By Thomas Fleming
Why is the parable of 1776?
To nation it in its baldest phrases: This was once the single time in American lifestyles whilst idealism used to be really in flower. Made attainable by means of the purest kind of patriotism, led via a soldier whom everybody loved - George Washington - who, in flip, was once guided via a caucus of political geniuses in Philadelphia - the Continental Congress - stable farmers raced from their plows to hurl themselves into clash with British mercenaries. by no means have such a lot of nice males, magnetic leaders, sprung from nowhere to lead a humans infused with a gorgeous enthusiasm for liberty.
In this booklet, ny occasions bestselling historian Thomas Fleming explodes this fantasy via studying the entire dimensions of that yr - fairly the least recognized elements of the typical, fallible humanity of the lads and ladies of the Revolution.
The 12 months 1776 ended with either the american citizens and the British stripped in their illusions. either side were compelled to desert the parable in their invincibility and to...
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Extra resources for 1776
No reason here for daring death by frostbite and gunshot. Tea, a very popular beverage, did have a British tax on it - of three pence to the pound. But immense amounts of Dutch, Danish, and French tea - about £500,000 worth a year - were smuggled into America, and no doubt tasted all the sweeter for being drunk without paying the British tax. If a man had to buy British tea, he would have had to drink about a gallon a day before the three pence tax cost him as much as a dollar a year. It is hard to believe that any American was that addicted to tea.
My descent was terrible,” he said. “Gun and all was involved in a great depth of snow. ” No one stopped to help him. They were still receiving deadly fire from the ramparts of the Upper Town. “Scrabbling out . . without assistance,” Henry shook the snow off himself and his gun and tried to get back into line. But his own company had vanished, and the men passing now “knew me not. We had not gone twenty yards in my hobbling gait, before I was thrown out,” Henry said. ” Nineteen-year-old Simon Fobes of Massachusetts saw his sergeant shot down beside him.
In their desperation, many seized muskets from the captured British and Canadians, but there were not enough of them to go around. Then the Americans noted that one house, a big stone structure that was part of the barrier, had a door that opened into the end of the street they held. At the other end of the house was a gable window that looked down on the British side of the barrier. Here was a unique opportunity. The Americans seized the first floor of the house. But Major Henry Caldwell was on the scene now, and he saw the danger.