The American Revolution, 1763-1783

By William Edward Hartpole Lecky; James Albert Woodburn | Go to book overview

than the legislature, and it had become evident that it was now only possible to govern by one party and by one policy. The King reluctantly bowed his head to the yoke. He showed indeed his personal animosity by refusing to negotiate with Rockingham except through the intervention of Shelburne, but he accepted Rockingham as his minister; the Whig party once more rose to power, and their avowed task was to terminate the war by recognising the Independence of America.


CHAPTER IV.1 INDEPENDENT AMERICA.

IN America for some time the war had greatly languished. Immediately after the surrender of Yorktown Washington returned with his army to the vicinity of New York, but he felt himself far too weak to attempt its capture, and hostilities were restricted to a few indecisive skirmishes or predatory enterprises. It is curious to notice how far from sanguine Washington appeared even after the event which in the eyes of most men, outside America, had determined the contest without appeal. It was still impossible, he maintained, to do anything decisive unless the sea were commanded by a naval force hostile to England, and France alone could provide this force.2 The difficulties of maintaining the army were unabated. 'All my accounts,' he wrote in April 1782, 'respecting the recruiting service are unfavourable; indeed, not a single recruit has arrived to my knowledge from any State except Rhode Island, in consequence of the requisitions of Congress in December last.3 He strongly urged the impossibility of recruiting the army by voluntary enlistment, and recommended that, in addition to the compulsory enrolment of Americans, German prisoners should be taken into the army.4

____________________
1
Chapter XV. Lecky's History of England in the Eighteenth Century.
2
Washington's Works, viii. 201, 205.
3
Ibid. p. 271.
4
Ibid. pp. 255, 271.

-459-

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The American Revolution, 1763-1783
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction. v
  • Bibliographical Note. xi
  • Contents xix
  • Chapter I. America, 1763-1776. 1
  • Chapter II 247
  • Chapter III 378
  • Chapter IV 459
  • Notes. 486
  • Index. 503
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