The American Revolution


The Continental Congress

When the news of the "intolerable acts"

reached America, every one knew what strong medicine Parliament was

prepared to administer to all those who resisted its authority. The

cause of Massachusetts became the cause of all the colonies. Opposition

to British policy, hitherto local and spasmodic, now took on a national

To local committees and provincial conventions was added a

Continental Congress, appropriately called by Massachusetts on June 17,

1774, at the instigation of Samuel Adams. The response to the summons

was electric. By hurried and irregular methods delegates were elected

during the summer, and on September 5 the Congress duly assembled in

Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia. Many of the greatest men in America

were there--George Washington and Patrick Henry from Virginia and John

and Samuel Adams from Massachusetts. Every shade of opinion was

represented. Some were impatient with mild devices; the majority favored


The Congress drew up a declaration of American rights and stated in

clear and dignified language the grievances of the colonists. It

approved the resistance to British measures offered by Massachusetts and

promised the united support of all sections. It prepared an address to

King George and another to the people of England, disavowing the idea of

independence but firmly attacking the policies pursued by the British


The Non-Importation Agreement

The Congress was not content, however,

with professions of faith and with petitions. It took one revolutionary

step. It agreed to stop the importation of British goods into America,

and the enforcement of this agreement it placed in the hands of local

"committees of safety and inspection," to be elected by the qualified

voters. The significance of this action is obvious. Congress threw

itself athwart British law. It made a rule to bind American citizens and

to be carried into effect by American officers. It set up a state within

the British state and laid down a test of allegiance to the new order.

The colonists, who up to this moment had been wavering, had to choose

one authority or the other. They were for the enforcement of the

non-importation agreement or they were against it. They either bought

English goods or they did not. In the spirit of the toast--"May Britain

be wise and America be free"--the first Continental Congress adjourned

in October, having appointed the tenth of May following for the meeting

of a second Congress, should necessity require.

Lord North's "Olive Branch."--When the news of the action of the

American Congress reached England, Pitt and Burke warmly urged a repeal

of the obnoxious laws, but in vain. All they could wring from the prime

minister, Lord North, was a set of "conciliatory resolutions" proposing

to relieve from taxation any colony that would assume its share of

imperial defense and make provision for supporting the local officers of

the crown. This "olive branch" was accompanied by a resolution assuring

the king of support at all hazards in suppressing the rebellion and by

the restraining act of March 30, 1775, which in effect destroyed the

commerce of New England.

Bloodshed at Lexington and Concord (April 19, 1775)

Meanwhile the

British authorities in Massachusetts relaxed none of their efforts in

upholding British sovereignty. General Gage, hearing that military

stores had been collected at Concord, dispatched a small force to seize

them. By this act he precipitated the conflict he had sought to avoid.

At Lexington, on the road to Concord, occurred "the little thing" that

produced "the great event." An unexpected collision beyond the thought

or purpose of any man had transferred the contest from the forum to the

battle field.

The Second Continental Congress

Though blood had been shed and war

was actually at hand, the second Continental Congress, which met at

Philadelphia in May, 1775, was not yet convinced that conciliation was

beyond human power. It petitioned the king to interpose on behalf of the

colonists in order that the empire might avoid the calamities of civil

war. On the last day of July, it made a temperate but firm answer to

Lord North's offer of conciliation, stating that the proposal was

unsatisfactory because it did not renounce the right to tax or repeal

the offensive acts of Parliament.

Force, the British Answer

Just as the representatives of America

were about to present the last petition of Congress to the king on

August 23, 1775, George III issued a proclamation of rebellion. This

announcement declared that the colonists, "misled by dangerous and

ill-designing men," were in a state of insurrection; it called on the

civil and military powers to bring "the traitors to justice"; and it

threatened with "condign punishment the authors, perpetrators, and

abettors of such traitorous designs." It closed with the usual prayer:

"God, save the king." Later in the year, Parliament passed a sweeping

act destroying all trade and intercourse with America. Congress was

silent at last. Force was also America's answer.


Drifting into War

Although the Congress had not given up all hope of

reconciliation in the spring and summer of 1775, it had firmly resolved

to defend American rights by arms if necessary. It transformed the

militiamen who had assembled near Boston, after the battle of Lexington,

into a Continental army and selected Washington as commander-in-chief.

It assumed the powers of a government and prepared to raise money, wage

war, and carry on diplomatic relations with foreign countries.

Events followed thick and fast. On June 17, the American militia, by

the stubborn defense of Bunker Hill, showed that it could make British

regulars pay dearly for all they got. On July 3, Washington took command

of the army at Cambridge. In January, 1776, after bitter disappointments

in drumming up recruits for its army in England, Scotland, and Ireland,

the British government concluded a treaty with the Landgrave of

Hesse-Cassel in Germany contracting, at a handsome figure, for thousands

of soldiers and many pieces of cannon. This was the crowning insult to

America. Such was the view of all friends of the colonies on both sides

of the water. Such was, long afterward, the judgment of the conservative

historian Lecky: "The conduct of England in hiring German mercenaries to

subdue the essentially English population beyond the Atlantic made

reconciliation hopeless and independence inevitable." The news of this

wretched transaction in German soldiers had hardly reached America

before there ran all down the coast the thrilling story that Washington

had taken Boston, on March 17, 1776, compelling Lord Howe to sail with

his entire army for Halifax.

The Growth of Public Sentiment in Favor of Independence

Events were

bearing the Americans away from their old position under the British

constitution toward a final separation. Slowly and against their

desires, prudent and honorable men, who cherished the ties that united

them to the old order and dreaded with genuine horror all thought of

revolution, were drawn into the path that led to the great decision. In

all parts of the country and among all classes, the question of the hour

was being debated. "American independence," as the historian Bancroft

says, "was not an act of sudden passion nor the work of one man or one

assembly. It had been discussed in every part of the country by farmers

and merchants, by mechanics and planters, by the fishermen along the

coast and the backwoodsmen of the West; in town meetings and from the

pulpit; at social gatherings and around the camp fires; in county

conventions and conferences or committees; in colonial congresses and


Paine's "Commonsense."--In the midst of this ferment of American

opinion, a bold and eloquent pamphleteer broke in upon the hesitating

public with a program for absolute independence, without fears and

without apologies. In the early days of 1776, Thomas Paine issued the

first of his famous tracts, "Commonsense," a passionate attack upon the

British monarchy and an equally passionate plea for American liberty.

Casting aside the language of petition with which Americans had hitherto

addressed George III, Paine went to the other extreme and assailed him

with many a violent epithet. He condemned monarchy itself as a system

which had laid the world "in blood and ashes." Instead of praising the

British constitution under which colonists had been claiming their

rights, he brushed it aside as ridiculous, protesting that it was "owing

to the constitution of the people, not to the constitution of the

government, that the Crown is not as oppressive in England as in


Having thus summarily swept away the grounds of allegiance to the old

order, Paine proceeded relentlessly to an argument for immediate

separation from Great Britain. There was nothing in the sphere of

practical interest, he insisted, which should bind the colonies to the

mother country. Allegiance to her had been responsible for the many wars

in which they had been involved. Reasons of trade were not less weighty

in behalf of independence. "Our corn will fetch its price in any market

in Europe and our imported goods must be paid for, buy them where we

will." As to matters of government, "it is not in the power of Britain

to do this continent justice; the business of it will soon be too

weighty and intricate to be managed with any tolerable degree of

convenience by a power so distant from us and so very ignorant of us."

There is accordingly no alternative to independence for America.

"Everything that is right or natural pleads for separation. The blood of

the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries ''tis time to part.' ...

Arms, the last resort, must decide the contest; the appeal was the

choice of the king and the continent hath accepted the challenge.... The

sun never shone on a cause of greater worth. 'Tis not the affair of a

city, a county, a province or a kingdom, but of a continent.... 'Tis not

the concern of a day, a year or an age; posterity is involved in the

contest and will be more or less affected to the end of time by the

proceedings now. Now is the seed-time of Continental union, faith, and

honor.... O! ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose not only the

tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth.... Let names of Whig and Tory be

extinct. Let none other be heard among us than those of a good citizen,

an open and resolute friend, and a virtuous supporter of the rights of

mankind and of the free and independent states of America." As more than

100,000 copies were scattered broadcast over the country, patriots

exclaimed with Washington: "Sound doctrine and unanswerable reason!"

The Drift of Events toward Independence

Official support for the

idea of independence began to come from many quarters. On the tenth of

February, 1776, Gadsden, in the provincial convention of South Carolina,

advocated a new constitution for the colony and absolute independence

for all America. The convention balked at the latter but went half way

by abolishing the system of royal administration and establishing a

complete plan of self-government. A month later, on April 12, the

neighboring state of North Carolina uttered the daring phrase from which

others shrank. It empowered its representatives in the Congress to

concur with the delegates of the other colonies in declaring

independence. Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Virginia quickly

responded to the challenge. The convention of the Old Dominion, on May

15, instructed its delegates at Philadelphia to propose the independence

of the United Colonies and to give the assent of Virginia to the act of

separation. When the resolution was carried the British flag on the

state house was lowered for all time.

Meanwhile the Continental Congress was alive to the course of events

outside. The subject of independence was constantly being raised. "Are

we rebels?" exclaimed Wyeth of Virginia during a debate in February.

"No: we must declare ourselves a free people." Others hesitated and

spoke of waiting for the arrival of commissioners of conciliation. "Is

not America already independent?" asked Samuel Adams a few weeks later.

"Why not then declare it?" Still there was uncertainty and delegates

avoided the direct word. A few more weeks elapsed. At last, on May 10,

Congress declared that the authority of the British crown in America

must be suppressed and advised the colonies to set up governments of

their own.

Independence Declared

The way was fully prepared, therefore, when,

on June 7, the Virginia delegation in the Congress moved that "these

united colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent

states." A committee was immediately appointed to draft a formal

document setting forth the reasons for the act, and on July 2 all the

states save New York went on record in favor of severing their political

connection with Great Britain. Two days later, July 4, Jefferson's draft

of the Declaration of Independence, changed in some slight particulars,

was adopted. The old bell in Independence Hall, as it is now known, rang

out the glad tidings; couriers swiftly carried the news to the uttermost

hamlet and farm. A new nation announced its will to have a place among

the powers of the world.

To some documents is given immortality. The Declaration of Independence

is one of them. American patriotism is forever associated with it; but

patriotism alone does not make it immortal. Neither does the vigor of

its language or the severity of its indictment give it a secure place in

the records of time. The secret of its greatness lies in the simple fact

that it is one of the memorable landmarks in the history of a political

ideal which for three centuries has been taking form and spreading

throughout the earth, challenging kings and potentates, shaking down

thrones and aristocracies, breaking the armies of irresponsible power on

battle fields as far apart as Marston Moor and Chateau-Thierry. That

ideal, now so familiar, then so novel, is summed up in the simple

sentence: "Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the


Written in a "decent respect for the opinions of mankind," to set forth

the causes which impelled the American colonists to separate from

Britain, the Declaration contained a long list of "abuses and

usurpations" which had induced them to throw off the government of King

George. That section of the Declaration has passed into "ancient"

history and is seldom read. It is the part laying down a new basis for

government and giving a new dignity to the common man that has become a

household phrase in the Old World as in the New.

In the more enduring passages there are four fundamental ideas which,

from the standpoint of the old system of government, were the essence of

revolution: (1) all men are created equal and are endowed by their

Creator with certain unalienable rights including life, liberty, and the

pursuit of happiness; (2) the purpose of government is to secure these

rights; (3) governments derive their just powers from the consent of the

governed; (4) whenever any form of government becomes destructive of

these ends it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and

institute new government, laying its foundations on such principles and

organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to

effect their safety and happiness. Here was the prelude to the historic

drama of democracy--a challenge to every form of government and every

privilege not founded on popular assent.


The Committees of Correspondence

As soon as debate had passed into

armed resistance, the patriots found it necessary to consolidate their

forces by organizing civil government. This was readily effected, for

the means were at hand in town meetings, provincial legislatures, and

committees of correspondence. The working tools of the Revolution were

in fact the committees of correspondence--small, local, unofficial

groups of patriots formed to exchange views and create public sentiment.

As early as November, 1772, such a committee had been created in Boston

under the leadership of Samuel Adams. It held regular meetings, sent

emissaries to neighboring towns, and carried on a campaign of education

in the doctrines of liberty.

Upon local organizations similar in character to the Boston committee

were built county committees and then the larger colonial committees,

congresses, and conventions, all unofficial and representing the

revolutionary elements. Ordinarily the provincial convention was merely

the old legislative assembly freed from all royalist sympathizers and

controlled by patriots. Finally, upon these colonial assemblies was

built the Continental Congress, the precursor of union under the

Articles of Confederation and ultimately under the Constitution of the

United States. This was the revolutionary government set up within the

British empire in America.

State Constitutions Framed

With the rise of these new assemblies of

the people, the old colonial governments broke down. From the royal

provinces the governor, the judges, and the high officers fled in haste,

and it became necessary to substitute patriot authorities. The appeal to

the colonies advising them to adopt a new form of government for

themselves, issued by the Congress in May, 1776, was quickly acted upon.

Before the expiration of a year, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,

Delaware, Maryland, Georgia, and New York had drafted new constitutions

as states, not as colonies uncertain of their destinies. Connecticut and

Rhode Island, holding that their ancient charters were equal to their

needs, merely renounced their allegiance to the king and went on as

before so far as the form of government was concerned. South Carolina,

which had drafted a temporary plan early in 1776, drew up a new and more

complete constitution in 1778. Two years later Massachusetts with much

deliberation put into force its fundamental law, which in most of its

essential features remains unchanged to-day.

The new state constitutions in their broad outlines followed colonial

models. For the royal governor was substituted a governor or president

chosen usually by the legislature; but in two instances, New York and

Massachusetts, by popular vote. For the provincial council there was

substituted, except in Georgia, a senate; while the lower house, or

assembly, was continued virtually without change. The old property

restriction on the suffrage, though lowered slightly in some states, was

continued in full force to the great discontent of the mechanics thus

deprived of the ballot. The special qualifications, laid down in several

constitutions, for governors, senators, and representatives, indicated

that the revolutionary leaders were not prepared for any radical

experiments in democracy. The protests of a few women, like Mrs. John

Adams of Massachusetts and Mrs. Henry Corbin of Virginia, against a

government which excluded them from political rights were treated as

mild curiosities of no significance, although in New Jersey women were

allowed to vote for many years on the same terms as men.

By the new state constitutions the signs and symbols of royal power, of

authority derived from any source save "the people," were swept aside

and republican governments on an imposing scale presented for the first

time to the modern world. Copies of these remarkable documents prepared

by plain citizens were translated into French and widely circulated in

Europe. There they were destined to serve as a guide and inspiration to

a generation of constitution-makers whose mission it was to begin the

democratic revolution in the Old World.

The Articles of Confederation

The formation of state constitutions

was an easy task for the revolutionary leaders. They had only to build

on foundations already laid. The establishment of a national system of

government was another matter. There had always been, it must be

remembered, a system of central control over the colonies, but Americans

had had little experience in its operation. When the supervision of the

crown of Great Britain was suddenly broken, the patriot leaders,

accustomed merely to provincial statesmanship, were poorly trained for

action on a national stage.

Many forces worked against those who, like Franklin, had a vision of

national destiny. There were differences in economic interest--commerce

and industry in the North and the planting system of the South. There

were contests over the apportionment of taxes and the quotas of troops

for common defense. To these practical difficulties were added local

pride, the vested rights of state and village politicians in their

provincial dignity, and the scarcity of men with a large outlook upon

the common enterprise.

Nevertheless, necessity compelled them to consider some sort of

federation. The second Continental Congress had hardly opened its work

before the most sagacious leaders began to urge the desirability of a

permanent connection. As early as July, 1775, Congress resolved to go

into a committee of the whole on the state of the union, and Franklin,

undaunted by the fate of his Albany plan of twenty years before, again

presented a draft of a constitution. Long and desultory debates followed

and it was not until late in 1777 that Congress presented to the states

the Articles of Confederation. Provincial jealousies delayed

ratification, and it was the spring of 1781, a few months before the

surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, when Maryland, the last of the

states, approved the Articles. This plan of union, though it was all

that could be wrung from the reluctant states, provided for neither a

chief executive nor a system of federal courts. It created simply a

Congress of delegates in which each state had an equal voice and gave it

the right to call upon the state legislatures for the sinews of

government--money and soldiers.

The Application of Tests of Allegiance

As the successive steps were

taken in the direction of independent government, the patriots devised

and applied tests designed to discover who were for and who were against

the new nation in the process of making. When the first Continental

Congress agreed not to allow the importation of British goods, it

provided for the creation of local committees to enforce the rules. Such

agencies were duly formed by the choice of men favoring the scheme, all

opponents being excluded from the elections. Before these bodies those

who persisted in buying British goods were summoned and warned or

punished according to circumstances. As soon as the new state

constitutions were put into effect, local committees set to work in the

same way to ferret out all who were not outspoken in their support of

the new order of things.

These patriot agencies, bearing different names in different sections,

were sometimes ruthless in their methods. They called upon all men to

sign the test of loyalty, frequently known as the "association test."

Those who refused were promptly branded as outlaws, while some of the

more dangerous were thrown into jail. The prison camp in Connecticut at

one time held the former governor of New Jersey and the mayor of New

York. Thousands were black-listed and subjected to espionage. The

black-list of Pennsylvania contained the names of nearly five hundred

persons of prominence who were under suspicion. Loyalists or Tories who

were bold enough to speak and write against the Revolution were

suppressed and their pamphlets burned. In many places, particularly in

the North, the property of the loyalists was confiscated and the

proceeds applied to the cause of the Revolution.

The work of the official agencies for suppression of opposition was

sometimes supplemented by mob violence. A few Tories were hanged without

trial, and others were tarred and feathered. One was placed upon a cake

of ice and held there "until his loyalty to King George might cool."

Whole families were driven out of their homes to find their way as best

they could within the British lines or into Canada, where the British

government gave them lands. Such excesses were deplored by Washington,

but they were defended on the ground that in effect a civil war, as well

as a war for independence, was being waged.

The Patriots and Tories

Thus, by one process or another, those who

were to be citizens of the new republic were separated from those who

preferred to be subjects of King George. Just what proportion of the

Americans favored independence and what share remained loyal to the

British monarchy there is no way of knowing. The question of revolution

was not submitted to popular vote, and on the point of numbers we have

conflicting evidence. On the patriot side, there is the testimony of a

careful and informed observer, John Adams, who asserted that two-thirds

of the people were for the American cause and not more than one-third

opposed the Revolution at all stages.

On behalf of the loyalists, or Tories as they were popularly known,

extravagant claims were made. Joseph Galloway, who had been a member of

the first Continental Congress and had fled to England when he saw its

temper, testified before a committee of Parliament in 1779 that not

one-fifth of the American people supported the insurrection and that

"many more than four-fifths of the people prefer a union with Great

Britain upon constitutional principles to independence." At the same

time General Robertson, who had lived in America twenty-four years,

declared that "more than two-thirds of the people would prefer the

king's government to the Congress' tyranny." In an address to the king

in that year a committee of American loyalists asserted that "the number

of Americans in his Majesty's army exceeded the number of troops

enlisted by Congress to oppose them."

The Character of the Loyalists

When General Howe evacuated Boston,

more than a thousand people fled with him. This great company, according

to a careful historian, "formed the aristocracy of the province by

virtue of their official rank; of their dignified callings and

professions; of their hereditary wealth and of their culture." The act

of banishment passed by Massachusetts in 1778, listing over 300 Tories,

"reads like the social register of the oldest and noblest families of

New England," more than one out of five being graduates of Harvard

College. The same was true of New York and Philadelphia; namely, that

the leading loyalists were prominent officials of the old order,

clergymen and wealthy merchants. With passion the loyalists fought

against the inevitable or with anguish of heart they left as refugees

for a life of uncertainty in Canada or the mother country.

Tories Assail the Patriots

The Tories who remained in America joined

the British army by the thousands or in other ways aided the royal

cause. Those who were skillful with the pen assailed the patriots in

editorials, rhymes, satires, and political catechisms. They declared

that the members of Congress were "obscure, pettifogging attorneys,

bankrupt shopkeepers, outlawed smugglers, etc." The people and their

leaders they characterized as "wretched banditti ... the refuse and

dregs of mankind." The generals in the army they sneered at as "men of

rank and honor nearly on a par with those of the Congress."

Patriot Writers Arouse the National Spirit

Stung by Tory taunts,

patriot writers devoted themselves to creating and sustaining a public

opinion favorable to the American cause. Moreover, they had to combat

the depression that grew out of the misfortunes in the early days of the

war. A terrible disaster befell Generals Arnold and Montgomery in the

winter of 1775 as they attempted to bring Canada into the revolution--a

disaster that cost 5000 men; repeated calamities harassed Washington in

1776 as he was defeated on Long Island, driven out of New York City, and

beaten at Harlem Heights and White Plains. These reverses were almost

too great for the stoutest patriots.

Pamphleteers, preachers, and publicists rose, however, to meet the needs

of the hour. John Witherspoon, provost of the College of New Jersey,

forsook the classroom for the field of political controversy. The poet,

Philip Freneau, flung taunts of cowardice at the Tories and celebrated

the spirit of liberty in many a stirring poem. Songs, ballads, plays,

and satires flowed from the press in an unending stream. Fast days,

battle anniversaries, celebrations of important steps taken by Congress

afforded to patriotic clergymen abundant opportunities for sermons.

"Does Mr. Wiberd preach against oppression?" anxiously inquired John

Adams in a letter to his wife. The answer was decisive. "The clergy of

every denomination, not excepting the Episcopalian, thunder and lighten

every Sabbath. They pray for Boston and Massachusetts. They thank God

most explicitly and fervently for our remarkable successes. They pray

for the American army."

Thomas Paine never let his pen rest. He had been with the forces of

Washington when they retreated from Fort Lee and were harried from New

Jersey into Pennsylvania. He knew the effect of such reverses on the

army as well as on the public. In December, 1776, he made a second great

appeal to his countrymen in his pamphlet, "The Crisis," the first part

of which he had written while defeat and gloom were all about him. This

tract was a cry for continued support of the Revolution. "These are the

times that try men's souls," he opened. "The summer soldier and the

sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his

country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of men

and women." Paine laid his lash fiercely on the Tories, branding every

one as a coward grounded in "servile, slavish, self-interested fear." He

deplored the inadequacy of the militia and called for a real army. He

refuted the charge that the retreat through New Jersey was a disaster

and he promised victory soon. "By perseverance and fortitude," he

concluded, "we have the prospect of a glorious issue; by cowardice and

submission the sad choice of a variety of evils--a ravaged country, a

depopulated city, habitations without safety and slavery without

hope.... Look on this picture and weep over it." His ringing call to

arms was followed by another and another until the long contest was



The Two Phases of the War

The war which opened with the battle of

Lexington, on April 19, 1775, and closed with the surrender of

Cornwallis at Yorktown on October 19, 1781, passed through two distinct

phases--the first lasting until the treaty of alliance with France, in

1778, and the second until the end of the struggle. During the first

phase, the war was confined mainly to the North. The outstanding

features of the contest were the evacuation of Boston by the British,

the expulsion of American forces from New York and their retreat through

New Jersey, the battle of Trenton, the seizure of Philadelphia by the

British (September, 1777), the invasion of New York by Burgoyne and his

capture at Saratoga in October, 1777, and the encampment of American

forces at Valley Forge for the terrible winter of 1777-78.

The final phase of the war, opening with the treaty of alliance with

France on February 6, 1778, was confined mainly to the Middle states,

the West, and the South. In the first sphere of action the chief events

were the withdrawal of the British from Philadelphia, the battle of

Monmouth, and the inclosure of the British in New York by deploying

American forces from Morristown, New Jersey, up to West Point. In the

West, George Rogers Clark, by his famous march into the Illinois

country, secured Kaskaskia and Vincennes and laid a firm grip on the

country between the Ohio and the Great Lakes. In the South, the second

period opened with successes for the British. They captured Savannah,

conquered Georgia, and restored the royal governor. In 1780 they seized

Charleston, administered a crushing defeat to the American forces under

Gates at Camden, and overran South Carolina, though meeting reverses at

Cowpens and King's Mountain. Then came the closing scenes. Cornwallis

began the last of his operations. He pursued General Greene far into

North Carolina, clashed with him at Guilford Court House, retired to the

coast, took charge of British forces engaged in plundering Virginia, and

fortified Yorktown, where he was penned up by the French fleet from the

sea and the combined French and American forces on land.

The Geographical Aspects of the War

For the British the theater of

the war offered many problems. From first to last it extended from

Massachusetts to Georgia, a distance of almost a thousand miles. It was

nearly three thousand miles from the main base of supplies and, though

the British navy kept the channel open, transports were constantly

falling prey to daring privateers and fleet American war vessels. The

sea, on the other hand, offered an easy means of transportation between

points along the coast and gave ready access to the American centers of

wealth and population. Of this the British made good use. Though early

forced to give up Boston, they seized New York and kept it until the end

of the war; they took Philadelphia and retained it until threatened by

the approach of the French fleet; and they captured and held both

Savannah and Charleston. Wars, however, are seldom won by the conquest

of cities.

Particularly was this true in the case of the Revolution. Only a small

portion of the American people lived in towns. Countrymen back from the

coast were in no way dependent upon them for a livelihood. They lived on

the produce of the soil, not upon the profits of trade. This very fact

gave strength to them in the contest. Whenever the British ventured far

from the ports of entry, they encountered reverses. Burgoyne was forced

to surrender at Saratoga because he was surrounded and cut off from his

base of supplies. As soon as the British got away from Charleston, they

were harassed and worried by the guerrilla warriors of Marion, Sumter,

and Pickens. Cornwallis could technically defeat Greene at Guilford far

in the interior; but he could not hold the inland region he had invaded.

Sustained by their own labor, possessing the interior to which their

armies could readily retreat, supplied mainly from native resources, the

Americans could not be hemmed in, penned up, and destroyed at one fell


The Sea Power

The British made good use of their fleet in cutting

off American trade, but control of the sea did not seriously affect the

United States. As an agricultural country, the ruin of its commerce was

not such a vital matter. All the materials for a comfortable though

somewhat rude life were right at hand. It made little difference to a

nation fighting for existence, if silks, fine linens, and chinaware were

cut off. This was an evil to which submission was necessary.

Nor did the brilliant exploits of John Paul Jones and Captain John Barry

materially change the situation. They demonstrated the skill of American

seamen and their courage as fighting men. They raised the rates of

British marine insurance, but they did not dethrone the mistress of the

seas. Less spectacular, and more distinctive, were the deeds of the

hundreds of privateers and minor captains who overhauled British supply

ships and kept British merchantmen in constant anxiety. Not until the

French fleet was thrown into the scale, were the British compelled to

reckon seriously with the enemy on the sea and make plans based upon the

possibilities of a maritime disaster.

Commanding Officers

On the score of military leadership it is

difficult to compare the contending forces in the revolutionary contest.

There is no doubt that all the British commanders were men of experience

in the art of warfare. Sir William Howe had served in America during the

French War and was accounted an excellent officer, a strict

disciplinarian, and a gallant gentleman. Nevertheless he loved ease,

society, and good living, and his expulsion from Boston, his failure to

overwhelm Washington by sallies from his comfortable bases at New York

and Philadelphia, destroyed every shred of his military reputation. John

Burgoyne, to whom was given the task of penetrating New York from

Canada, had likewise seen service in the French War both in America and

Europe. He had, however, a touch of the theatrical in his nature and

after the collapse of his plans and the surrender of his army in 1777,

he devoted his time mainly to light literature. Sir Henry Clinton, who

directed the movement which ended in the capture of Charleston in 1780,

had "learned his trade on the continent," and was regarded as a man of

discretion and understanding in military matters. Lord Cornwallis, whose

achievements at Camden and Guilford were blotted out by his surrender at

Yorktown, had seen service in the Seven Years' War and had undoubted

talents which he afterward displayed with great credit to himself in

India. Though none of them, perhaps, were men of first-rate ability,

they all had training and experience to guide them.

The Americans had a host in Washington himself. He had long been

interested in military strategy and had tested his coolness under fire

during the first clashes with the French nearly twenty years before. He

had no doubts about the justice of his cause, such as plagued some of

the British generals. He was a stern but reasonable disciplinarian. He

was reserved and patient, little given to exaltation at success or

depression at reverses. In the dark hour of the Revolution, "what held

the patriot forces together?" asks Beveridge in his Life of John

Marshall. Then he answers: "George Washington and he alone. Had he

died or been seriously disabled, the Revolution would have ended....

Washington was the soul of the American cause. Washington was the

government. Washington was the Revolution." The weakness of Congress in

furnishing men and supplies, the indolence of civilians, who lived at

ease while the army starved, the intrigues of army officers against him

such as the "Conway cabal," the cowardice of Lee at Monmouth, even the

treason of Benedict Arnold, while they stirred deep emotions in his

breast and aroused him to make passionate pleas to his countrymen, did

not shake his iron will or his firm determination to see the war through

to the bitter end. The weight of Washington's moral force was


Of the generals who served under him, none can really be said to have

been experienced military men when the war opened. Benedict Arnold, the

unhappy traitor but brave and daring soldier, was a druggist, book

seller, and ship owner at New Haven when the news of Lexington called

him to battle. Horatio Gates was looked upon as a "seasoned soldier"

because he had entered the British army as a youth, had been wounded at

Braddock's memorable defeat, and had served with credit during the Seven

Years' War; but he was the most conspicuous failure of the Revolution.

The triumph over Burgoyne was the work of other men; and his crushing

defeat at Camden put an end to his military pretensions. Nathanael

Greene was a Rhode Island farmer and smith without military experience

who, when convinced that war was coming, read Caesar's Commentaries and

took up the sword. Francis Marion was a shy and modest planter of South

Carolina whose sole passage at arms had been a brief but desperate brush

with the Indians ten or twelve years earlier. Daniel Morgan, one of the

heroes of Cowpens, had been a teamster with Braddock's army and had seen

some fighting during the French and Indian War, but his military

knowledge, from the point of view of a trained British officer, was

negligible. John Sullivan was a successful lawyer at Durham, New

Hampshire, and a major in the local militia when duty summoned him to

lay down his briefs and take up the sword. Anthony Wayne was a

Pennsylvania farmer and land surveyor who, on hearing the clash of arms,

read a few books on war, raised a regiment, and offered himself for

service. Such is the story of the chief American military leaders, and

it is typical of them all. Some had seen fighting with the French and

Indians, but none of them had seen warfare on a large scale with regular

troops commanded according to the strategy evolved in European

experience. Courage, native ability, quickness of mind, and knowledge of

the country they had in abundance, and in battles such as were fought

during the Revolution all those qualities counted heavily in the


Foreign Officers in American Service

To native genius was added

military talent from beyond the seas. Baron Steuben, well schooled in

the iron regime of Frederick the Great, came over from Prussia, joined

Washington at Valley Forge, and day after day drilled and manoeuvered the

men, laughing and cursing as he turned raw countrymen into regular

soldiers. From France came young Lafayette and the stern De Kalb, from

Poland came Pulaski and Kosciusko;--all acquainted with the arts of war

as waged in Europe and fitted for leadership as well as teaching.

Lafayette came early, in 1776, in a ship of his own, accompanied by

several officers of wide experience, and remained loyally throughout the

war sharing the hardships of American army life. Pulaski fell at the

siege of Savannah and De Kalb at Camden. Kosciusko survived the American

war to defend in vain the independence of his native land. To these

distinguished foreigners, who freely threw in their lot with American

revolutionary fortunes, was due much of that spirit and discipline which

fitted raw recruits and temperamental militiamen to cope with a military

power of the first rank.

The Soldiers

As far as the British soldiers were concerned their

annals are short and simple. The regulars from the standing army who

were sent over at the opening of the contest, the recruits drummed up

by special efforts at home, and the thousands of Hessians bought

outright by King George presented few problems of management to the

British officers. These common soldiers were far away from home and

enlisted for the war. Nearly all of them were well disciplined and many

of them experienced in actual campaigns. The armies of King George

fought bravely, as the records of Bunker Hill, Brandywine, and Monmouth

demonstrate. Many a man and subordinate officer and, for that matter,

some of the high officers expressed a reluctance at fighting against

their own kin; but they obeyed orders.

The Americans, on the other hand, while they fought with grim

determination, as men fighting for their homes, were lacking in

discipline and in the experience of regular troops. When the war broke

in upon them, there were no common preparations for it. There was no

continental army; there were only local bands of militiamen, many of

them experienced in fighting but few of them "regulars" in the military

sense. Moreover they were volunteers serving for a short time,

unaccustomed to severe discipline, and impatient at the restraints

imposed on them by long and arduous campaigns. They were continually

leaving the service just at the most critical moments. "The militia,"

lamented Washington, "come in, you cannot tell how; go, you cannot tell

where; consume your provisions; exhaust your stores; and leave you at

last at a critical moment."

Again and again Washington begged Congress to provide for an army of

regulars enlisted for the war, thoroughly trained and paid according to

some definite plan. At last he was able to overcome, in part at least,

the chronic fear of civilians in Congress and to wring from that

reluctant body an agreement to grant half pay to all officers and a

bonus to all privates who served until the end of the war. Even this

scheme, which Washington regarded as far short of justice to the

soldiers, did not produce quick results. It was near the close of the

conflict before he had an army of well-disciplined veterans capable of

meeting British regulars on equal terms.

Though there were times when militiamen and frontiersmen did valiant and

effective work, it is due to historical accuracy to deny the

time-honored tradition that a few minutemen overwhelmed more numerous

forces of regulars in a seven years' war for independence. They did

nothing of the sort. For the victories of Bennington, Trenton, Saratoga,

and Yorktown there were the defeats of Bunker Hill, Long Island, White

Plains, Germantown, and Camden. Not once did an army of militiamen

overcome an equal number of British regulars in an open trial by battle.

"To bring men to be well acquainted with the duties of a soldier," wrote

Washington, "requires time.... To expect the same service from raw and

undisciplined recruits as from veteran soldiers is to expect what never

did and perhaps never will happen."

How the War Was Won

Then how did the American army win the war? For

one thing there were delays and blunders on the part of the British

generals who, in 1775 and 1776, dallied in Boston and New York with

large bodies of regular troops when they might have been dealing

paralyzing blows at the scattered bands that constituted the American

army. "Nothing but the supineness or folly of the enemy could have saved

us," solemnly averred Washington in 1780. Still it is fair to say that

this apparent supineness was not all due to the British generals. The

ministers behind them believed that a large part of the colonists were

loyal and that compromise would be promoted by inaction rather than by a

war vigorously prosecuted. Victory by masterly inactivity was obviously

better than conquest, and the slighter the wounds the quicker the

healing. Later in the conflict when the seasoned forces of France were

thrown into the scale, the Americans themselves had learned many things

about the practical conduct of campaigns. All along, the British were

embarrassed by the problem of supplies. Their troops could not forage

with the skill of militiamen, as they were in unfamiliar territory. The

long oversea voyages were uncertain at best and doubly so when the

warships of France joined the American privateers in preying on supply


The British were in fact battered and worn down by a guerrilla war and

outdone on two important occasions by superior forces--at Saratoga and

Yorktown. Stern facts convinced them finally that an immense army, which

could be raised only by a supreme effort, would be necessary to subdue

the colonies if that hazardous enterprise could be accomplished at all.

They learned also that America would then be alienated, fretful, and the

scene of endless uprisings calling for an army of occupation. That was a

price which staggered even Lord North and George III. Moreover, there

were forces of opposition at home with which they had to reckon.

Women and the War

At no time were the women of America indifferent

to the struggle for independence. When it was confined to the realm of

opinion they did their part in creating public sentiment. Mrs. Elizabeth

Timothee, for example, founded in Charleston, in 1773, a newspaper to

espouse the cause of the province. Far to the north the sister of James

Otis, Mrs. Mercy Warren, early begged her countrymen to rest their case

upon their natural rights, and in influential circles she urged the

leaders to stand fast by their principles. While John Adams was tossing

about with uncertainty at the Continental Congress, his wife was writing

letters to him declaring her faith in "independency."

When the war came down upon the country, women helped in every field. In

sustaining public sentiment they were active. Mrs. Warren with a

tireless pen combatted loyalist propaganda in many a drama and satire.

Almost every revolutionary leader had a wife or daughter who rendered

service in the "second line of defense." Mrs. Washington managed the

plantation while the General was at the front and went north to face the

rigors of the awful winter at Valley Forge--an inspiration to her

husband and his men. The daughter of Benjamin Franklin, Mrs. Sarah

Bache, while her father was pleading the American cause in France, set

the women of Pennsylvania to work sewing and collecting supplies. Even

near the firing line women were to be found, aiding the wounded, hauling

powder to the front, and carrying dispatches at the peril of their


In the economic sphere, the work of women was invaluable. They harvested

crops without enjoying the picturesque title of "farmerettes" and they

canned and preserved for the wounded and the prisoners of war. Of their

labor in spinning and weaving it is recorded: "Immediately on being cut

off from the use of English manufactures, the women engaged within their

own families in manufacturing various kinds of cloth for domestic use.

They thus kept their households decently clad and the surplus of their

labors they sold to such as chose to buy rather than make for

themselves. In this way the female part of families by their industry

and strict economy frequently supported the whole domestic circle,

evincing the strength of their attachment and the value of their


For their war work, women were commended by high authorities on more

than one occasion. They were given medals and public testimonials even

as in our own day. Washington thanked them for their labors and paid

tribute to them for the inspiration and material aid which they had

given to the cause of independence.


When the Revolution opened, there were thirteen little treasuries in

America but no common treasury, and from first to last the Congress was

in the position of a beggar rather than a sovereign. Having no authority

to lay and collect taxes directly and knowing the hatred of the

provincials for taxation, it resorted mainly to loans and paper money to

finance the war. "Do you think," boldly inquired one of the delegates,

"that I will consent to load my constituents with taxes when we can send

to the printer and get a wagon load of money, one quire of which will

pay for the whole?"

Paper Money and Loans

Acting on this curious but appealing political

economy, Congress issued in June, 1776, two million dollars in bills of

credit to be redeemed by the states on the basis of their respective

populations. Other issues followed in quick succession. In all about

$241,000,000 of continental paper was printed, to which the several

states added nearly $210,000,000 of their own notes. Then came

interest-bearing bonds in ever increasing quantities. Several millions

were also borrowed from France and small sums from Holland and Spain. In

desperation a national lottery was held, producing meager results. The

property of Tories was confiscated and sold, bringing in about

$16,000,000. Begging letters were sent to the states asking them to

raise revenues for the continental treasury, but the states, burdened

with their own affairs, gave little heed.

Inflation and Depreciation

As paper money flowed from the press, it

rapidly declined in purchasing power until in 1779 a dollar was worth

only two or three cents in gold or silver. Attempts were made by

Congress and the states to compel people to accept the notes at face

value; but these were like attempts to make water flow uphill.

Speculators collected at once to fatten on the calamities of the

republic. Fortunes were made and lost gambling on the prices of public

securities while the patriot army, half clothed, was freezing at Valley

Forge. "Speculation, peculation, engrossing, forestalling," exclaimed

Washington, "afford too many melancholy proofs of the decay of public

virtue. Nothing, I am convinced, but the depreciation of our currency

... aided by stock jobbing and party dissensions has fed the hopes of

the enemy."

The Patriot Financiers

To the efforts of Congress in financing the

war were added the labors of private citizens. Hayn Solomon, a merchant

of Philadelphia, supplied members of Congress, including Madison,

Jefferson, and Monroe, and army officers, like Lee and Steuben, with

money for their daily needs. All together he contributed the huge sum of

half a million dollars to the American cause and died broken in purse,

if not in spirit, a British prisoner of war. Another Philadelphia

merchant, Robert Morris, won for himself the name of the "patriot

financier" because he labored night and day to find the money to meet

the bills which poured in upon the bankrupt government. When his own

funds were exhausted, he borrowed from his friends. Experienced in the

handling of merchandise, he created agencies at important points to

distribute supplies to the troops, thus displaying administrative as

well as financial talents.

Women organized "drives" for money, contributed their plate and their

jewels, and collected from door to door. Farmers took worthless paper in

return for their produce, and soldiers saw many a pay day pass without

yielding them a penny. Thus by the labors and sacrifices of citizens,

the issuance of paper money, lotteries, the floating of loans,

borrowings in Europe, and the impressment of supplies, the Congress

staggered through the Revolution like a pauper who knows not how his

next meal is to be secured but is continuously relieved at a crisis by a

kindly fate.


When the full measure of honor is given to the soldiers and sailors and

their commanding officers, the civilians who managed finances and

supplies, the writers who sustained the American spirit, and the women

who did well their part, there yet remains the duty of recognizing the

achievements of diplomacy. The importance of this field of activity was

keenly appreciated by the leaders in the Continental Congress. They were

fairly well versed in European history. They knew of the balance of

power and the sympathies, interests, and prejudices of nations and their

rulers. All this information they turned to good account, in opening

relations with continental countries and seeking money, supplies, and

even military assistance. For the transaction of this delicate business,

they created a secret committee on foreign correspondence as early as

1775 and prepared to send agents abroad.

American Agents Sent Abroad

Having heard that France was inclining a

friendly ear to the American cause, the Congress, in March, 1776, sent a

commissioner to Paris, Silas Deane of Connecticut, often styled the

"first American diplomat." Later in the year a form of treaty to be

presented to foreign powers was drawn up, and Franklin, Arthur Lee, and

Deane were selected as American representatives at the court of "His

Most Christian Majesty the King of France." John Jay of New York was

chosen minister to Spain in 1779; John Adams was sent to Holland the

same year; and other agents were dispatched to Florence, Vienna, and

Berlin. The representative selected for St. Petersburg spent two

fruitless years there, "ignored by the court, living in obscurity and

experiencing nothing but humiliation and failure." Frederick the Great,

king of Prussia, expressed a desire to find in America a market for

Silesian linens and woolens, but, fearing England's command of the sea,

he refused to give direct aid to the Revolutionary cause.

Early French Interest

The great diplomatic triumph of the Revolution

was won at Paris, and Benjamin Franklin was the hero of the occasion,

although many circumstances prepared the way for his success. Louis

XVI's foreign minister, Count de Vergennes, before the arrival of any

American representative, had brought to the attention of the king the

opportunity offered by the outbreak of the war between England and her

colonies. He showed him how France could redress her grievances and

"reduce the power and greatness of England"--the empire that in 1763 had

forced upon her a humiliating peace "at the price of our possessions,

of our commerce, and our credit in the Indies, at the price of Canada,

Louisiana, Isle Royale, Acadia, and Senegal." Equally successful in

gaining the king's interest was a curious French adventurer,

Beaumarchais, a man of wealth, a lover of music, and the author of two

popular plays, "Figaro" and "The Barber of Seville." These two men had

already urged upon the king secret aid for America before Deane appeared

on the scene. Shortly after his arrival they made confidential

arrangements to furnish money, clothing, powder, and other supplies to

the struggling colonies, although official requests for them were

officially refused by the French government.

Franklin at Paris

When Franklin reached Paris, he was received only

in private by the king's minister, Vergennes. The French people,

however, made manifest their affection for the "plain republican" in

"his full dress suit of spotted Manchester velvet." He was known among

men of letters as an author, a scientist, and a philosopher of

extraordinary ability. His "Poor Richard" had thrice been translated

into French and was scattered in numerous editions throughout the

kingdom. People of all ranks--ministers, ladies at court, philosophers,

peasants, and stable boys--knew of Franklin and wished him success in

his mission. The queen, Marie Antoinette, fated to lose her head in a

revolution soon to follow, played with fire by encouraging "our dear


For the king of France, however, this was more serious business. England

resented the presence of this "traitor" in Paris, and Louis had to be

cautious about plunging into another war that might also end

disastrously. Moreover, the early period of Franklin's sojourn in Paris

was a dark hour for the American Revolution. Washington's brilliant

exploit at Trenton on Christmas night, 1776, and the battle with

Cornwallis at Princeton had been followed by the disaster at Brandywine,

the loss of Philadelphia, the defeat at Germantown, and the retirement

to Valley Forge for the winter of 1777-78. New York City and

Philadelphia--two strategic ports--were in British hands; the Hudson

and Delaware rivers were blocked; and General Burgoyne with his British

troops was on his way down through the heart of northern New York,

cutting New England off from the rest of the colonies. No wonder the

king was cautious. Then the unexpected happened. Burgoyne, hemmed in

from all sides by the American forces, his flanks harried, his foraging

parties beaten back, his supplies cut off, surrendered on October 17,

1777, to General Gates, who had superseded General Schuyler in time to

receive the honor.

Treaties of Alliance and Commerce (1778)

News of this victory,

placed by historians among the fifteen decisive battles of the world,

reached Franklin one night early in December while he and some friends

sat gloomily at dinner. Beaumarchais, who was with him, grasped at once

the meaning of the situation and set off to the court at Versailles with

such haste that he upset his coach and dislocated his arm. The king and

his ministers were at last convinced that the hour had come to aid the

Revolution. Treaties of commerce and alliance were drawn up and signed

in February, 1778. The independence of the United States was recognized

by France and an alliance was formed to guarantee that independence.

Combined military action was agreed upon and Louis then formally

declared war on England. Men who had, a few short years before, fought

one another in the wilderness of Pennsylvania or on the Plains of

Abraham, were now ranged side by side in a war on the Empire that Pitt

had erected and that George III was pulling down.

Spain and Holland Involved

Within a few months, Spain, remembering

the steady decline of her sea power since the days of the Armada and

hoping to drive the British out of Gibraltar, once more joined the

concert of nations against England. Holland, a member of a league of

armed neutrals formed in protest against British searches on the high

seas, sent her fleet to unite with the forces of Spain, France, and

America to prey upon British commerce. To all this trouble for England

was added the danger of a possible revolt in Ireland, where the spirit

of independence was flaming up.

The British Offer Terms to America

Seeing the colonists about to be

joined by France in a common war on the English empire, Lord North

proposed, in February, 1778, a renewal of negotiations. By solemn

enactment, Parliament declared its intention not to exercise the right

of imposing taxes within the colonies; at the same time it authorized

the opening of negotiations through commissioners to be sent to America.

A truce was to be established, pardons granted, objectionable laws

suspended, and the old imperial constitution, as it stood before the

opening of hostilities, restored to full vigor. It was too late. Events

had taken the affairs of America out of the hands of British

commissioners and diplomats.

Effects of French Aid

The French alliance brought ships of war,

large sums of gold and silver, loads of supplies, and a considerable

body of trained soldiers to the aid of the Americans. Timely as was this

help, it meant no sudden change in the fortunes of war. The British

evacuated Philadelphia in the summer following the alliance, and

Washington's troops were encouraged to come out of Valley Forge. They

inflicted a heavy blow on the British at Monmouth, but the treasonable

conduct of General Charles Lee prevented a triumph. The recovery of

Philadelphia was offset by the treason of Benedict Arnold, the loss of

Savannah and Charleston (1780), and the defeat of Gates at Camden.

The full effect of the French alliance was not felt until 1781, when

Cornwallis went into Virginia and settled at Yorktown. Accompanied by

French troops Washington swept rapidly southward and penned the British

to the shore while a powerful French fleet shut off their escape by sea.

It was this movement, which certainly could not have been executed

without French aid, that put an end to all chance of restoring British

dominion in America. It was the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown that

caused Lord North to pace the floor and cry out: "It is all over! It is

all over!" What might have been done without the French alliance lies

hidden from mankind. What was accomplished with the help of French

soldiers, sailors, officers, money, and supplies, is known to all the

earth. "All the world agree," exultantly wrote Franklin from Paris to

General Washington, "that no expedition was ever better planned or

better executed. It brightens the glory that must accompany your name to

the latest posterity." Diplomacy as well as martial valor had its



British Opposition to the War

In measuring the forces that led to

the final discomfiture of King George and Lord North, it is necessary to

remember that from the beginning to the end the British ministry at home

faced a powerful, informed, and relentless opposition. There were

vigorous protests, first against the obnoxious acts which precipitated

the unhappy quarrel, then against the way in which the war was waged,

and finally against the futile struggle to retain a hold upon the

American dominions. Among the members of Parliament who thundered

against the government were the first statesmen and orators of the land.

William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, though he deplored the idea of American

independence, denounced the government as the aggressor and rejoiced in

American resistance. Edmund Burke leveled his heavy batteries against

every measure of coercion and at last strove for a peace which, while

giving independence to America, would work for reconciliation rather

than estrangement. Charles James Fox gave the colonies his generous

sympathy and warmly championed their rights. Outside of the circle of

statesmen there were stout friends of the American cause like David

Hume, the philosopher and historian, and Catherine Macaulay, an author

of wide fame and a republican bold enough to encourage Washington in

seeing it through.

Against this powerful opposition, the government enlisted a whole army

of scribes and journalists to pour out criticism on the Americans and

their friends. Dr. Samuel Johnson, whom it employed in this business,

was so savage that even the ministers had to tone down his pamphlets

before printing them. Far more weighty was Edward Gibbon, who was in

time to win fame as the