Another Visit with the General

What is fascinating about Chernow's biography is the way in which you see relatively small moments in history snowballing to become the Revolutionary War.  In the passage below, we have captured a moment in the French and Indian War, but we can see how its complaint and the realization that this is not how the Mother Country regarded the colonial states.

from Washington: A Life
Ron Chernow

Before leaving Philadelphia, Washington wrote to Dinwiddie and vented the bitter outrage at the inferior status foisted upon the Virginia Regiment: "We can't conceive that being Americans should deprive us of the benefits of British  subjects, nor lessen our claim to preferment. And we are very certain that  no body of regular troops ever before served 3 bloody campaigns without attracting royal notice. As to those idle arguments which are often times used--namely, 'You are defending your own properties.'--I look upon [them] to be whimsical and absurd. We are defending the King's Dominions." This statement represented a huge intellectual leap: Washington was suddenly asserting that the imperial system existed to serve the king, not his overseas subjects. The equality of an Englishman in London and one in Williamsburg was purely illusory. In time, the Crown would pay dearly for Washington's disenchantment with the fairness of the British military.


Popular posts from this blog

Another Queen of Night

Structures--Ulysses and Mrs. Dalloway

Lewis Carroll and James Joyce