chapter 6 - Printed Page 162[Notes\/Highlighting CHAPTER 6 Making War and Republican Governments 17761789[Societies and governments are republican

chapter 6 - Printed Page 162[Notes/Highlighting...

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Printed Page 162 [Notes/Highlighting] CHAPTER 6 Making War and Republican Governments 1776–1789 [Societies] and governments are republican only in proportion as they embody the will of their people. — Thomas Jefferson, 1813 W hen Patriots in Frederick County, Maryland, demanded his allegiance to their cause in 1776, Robert Gassaway would have none of it. “It was better for the poor people to lay down their arms and pay the duties and taxes laid upon them by King and Parliament than to be brought into slavery and commanded and ordered about [by you],” he told them. The story was much the same in Farmington, Connecticut, where Patriot officials imprisoned Nathaniel Jones and seventeen other men for “remaining neutral.” In Pennsylvania, Quakers accused of Loyalism were rounded up, jailed, and charged with treason, and some were hung for aiding the British cause. Everywhere, the outbreak of fighting in 1776 forced families to choose the Loyalist or the Patriot side. The Patriots’ control of most local governments gave them an edge in this battle. Patriot leaders organized militia units and recruited volunteers for the Continental army, a ragtag force that surprisingly held its own on the battlefield. “I admire the American troops tremendously!” exclaimed a French officer. “It is incredible that soldiers composed of every age, even children of fifteen, of whites and blacks, almost naked, unpaid, and rather poorly fed,can march so well and withstand fire so steadfastly.” Military service created political commitment — and vice versa. Patriot leaders encouraged Americans not only to support the war but also to take an active role in government. As the common people entered into politics, the character of political identity changed. Previously, Americans had lived within a social world dominated by the links of family, kinship, and locality; now,republican citizenship emphasized the vertical ties connecting each individual with the state. “From subjects to citizens the difference is immense,” remarked South Carolina Patriot David Ramsay. By repudiating monarchical rule and raising a democratic army, the Patriots launched the age of republican revolutions. Soon republicanism would throw France into turmoil and inspire revolutionaries in Spain’s American colonies. The independence of the Anglo-American colonies, remarked the Venezuelan political leader Francisco de Miranda, who had been in New York and

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