Lecture 14- Heroes and Villains - Lecture 14 Heroes and Villains Thursday 12:45 PM Introduction Complications within the Continental Congress What does

Lecture 14- Heroes and Villains - Lecture 14 Heroes and...

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Lecture 14- Heroes and Villains Thursday, November 27, 2014 12:45 PM Introduction: Complications within the Continental Congress What does heroes and villains mean? o Process of organizing a war\problems with Continental Army showed problems of unity between the newly created states Regionalism= complicated task of balancing the Continental Army\cross regional unity problems among soldiers Self interest vs common good Localism= view of new states, against centralized control Made Continental Congress's job much harder as each state wanted to control its own militia o The frustrations of some led them to be nationalists in 1780s-1790s, wanted a stronger centralized government, not the Articles of Confederation Lack of precedent for central governance leads to confusion o Any decision that had to do with centralized power could have set a precedent but centralized power was very weak Concern\confusion\complications of centralized power return as a problem again and again, particularly in the 1780s when a new government is created Regionalism\localism\centralized power all themes in today's lecture o Look at a couple of people\events that illustrate these ideas about Congress\army, how they played out in individual lives Complications inherent in how Congress handled continental army and the regionalism troubled it How serving in the army affected peoples lives in the army Broader truths about American society at the time Outlet for personal ambition, serve in army to promote oneself Opened paths for people that may not have existed Slippery status for women in time of war Many Americans still revered some British cultural ideals even in the middle of the war Story today is the story of Benedict Arnold, his wife Peggy, and John Andre o Armies unmake their reputations All three try to better themselves through the war Opportunities for Social Mobility in the American Revolution Why did the war create opportunities for raising a person's social status, some eager for war o We know that in the colonies before the war, there was a gentlemanly rank of people but society was more middling than in England Lacked entrenched aristocracy o Limited number of pathways that allowed some to enter the ranks of the elite Some professions= for gentlemen Medicine, law, ministry\church (some would also be professors), some merchants, owning a large plantation, officer in the army Being a military officer= greatest chance for instant glory if valor was displayed
Most attractive for ambitious or those who had polemic social status Alexander Hamilton= born illegitimately in West Indies, saw military glory as only way off of St. Croix Hamilton= extreme case: underprivileged but also ambitious and determined Entire generation sees Revolution as way to glory and self promotion o Some Europeans come to the US to fight, impress Continental Congress with their military knowledge

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