The American Revolution in New York: Its Political, Social and Economic Significance. for General Use as Part of the Program of the Executive Committee on the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the American Revolution

The American Revolution in New York: Its Political, Social and Economic Significance. for General Use as Part of the Program of the Executive Committee on the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the American Revolution

The American Revolution in New York: Its Political, Social and Economic Significance. for General Use as Part of the Program of the Executive Committee on the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the American Revolution

The American Revolution in New York: Its Political, Social and Economic Significance. for General Use as Part of the Program of the Executive Committee on the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the American Revolution

Excerpt

One hundred fifty years ago, through the conflict known in history as the American Revolution, the royal province of New York was changed into an independent republic and a few years later became a member of the United States of America. During this century and a half a weak colony of 180,000 people has developed into a powerful state with 10,000,000 citizens; and wealth, comfort, culture and welfare have increased to almost incredible dimensions. These blessings we owe to the adventurous spirit, the toil and self-sacrifice, the supreme faith in their own ability, the capacity for cooperative effort, and a vision of America's future which the founding fathers of the Commonwealth possessed. It is highly fitting, therefore, that we who today are enjoying the rewards of their endeavors and sacrifices should express our appreciation in words and deeds through the Sesquicentennial anniversaries.

New York's role in the Revolution has been ignored, misrepresented and misunderstood. Although some excellent biographies, local histories and monographs of certain phases of the Revolution have been written, yet an adequate history of that epoch-making movement as a whole has not been attempted. The political and military activities of the patriots of New York have been treated with a fair degree of fullness if not fairness, but the equally important social, economic, religious and educational activities have been sadly neglected.

Any one who will take the pains to study the original sources of the State during the Revolutionary period will realize that the Revolution was not a simple struggle but tremendously complex and kaleidoscopic. The military problems were much more difficult and complicated than has been pictured. Little attention has been given to that important change from colony to independent statehood through the revolutionary local committees and provincial congresses; and scant notice has been taken of the gigantic task of framing the first State Constitution and organizing the State Government under it in the midst of a bitter civil war. To finance the war and to secure the necessary military stores for 8 years required as much organizing ability and self-sacrifice as to recruit troops and to win battles. Our eyes have been centered on the relatively small number of soldiers who defeated the enemy, while we have forgotten the masses of people on the farms and in the cities and villages who suffered hardships . . .

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