his own and that of virtually all his Revolutionary Era contemporaries, with Franklin the possible exception. Washington retired from public life twice, first as general, then as president. In both instances he felt that the nation was in crisis and that he needed to offer written advice to a widespread audience. In 1783, when he ended eight years as commander-in-chief of the American army, national prospects often looked bleak and Washington was not certain that he could hold his forces together until a final treaty was signed, which did not happen until September. In June troops from the Pennsylvania line had mutinied again, for essentially the same reasons as in 1781, this time marching into Philadelphia and surrounding the statehouse to shout their demands. 4 Washington, far away in the New York highlands, dispatched a column of well over one thousand to order the Pennsylvanians back to camp. By the time they arrived the disgruntled soldiers had already left with a promise by state legislators to look into their grievances. This came on the heels of unrest among officers stationed with the main army under Washington's immediate command at Newburgh. Some feared that Congress would renege on promised land grants and pensions. Threatening to refuse to take the field if called upon, or to refuse to disband if told to go home, they assembled for a meeting where Washington shamed them back to a deferential sense of duty. Pulling a pair of glasses from his waistcoat pocket to read a letter, he paused, stating softly, "Gentlemen, you must pardon me. I have grown gray in your service and now find myself growing blind." With that understated and yet elegant gesture the fiftyone year old general made his point. Washington never doubted the loyalty of his men, and when he finally prepared to take his leave he called them his "patriotic band of Brothers." 5 It was the Continental army, he believed, where nationalism had been born, where provincial jealousy had been displaced by shared commit-

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ment to the common cause—the citizen as soldier, the soldier as citizen. When he met with a few dozen of his closest officers at New York City's Fraunces tavern in November for the last time as their commander, he was too emotional to speak and was uncharacteristically demonstrative, hugging some and kissing others, his eyes brimming with tears. Even so he made sure that these veterans, who too often had performed thankless service, understood their place in the republic. No matter the hardships they endured because of incompetent government they were soldiers subordinate to civilians whose task had been to defend "Republican Liberty." He did not enter the city in a triumphal procession. Rather, he accompanied Governor George Clinton, who took charge as Carleton's troops loaded onto transports November 25. Washington delayed bidding his men adieu and departing New York until December 4, as British sails finally passed over the horizon. He did not want to go until the erstwhile enemy had gone; he did not want to linger after they were safely away. Accompanied by a small cluster of companions he rode through Trenton and Philadelphia, pressing on to Annapolis to return his commission to the Continental Congress, then home, he hoped, in time for Christmas. He presented himself to Congress on December 23, made a short speech as he struggled to control his emotions, and tendered his resignation. He bowed as he exited, congressmen doffed their hats but did not bow to him, and he mounted the saddled horse kept waiting outside the door. Although none of this occurred by coincidence, neither did events have to be consciously orchestrated. Each player knew his role in this republican performance. Washington made it to Mount Vernon on Christmas Eve, once again the gentleman farmer.6 He ended his retirement to attend the constitutional convention in May 1787 and from that point on did not escape public life until he stepped down as president nearly ten years later. He felt that he left the nation stronger in 1797 than it had been in 1783, in part because the Constitution was superior to the Articles of Confederation. "Unless adequate Powers are given to Congress for the general purposes of the Federal Union," he wrote while still with the army, "we shall soon moulder into dust and become contemptible in the Eyes of Europe, if we are not to be made the sport of their Politicks." 7 Federal system notwithstanding, supreme authority had to be vested somewhere because "it is only in our united Character as an Empire, that our Independence is acknowledged, that our power can be regarded, and our Credit supported among Foreign Nations." 8 Governmental restructuring under the Constitution eased his concerns, concerns that echoed those in the colonial era who had worried about imperium in imperio. He could sound very much like James Madison, whose advice he often sought in the early days of his presidency, when talking about factions as a necessary evil in an open society and the need for a vigorous national government in an extensive, expansive

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republic. Madison in fact drafted a valedictory message for him in 1792, when he contemplated retiring after one term as president—indeed, he had once thought he might go home even earlier, after helping get the new government up and running. But leaving was not that easy, his desire to remove himself from the political hurly-burly butting up against his sense of civic duty. By the time he decided in 1796 to make his second term his last he was no longer as close to Madison and went to Hamilton for a draft of what became famous as the "farewell address." His cabinet had been riven by divisions, and political factions nationwide were hardening into parties. Because debates over Jay's controversial commercial treaty with Britain persisted, carried from the Senate and into the House, there has been a natural tendency among historians to argue that foreign policy issues were on Washington's mind in a way they had not been before. Thus his warnings about sectional and partisan contentions that served as a lead-in to his advice that the United States "steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world." 9 That caution simply made public what he had expressed privately many months before. As president his aim, he told Patrick Henry, was to comply strictly with all our engagements, foreign and domestic; but to keep the U States free from political connexions with every other Country. To see th they may be independent of all, and under the influence of none. In a word, I wa an American character, that the powers of Europe may be convinced we act for our selves and not for others, this in my judgment, is the only way to be respecte abroad and happy at home and not by becoming the partizans of Great Britain or France, create dissensions, disturb the public tranquillity, and destroy, perhaps for ever the cement wch. binds the Union.10 Washington did not expect his countrymen to withdraw from the world. He never had, and his concerns about their future place in international relations were already marked before the War of Independence ended. Both his hopes and his fears remained relatively unchanged, despite his retirement, his return, and his retirement again, with the lamentation that "no man was ever more tired of public life, or more devoutly wished for retirement than I do." 11 He wanted Americans to see that they should deal with other nations on their own terms, from a position of strength whenever possible. "Observe good faith & justice towards all Nations," he urged in his farewell as president. "The Great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign Nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible," he continued, inserting the phrase about commercial relations to clarify his view that Americans would be in the world, even if they sought to somehow not be part of it.12 All Americans should see, pleaded General Washington thirteen years before, that their fate hinged on union, on a harmony of interests, so that no European state

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"jealous of our rising greatness as an Empire" could prevent Americans from venturing forth on their providential journey 13 BY LAND Washington, a longtime investor in western lands, closely watched the West as it continued to be moved farther west. The young man who once surveyed tracts for the Fairfaxes in the Shenandoah Valley now looked to others to survey and open for settlement lands in the Ohio River basin far beyond the Alleghenies. Washington did not just observe from afar as a disinterested party. He put money into the Potowmack Canal Company with the hope that the Ohio River could be linked to the Chesapeake, which would become an eastern outlet for western commerce and transform sleepy Alexandria, a short ride from Mount Vernon, into a bustling entrepot. He thought he knew the perfect group to spearhead the movement: veteran Continentals, who would act as John Smiths and Miles Standishes for a new generation of pioneers. While still in Newburgh, New York, awaiting the war's end he contemplated this next stage in national life, where the West once denied to Americans by the French, even by the British, would be theirs. I am perfectly convinced that it cannot be so advantageously settled, by any other Class of Men, as by the disbanded Officers and Soldiers of the Army, to whom the faith of Government hath long since been pledged, that lands should be granted at the expiration of the War, in certain proportions agreeably to their respective grade. I am induced to give my sentiments thus freely on the advantages to be expected from this plan of Colonization, because it would connect our Governments with the frontiers, extend our Settlements progressively, and plant a brave, a hardy and respectable Race of People, as our advanced Post, who would be always ready and willing (in case of hostility) to combat the Savages, and check their incursions. A Settlement formed by such Men would give security to the frontiers, the very name of it would awe the Indians, and more than probably prevent the murder of many innocent families, which frequently, in their usual mode of extending our Settlements and Encroachments on the hunting grounds of the Natives, fall hapless Victims to savage barbarity.14 Washington spoke of "incursions" by "savages"; he also mentioned "encroachments" on their lands. He thereby hinted at the seeming contradictions in the White approach to acquiring Indian territory, contradictions seen before when states were colonies and public policy was justified in the name of the king instead of the people. The sense of what would someday be called "manifest destiny" had carried the English across the Atlantic and was continually renewed on the far shore, and with it a belief in a higher claim, a better cause.

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Washington was typical in believing that most Indians had sided with the British and therefore had forfeited whatever rights they held to lands within the boundaries of the United States. "During the prosecution of the War" they "could not be restrained from acts of Hostility, but were determined to join their arms to those of G. Britain and to share their fortune," observed Washington; "consequently, with a less generous People than Americans they would be made to share the same fate; and be compelled to retire along with them beyond the Lakes." Because the country was so immense, however, they could be forgiven and allowed to stay, if they saw that "their true Interest and safety must now depend upon our friendship." But even then there were no guarantees. "We will from these considerations and from motives of Comp[assio]n, draw a veil over what is past and establish a boundary line between them and us beyond which we will endeavor to restrain our People"—endeavor to restrain, not absolutely prevent. 15 Washington did not envision a permanent Indian homeland anywhere in the Ohio country. What Indians could expect would depend on what the White culture wanted; it was hardly a new approach, even if by a new nation. Many natives anticipated what befell them. During the war most of them preferred to remain neutral and, initially, at least, their preference mirrored that of the warring parties. With time neutrality became less possible for natives, just as it became almost impossible for most Whites. "In Indian country," then, "the American Revolution often translated into an American civil war," commented historian Colin Calloway.16 Tribal unity proved difficult to maintain, and intertribal unity was virtually impossible to achieve. To the south, for example, some natives wanted to make peace with the advancing settlers, who were already threatening to surround them, while others wanted to drive the Whites back, with whatever British assistance they could obtain. More Creeks than Cherokees decided on that latter course; so too more Cherokees than Choctaws. To the north the already-weakened Iroquois confederacy, now past the peak of its longhouse power, divided as well. Some Oneidas, joined by a few Tuscaroras, favored the Americans; more Mohawks, Senecas, and Cayugas sided with Britain, as Onondagas, keepers of the council fire, tried desperately to stand aside. Iroquois warriors could be pitted against one another in the field, such as at Oriskany in 1777 and even during General John Sullivan's 1779 invasion of tribal homelands. Indians of the Ohio country also received mixed messages, and they too found it difficult to choose, some Delawares finally swinging toward the Americans and more Wyandots siding with the British, with many Shawnees tilting that way as well. Sovereignty issues pitting natives against settlers had been vexing throughout the colonial period and continued to be ever after. Most Indians in the Ohio country had never viewed themselves as subjects of the French crown nor did they consider themselves automatically subjugated

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by Britain with French expulsion in 1763. The frustrations and confusions leading to outbreaks after that war were replicated in 1783. None of the Ohio tribes had been involved in the treaty making that ended the fighting between Britain and the independent United States. They were not easily convinced that what had been agreed upon by others in Europe applied to them. With the disputes that followed between Britain and the United States, British agents encouraged that belief, a belief seemingly vindicated by British unwillingness to evacuate posts at Detroit and elsewhere that were technically in American territory. British behavior reinforced the argument that history, logic, and morality were on the natives' side, and that boundaries, never permanent, ought to be redrawn. In a 1778 treaty between Delawares and Congress each side had pledged itself to "perpetual peace and friendship" and those Delawares were promised that they would keep their lands in the Ohio country as long as they honored the treaty.17 The protections promised under that agreement did not amount to much. Not all Delawares had consented to it and not all who consented to it abode by it. When the war ended they found themselves facing a hostile Congress, which was in no mood to negotiate. Starting with the Iroquois in 1784, then carrying to the Delaware, Ottawa, Chippewa, and Wyandot in 1785, and finally to the Shawnee a year later, Indians living north of the Ohio River and east of the Miami found their titles effectively vacated. In each instance diplomatic protocol was observed and treaties were signed, but the terms had been dictated rather than negotiated. For all of the much-lamented weakness of the new United States as a confederation, the new nation proved to have more staying power than native attempts to unify. Joseph Brant, the Mohawk leader who had struck such fear among Revolutionaries on the New York frontier during the war, was representative of the faction that wanted to work out an accommodation with Whites, even if that meant giving up much of the Ohio country. Whatever idealized sense of Iroquois manifest destiny there once had been, with members of the longhouse looking back proudly to the days of Deganawida and Hiawatha, reality now dictated a more circumscribed view. The more practically minded among them made arrangements with British authorities in Canada or with New York state officials if they chose to remain in the United States. Eventually Brant and the accommodationists were eclipsed by those wanting to demand a return to earlier agreements, when western lands above the Ohio had been closed to White expansion. "Our only demand, is the peaceable possession of a small part of our once great Country," representatives from over a dozen tribes, including Creeks and Cherokees, told U.S. commissioners in 1793. "Look back and view the lands from whence we have been driven to this spot, we can retreat no further," they warned, "and we have therefore resolved, to leave our bones in this small space, to which we are now confined."18

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Since White settlement had begun there even before the treaties dictated by Congress were ratified, incessant skirmishing could easily escalate into all-out war, a repetition of the pattern going back to the first days of colonization. Showing that large land grants did not end with the empire, a new Ohio Company bought title to over one million acres, while other consortia like the Scioto Company staked smaller claims. Treaties agreed upon during the Confederation were renewed with the advent of a new federal arrangement under the Constitution. Reaffirming treaties that had always been rejected by some natives only increased the number of dissidents. As tensions mounted in the Ohio country, settlers and natives matching indignity for indignity, atrocity for atrocity, Secretary of War Henry Knox offered advice to his new president and old comrade-in-arms, Washington. As Knox saw it the United States had two options: it could continue to negotiate treaties with the hope of removing the natives peaceably or if they rose in revolt it could exterminate them by right of "the principles of justice and laws of nature." The United States might see the land in question as already incorporated within the union and part of a national domain created in the Confederation era, but local tribes had a different view which could not be ignored. "The Indians being the prior occupants, possess the right of the soil. It cannot be taken from them unless by their free consent, or by right of conquest in case of a just war," he contended. He cautioned that "to dispossess them on any other principle, would be a gross violation of the fundamental laws of nature, and of distributive justice which is the glory of a nation." The natives, he added, would be "tenacious" in holding onto lands they believed were theirs by right.19 They were indeed tenacious. Raising a force to combat them was not easy The Continental army had been disbanded after the War of Independence. Fewer than one hundred troops were kept under arms to man West Point and Fort Pitt, as the rest went home. With war likely in the Ohio country Congress called for seven hundred men to serve a year, those men to be drawn from the militia levies of Pennsylvania and three other states. Poorly trained and equipped, hopelessly inadequate for what was expected of them, these militiamen became proof for frustrated nationalists that government under the Articles of Confederation was failing. Fears of a wider Indian uprising, coupled with the fears produced by Shays' rebellion in western Massachusetts, fed into the movement that produced the Philadelphia convention and a new constitution. As is often noted, an important component of the more vigorous national government that displaced the hamstrung unicameral congress in March 1789 was the authority to tax and raise an army independent of the states. Nationalists were nevertheless careful to contend that the new system was no radical departure; rather, it was an improved version of the old federal arrangement—a "more perfect" union, not a different union altogether.

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When Washington called for a well-organized regular army before resigning his commission in 1783 he had wanted it to be small—no more than a few thousand—and he fully expected the militia, "this great Bulwark of our Liberties and independence," to provide most of the soldiers in the event of a national emergency 20 "If a well-regulated militia be the most natural defense of a free country," wrote Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist, "it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security."21 Should the militia exist apart from the national army, he emphasized, the tendency to create a large, potentially threatening, institution would be that much greater. His view complemented that of Washington; their argument prevailed. So a combined force of regulars and militia, a throwback of sorts to the armies of the Revolution, would be formed to pacify the Indians of Ohio. But the first two campaigns intended to defeat the "marauding savages" turned out disastrously. Both were led by Revolutionary War veterans who had spent enough time in Indian country that they should have known what they were doing. The first, led by Josiah Harmar, commander of U.S. forces in the Northwest territory, set out from Cincinnati in the fall of 1790 for the Indian heartland. Harmar led well over a thousand men; a third never made it back. A year later Arthur St. Clair, major general as well as territorial governor, more or less retraced Harmar's tracks, with even more horrendous results. Nearly half of his column—seven hundred men—became casualties. Some of the slain had dirt stuffed in their mouths, mocking their greed for soil. Even then it could have been worse; the gouty St. Clair was lucky to have survived at all. His repulse would stand as the worst defeat ever suffered by the U.S. army in over a century of Indian wars. Although no one knew it at the time, St. Clair's low point would be the Indian's high point. President Washington used the Ohio debacles to get more military funding—over $1 million for 1792, a tremendous amount then—and a paper army of five thousand men, twice the size of what it had been before. He also saw through passage of a new militia law that essentially provided for what he wanted but did not get back in 1783. Virtually every free White male between eighteen and fortyfive was enrolled in the militia, and from those muster lists an effective force could actually be equipped and trained, as needed, by national authority. Revolutionary War veteran Anthony Wayne was appointed to command a newly constituted American Legion, which would be drawn from the enlisted regulars and militia levies. He made sure that he took a better-equipped, better-trained expedition into the Ohio country. The Legion rebuilt old forts and erected new ones as it advanced, sacking Indian towns strung along the Maumee River. Wayne's careful preparations—and good fortune—led to victory at Fallen Timbers in

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August 1794, with a subsequent diplomatic payoff in the Treaty of Fort Greenville the next year.22 Washington had been appalled by St. Clair's foolishness. It proved embarrassing because he assured Congress before St. Clair embarked that the Indian "banditti" would "be made sensible that the Government of the Union is not less capable of punishing their crimes, than it is disposed to respect their rights and reward their attachments." Knowing that Wayne had not fallen prey to what ensnared St. Clair, Washington could more safely assume the role of Great White Father when he addressed Congress four years later. Wayne, he promised, had "damped the ardor of the savages, and weakened their obstinacy in waging war against the United States." He could now afford to be magnanimous. "Even at this late hour, when our power to punish them cannot be questioned," he promised Congress—and the Indians—"we shall not be unwilling to cement a lasting peace, upon terms of candor, equity, and good neighborhood." 23 "Good neighborhood" meant that the Indians should leave and that the British should go with them. At Fort Greenville all of Ohio in a line slashing diagonally west from the Cuyahoga River ceased to be Indian country. The natives surrendered title to all but a third of the old Ohio country. Not all of them literally left, though large numbers of them did move west into the Illinois country and some even crossed into Canada. The British departed Ohio too. The fighting at Fallen Timbers had carried all the way to the walls of Fort Miami. The small garrison of British regulars did not open their gate to the fleeing Indians; Wayne wisely chose not to lay siege. Following Greenville the British abandoned this post and the others they had held onto for over a decade since the Peace of Paris. They did not break all of their ties with the Indians of the old Northwest but they did give up any hope, however faint it had been, of reclaiming lost American territory for the British empire. Canadian governor Guy Carleton, now Lord Dorchester, reluctantly adhered to London's directive not to risk war to save the natives or hold onto disputed lands. Britain was once again fighting France and could not afford to alienate the United States. And thus events in the Ohio country would continue to be shaped by balance of power politics; the courts of Europe were still tied to the forests of North America. However much Washington lamented the way in which the United States secured the Ohio country for White settlement he furthered the process and was satisfied with the outcome. The expansionist urge, he recognized, was "not to be restrained by any law now in being, or likely to be enacted." 24 But Washington was no mere fatalist. He did not believe that the "savages" had a valid claim to territory essential to the nation's future growth. He therefore warned Cherokees who complained to him of encroachments on their treaty lands that he was powerless against the tide. "I also have thought much on this subject, and anxiously wished that

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the various Indian tribes, as well as their neighbours, the White people, might enjoy in abundance all the good things which make life comfortable and happy," he responded. "I have considered how this could be done and have discovered but one path that could lead them to the desirable solution. In this path I wish all the Indian nations to walk." 25 And what was that path? Assimilation. They should plant crops and raise livestock in the same fashion as White farmers. Indian agents sent by the government could help them make the transition but at some point they would have to fend for themselves and become absorbed within the dominant culture—that, or face extermination. Long before the Dawes Severalty Act, even long before Andrew Jackson approved Indian removal, George Washington personified the attitudes that would bring both into being. Vast as the area for transappalachian White settlement was, Washington knew that his countrymen already looked beyond the borders of the new nation to the transmississippi West. Fearing that British ambitions would interfere with any future American move toward the Pacific, Thomas Jefferson had sounded out George Rogers Clark on a possible western expedition. Hearing rumors that British explorers would soon traverse the area, Jefferson wanted Clark to get there first. "They pretend it is only to promote knolege. I am afraid they have thoughts of colonising into that quarter." 26 Nominal Spanish title to the region did not deter Jefferson in 1783, when he wrote to Clark. Little wonder that twenty years later Jefferson as president pressed ahead with his more ambitious exploratory plans, when Clark's younger brother William joined Meriwether Lewis for their famous expedition. By the time they set out the territory in question had become part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase, but the expedition was readied beforehand. Eyes that looked longingly west also turned south. Spain's control of the lower Mississippi struck some Americans as potentially dangerous and closure to river traffic in 1784 as unacceptable. A Spanish diplomat warned that "they will undertake whatever attempts are demanded by the boldness of men as daring as those who inhabit" Kentucky and Tennessee, "where they live without law or government, because the government of the United States is not obeyed there." 27 He was wrong in thinking that those settlers would join with the British to take control but he was correct about the settlers' general attitude. In their minds Spanish title to the entire region was tenuous and temporary. It was one thing to whisper desires for Spanish expulsion privately, quite another to say so publicly. Thomas Hutchins, the nation's official geographer, stated his preference openly, in print. A native of New Jersey who had fought as a militia officer in the French and Indian War, accepted a commission in the British Army, then resigned in 1780 rather than fight fellow Americans, Hutchins had received his appointment the next year. Anticipating the rationale that marked Jefferson's sending forth of Lewis

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and Clark, he mixed the nationalistic with the scientific, the destiny supposedly intended by nature with the destiny carved by man. In what was technically a "historical narrative" and "topographical description" of Louisiana and Florida, he characterized the Spanish as unworthy occupants, as a human blight on a fertile land, and as not long to stand in the way of American progress. If we consider the progress of the empires which have hitherto existed in the world, we shall find the short duration of their most glorious periods, owing to causes which will not operate against that of North America. Those empires were formed by conquest; a great many nations different in character, language and ideas, were by force jumbled into one heterogeneous power: it is most surprising that such dissonant parts should hold together so long. But when the band of union was weakened, they returned to their original and natural separation: language and national character formed many sovereignties out of the former connected varieties. This, however, will be very different in North America. The habitable parts of which, including the dominions of Britain and of Spain, North of latitude 30d, contain above 3,500,000 square miles. It would be unnecessary to remark, that this includes what at present does not belong to our North America. If we want it, I warrant it will soon be ours.28 Hutchins thereafter busied himself with surveying the Ohio country. Not so other expansionists. During the war American merchant Oliver Pollock, who had taken up residence in New Orleans, tried to get George Rogers Clark to venture south and seize Spanish Louisiana. Clark instead marched north to his campaign in the Illinois country. After the war another American merchant and former army officer, James Wilkinson, turned up in New Orleans to begin a career of intrigue and doubledealing that would extend to the schemes of Aaron Burr a generation later. In offering to spy for Spanish authorities Wilkinson—the realist as cynic, the cynic as opportunist—stated bluntly that "self-interest regulates the passion of nations as well as individuals, and he who imputes a different motive to human conduct either deceives himself or endeavors to deceive others." 29 Wilkinson's deceits did not end even when he reenlisted and rose to become commander of the western district after the Louisiana purchase. His plots, like those of his future co-conspirator Burr and, before them, William Blount, remain shrouded in mystery. With so much intrigue afoot, and that amidst a restive Creole population as well as suspect transplanted Americans, it is understandable that Spain cut off American access to the lower Mississippi. Still, many Spanish officials realized that Hutchins had been right in one regard: time was against them. They did what they could to pit local tribes against American intruders and to try to draw those Americans who did migrate into their territory away from their national ties.

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They were heartened to see the sectional divisions caused by negotiations between John Jay and Don Diego de Gardoqui in 1786. Jay accepted Gardoqui's offer of limited trade with Spain, surrendering for the moment any claim to right of transit on the Mississippi or any right of deposit at New Orleans. Jay did not believe he had given away anything too serious. He understood that Westerners were determined to make the Mississippi their "Highway to the Sea."30 Viewing the situation pragmatically—too pragmatically for those ambitious settlers, Jay also concluded that the United States should be patient and wait until it could insist rather than ask, and that day was twenty or thirty years in the future. The Continental Congress approved Jay's action by a very narrow 7-5 vote, with northern states in favor, southern opposed. Southerners complained that Jay had abandoned Western farming needs for the sake of New England mercantile interests and warned that pushing a formal treaty through would show that the union was a "rope of sand" and that "dissolution" loomed. No treaty resulted. Wilkinson would confirm for the Spanish what they already suspected: that Westerners disillusioned with the Continental Congress had begun to talk of separating and founding a new union existing apart from the nation formed east of the Appalachians. In an era before steamboats and canals there was a real danger that topographical barriers could cause fatal political divisions. Washington's dream of the Potomac River as the great link between seaboard and interior would not be realized, at least as he conceived it. Fortunately for the new nation, Congress had worked out a land policy that helped curtail separatist tendencies. In September 1780 Congress began the long process of persuading states with extensive land claims to relinquish title so that those regions could eventually become states in their own right. Maryland's refusal to ratify the Articles of Confederation unless something were done about the potential advantage that "landed" states held over their "landless" neighbors, combined with Virginia's worries about overlapping claims—Virginia's own as well as those of others— precipitated action. Congress resolved "to press upon those states which can remove the embarrassment respecting the western country, a liberal surrender of a portion of their territorial claims, since they cannot be preserved entire without endangering the stability of the general confederacy."31 Once those lands had been "ceded or relinquished to the United States," Congress added the next month, they would be "disposed of for the common benefit of the United States." The word "all" was struck as a qualifier before United States, an indication, like the often misread Articles of Confederation, that the national government was supreme in national affairs, and that—in theory, anyway—collective national need took priority over individual state preference. Equally important for self-perpetuation, Congress stipulated that those lands shall be "settled and formed into

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distinct republican states, which shall become members of the federal union, and have the same rights of sovereignty, freedom and independence, as the other states." 32 The great test would come as the "landed" states actually relinquished their claims to everything north of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi, where settlers and Indians were squaring off. Jefferson drew up a procedural plan approved by Congress in 1784 that would have applied to all of the transappalachian West.33 James Monroe, who revised it after Jefferson left to take up diplomatic duties in France, concentrated on the Ohio country. The revised version became law in July 1787 and was continued in effect by an act of Congress under the new Constitution. This "Ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States North West of the river Ohio" passed prospective states through three stages. It provided for no less than three and no more than five states to be formed from the northwest territory as it became organized. In each stage the "people" assumed more self-governing tasks. Nothing could be done until land had been surveyed and parcels sold, the details of which were laid out in another piece of legislation, passed earlier. Once a portion of the larger territory had been formed as a distinct entity, it would be governed by congressionally appointed officials until a census established that there were at least "five thousand free male inhabitants," after which the appointed officials would be joined by a one house assembly, one delegate for each five hundred free male inhabitants, those free male inhabitants serving as the electorate. The territorial governor, a congressional appointee, could convene and dissolve the assembly as he saw fit, and his veto power was seconded by that reserved to Congress. With sixty thousand free White inhabitants the territory could apply for statehood, and territorial government would make way for more selfcontained institutions. 34 The Northwest Ordinance can be added to the long list of Revolutionary Era ironies. It created a system where territories, as dependencies, had few rights and many responsibilities. "It is in effect to be a colonial government similar to that which prevail'd in these States previous to the revolution," Monroe commented wryly to Jefferson. Territories in the new nation were to be administratively very much like colonies in the empire. With Congress now playing the role of crown and Parliament, the likelihood of resentment and misunderstanding was undeniable. And yet there remained a "remarkable and important difference," Monroe added, that should act as a controlling mechanism. 35 Once those embryonic states passed through the territorial stage they would be equal members of the union—something, of course, that had never happened in the old empire. It would be 1799 before the eastern portion of the Northwest Territory— the future state of Ohio—passed into the second stage, after twelve years of being held in the first, and another four years before it achieved statehood. By then the system was working well enough, with Indiana Terri-

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tory being formed in 1801 from the next surveyed and settled section, followed by Michigan Territory four years later. With the Illinois Territory being carved from Indiana in 1809, Indiana took its final steps toward statehood, and so on through Wisconsin statehood in 1848. Madison's argument for the power of the extended sphere seemed to have been vindicated. "Inspired by prospects of boundless material wealth and happiness in an expanding union of interests," historian Peter Onuf has written, "Americans could also be confident that republican liberty would be well served in an expanding union of states." 36 In a secular act of faith the founders convinced themselves that a "harmony of interests" in the "expanding republic" would offset atomizing tendencies dating from the colonial era. As it turned out no new states were admitted to the union from the national domain until after Washington's presidency, but the ordinance drafted for them proved sufficiently adaptable to be applied to the admission of Kentucky and Tennessee as states, Kentucky being ceded by Virginia, Tennessee by North Carolina. The ordinance had outlawed slavery in the northwest; that provision did not carry over to Kentucky or Tennessee, nor would it be automatically applied to later states formed outside the original national domain. That the ordinance allowed for the retrieval of fugitive slaves showed the limits to antislavery sentiment at the time. That it also pledged "utmost good faith" in dealing with the Indians did not mean that those natives would be guaranteed their lands against White encroachment, as events in the Ohio country soon demonstrated. The ordinance promised that "their lands shall never be taken from them without their consent" unless seized through "just and lawful wars" authorized by Congress. 37 Experience had already proved that neither promise offered much protection. Indians enjoyed better protection under the old empire than the new, although that protection had more to do with perceived function than moral difference—as if White Britons could somehow be inherently more humane than White Americans. Carefully crafted though the ordinance was, it did not cover every contingency, every potential conflict. Procedural gray areas could have led to debates over substantive issues that might have spun out of control. Once a territory attained the required population, did it request admission as a privilege or could it demand admission as a right? Did it have to wait for a congressional enabling act before drafting a state constitution, or could it proceed on its own? Was an act of Congress recognizing statehood merely pro forma legislation or a requirement for statehood to be official? Did stipulations binding a territory—say outlawing slavery—remain binding once the territory became a state, since as a state it was equal to all other states? These and other questions were only occasionally asked and almost never answered. Attempting to answer them could have forced the new

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nation into confronting the same sort of troubling ultimates about sovereignty, rights, and representation that had proved so disruptive to the empire. That the Northwest Ordinance in most instances worked was because differences were patched over and fundamental issues were evaded—as had typified relations between mother country and colonies before the crises of the 1760s. Consequently the key to success within the new nation and failure in the old empire was not constitutional clarity versus constitutional obscurity; rather, accommodation prevailed in one setting, confrontation in the other, because the sense of political community was maintained, even strengthened, in one, just as it was lost in the other. Had there been no sense of community, no willingness to compromise, disputes over Indian policy or western lands or myriad other issues might not have been resolved. The problems posed by Vermont alone could have been enough to cut the thin cords of union. From 1777 to 1791, as a republic within a republic, Vermont embodied the dilemmas posed by imperium in imperio, the political rock upon which the empire supposedly shattered. 38 Delegates from twenty-eight towns spread along the Connecticut River valley proclaimed the creation of Vermont in 1777. Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York all had claims to the area; none could press them effectively. By 1790 all three had abandoned them, though, in the case of New York, grudgingly. All along London thought about luring Vermont back into the imperial fold, but what little it offered never proved quite enough. All along Vermont had petitioned Congress to be incorporated as a state in the new union. In 1781 Congress, fearing that the area would fall to a British invasion from Canada, consented, but then withdrew its offer when the danger passed. In 1783 Congress contemplated using force to prove its sovereignty over the region. Vermont prepared to resist, even though rebuffed in its appeals to Canadian authorities for munitions. Both sides were fortunate that Congress had no troops to use for pacification and no money for raising them anyway—another instance where circumstance dictated that calm prevail, and civil war was averted without fundamental issues being resolved. All along Congress employed a strained combination of inducement and threat, as Revolutionaries opposing Britain simultaneously became counter-Revolutionaries when dealing with Vermont. The crisis passed because the future fourteenth state and the new nation could manage their differences and build a community of interests, something that had proved impossible for Canada, the first choice for fourteenth state. Vermont had proclaimed itself "a free and independent state" with the right to form a government "derived from, and founded on the authority of the people only, agreeable to the direction of the honorable American Congress." 39 If an accommodation had not been worked out, Vermonters no doubt would have claimed that their authority trumped that of Congress. If cornered, Kentuckians and Tennesseans too might have fallen

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back on the language of popular sovereignty and governmental compact. "All power is inherent in the people," proclaimed Kentucky's 1792 constitution, "and they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish their government, in such manner as they may think proper." 40 Tennessee's constitution four years later contained a virtually identical clause. 41 Both were approved by Congress; both are reminders that the compact theory Revolutionaries had used against the British empire in the Declaration of Independence could at some future date be turned against the American national government, if it somehow began to look too much like Whitehall or Westminster. Ultimately American nationalism, an attachment to place, prevailed over a commitment to republicanism, a vaguer notion. Madison had devoted some of his earliest efforts as "Publius" to the defense of a single republic over multiple entities. Jefferson, who early on had talked of many neighboring republics covering the landscape from Atlantic to Pacific, abandoned that dream for Madison's expansive nation, convinced as they both were that there was only one place that could provide a proper home for the republican ideal. BY SEA Concerns about the national future shaped Jefferson's vision of and plan for western settlement. Similar concerns for American prospects overseas underlay the Virginian's 1785 trip to Paris. To Jefferson securing national interests abroad as well as at home were different halves of the same walnut. For all of his agonizing over the possibly corrupting influence of wealth on his idealized, virtuous yeomen American farmers, he shared Washington's enthusiasm for the Potomac as a commercial artery to the national heartland. As befits the often enigmatic Jefferson, ambivalence was never too far off. In one breath he gushed to Washington that "all the world is becoming commercial" while in the next he observed, more contemplatively, that were "it practicable to keep our new empire separated" from other ambitious nations "we might indulge ourselves in speculating whether commerce contributes to the happiness of mankind." Then he ended, resignedly, "but we cannot separate ourselves from them" so "we must in our own defence endeavor to share as large a portion as we can of this modern source of wealth and power." 42 Discomfort at pairing republicanism with commerce was a manifestation of a deeper questioning, not its source. Hardly an Orthodox Christian, Jefferson was nonetheless a product of a culture that warned it is impossible to serve both God and Mammon. He and his Revolutionary contemporaries who worried over the pursuit of worldly fame and fortune came by their worries quite honestly; those worries might even be considered primal.

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Writing to Monroe not long after his letter to Washington, Jefferson complained of Whitehall and Westminster's high-handed treatment of the new nation and the dismissive attitude he detected there when it came to honoring the peace treaty and according Americans any respect. "Deaf to every principle of common sense, insensible of the feelings of man," he grumbled, "they firmly believe they shall be permitted by us to keep all the carrying trade and that we shall attempt no act of retaliation because they are pleased to think it our interest not to do so." 43 A war pending on the Continent, potentially pitting one set of major powers against another, might, he thought, provide Americans with an opportunity to get what they wanted. Britain had done what it could to close American vessels out of the international marketplace. Perhaps those other nations, if they went to war, would open ports to Americans as neutral carriers and offset British actions. Provoking Britain, he realized, would be unwise. But there were other countries, not as strong, where a little saber rattling might prove effective—against the Spanish, if they continued in their refusal to open the Mississippi, or against the Barbary states, if they tried to extort tribute for access to the Mediterranean trade. The Barbary states in particular intrigued Jefferson as a potential target. All except Morocco were nominally part of the Ottoman empire, but they operated without much interference from Constantinople. Here were opponents the Americans might actually be able to defeat, if they rebuilt their navy. Offer those pirate states treaties, suggested Jefferson, and "If they refuse, why not go to war with them?" 44 Some Europeans had already chosen to fight rather than pay. Jefferson did not believe that the pirates could be bought off. Pandering to them would only worsen matters in the long run. "We ought to begin a naval power, if we mean to carry on our commerce," he recommended. He understood that giving up overseas commerce would solve the problem, once and for all: no American merchantmen plying the Mediterranean, no conflict with Barbary pirates. But just as western expansion struck him and virtually all of his Revolutionary Era peers as both natural and necessary, so he took it as a given that the United States would be a commercial republic, its citizens ever vigilant against hedonistic vice. Although Jefferson did not follow some sort of formal developmental model, he was a proponent of growth. He envisioned farms that produced crops for the international marketplace, not just for subsistence, and small-scale household manufacturing operations that would be locally competitive and yet avoid the creation of an urban proletariat and a craving for corrupting luxury goods. He and Adams struggled to get what Congress had sent them across the Atlantic to secure. They did see some success. In the fall of 1782 Adams had negotiated a commercial treaty with the Dutch that carried with it recognition of American independence. Franklin saw through a similarly worded treaty with Sweden the next spring, and the French government

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followed the 1778 treaties with new agreements that implicitly forgave the American peace commissioners for their separate negotiations with Britain by granting Congress fresh infusions of cash. Those arrangements were all made prior to Britain's recognition of American independence. Before leaving France, Franklin teamed with Adams and Jefferson to secure a commercial treaty with Prussia, along the lines of those with Sweden and the Netherlands, causing some Americans to hope that Britain itself would forgive and forget, and sign new commercial agreements. 45 They were overly optimistic. When Adams arrived in London to take up his diplomatic duties in the spring of 1785, the first minister plenipotentiary from an independent United States to the Court of St. James, he heard many expressions of friendship but found few friendly policies. Back in the negotiations of 1782-1783 he and his colleagues had been encouraged to be patient, to not insist on trade concessions in the formal treaty. Arguing the details of which ships could dock at which ports carrying which goods would erode the conciliatory spirit so essential to pushing a treaty through Parliament, they were warned. They needed to let nature run its course and allow a gradual mending of the cultural ties that had bound the two peoples, ties that Americans could have with no others. "You may have political connexions with any of those distant nations," advised David Hartley, Oswald's replacement for the final peace talks, "but with regard to Great Britain it must be so." 46 George III seemed to reinforce those sentiments in his first meeting with Adams. "I wish you Sir, to believe, and that it may be understood in America, that I have done nothing in the late Contest, but that what I thought myself indispensably bound to do, by the Duty which I owed to my People," intoned the king. "The Moment" he saw that the United States would "give to this Country the Preference" it deserved, "that Moment I shall say, let the Circumstances of Language, Religion and Blood have their natural and full Effect."47 In reporting on this meeting soon after Adams wisely cautioned that "we can infer nothing from all this concerning the Success of my Mission." 48 His country had opened its ports to Britain in the spring of 1783, between the cease-fire and formal treaty. Britain had not reciprocated. Instead it closed the West Indies to American goods, unless they were carried in British ships. Parliament passed virtually no punitive legislation going beyond that order in council. It did not have to; it accomplished the same purpose by treating the United States as a nation outside the imperial family, withdrawal of the rewards of membership serving as punishment. The rebels, reasoned Whitehall and Westminster, had complained incessantly about the navigation system; now they would see how much more difficult commerce would be outside of it. American ships could carry some goods to some British ports, but in theory they were closed out of the lucrative West Indies trade altogether; likewise the Canadian trade,

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despite the protests of some merchants, there and in the West Indies and even in some metropolitan British circles, who were adversely affected by the new exclusion. Smuggling went on as always, with Carleton, governor of Canada—whose disdain for his former enemies was well known— winking at American grain and American livestock being slipped into his ports in American bottoms. Widespread smuggling did not satisfy the commercial interests nor could smuggling provide enough trade to promote economic stability or market growth. If commerce were allowed to follow the path of least resistance, most American exports would go to Britain and most American imports would come from Britain, and much of both in American merchantmen. Increased opportunities elsewhere, whether with France or the Netherlands, Spain or Prussia, did not—could not—compensate for the trade lost to Britain's postwar policies. Citizens of the new nation received a sharp lesson in marketplace power politics. At the same time, as in the years leading to their war of independence, they often confused the incidental with the purposeful, not distinguishing between those policies that truly were aimed at them and were thus in some sense anti-American, and others—a majority, actually—that only appeared to be so because British policy makers had other things on their minds. Adams went home after three frustrating years with no new commercial treaty to show for his long stay. Americans were building on the old Dutch notion that "free ships make free goods," but in their minds in peace as well as in war, because they were closed out of markets they wanted to enter. The British, by contrast, were averse to throwing open their ports and subjecting their merchant marine to competition, and they had no interest whatsoever in treaties offering them most favored nation status if that meant they shared the same privileges with France—something the younger Pitt tried to make Adams realize. John Baker-Holroyd, the member of Parliament who had warned that the real enemy in the late war was France, took the case that Pitt made obliquely and privately to Adams and presented it to the public in his widely read Observations on Anglo-American trade. Holroyd was more or less preaching to the choir when he urged Whitehall and Westminster to preserve the navigation system, which had opened world markets to British goods and acted as a "nursery of seamen" for the merchant marine and Royal Navy. Only through the navigation system, he argued, had the Dutch commercial threat been contained; only with the wealth generated under the navigation system had the French military threat been countered; only by preserving it could the American threat be checked. 49 Whitehall sent no official minister to the United States during the entire Confederation era, a tremendous embarrassment to aspiring men like Alexander Hamilton, who complained that "the imbecility of our government" was making the new nation a laughingstock. 50 For Hamilton the

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only solution was a more vigorous national government, otherwise, as he lamented to Washington, "I fear we have been contending for a shadow." 51 Hamilton had become convinced that the notion of a "firm league of friendship," which characterized the American union under the Articles of Confederation, had proved wholly inadequate. At once nationalist and federalist, he believed something drastic had to be done to kill "the political monster of imperium in imperio" that the Confederation had perpetuated, the same monster that drove Americans out of the British empire. 52 For this reason Hamilton labored, with Madison and the others at Philadelphia in 1787, to produce a new constitution that became the Constitution. "I fear that we shall let slip the golden opportunity of rescuing the American empire from disunion[,] anarchy and misery," Hamilton sighed midway through the convention, when the other New York delegates had left in protest, the delegates from New Hampshire had still not arrived, and Rhode Islanders never came.53 Hamilton's anxiety only eased once their new expression of fundamental law was ratified. A new, more vigorous national government under a new constitution raised American stock somewhat overseas. The United States now appeared to be in a better position to honor the terms of the 1783 treaty, which would make it more difficult for Britain to justify keeping troops in the old Northwest. With states now closed out of foreign policy, there were hopes that Paris as well as London would be more pliable. Even so, improved circumstances came less from what Americans did and more from events largely beyond their control, something that could easily have prompted a sense of deja vu among those involved in the late war.54 George Hammond, who had acted as Hartley's secretary in the 1783 peace negotiations, stepped ashore in October 1791 as the first British minister to the United States. He was not sent just because there was a new national government in Philadelphia. It was now in London's interest to secure improved Anglo-American relations. In part that was because punitive British policies had always been mixed with the realization that trade relations between the former enemies were potentially mutually beneficial. More important were clouds looming over the horizon, portending the wars of the French Revolution, and closer in, a dispute between Britain and Spain in the Pacific northwest. In what is now remembered as the Nootka Sound controversy, Spanish warships had seized British merchantmen in the waters off Vancouver Island, insisting that they were trespassing in a Spanish mare clausum. Spain and Britain edged toward an open breach, Britain eager to prove that it was still the foremost maritime power in the world, Spain that, unlike Britain, it could hold onto all of its American empire. George Washington, a president without a formal foreign policy or even a secretary of state yet, dispatched Gouverneur Morris to London as an unofficial agent to try to take advantage of the situation. Morris's task was

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to remind Britain of 1783 promises to evacuate posts in American territory, return escaped slaves, and enter into trade agreements. Less worried in 1790 about American commercial competition than it had been just a few years earlier, with its navy rebuilt and merchant marine reinvigorated, Britain was more amenable to friendly relations—though it was still not in any particular hurry to soothe American feelings. Morris therefore did not accomplish much. Not until John Jay went to London in 1794 did the United States finally obtain a significant postwar treaty with Great Britain. By then Washington had already proclaimed American neutrality in the war raging on the Continent pitting France against Austria, then Britain, and a growing string of adversaries. Washington's position that the Franco-American defensive alliance did not apply in this circumstance, France having declared war on Britain, pleased the British almost as much as it aggravated the French. Jefferson, already feeling isolated as a secretary of state who was overshadowed on foreign affairs by Secretary of the Treasury Hamilton, eventually left office as a result. Irritated that the men who seemed to have Washington's ear were simply looking for an excuse to abandon France—if the defensive alliance argument did not hold, then they argued that the 1778 treaty had been with Louis XVI, not the people of France, and thus was no longer binding— Jefferson reluctantly teamed with other administration critics, including Madison, who were forming an opposition party 5 5 So much for republicanism as the antidote to partisanship. Franco-American relations, which had never been that smooth after the War of Independence, worsened for a time as Britain and the United States moved toward a temporary rapprochement. Those strained relations culminated in the "quasi-war" that erupted soon after Washington left office and did not end until the closing days of John Adams's presidency. It ended because France decided, for a time, to follow the British example of courting Americans, enticing them into what they hoped would be a onesided neutrality that they could turn to their advantage. Jay's Treaty came in the early stages of these developments on the British side. The year before, France, which had opened some home ports to American vessels after the War of Independence, now opened West Indies ports to American ships. Britain made it clear that, in its view, France could not do this: trade closed in time of peace could not be opportunistically opened by a belligerent during war. Even so Britain opted for less stick and more carrot with the Americans, hoping that naturally stronger AngloAmerican trade ties would help contain Atlantic commerce-carrying within the old imperial orbit. Jay signed the resulting treaty in November 1794. Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to "a firm[,] inviolable and universal Peace"— the usual diplomatic boilerplate—and they agreed to make no "reference

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to the Merits of Their respective Complaints and Pretensions." At its euphemistic height the final text proclaimed "God forbid" that there should ever be another war between the two nations. The British promised to evacuate any remaining posts on American soil by June 1, 1796 (which, incidentally, still did not happen until many months later). Traders and trappers, Indian as well as White, could in theory do business back and forth across the Canadian-American border without penalty. Both governments promised to appoint commissioners to look into rival claims, from prewar debts to compensation for escaped slaves. Florid statements were inserted about "a reciprocal and perfect liberty of Commerce and Navigation." 56 With the specific exceptions that followed, critics would charge that the British had only cracked the trade door a bit wider; they had hardly swung it open. A copy of the treaty did not reach the United States until the next March. It was debated in the Senate in June and passed 20-10, just barely obtaining the two thirds majority needed for ratification. Washington, hoping that he could move on, was frustrated the next spring when the House, dominated by the opposition, threatened to block the appropriation necessary to honor the terms of the treaty. The House demanded papers related to the negotiations before it would act; Washington declined to turn over copies, pointing out that the Senate already had everything the House needed and that it could go there for them, not to him. Although not exactly a plea of executive privilege, Washington would have made it had he had no other choice. By then Washington had already had a foreign policy success with the treaty negotiated by Thomas Pinckney in October 1795 at San Lorenzo el Real, in Spain. Spain finally recognized a northern boundary west of Georgia at the thirty-first parallel, accepted a western border bisecting the Mississippi rather than at the east bank, granted Americans access to trade in Louisiana and right of deposit at New Orleans, and promised not to incite the Indians. 57 The Spanish placated the Americans because, relatively speaking, they grew weaker as Americans grew stronger in the region, but more importantly, like the British, they wanted to put American issues aside so that they could concentrate on more pressing matters closer to home—indeed, on matters of national survival. The United States was still not strong enough to make demands of the great powers unless the great powers, for reasons of their own, allowed themselves to be moved about. American relations with Britain, France, and Spain between the War of Independence and the War of 1812 were always volatile, with threats being replaced by conciliatory overtures, only to have the process reversed, and then reversed again. American attempts to wage economic warfare against imperial authority had not really worked very well in the 1760s and 1770s, either in uniting the colonists or in forcing a policy change; the same could be said of attempts

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after the war to force Britain's hand. Americans did not fully comprehend the dynamics at work in this diplomatic maze, which explains the route they took, some say blundered along, into the War of 1812.58 They could not even solve the Barbary problem to their satisfaction until they had a navy and they did not have the beginnings of a navy until the end of Washington's presidency. With no navy the United States, if it wanted access to the Mediterranean, had no choice but to negotiate treaties with the four Barbary states on their terms. Americans in the 1780s experienced what Britons had experienced in that part of the world a century before: V isions of empire did not impress the locals if empire builders had puny means to achieve their grandiose ends. The first treaty was with Morocco in 1786, followed nine years later by one with Algiers, then, in each succeeding year, with Tripoli and Tunis. Americans found all four treaties insulting, both for what they included—such as the Bey of Tripoli's demand for a one-time payment of $40,000 in Spanish specie and thirteen gold and silver watches, and for what went on behind the scenes, such as the $600,000 demanded by Algiers to free captured American sailors that came on top of the $21,000 in annual tribute. 59 Congress first appropriated funds for a navy in 1794, approving just slightly more money than was paid out in tribute or for ransom to build six frigates, three of forty-four guns, three of thirty-six. In heated debates, where critics warned of everything from the dangers posed by building a navy at all to funding it on borrowed cash, champions argued national survival, one even contending—in best pre-domino theory fashion—that Algerine pirates were already sailing west of Gibraltar and would not stop until they had reached American shores. The Constitution, one of the fortyfours, would eventually sail on to glory, but not during Washington's presidency. Construction took longer and cost more than expected. It would be under President Jefferson, who as minister to France had first called for a navy, that warships could at long last be used to force open the Mediterranean to American trade. Even then it took a decade and numerous small embarrassments as well as small successes before the navy could be an effective arm of American diplomacy The perennial Barbary pirates problem had been just one of many things on Washington's mind when he issued his farewell address in 1796. If that address gives a clear sense of Washington's fears for the future, his annual addresses to Congress perhaps give a better sense of his hopes. He delivered the first in January 1790, the eighth and last in December 1796, three months after his "farewell." Little changed over the span of both terms. He called on the national government to provide for an orderly western expansion. Its task in foreign affairs was to help open markets for American commerce. Thus there was the need for a well-trained militia, a small professional army, and a blue water navy. "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace," he said in 1790 and

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could just as easily have reiterated in 1796.60 Washington did not get everything he wanted: no military academy, which would have to wait until Jefferson; and no national university, which would never be approved. Underscoring all was his desire for a dynamic people, working productive farms and developing competitive industries. Support of the Hamiltonian program of tariffs, taxes, and economic stimulus packages show his attachment to what J. E. Crowley has called a "mercantilist political economy." 61 He did not want or expect the marketplace to be selfregulating, guided by Adam Smith's invisible hand. That left too much to chance, and it did too little to ensure national success. His sentiments have been echoed, in one form or another, by virtually all of his presidential successors. BOUNDLESS Samuel Johnson's 1755 Dictionary, the Revolutionary generation's leading lexicon, defined empire rather vaguely as "imperial power; supreme dominion; sovereign command," also as "the region over which dominion is extended" and, finally, as "command over any thing." Beyond elaborating that the empire as "region" is "a nation extended over vast tracts of land, and numbers of people" known by "the ancient name of kingdom, or modern of empire" a description borrowed from Sir William Temple, Johnson had nothing more to say. An empire, then, while "vast" and encompassing many people, was neither inherently good nor inherently bad; it simply was. 62 The word imperialism is nowhere to be found in Johnson's tome. As historian Richard Koebner explained in his exhaustive study of imperialism's etymological evolution, it did not come into widespread use for nearly another century. For Britons still attached to an empire of liberty, it "could denote belief in extending the blessings of modern progress to the untapped resources of Asia and Africa, to the backward peoples inhabiting those continents." 63 For others it meant something else entirely—the brutal conquest and then exploitation of subject peoples, primarily abroad, but also at home. For them, empire in general, and the British empire in particular, had a negative connotation that became stronger as European overseas expansion gave way to colonial nationalism in the twentieth century. Ultimately imperialism fought a losing battle, both in what was created politically and what those political entities came to symbolize. But then empire had always been problematical and potentially controversial, even in the days of Johnson's Dictionary. When belittling Richard Price's definition of empire as too broad—"a collection of states, or communities, united by some common bond or type"—John Lind demonstrated the verbal battles that could arise. He reminded Price that empire

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derived from the Latin imperium and that imperium referred to the rule of the imperator, beginning with Octavius. After defeating his enemies, Octavius had styled himself imperator. "When therefore he assumed the supreme power in Rome he chose this title, as that which was less likely to shock the people, than the odious one of King, or the terrible one of Dictator," Lind continued. "Rome then became an empire." Lind then posed, without really answering, this pertinent question: "But did this change of title, from Republic to Empire, make any change in the relation the several parts of the community bore to each other?" 64 Rome's troubling example to the Revolutionary generation is evident in John Adams's "Novanglus" essays, written to counter newspaper pieces done by Taunton lawyer Daniel Leonard under the pen name "Massachusettensis." Adams's good friend and onetime political ally, by 1774 Leonard had first changed his mind, then sides, in the imperial controversy. Superficially he and Adams differed over the source and extent of Parliamentary authority in the colonies. On a deeper level they disagreed over whether the empire was or could ever be truly reciprocal. Leonard warned against the radical path being taken by Adams and other Massachusetts "patriots"; Adams, not long back from the first Continental Congress, defended the patriot view of rights in the empire and the response to what those patriots saw as imperial oppression. Adams challenged the whole notion that Great Britain was an empire or that there was such a thing as an "imperial crown"—as characterized in the 1766 declaratory act—tying Britons and Americans together. Britain as an empire, he contended, was "not the language of the common law, but the language of newspapers and political pamphlets;" imperial crown, he insisted, was the invention of "court sycophants" who strained for an analogy between British monarch and Roman imperator. 65 Because Britain's kings and queens were not independent of Lords and Commons they were not absolute rulers, which meant that they could not be modern-day manifestations of an imperator. Adams may not have appreciated the subtleties by which Octavius became Augustus; he may not have known the political maneuvering by which Octavius became princeps as well as imperator, as Octavius and the Senate jockeyed for position in an expansive imperial state that retained the fiction of being a small republic. In effective terms, whether Adams understood either the Roman republic or imperial Rome correctly is moot. Rome mattered to him only insofar as it helped make his point in the current debate on American rights. Whatever the nature of imperial Rome and its relationship to its colonies, Adams contended that Britain, in its true form, was no empire. In Adams's age there was an Ottoman empire, a Holy Roman empire, even a Russian empire, but Britain's government, Adams contended, was as different from theirs as it was from all that had gone before. It was a "limited monarchy" in form, with underlying princi-

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pies essentially republican, reflecting a commitment to "a government of laws and not of men"—a phrase Adams would insert in the Massachusetts state constitution that he helped draft five years later.66 American colonies were distinct states, essentially dominions outside the realm, tied to Britain by consent, through compact rather than conquest. Americans could be represented only in their own legislatures. Consequently arguments about taxation versus other types of legislation were useless, fixated on a theoretical distinction without a functional difference. Adams was adamant: Parliament regulated American trade because Americans allowed it; George III was their king because they chose him to be. Run correctly—that is to say, run constitutionally—this arrangement escaped the danger of having "two supreme and independent authorities in the same state"—imperium in imperio—by a transatlantic system of separation of powers and checks and balances. Adams did not write an anti-imperial diatribe. Nonetheless, in warning that Britain was not Rome, nor should it aspire to be, he showed an awareness of the imperial danger where subordination could lead to subjugation. He anticipated the negative connotation of imperialism before it came into common parlance. It is also important to note that Adams had had to argue for British exceptionalism before he could make his American case. His sense of American exceptionalism, which someday displaced that Anglo-American pride, had first surfaced many years before, when at age nineteen he was leaving Harvard and readying himself for the world. All that part of Creation that lies within our observation is liable to Change. Even mighty States and kingdoms, are not exempted. If we look into History we shall find some nations rising from contemptible beginnings, and spreading their influence, 'till the whole Globe is subjected to their sway. When they have reach'd the summit of Grandeur, some minute and unsuspected Cause commonly effects their Ruin, and the Empire of the world is transferr'd to some other place... England... in Power and magnificence... is now the greatest Nation upon the globe.—Soon after the Reformation a few people came over into this new world for Conscience sake. Perhaps this (apparently) trivial incident, may transfer the great seat of Empire into America. It looks likely to me.

Caught up in his vision of future American greatness, Adams turned boastful. "Remove the turbulent Gallicks" from New France, stand back and let natural increase bring a population boom, encourage the people to draw on the rich resources surrounding them—naval stores that would enable them "to obtain mastery of the seas," for example—"and then the united force of all Europe, will not be able to subdue Us." 67 Like Franklin in his Observations just a few years before, Adams had not written as a conscious critic of empire. Like Franklin, like countless other future Revolutionaries, he saw no inherent conflict between American

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aspiration and British association. That of course changed over the next twenty years, and Anglo-American exceptionalism became more exclusively American, with the winnowing continuing as leading Americans determined who should be included among "We, the People" of an independent nation. By the passing of the Revolutionary generation it had been expanded only slightly to include propertyless free White men; Indians and Blacks, even White women and children, were more or less excluded from shaping public policy or having a voice in what determined the much-vaunted rule of law. Moralists noted the inconsistency of Revolutionaries who contrasted freedom with slavery in complaining of Britain's shortcomings when they themselves were sometimes the masters of slaves, but few listened—except the already disaffected among loyalists and unpersuaded among imperial administrators. However consciencestricken some Revolutionaries might have been—and some were, however aware they might have been of certain contradictions in their position, they armed themselves for war and often fought with all the conviction of other zealots for a just cause. However slow the United States was to match majoritarian rhetoric with true majoritarianism, however difficult it proved for the British empire to develop a commonwealth system, at most moments adherents outnumbered dissidents. "There are no empires without armies," wrote historian Stephen Saunders Webb.68 True enough, but then not all armies are composed of professional soldiers nor are all important battles fought in the field. For all of the professional military men sent out from London as colonial governors, they had had very few troops to back them. By the time the professionals arrived in strength during the French and Indian War, settlement of the colonies that became the nation had been nearly completed. Amateur soldiers—the militia—had been the true army of conquest. They established the beachheads of empire; they began the cycle of Indian wars and Indian removal; they pressed against European rivals in New France and in Spanish Florida; their privateering cousins carried international competition onto the high seas. In the early days adventurous colonists had usually acted as an extension of a larger entity, more often than not corporate, as private enterprise acted as a proxy for public policy. Their descendants became the militiamen who confronted Gage and stymied Dunmore, and continued the march of settlement into the Mississippi basin. Only later would army topographical engineers and navy surveying expeditions lead the way on land and sea. But then Cook came rather late in the game for the British too. There is an even broader notion of armies and of conquest that must be kept in mind, armies no less real despite being far less visible. Because they were less visible they could escape the gaze of even the most astute commentators, including Alexis de Tocqueville. The Frenchman paid a nine-month visit to Jacksonian America, and his trav-

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els took him from the Atlantic seaboard to the far reaches of the original new nation and beyond, northwest to Saginaw and southwest to New Orleans. What he saw reinforced what he had already surmised before leaving France, strengthening his conviction that Americans were a frontier people. Their frontier experience had been different from that of others, he contended, and he juxtaposed the United States with Russia to make his point. All other nations seem to have nearly reached their natural limits, and they have only to maintain their power; but these are still in the act of growth. All the others have stopped, or continue to advance with extreme difficulty; these alone are proceeding with ease and celerity along a path to which no limit can be perceived. The American struggles against the obstacles that nature opposes to him; the adversaries of the Russian are men. The former combats wilderness and savage life; the latter, civilization with all its arms. The conquests of the American are therefore gained by the plowshare; those of the Russian by the sword. The Anglo-American relies upon personal interest to accomplish his ends and gives free scope to the unguided strength and common sense of the people; the Russian centers all authority of society in a single arm. The principal instrument of the former is freedom; of the latter, servitude. Their starting-point is different and their courses are not the same; yet each of them seems marked out by the will of Heaven to sway the destinies of half the globe.69 All of his brilliance and insight notwithstanding, there were times when Tocqueville did not see the contradictions in his own arguments. Earlier he had lamented the fate of Indians, whose way of life was doomed. He had little sympathy for native culture—depicting the struggle between Indian and White as a contest of savagery versus civilization—and yet he also felt that the savages were often wronged by the civilized. He even mixed tragedy with irony as he noted the peculiar combination of racism and ethnocentricity that marked American tendencies: Indians could have been assimilated but had no desire to blend in with majority White culture; Blacks who wanted to would never be given the opportunity. Ultimately he had a difficult time questioning what he considered divine will. In deference to the biblical predilections of his readers, he borrowed from Isaiah for his stark contrast of plowshare and sword, as if the United States had a farming frontier, Russia a military frontier, and implied that the two were fundamentally different, Russia regressive and repressive, a poor match for a progressive and liberated United States. One could counter that the plowshare was simply another weapon in the settlers' arsenal, supplementing the men under arms and the invisible troops who marched before them: pathogens that waged bacteriological warfare, the destruction they wrought interpreted by the victors as being ordained by God— and thus the beliefs of self-assured and yet insecure citizens in Ernest Tuveson's "redeemer nation." 70

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Americans have always had a difficult time distinguishing between their rights and "the rights of mankind," a confusion and conflation made intentionally in Paine's Common Sense. "We have it in our power to begin the world over again," Paine wrote hopefully for his new countrymen. 71 They had seen themselves as a chosen people with a peculiar destiny from the beginning—from the colonial beginning, not the later national beginning, be it remembered. Within the new nation that sense of destiny often served to unite the otherwise disunited, assuage the offended, and transcend disaffection: witness the history of the South since the Civil War, all of the unresolved issues over national and state power, governmental authority and personal autonomy, notwithstanding. Their sense of destiny did not set them apart from others who had gone before. The British had had it—and would continue to have it—too. Success validated that American belief, as it had the British. Both Britons and Americans would experience the attraction and revulsion that accompanies imperial power. The descendants of former British colonists and former British enemies queue for a chance to hear debates in the House of Commons and cluster to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Likely as not, some sharp foreign critics of American economic imperialism pay top dollar—top dollar—for Levi Strauss denim jeans, worn to lunch at the local McDonald's. Back in October 1785 Louis Guillaume Otto, French charge d'affaires then residing in New York City, tried to explain to Foreign Minister Vergennes what set Americans apart and what united them. New Englanders he considered the most difficult to work with because of their hypersensitivity to perceived wrongs and their insistence on American rights, Southerners were a close second, though for somewhat different reasons, while residents of the middle states proved the most levelheaded and evenhanded—on most subjects, that is. But there is a subject on which the mercantile spirit still triumphes in spite of reason and justice; it is the Commerce of the Antilles. They are persuaded that regions abundant in wheat have the right to carry it to those who lack it; that no law, no political expediency can be placed in opposition to commercial expediency; that they have the right to feed our colonies, as we have that of carrying to them the produce of our manufactories; that by refusing them this right, they can refuse us entry into their ports or charge our goods with exorbitant duties, despite the treaties of Commerce, the ties of gratitude, and the attentions that the nations mutually owe to each other.72 At roughly the same moment Thomas Jefferson, then in Paris, similarly offered observations to a French friend on regional differences found in the United States. Though himself a Southerner he did not depict Southerners as being superior to Northerners, as somehow being the most American of Americans. If Southerners had the better of Northerners in

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being "candid" while Northerners could be "chicaning," Northerners, to their credit, were "jealous of their own liberties, and just to those of others" while Southerners were "zealous for their own liberties, but trampling on those of others." But there was one quality that they shared: a desire to be "independant." 73 It was in defense of that independence that Americans would traditionally cast themselves as an expansive people, commercially as well as territorially—a very English thing to do, actually. What J. R. Seeley and, more recently, David Armitage have said about Britain—that the nation and the empire developed simultaneously and symbiotically rather than sequentially—could be said of the United States.74 One recent writer has called Revolutionary Americans "rampant imperialists stretching out for empire on a continental scale," a characterization in line with the recurring theme of diplomatic historian William Appleman Williams.75 "It is perhaps a bit too extreme, but if so only by a whisker, to say that imperialism has been the opiate of the American people," argued Williams in Empire as a Way of Life, one in a long line of books making the same argument. 76 Our quest for the "open door," Williams complained, has taken us around the globe in search of new markets to develop and dominate, all else and all others be damned. It was an attitude, he stressed, that we inherited from our English forefathers. Williams the monomaniacal always ran the risk of becoming Williams the purveyor of the monocausational, as if expansionism explained everything worth knowing about the American experience. Even so his cautionary note that the equation of open markets with commercial opportunity, and commercial opportunity as somehow the measure of independence, echoed as well as anticipated others—and proved Tocqueville wrong about the pacifistic tendencies of the American republic. So too with Williams's refusal to depict Americans as passive observers of a far-off world, forced on occasion to take action, despite their supposedly isolationist nature. Over the centuries Americans have shown a determination to shape their own destiny, a destiny to be played out on a world stage—world stage, not merely regional, not inwardly national. Perhaps in some sense the nation has become too much like its father figure, George Washington, who put himself in a position to exercise power and yet protested that he did not seek it, that he did not want it, that it had been thrust upon him. His nation had a destiny to fulfill; he was simply doing his part to see it through. Duty, not ambition, had been the driving force, or so he wanted to believe. In his own way William Appleman Williams, an Annapolis graduate and World War II veteran, did not reject George Washington's vision of American exceptionalism. His deliberate takeoff on Karl Marx notwithstanding, Williams believed in the notion of a better nation that might have been and still could be even if he had complaints about the one that

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was. What the United States had done abroad disturbed him more than the actions of other nations because those were the actions of "my own America," which he believed had a truer self.77 That truer self might exist only as an ideal, but he refused to dismiss the ideal as an illusion. Noteworthy too is the comment of Vine Deloria, famous for his criticism of how the West was won. "American Indians have actually been treated considerably better than any other aboriginal group on any other continent," wrote Deloria, a Standing Rock Sioux.78 For all of the complaints made, then and since, about what American Revolutionaries had wrought, few critics have dismissed all of their ideals as disingenuous or condemned the new nation they founded as hopelessly flawed. We may well ask whether the American empire will come to be seen as no better than others that have gone before. We may wonder if the United States is merely part of the cycle of national birth, maturation, decay, and death described by Oswald Spengler. The nature and future of the American experiment remain among the great imponderables—those as yet unanswered, perhaps even unanswerable, questions of the human condition. 79 NOTES 1. Ezra Stiles, The United States Elevated to Glory and Honour, 2nd ed. (Worcester: Isaiah Thomas, 1785), 58. 2. Benjamin Rush to Richard Price, 25 May 1786, in L. H. Butterfield, ed., Letters of Benjamin Rush, 2 vols. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951), 1:388. 3. Jefferson to Walter Jones, 2 January 1814, in Lipscomb, ed., Writings of Jefferson, 14:48. 4. Fitzpatrick, ed., Writings of Washington, 26:222n; 222-227 for the address; and Richard H. Kohn, Eagle and Sword (New York: Free Press, 1975), 17-39, for the larger setting. 5. Fitzpatrick, ed., Writings of Washington, 27:224, 2 November 1783. 6. Douglass Southall Freeman, George Washington, 7 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1948-1957), 5:458-478 nicely reconstructed these scenes. 7. Fitzpatrick, ed., Writings of Washington, 27:49, Washington to William Gordon, 8 July 1783. 8. Ibid., 28:488-489, from Washington's circular to the states. 9. Ibid., 35:214-238 for the text, quotation from 234; also Victor Hugo Paltsits, Washington's Farewell Address (New York: New York Historical Society, 1935) for the text's evolution; and Matthew Spalding and Patrick J. Garrity, A Sacred Union of Citizens (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1996) for its significance. 10. Fitzpatrick, ed., Writings of Washington, 34:335, Washington to Patrick Henry, 9 October 1795. 11. Ibid., Washington to Edmund Pendleton, 22 January 1795, 34:98. 12. Ibid., 35:231, 233, resp. 13. Ibid., 27:13, Washington to John Augustine Washington, 15 June 1783. 14. Ibid., 27:17, Washington to Elias Boudinot, 17 June 1783.

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15. Ibid., 27:134, Washington to James Duane, 7 September 1783. 16. Colin G. Calloway, The American Revolution in Indian Country (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 26. Also see Reginald Horsman, Expansion and American Indian Policy, 1783-1812 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1967); and Dorothy V. Jones, License for Empire (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982). 17. Colin G. Calloway, ed., Revolution and Confederation, vol. 18, of Alden Vaughan, ed., Early American Indian Documents: Treaties and Laws, 1607-1789 (Bethesda: University Publications of America, 1994), 167-169. 18. Message of 13 August 1793, in E. A. Cruikshank, ed., The Correspondence of Lieut. Governor John Graves Simcoe, 5 vols. (Toronto: Ontario Historical Society, 1923-1931), 2:20. 19. Knox to Washington, 15 June and 23 May 1789, in Calloway, ed., Revolution and Confederation, 522, 514, resp. 20. "Sentiments on a Peace Establishment," 2 May 1783, in Fitzpatrick, ed., Writings of Washington, 28:387. 21. Federalist no. 29, in Jacob E. Cooke, ed., The Federalist (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1961), 182. 22. Wiley Sword, President Washington's Indian Wars (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1985). 23. Washington, sixth annual message to Congress, 19 November 1794, in Fitzpatrick, ed., Writings of Washington, 34:36. 24. Washington to Edmund Pendleton, 22 January 1795, ibid., 34:99. 25. Washington to the Cherokee, 29 August 1796, ibid., 35:193. 26. Jefferson to Clark, 4 December 1783, in Boyd, ed., Papers of Jefferson, 6:371. 27. Francisco Renddn to Don Jose de Galvez, 12 October 1784, Giunta, ed., Documents, 195; also see Paul Chrisler Phillips, The West in the Diplomacy of the American Revolution (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1913). 28. Thorns Hutchins, An Historical Narrative and Topographical Description of Louisiana and West-Florida (Philadelphia: Robert Aitken, 1784), 92-93. 29. From Wilkinson's 1787 memorial, printed in the AHR 9 (1903), 496. 30. Jay to Congress, 3 August 1786, Giunta, ed., Documents, 205. 31. 6 September 1780, Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 17:806. 32. 10 October 1780, Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 17:915. 33. Reproduced and discussed in Boyd, ed., Papers of Jefferson, 6:581-617. 34. Approved 13 July 1787. Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 32:334-343. 35. Monroe to Jefferson, 11 May 1786, Boyd, ed., Papers of Jefferson, 9:511. 36. Peter Onuf, Statehood and Union (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987), 66; also see Jack E. Eblen, The First and Second United States Empires (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1968). 37. Ford, ed., Journals of Congress, 32:340. 38. Discussed in Peter S. Onuf, The Origins of the Federal Republic (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983). 39. Francis Newton Thorpe, The Federal and State Constitutions, 7 vols. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1909), 6:3739. 40. Ibid., 3:1274. 41. Ibid., 6:3422. For an avowedly Turnerian twist to all of this see John D. Barnhart, Valley of Democracy (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1953).

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42. Jefferson to Washington, 15 March 1784, Boyd, ed., Papers of Jefferson, 7:26. 43. Jefferson to Monroe, 11 November 1784, Boyd, ed., Papers of Jefferson, 7:509. 44. Ibid., 511. Also Jefferson to John Adams, 11 July 1786, Boyd, ed., Papers ofJefferson, 10:123. 45. See Miller, ed., Treaties, for the Netherlands (2:59-90), Sweden (2:123-150), and Prussia (2:162-184). 46. Hartley to Franklin, 14 June 1783, Wharton, ed., Diplomatic Correspondence, 6:484. 47. Adams to John Jay, Giunta, ed., Documents, 150. 48. Ibid., 151. 49. John Lord Sheffield, Observations on the Commerce of the American States (London: J. Debrett, 1784). 50. Federalist no. 15, Cooke, ed., Federalist, 156; also see Frederick W. Marks III, Independence on Trial (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1973); and Paul A. Varg, Foreign Policies of the Founding Fathers (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1963). 51. Hamilton to Washington, 17 March 1783, in Harold Syrett, ed., Papers of Alexander Hamilton, 27 vols. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961-1981), 3:292. 52. Federalist no. 15, Cooke, ed., Federalist, 157. 53. Hamilton to Washington, 13 July 1787, Syrett, ed., Papers of Hamilton, 4:224. 54. Charles Ritcheson, Aftermath of Revolution (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1969). 55. Joseph Charles, The Origins of the American Party System (New York: Harper & Row, 1961; orig. ed., 1956). 56. Miller, ed., Treaties, 2:245-274. 57. Ibid., 2:318-345. 58. Donald R. Hickey, The War of 1812 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989) 59. Miller, ed., Treaties, Morocco on 2:185-227, Algiers on 2:275-317, Tripoli on 2:319-385, and Tunis on 2:382-416 . For the navy see Craig L. Symonds, Navalists and Antinavalists (Newrark: University of Delaware Press, 1980). Also see A.B.C. Whipple, To the Shores of Tripoli (New York: William Morrow, 1991). 60. 8 January 1790, first annual address, Fitzpatrick ed., Writings of Washington, 30:49. 61. J.E. Crowley, The Privileges of Independence (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), xii. 62. Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language, 2 vols. (London: W. Strahan, 1755), no pagination. 63. Richard Koebner, Imperialism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964), xxii. 64. [Lind], Three Letters to Dr. Price, 109. 65. Adams as Novanglus, 30 January 1775, in Taylor, ed., Papers of John Adams, 2:250-251. 66. Thorpe, ed., Constitutions, 3:1893. 67. Adams to Nathan Webb, 1807, in Taylor, ed., Papers of John Adams, 1:4-5. 68. Stephen Saunders Webb, The Governors-General (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979), xvii.

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69. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, intro. and trans., Alan Ryan (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994), 434. 70. Ernest Lee Tuveson, Redeemer Nation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968). 71. Foner, ed., Writings of Paine, 1:45. 72. Otto to Vergennes, 1 October 1785, Giunta, ed., Documents, 176. 73. Jefferson to the Chevalier de Chastellux, 2 September 1785, Boyd, ed., Papers of Jefferson, 8:468. 74. J. R. Seeley, The Expansion of England (London: Macmillan, 1904; orig. ed., 1883); and David Armitage, The Ideological Origins of the British Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). 75. Bruce Lenman, Britain's Colonial Wars, 1688-1783 (Harlow, UK: Longman, 2001), 230. 76. William Appleman Williams, Empire as a Way of Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), ix. 77. Williams, from a 1973 essay reprinted in Thomas G. Paterson, Major Problems in American Foreign Policy, 2 vols. (Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath, 1978), 1:18. 78. Vine Deloria, Jr., and Clifford Lytle, The Nations Within (New York: Pantheon Books, 1984), 2. 79. Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West, 2 vols., trans. Charles Francis Atkinson (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1926-1928).

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Suggested Reading

EMPIRES, BRITISH A N D AMERICAN Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities, revised ed. London: Verso, 1991. Armitage, David. The Ideological Origins of the British Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Calder, Angus. Revolutionary Empire. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1981. Geller, Ernest. Nations and Nationalism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983. Gould, Eliga. Persistence of Empire. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000. Greene, Jack P. Peripheries and Center. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986. James, Lawrence. The Rise and Fall of the British Empire. London: Little, Brown and Company, 1994. Kennedy, Paul. The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. New York: Random House, 1987. Knorr, Klaus E. British Colonial Theories, 1570-1850. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1944. Koebner, Richard. Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1961. Lloyd, T.O. The British Empire, 1558-1983. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984. McDougall, Walter A. Promised Land, Crusader State. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. McFarlane, Anthony. The British in the Americas, 1480-1815. London: Longman, 1994. Meinig, D.W. Atlantic America, 1492-1800. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986. Nye, Joseph. Bound to Lead. New York: Basic Books, 1990. Pagden, Anthony. Lords of All the World. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995. Savelle, Max. The Origins of American Diplomacy. New York: Macmillan, 1967. Van Alstyne, Richard. The Rising American Empire. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1960.

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Wallerstein, Immanuel. Historical Capitalism. London: Verso, 1983. Williams, William Appleman. America Confronts a Revolutionary World: 1776-1976. New York: William Morrow, 1976. . Empire as a Way of Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980. T H E W A R OF A M E R I C A N I N D E P E N D E N C E Alden, John Richard. The American Revolution, 1775-1783. New York: Harper & Row, 1954. Bemis, Samuel Flagg. The Diplomacy of the American Revolution. New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1935. Black, Jeremy. War for America. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991. Conway, Stephen. The British Isles and the War of American Independence. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. . The War of American Independence. London; Edward Arnold, 1995. Cummins, Light Townsend. Spanish Observers and the American Revolution, 1775-1783. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1991. Dull, Jonathan R. A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985. . The French Navy and American Independence. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975. Fowler, William M., Jr. Rebels under Sail. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976. Higginbotham, Don. The War of American Independence. New York: Macmillan, 1971. Mackesy, Piers. The War for America, 1775-1783. London: Longmans, 1964. Morris, Richard B. The Peacemakers. New York: Harper & Row, 1965. Robson, Eric. The American Revolution in its Political and Military Aspects, 1763-1783. London: Batchworth Press, 1955. Schulte Nordholt, Jan Willem. The Dutch Republic and American Independence. Herbert H. Rowen, trans. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1982; orig. ed., 1979. Scott, H. M. British Foreign Policy in the Age of the American Revolution. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990. Seymour, William. The Price of Folly. London: Brassey's, 1995. Stinchcombe, William C. The American Revolution and the French Alliance. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1969. Tilley, John A. The British Navy and the American Revolution. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1987. Van Alstyne, Richard. Empire and Independence. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1965.

Index

Abercromby, Major General James, 33 Adams, John: on American independence, 87-88, 89, 92; on foreign aid, 121,123; on James Otis, 41; on minds and hearts, 60; on olive branch petition, 82; on peace negotiations, 142; on postwar diplomacy, 166-68; on the problem of empire, 174-75 Adams, Samuel: on American empire, 91; on Hutchinson letters controversy, 112; on imperial union, 64; on foreign aid, 123 Aitken, Robert, 78 Aix-la-Chapelle, treaty of (1748), 26 Albany Plan of Union, 26-29,47, 61, 83,87 Alden, John Richard, historian, on colonial autonomy, 44 Alexander, William, Scottish adventurer, 17-18,140 Allen, Ethan, 84,100 Alvord, Clarence, historian, Turnerianism of, 46 American empire: nation-building, 81-91; overseas commerce, 165-73; postwar expansion, 153-65; shadow governments, 60-73;

Thomas Paine's vision of, 78-81; tensions, 173-80 Amherst, Major General Jeffrey: in French and Indian War, 31,35; postwar Indian policy, 41-42 Anderson, Benedict, historian, on nationalism, 86 Anderson, Fred, historian, on 1754 Albany meeting, 28 Andrews, Charles M., historian, Anglo-American ties, 90,137 Andros, Governor Edmund, 15,16 Arbuthnot, Admiral Marriot, 138 Armitage, David, historian, on British empire, 179 Arne, Thomas, and Rule Britannia, 39 Arnold, Benedict, 84,100,101 Articles of Confederation, 96,151,156, 161,169 Atherton Company, 13 Atkin, Edmond, Indian agent, 29 Auchmuty, Robert, 24 Bache, Richard, 78 Bacon, Nathaniel, 16 Bailyn, Bernard, historian, on reality and perception of reality, 58

188 Baker-Holroyd, John (Lord Sheffield): on loss of empire, 133; postwar American economy, 168 Bancroft, Edward, double agent, 119 Barbary states, 124,166,172 Barre, Isaac, M.P., defense of American position, 56, 85, 91 Barry, Captain John, 98 Beaumarchais, Pierre-Augustin, Caron de, aid to Americans, 117-18 Bemis, Samuel Flagg, diplomatic historian, on lost Pax Britannica, 137 Bemis Heights, battle of, 106 Bennington, battle of, 105 Berkeley, William, Virginia governor, 16,20 Bernard, Francis, Massachusetts governor, 54, 61, 63, 64 Black, Jeremy, historian, on war of independence, 131 Blathwayt, William, on imperial reform, 16 Blount, William, 160 Board of Trade, 16; on Albany plan, 26-29; postwar debt, 49-50, 51; postwar Western policy, 42-43 Bonvouloir, Julien Achard de, French agent, 116 Boone, Daniel, 12,43 Boscawen, Admiral Edward, 32 Boston massacre, 58, 59 Boston Tea Party, 57,59 Braddock, Major General Edward, 29, 93 Bradstreet, Colonel John, 32 Brant, Joseph, Mohawk leader, 155 Breda, treaty of (1667), 19, 20 Brewer, John, historian, on fiscalmilitary state, 48-49, 96 British empire: early American wars, 21-26; escalation to shooting war, 66-73; failure to reform, 46-48; French and Indian War, 26-35; post-1763 problems, 48-60; survives, 143; tensions within from beginning, 7-8 Bromley, Sir Thomas (lord chancellor), 6

Index Bunker Hill, battle of, 70, 72, 93,100 Burgoyne, Major General John, 104-5, 106,125 Burke, Edmund: foolishness of British war against Americans, 107; on parliamentary supremacy and taxes, 50 Burr, Aaron, 160 Bushnell, David, on American submarine Turtle, 98 Cabot, John, and English expansion, 3, 4,5 Cabot, Sebastian, 4 Caesar, Julius, 92 Calloway, Colin, historian, Indians and war of independence, 154 Calvert, George (Lord Baltimore), expansionist ambitions of, 8,18 Campbell, Lieutenant Colonel Archibald, 127 Canada and war of independence, 82, 84,100-101,125,129,141,143,164 Carleton, Governor Guy (Lord Dorchester), 138,151,158 Carlisle, earl of, peace commission, 135-38 Cartagena, 1741 expedition to, 26 Cartier, Jacques, 3 Cartwright, John, on imperial reform, 46-48, 60 Catherine, tsarina, 100,116,128 Cecil, William (Lord Burghley), 6 Charles 1,17, 20 Charles II, 14,54 Charles III (of Spain), 33 Charter rights, 7-8 Cherokee: 1761 uprising, 41; after war of independence, 154,158-59 Choiseul, due de, French foreign minister, 33,115,116,143 Church, Benjamin, 12 Clark, George Rogers, 142,159,160 Clark, William, 159 Clinton, Governor George, 151 Clinton, Major General Henry, 101-2, 106,125,126,127,129-30,136 Clive, Robert, 32

Index Colbert, Jean Baptiste, 19 Columbus, Christopher, 3,4 Constitution of 1787, 96,151-52, 156-57,169 Continental army: dedication to cause, 150-51; formed 92-97; mutinies, 128; veterans from to settle Western lands, 153 Continental Congress: first, 64-65, 66; second, 81-82, 87-88; and foreign aid, 116-17,122-23,124 Continental navy, 97-99 Conway, Henry, M.P., motion to end fighting, 132-33 Conyngham, Captain Gustavus, 98 Cook, Captain James, 176 Cornwallis, Major General Charles, 73,128-30,138 Council of New England, 18 Cowpens, battle of, 95,129 Cromwell, Oliver, 14,19,92 Crowley, J. E., historian, on neomercantilism, 173 Currency Act (1764), 51 Cushing, Thomas, 111 D'Aiguillon, due, 115,116 Dartmouth, earl of, 67, 68, 70, 111 Dawes Severalty Act (1887), 159 Deane, Silas, 117-19,122 Declaration of Independence, 89-91, 134 Declaratory Act (1766), 55, 71, 84-85 DeLancey, Lieutenant Governor James (of New York), 28 Delware tribe, and White expansion, 43,154-55 Deloria, Vine, 180 d'Estaing, Admiral and le comte, 125, 127 Dickinson, John: and American resistance, 71; olive branch petition, 82 Digby, Admiral Robert, 138 Dinwiddie, Lieutenant Governor Robert (of Virginia), 28 Dominion of New England, 14-15 Drayton, William Henry, on American empire, 77

189 Dulany, Daniel, as loyalist, 86 Dunmore, earl of, Virginia governor: and Indian war, 43; imperial crisis, 64-66, 72-73; war of independence, 102,176 East India Company, 2, 7; privileged position, 52,56-57 Eden, William: 1778 peace commission, 135-38; spy network, 119 Elizabeth I, and English expansion, 2, 4, 6, 7, 20 Emerson, Ralph Waldo, shot heard round the world, 69 Empire. See American empire; British empire Falkland Islands dispute, 115 Fallen Timbers, battle of, 157-58 Fischer, David Hackett, historian, on Lexington-Concord, 70 Floridablanca, conde de, 122 Fort Greenville, treaty of, 158 Forts: Beausejour, 23; Carillon (Ticonderoga), 30,32-33, 84,104; Chartes, 42; Detroit, 42; Duquesne, 28,29; Lawrence, 23; Lee, 102; Niagara, 29, 42; Oswego, 29; Pitt, 42,43,156; St. Frederic (Crown Point), 29,108; Washington, 102; William and Mary, 68 Fowler, William, historian, on American navy, 98 Fox, Charles James, 140 Franklin, Benjamin: 1775 intercolonial union plan, 83-84, 87; on 1776 British peace commission, 134; 1782 peace negotiations, 139-43; Albany plan, 26-27, 87; drift toward independence, 111-14; French aid, 117,122,124; and Thomas Paine, 78; Western lands and American growth, 45,46, 57-58,175-76 Franklin, William, 45 Frederick the Great, of Prussia, 33, 77-78 Freeman's Farm, battle of, 95,106

190 French aid to the Revolutionaries, 116-31 passim, 135 French and Indian War, 26-35, 77 Gage, Major General Thomas, Amherst's successor, 42; imperial crisis and, 63, 64, 66; war of independence, 99,100,176 Galloway, Joseph, 82, 87,138 Galvez, Governor Bernardo de, 142 Gardoqui, Don Diego de, 161 Gaspee affair, 58, 59,64, 86 Gates, Major General Horatio, 106,118 George III, 5; changed view, 167; condemned by Paine, 79, 81; imperial crisis, 59, 62, 71, 74, 77-78; king only through compact, 175; post1763 Indian policy, 42; reluctant to recognize independence, 132,137, 138-39,141-42; the war of independence, 89-90,125 Germain, Lord George, anxious to keep colonies in empire, 104,125, 126,134-35,136 Germantown, battle of, 106 Gilbert, Sir Humphrey, overseas enterprise of, 2,4, 5-7, 8 Gorges, Sir Ferdinando, 18 Graaff, Johannes de, governor of St. Eustatius, 120 Grasse, Admiral and le comte de, 129-31 Graves, Admiral Samuel, 99 Great Bridge, battle of, 101 Greene, Major General Nathanael, 129 Grenville, George: Americans seeking independence all along, 136; revenue program of, 50-56, 62, 83,112 Grenville, Thomas, 141 Grimaldi, marques de, 122 Guilford Courthouse, battle of, 129 Hakluyt, Richard: champion of English overseas empire, 1-8 passim, 40; tradition of, 34, 83 Hamilton, Alexander, 152,157, 168-69,173 Hammond, George, 169

Index Hardy, Rear Admiral Charles, 127 Harmar, Josiah, 157 Hartley, David, 167,169 Hawke, Admiral Richard, 32 Hawkeye, 12 Henry, Patrick, 65, 72,152 Henry VII, and English overseas expansion, 4,48 Higginbotham, Don, historian, 104,131 Hillsborough, earl of: opposes American independence, 136; on westward expansion, 44 Horrocks, James, 34 Howe, Admiral Richard, 100; peace commission, 133-37 Howe, Major General William, 97, 100,101-2,104-5,107,126; peace commission, 133-37 Hume, David, on opinion and authority, 63 Hutchins, Thomas, on postwar American growth, 159-60 Hutchinson, Thomas, Massachusetts governor, 63,111-12 Illinois Company, and westward expansion, 45 Indians: aftermath of, 153-65; post1763 uprising, 41-43', and war of independence, 102; and White expansion, 8-14 Ingoldesby, Richard, 16 Ireland, and American independence, 82, 84-85 Iroquois, 21; at Albany in 1754,28-29; and American independence, 86 Jackson, Andrew, 159 Jamaica, and war of independence, 81, 84, 85-86 James 1,20 James II, 15,20 Jay, John, 142,152,161,170-71 Jefferson, Thomas: ambivalence toward British empire, 90-91; on the American character, 178-79; American resistance, 71, 80; economic warfare, 83; navy and inter-

Index national commerce, 165-66,172, 173; postwar West, 159,162; on Washington, 150; and West, 47 Jeffreys, Colonel Richard, 16,17 Jennings, Francis, historian, 8, 36 n.21 Johnson, Dr. Samuel, definition of empire, 173 Johnson, Richard, historian, 16 Johnson, Sir William, Indian agent, 29, 42 Johnston, Henry P., patriotic historian, 46 Johnstone, George, 135 Jones, Captain John Paul, 98 King Philip's War, 11-12,13 King's Mountain, battle of, 128 Kirke, David, English adventurer, 17-18, 23 Koebner, Richard, historian, on empire, 173 Lafayette, marquis de, 129 Lancaster, treaty of (1744), 29 Laurens, Henry, 136,142 Leach, Douglas, historian, 24 League of Armed Neutrality, 127-28 Lee, Arthur, 117,122 Lee, Major General Charles, 95, 96 Lee, Richard Henry, 89 Leonard, Daniel, loyalist, 174 Leslie, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander, 68 Levant Company, 7 Lewis, Meriwether, 159 Lexington and Concord, fighting at, 24, 40, 44, 61, 68-70, 80, 86, 92,107, 113,119,133 Lind, John, 173-74 Loudon, earl of, 31 Louis XVI, 116,117,122,124,170 Louisbourg, 24-25, 26 Lucas, Charles, 85 Mackesy, Piers, historian, British options after Yorktown, 130-31 Madison, James, 151,152,165 Mallet, David, 39

191 Mansfield, Lord Chief Justice, belittles American position, 58 Massachusetts government act (1774), 65 Massasoit, Wampanoag sachem, 10, 11 McCusker, John, historian, 60 Menard, Russell, historian, 60 Merchant Adventurers of Southampton, 6, 7 Metacom (King Philip), 11 Miantonomi, Narragansett sachem, 11 Monroe, James, territories as colonies, 162 Montcalm, marquis de, 30, 32-33 Montgomery, Brig. Gen. Richard, 100, 101 Moore's Creek Bridge, battle of, 101 Morgan, Daniel: at Cowpens, 129; rifleman, 93,106 Morgan, Edmund S., historian: on opinion and authority, 75 n.35; on stamp act, 55 Morris, Gouverneur, 169 Morris, Robert, 121 Munitions industry, American, 120-21 Muscovy Company, 7 Navigation system, and colonial commerce, 14, 54-55 Neolin, Delaware prophet, 42 North, Sir Frederick, Lord, February 1775 proposal, 71, 96,132,135,139 Northwest Ordinance (1787), 162-63 Ohio Company, and Western lands, 28, 42-43,45,156 Oliver, Andrew, 111 Opechancanough, 9 Oswald, Richard, peace negotiations, 139-40,167 Otis, James, on American rights, 41, 58 Ottawa warriors, 1763 uprising, 42 Otto, Louis Guillaume, 178 Paine, Thomas: commerce and peace, 122-23,178; condemns British empire, 51, 78-81,121;

192 Paine, Thomas (continued) the Crisis, 103; delayed impact of Common Sense, 88-89 Paoli, Pascal, 115 Parker, John, at Lexington, 70 Parkman, Francis, historian, 30 Paxton boys, 44 Peckham, Howard, historian, 25, 35 n.13 Penet, Pierre, aid to Americans, 119,121 Penn, William, 8 Pepperrell, William, Louisbourg expedition, 24-25 Pequot War, 11 Percy, Lord Hugh, at Lexington, 69 Peter III, tsar, 33 Pickering, Timothy, 96 Pinckney, Thomas, 171 Phillip II (of Spain), 5 Phips, Sir William: at Port Royal, 22; Quebec, 23-24 Pitt, William (earl of Chatham): French and Indian War, 30, 31, 77-78; losing colonies disastrous, 131-32,137,168; opposes taxing colonies, 50, 55, 59,113 Pliarne, Emmanuel de, 119 Pocock, Vice Admiral George, 32 Pollock, Oliver, 160 Pontiac, Ottawa chief, 42 Port Royal, pawn in wars for empire, 22,23 Pownall, Thomas, failed imperial reform of, 60 Price, Richard, 173-74 Princeton, battle of, 104 Puritanism, separatist strain of, 8 Quartering Act (1765), 5 Quebec Act (1774), 48, 58, 60, 71, 85, 142 Raleigh, Walter, and English empire, 2, 6, 8,143 Randolph, Edward, 14 Randolph, Peyton, Virginia crisis, 72 Ray, Nicholas, on nations and selfinterest, 123

Index Reid, John Phillip, legal scholar, 61 Richmond, duke of, 136 Riflemen, limited effectiveness, 92-97 Robertson, Major General James, on loyalists, 103,129 Rochambeau, General le comte de, 129 Rockingham, marquess of: and imperial crisis, 50, 55, 56, 59, 62,112; peace negotiations, 139-40 Rodney, Admiral George, 120 Rogers, Major Robert, and rangers, 32 Royster, Charles, historian, on rage militaire, 92 Rule Britannia, as unofficial anthem, 39-40 Rush, Dr. Benjamin, on the revolution, 149 St. Clair, Arthur, 157 St. Eustatius, arms smuggling through, 119-20 St. Leger, Major Barry, 104,105 Salem, 1775 British raid on, 68, 69 Salisbury, Neal, historian, 11 Sandys, Sir Edwin, and Virginia, 9-10 Saunders, Vice Admiral Charles, 32 Scioto Company, 156 Scott, Hamish, historian, on changing balance of power, 114 Seabury, Samuel, 138 Seeley, J. R., on the British empire, 179 Seneca warriors, 1763 uprising, 42 Shawnee, and White expansion, 43, 154 Shays' rebellion, 156 Shelburne, earl of: peace negotiations, 136-43; and Western expansion, 44 Shirley, William, Mass, governor, 24, 29 Smith, Adam: on discovery of America, 1; condemns mercantile system, 53; invisible hand, 173; options to preserve empire, 141 Smith, John, in Virginia, 9,10,153 Smith, Lieutenant Colonel Francis, at Lexington and Concord, 69-70 Sons of Liberty, 64

Index Spengler, Oswald, cyclical view of, 180 Stamp act (1765), 53, 54,58 Stamp act congress, 61-62 Standish, Miles, and Plymouth, 10, 153 Stark, John, at Bennington, 105 Steuben, Baron von, training Continentals, 96 Stiles, Ezra, on American future, 149 Stormont, viscount, on illicit American trade, 118-19,123 Stourzh, Gerald, historian, 46 Suffolk, earl of, 119 Sugar act (1764), 51, 55 Sullivan, Major General John, 127,154 Tarleton, Lieutenant Colonel Banastre, 129 Tea act (1773), 57 Temple, Earl, 136 Thomas, Isaiah, patriot printer, 40-41 Thomson, James, and Rule Britannia, 39-40 Tocqueville, Alexis de, on American empire, 176-77 Townshend, Charles, discredits American view, 51 Trenton, battle of, 103 Tryon, Governor William (New York), 73 Tucker, Josiah, predicts American independence, 46-47, 88,140 Turner, Frederick Jackson, frontier theory of, 8, 46 Tyler, John, historian, on mercantilistic empire, 52 Uncas, Mohegan leader, 11 United Colonies of New England, 12-13,14,19,26 Utrecht, treaty of (1713), 22 Vaudreuil, marquis de, governor of New France, 22-23,25 Vergennes, comte de: French foreign minister, 116,117,122,123; in peace negotiations, 131,142-43; predicts American independence, 34

193 Vermont, as republic within republic, 164 Virginia Company of London, 8-11 Walker, Admiral Hovendon, failed Quebec expedition, 23-24 Walsingham, Francis, and English empire, 3, 6 Wanton, Joseph, Rhode Island governor, turn to loyalism, 86 Warner, Seth, at Bennington, 105 Warren, Peter, Commodore, and Louisbourg, 25 Wars for Empire, Britain versus France, 21-35. See also French and Indian War Washington, George: on the American future, 81; chosen commander-inchief, 92; commercial expansion, 165-73; French and Indian War, 28, 29; his view of American empire, 149-53,179-80; Princeton, 103; and riflemen, 92-97; 1776 New York campaign, 102; at Trenton, 102; and Western expansion, 153-65; Yorktown, 129-31 Waterhouse, Edward, on Virginia, 9 Wayne, Major General Anthony, 106, 157-58 Webb, Stephen Saunders, historian, 176 Wedderburn, Alexander, 112-13 Weymouth, viscount, 115 Whately, Thomas: letters controversy, 111; on virtual representation, 59 Wilkinson, James, and Western intrigue, 160 William and Mary, 15,16, 22 Williams, Roger, 12 Williams, William Appleman, diplomatic historian, 179-80 Wolfe, General James, 29, 30, 31-32, 35 Wythe, George, 89 Yorke, Joseph, 118,120,123 Yorktown, battle of, 95,130,132,141

About the Author NEIL LONGLEY YORK is Professor of History and History Department Chair at Brigham Young University. He also serves as Karl G. Maeser Professor of General Education. Over the past 25 years he has written widely about Revolutionary America, including the forthcoming book Maxims for a Patriot: Josiah Quincy Jr. and His Commonplace Book.