The Society of the Cincinnati: Conspiracy and Distrust in Early America

Przednia okładka
Berghahn Books, 2006 - 212

In 1783, the officers of the Continental Army created the Society of the Cincinnati. This veterans' organization was founded in order to preserve the memory of the revolutionary struggle and pursue the officers' common interest in outstanding pay and pensions. Henry Knox and Frederick Steuben were the society's chief organizers; George Washington himself served as president. Soon, however, a widely distributed pamphlet by Aedanus Burke of South Carolina accused the Society of conspiracy. According to Burke, the Society of the Cincinnati was nothing less than a hereditary nobility which would subvert American republicanism into aristocracy. Soon, more critics including John Adams and Elbridge Gerry joined the fray, claiming among other things that the Society was a secret government for the United States or a puppet of the French monarchy. While these accusations were unjustified, they played an important role in the difficult political debates of the 1780s, including the efforts to revise the Articles of Confederation. This books explores why a part of the revolutionary leadership accused another of subversion in the "critical period," and how the political culture of the times predisposed many leading Americans to think of the Cincinnati as a conspiracy.

 

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Spis treści

The Creation of
5
Cum 2
25
CHAPTER 3
57
CHAPTER 5
105
CHAPTER 6
125
CHAPTER 7
137
CHAPTER 8
156
Political Paranoia and the Cincinnati Controversy
185
Selected Bibliography
194
Index
207
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Informacje o autorze (2006)

Markus Hünemörder teaches American history at the University of Munich. He was the first recipient of the Kade-Heideking fellowship administered by the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC.

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