The dramatic story of George Washington's first crisis of the fledgling republic.
In the war’s waning days, the American Revolution neared collapsed when Washington’s senior officers were rumored to be on the edge of mutiny.
After the British surrender at Yorktown, the American Revolution blazed on—and as peace was negotiated in Europe, grave problems surfaced at home. The government was broke and paid its debts with loans from France. Political rivalry among the states paralyzed Congress. The army’s officers, encamped near Newburgh, New York, and restless without an enemy to fight, brooded over a civilian population indifferent to their sacrifices.
The result was the so-called Newburgh Conspiracy, a mysterious event in which Continental Army officers, disgruntled by a lack of pay and pensions, may have collaborated with nationalist-minded politicians such as Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and Robert Morris to pressure Congress and the states to approve new taxes and strengthen the central government.
A Crisis of Peace tells the story of a pivotal episode of George Washington's leadership and reveals how the American Revolution really ended: with fiscal turmoil, out-of-control conspiracy thinking, and suspicions between soldiers and civilians so strong that peace almost failed to bring true independence.
A history professor at the University of Central Florida, David Head is the author of A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution. His books have been supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, a Gilder Lehrman Fellowship at the New-York Historical Society, and a Lord Baltimore Fellowship. Head’s academic work has been honored with the John Gardner Maritime Research Award; the Marion Brewington Prize for Chesapeake Maritime History; and the Hardin Craig Award for Excellence. David lives in Orlando, Florida.
Table of Contents
A Note on 18th-Century Writing ix
1 The Road from Yorktown 1
2 The Insipid Campaign 25
3 The Officers' Grievances, The Financier's Frustration 53