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tv   John Ferling Winning Independence  CSPAN  July 6, 2021 9:00am-10:01am EDT

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the avonm historical society is pleased to cosponsoring this conversation with a dedicated the story toto lightness with nw information and may be new theories, , especially that of e seven strategy. we love that because as local historians especially here in connecticut where many important figures of the american revolution came from as well as a fewf battle spots and many connecticut farmers, we always want to learn more. .. fought and many farmers who fled the continental army, we always want to learn more. john furling is professor emeritus at the university of west georgia where he joined a career teaching courses on the revolution, america's founders and u.s. military history. he's written 13 books and articles on the politics of tactics of the american revolution in the early i prefer to tell you about johnment although his parents were from west virginia, his
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mother educated in the 1920's and taught schools until we as banned by law from marrying. and his father had a baseball scholarship, but the depression ended his academics. he took a job in texas and had one son in 1940. and he has a master in history from baylor university. although retired it hasn't stopped him from speaking and podcasts and writing his figurest passion. he and his wife live near atlanta. one more things john likes to share. the love of baseball. the first game he saw 1947 between pittsburgh and the dodgers when jackie robinson scored the winning run.
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he was hooked. and he timed things to see the red sox. for those of us in new england look forward to that. as a historian, your focus has been on the era of the american revolution, what do you like most in this chapter in history? >> well, let me thank you for having me and the historical society for inviting me tonight. i've been looking forward to doing this. and that's when it starts for the united states.
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lincoln when he talked about four score and seven years ago he was talking 1776, the ideas of equality, life given rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for all people and when martin luther king talked about his dreamworks that african-americans were cut in on the ideals that really began with the american revolution. i was drawn to that because the revolution, studying the revolution consisted of two things. on the one hand there's the revolution itself which i think came as a surprise to most participants a dozen years before no one saw it coming,
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but there it was. why did it occur and what was the revolution about? was it a case of colonists trying to gain independence? or was it, as thomas payne said in commonsense in 1776, a struggle that would bring about a birthday of a new world? there was plenty to study with regard to the american revolution, but in addition you've got kind of a double dip there because you've got a war. most of the congressmen knew when they declared1776, they we independent, they had to win the independence. that led to a long war. a war that had dark and uncertain times in 1776. then like a rollercoaster, things brightened when france
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allied with the united states in 1778 and many people felt that this virtually, including george washington for that matter, felt that this virtually assured american independence and then things went south after that and the war becomes stalemated and that's the subject of my book. the four years after the great victoried at saratoga, 1778, yorktown and in 1781 when i think the outcome of the war was, until the very last moment, unknown. it could have gone in different directions. no one knew until yorktown, whether or not america would gain independence or if it did, if the united states would include all 13 states.
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so it's a long dramatic struggle. i never get tired of looking at both the revolution and the war itself and the fascinating cast of characters that were part of the political revolution or to the war. that's why i went into it and i stayed with the revolution throughout my career. >> thank you. so your new book, the one we're featuring tonight, and this is what hooked me as i read. it challenges the assumption that america won the war. instead, great britain lost a war it could have won which i took directly from this and how did you have the thesis and a very different way to look at independence. sure, i think that the british
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had several opportunities at the outset of the war in 1776, 1775, 1776, 7, to have won the war. general gage, who was the commander of the british army at the time the rundown of the war was coming on, told london that winning the first engagement of the war is crucial. if we can have enough troops over here that we can-- corps a dramatic victory over the colonistist, then probably their fervor for war will disappear. instead of that happening in lexington and concord, and particularly the day after that faced the british when they marched back from concord to boston and then they had a chance to score a dramatic victory two months later at bunker hill in boston, and
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really they could have scored a bloodless victory. the third in command at the time advised general gage, look, send forces around to the back side and we'll pinion the american rebels up on top of the hill and we can score a bloodless victory, but they didn't do that and they marched up the hill and marched into a disaster. and there were two instances in the campaign for new york in '76 when i think if the british had acted resolutely, first roof in brooklyn when they had half of washington's army trapped and again in september of 1776 when washington really foolishly kept his army on manhattan and didn't get off
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that the british to have annihilated the entire army at that point and any of the victories would have won the war for the british and another chance in 1777, the plan that london devised was for an army to come down from canada, led by john burgoin while general howell moved north to rendezvous with burgoin and catch washington's army. instead of doing that, he left for going to his own devices and went off after philadelphia and missed, i think, really the last major chance that the british had to win the war. that's not to say that britain's defeat after that was guaranteed because as i said,
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earlier, it's a long desperate war. lots of things go wrong for the americans after 1778, as the war stalemated the american economy collapsed, american morale was sagging, and george washington in august of 1780 wrote a letter to the chief executive of pennsylvania in which he said, i have almost ceased to hope. and at the same time that washington was writing that letter, arthur lee, an american diplomate since the beginning. war overseas in europe, returned to america for the first time since before the war began and he landed in boston. boston, of all places now. and he's there for a few days and talks with a number of
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boston officials and massachusetts officials and he wrote that most of those had, by august of 1780, concluded that the war would end in a negotiated settlement short of independence. so things are really up in the air. of course, at yorktown america does win and gain its victory, gains independence, so america did come out of the war victorious, and they were celebrating five more years with the 250th anniversary of 1776. so, but i also argued that america could not have won the war without french assistance. the french were providing clandestine assistance starting
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in 1775, that provided munitions and weaponry and clothing and blankets and whatever for the americans and then they allied with the americans and could send-- then it was open help for the americans and they could provide even more help they sent over the navy and eventually sent over an army and they a lot of money to the americans which wound out costing the french king his head in the 1790's because the economic woes, the fallout from-- for all of those contributed to france's problems that brought on the french revolution after 1789. so, anyway the americans do win the war with french help, which he think is extremely important to remember. >> thank you. could we step back though to
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somebody you mentioned earlier and we probably don't know too much about, that's sir general henry clinton. you thought he deserved corrected treatment from historians. what aspect of his career did they miss understand and why doesn't he receive credit for capturing georgia, possibly carolina, and redraw the map of america? >> let me go to my power point here. that's washington, as everybody nos, walton and theo payne and here is another one of washington, but here is sir henry clinton. clinton became the commander of the british army, learned of his appointment in may of 1778. he was the third british
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commander during the war. gage had been there before the revolution, before the war, and was recalled after the disaster along concord road and at bunker hill. and general william howell succeeded him and he was commander in '76 and '77 and resigned after saratoga. so clinton, who had -- he was then named the commander and he will be the commander of the british army from may of 78 through and a little beyond yorktown. i found clinton an interesting figure. he was from an aristocratic family in england. his father was a career naval officer who became the royal governor of new york and young
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henry, when he was still growing up, spent some of his formative years in new york city. he joined the british army as a teenager and he fought in two wars before the revolutionary war. and he earned a reputation as a brave, courageous, risk taking soldier who was seriously wounded, in fact, in an engagement in germany in the seven years war in the early 1760's. he was an intellectual liqueur-- intellectually, and out of his own pocket he paid to make a trip deep into eastern europe
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to observe a war between the turks and hoping to learn more about military strategy and tactics and he came over as the third in command of the british army, landing just three or four weeks after lexington in concord and just in time to see some action at bunker hill. he served, i think, with some distinction in a couple of years before he was named commander, one a reputation in some circles as the best strategist among britain's high ranking officers and america during that time. he was, at the time of his appointment, 48 years old, two years older than washington, but more than 30 years of experience.
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and i think he did a good job as a commander. he bought-- he had the misfortune, i think, of becoming commander at the same moment that france entered the war. and now that britain had to fight both the french and the americans, they had to withdraw some of their troops were america and send them to the caribbean to meet the new threat posed by the french. so when clinton had these orders, he discovered he immediately had to relinquish 8,000 of his troops and he'd already lost all those troops that had surrendered at saratoga. so he was going to have an army -- he did have an army that was considerably smaller than the army that the british had had
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in america a year before, but despite that, he-- his orders were to bring washington to battle. hold onto new york, hold onto rhode island and implement this new southern strategy that we'll talk about a little bit later on. so he really faced an enormous task and he -- and from the very beginning, clinton knew that he was up against it. my fate is hard, as he put it. and in a letter that he wrote almost immediately after being named commander, he said that he thought it was inevitable that britain would lose the war and he feared that he would be scapegoated for the loss of the war. and it turned out that he was prescient because after
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yorktown many people in england did scopegate clinton and game him arguing that he was passive, that he wasn't a risk taker, that he wasn't dynamic enough, that he had not done enough, they argued to have won a war that britain could have won and i think that most of those arguments were picked up by historians down the road. so that clinton's reputation and the literature has suffered as well. and i tried to argue in the book that many of those allegations just aren't true. clinton was, i think, far more active than his foes suggested. he took risks and he was far more aggressive than washington
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was between the four years between saratoga and yorktown. thomas payne 1790's wrote a blistering pamphlet and i don't agree with payne on this, but payne argued that washington slept in the field, as he put it and that the real winners of the war were generals horatio gage and nathaniel green and, but washington was generally inactive during much of that time and clinton was far more active. and i think the most devastating thing, the most devastating attack or appraisal of clinton came about almost 75 years ago, but still read by scholars today and many accepted and it was a study
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made by clinton's biographer, principal biographer in conjunction with a clinical psychologist and they argued that clinton sought power, but that he had deep subliminal psychological problems that prevented him from acting on the power that he had and i think-- frankly think the argument is malarky, not that i'm a particularly foe of psycho history, but in this case they were obviously unable to put clinton on the couch and talk with him, but in addition clinton left behind virtually no private correspondence that would have opened a window to his inner self. so i think clinton's reputation
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suffered from that. there's your kitty. >> this is joey joining us now. [laughter] >> that's all right. i've closed the door so mine can't get in the room. but anyway, i think that study on clinton should be filed away in the circular file. he surely made mistake, i recognize that in the book, but i think he was a good general and exceedingly good strategist who didn't have too awfully much to work with and faced just enormous challenges. so, i hope that my appraisal will convince some people to take another look at sir henry clinton. >> i didn't know anything about him about of reading this and i did leave enlightened in terms
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of the scope and depth of his ability. we're going to stay with him for a little bit and i realized actually with the chronology, the questions are out of order. after britain's catastrophe of saratoga, the adopted the so-called sub-end strategy. what was it and what was britain attempt to go gain from this war in 1770 and onward? >> i think people in england after saratoga wanted to go out of the war. they have virtually achieved nothing and lost an entire army at saratoga. and so when the news came in and saratoga triggered a lengthy debate in the war
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ministry went on through into the winter of 1778. and there was a debate over whether to remain in the war and the decision was made to remain in the war, what kind of strategy would they pursue? down to this point, the strategy then to try to destroy the washington's continental army and also win control of several northern provinces, and they really hadn't succeeded on either score. so at the end of the debate the knowing of remaining in the war prevailed, largely because the king insisted that the war continue. and let me go back to my power point here. and the person who really led the fight to remain in the war
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was lord george germane. he was the american secretary or secretary of state for the american colonies. and jermaine was in essence the minister of war and he was also, he also had responsibility for britain's army in america. and jermaine understood that a new strategy had to be developed and came up with what became known as the southern strategy and that was to play off the northern colonies and attempt to regain control of two and possibly three colonies down south. georgia, south carolina and
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possibly north carolina as well. and jermaine thought that was a plausible strategy because he believed-- and i think he was generally correct in this score, that a greater percentage of colonists in the southern colonies remained loyal to england than the case in the northern colonies, that they were tied to england by economically and through the and -- anglican church. and jermaine thought that loyalists were willingly bear arms to their king. many of the troops-- as i said, 8,000 had to be replaced by loyalists, and some
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of whom would come into the regular british army and enter what became known as provision regiments and others go into newly structured loyalist militia units and the idea was that the british army would drive the rebels out of an area and then the loyalist militia would come in and take possession of that area and pacify the area. and if it worked out, this is what the united states, assuming it got its independence, might have looked like following the war. the area in red is the area that would be the united states and everything else on there in white would be possessed by the british. so if jermaine's plan, southern
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strategy panned out and georgia and south carolina and north carolina below virginia were retaken, the british already had east and west florida, they'd gained that in a war that ended in 1763. they still were in control of the trans appalachian west and still in control of canada. so the united states would have been small, weak, surrounded by a great european power and it would face very uncertain future and in fact, many in england that thought if this played out in this fashion, that in not very long, many in the united states would seek to return to the british empire because they would have little capability of expanding and whatever. so that was the southern
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strategy and cobbled together in the winter of 1778 in london and as i mentioned, a little bit earlier when clinton receives his orders, it includes implement the southern strategy which he gets around here pretty fast. he sent a 3,000 man expedition to georgia in december of 1778 and in one-day battle, the british retook savannah. and then in 1780, clinton comes south and leads a huge expedition down that retakes charleston in a siege operation in april and may of 1780.
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so, and then clinton appoints-- let me show you one more slide here quickly, after charleston called, clinton appoints-- there we go. he appoints general cornwallis to be in charge of the pacification of south carolina and georgia and from day one, cornwallis' orders for south carolina and georgia, he could go into north carolina if he thought it would help him with subduing the rebels, rebellion in south carolina and georgia. so cornwallis is going to be the major player in the war in the south from the time he takes command in june of 1780,
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down into the late spring of 1781 and on until he arrives at yorktown in the summer of 1781. clinton, meanwhile, comes back to new york and he never saw cornwallis again until after yorktown, so that was the southern strategy and that's what the british were trying to accomplish. and i try to argue in the book that they came reasonably close, some things went wrong that we can maybe talk about a little later on this evening, but at the beginning of 1781, clinton was far more confident than washington was of what was
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going to happen that year. clinton later said that he began 1781 more confident of british success than in any of the other four years that he was commander. and i think what clinton ultimately thought was that the allies, if the french and the americans could be prevented from scoring a decisive victory in 1781, that the war would end in a negotiated settlement. and clinton wasn't alone in that. i think that washington felt that, lafayette says that in his letters, john adams in europe is writing to congress and telling congress pretty much the same thing. adams is telling congress, look, the french, they've been in this war for three years and they haven't gained neg out of
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it, so they've got to gain something in 1781 or they're going to -- it's a face-saving measure, get out and they're going to accept an invitation from neutral nations in europe to come to a peace conference and what would have happened at that peace conference is anybody's guest. maybe recognize an independent united states something along the lines of the map that i showed or maybe it would not agree to the independence of the united states. this would have been a conference primarily of the european monarchs who weren't friendly toward republican governments and that's what the united states had at that point. >> i think you answered the next three questions. [laughter] >> sorry about that. >> no, that's all right. we've come up with a couple
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just ones. tina, i'm going to take one that you wrote. >> when comparing and contrasting clinton and washington which you kind of have been doing this half hour, the parallel leadership and effectiveness, what is it about washington that beguiles the americans and which would you prefer to serve under and why? >> the comparison of clinton and washington, let me say a couple of things about that. in the section that runs maybe a dozen pages where i tried to look at the two and see what i could find about both of them and i found that there were some similarities between the two. neither man was a gre gregarious outgoing individual. in washington's case it may
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have been that washington had insecurities and that he didn't want people to get too close to him to discover what he feared for in his weak-- or it may have been that washington as a leader felt that he could not let anybody get very close to him. he had to make difficult personnel decisions and he didn't say this, but it kind of reminds me of what john f. kennedy said at one point, great leaders have to be both loved and feared and washington may have felt that way. in the case of clinton, clinton acknowledged that he was very shy and not outgoing. he made one of the strongest comments ever made by any historical figures, i am a shy bitch, he said. [laughter] >> so anyway, neither of them were really outgoing, but
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clinnen to -- clinton made friends more easily than washington, who in a sense may have never really had a close friend in the sense of the world throughout his life, but both clinton and washington were brave, courageous men under fire, i'm always amazed at the battle of princeton, washington was riding on horseback, riding right into british soldiers firing at him and they were no further away from him than a pitcher is from a batter on a baseball diamond. that's pretty close not to flinch. as i've said, clinton had earned a reputation in the wars before this and again during the revolution as somebody who was courageous under fire.
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both of them, i think, faced somewhat similar problems during the war in that both had problems with supplies and both had lack of money and lack of troops and whatever and both clinton and washington endured considerable criticism during the war. i'm not sure how many people remember it today, but there was a great deal of criticism of washington after he made several mistakes in the new york campaign in '76 and then after the campaign of '77, even more and more open criticism of washington. at one point, the president of congress around 1778 said that when washington communicated with congress, it was met with
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peels of laughter. but congress cut off the-- congress could have ditched washington as some of his critics wanted, but congress, fortunately, didn't take that step and knew it would bring on political chaos and probably ruin the war effort. after that, congress cuts off the open criticism of washington, and really launches the campaign to make washington iconic figure from valley forge on toward the end of the war, to he will evaluate him so he would be above criticisms and they began celebrating washington's virtual annually and that sort of thing. clinton ran into a lot of criticism, too. i think in the case of both of these guys, sort of like my experience was -- when i was a
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student, all the students complained with their professors. when i became a professors the professors were complaining about the administrators and whatever and i think that that same sort of thing went on in the british army and in among the americans, too. i mean, there were things like issues over promotion and whatever, and people got left out, were unhappy about that. so, both of them ran into a great deal of criticism. but there were plenty of differences between them and you mentioned when you were talking about why washington was a leader, one of the differences is that washington, i think, was better leader than clinton. and washington just exuded leadership. he was a big man. this was a time period when the-- study of muster rolls
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demonstrated that the average full grown american male was five feet seven talls and five feet eight inches in world war ii, it hasn't changed much in the period after the revolution was washington was almost six feet four inches tall so he literally towered over other people. in 1780, 210 pound. at 6-4, 210 pounds, about the same size of quarterback of ohio state, clemson or the university of alabama or something today. and he did have a reputation of athleticism. athleticism in those days was equestrianism and he seemed to be majestic on a horse.
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clinton was five feet seven, pretty average in many ways. so there were differences in at that respect and one other difference was that other than their background, which was quite dissimilar, because as i mentioned clinton was from an aristocratic family in england, but one other difference was, people forget that washington, afternoon see washington of being above politics, but washington was really a very good politician. he was almost unsurpassed in his political skills. and clinton acknowledged openly, even though he had actually held a seat in the house of commons at one point, he acknowledged that he was not a very good politician, he was just like a fish out of water and in that regard. so, there were some
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similarities and there were some differences. i've forgotten what the last part-- >> the question was who would you serve under? >> oh, okay. well, that's a-- that's a tough question. i guess it would depend on your rank and whatever, but i think i would have served under either, either man, really. i mean, i think clinton was a good general and neither of these guys were blood thirsty. neither sent their men into battle in hopeless situations and squandered troops and both of them were trying to preserve life. i think both, because both, i
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think, had humanitarian qualities about them, but also because neither-- both had too many shortages, both faced so many shortages of troops they couldn't afford to lose troops so i think they were -- they both were good commanders and i probably would have been willing to serve under either one of them. although i have to say that i don't know that i would have wanted to be a soldier in the revolutionary war on either side. it was a really tough go. i mean, these guys, you know, the officers, higher ranking officers when the armies were on the move and they were on the move a lot, the higher ranking officers could travel on horseback, but everybody else marched and they
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literally, many of these guys marched thousands of miles and many of them were-- even in the british army, we know all about the suffering at valley forge and morristown, whatever, in the american army, but even the british army in many cases the men were ill-provisioned, ill-equipped and whatever. it was really a tough go for these guys and, i mean, we're coming through a pandemic now and these guys faced disease and at least in the american army, most of the american soldiers who died wound up dying of disease, not from combat and so, this was a risky difficult, harsh environment that they faced. so while i might have been
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willing to serve under both generals, i'm glad i didn't have to serve in the war on either side. >> and she has a question and i know she's dying to ask it because it has to do with one of other characters, and a connecticut person. >> it has to be-- has to do with both sides of the army. >> and benedict arnold, is he a man who just want add paycheck? >> that's the question and a lot of biographers looked at that and you can't entirely get in arnold's mind to know what was going on in there. and let me try to answer it this way. he had some legitimate grievances. he had been passed over for
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promotions unfairly, unjustly, i think, and then when he became the military commander in philadelphia because the british evacuated, many felt he was consorting with tory families, ap a daughter of a family suspected of being a tory family and he was prosecuted for financial speculation. so, i think he had some really legitimate grievances, although many other generals did, too, and only arnold is the one that commits treason, which thoms payne wrote a pamphlet about in the wake of this, i don't know whether payne believed this i go trying to smooth out the fallout from arnold's treason, and he pointed that out to
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people, but having said that, there's a second thing here, too. many people argue that arnold just was after the money and he -- that, he did get a great deal of money from the british for turning coat, but there's another side so that equation and that's that arnold owned a considerable amount of property in new england and if america wound up winning the war, he's going to lose all of that property. so it would really be kind of a trade-off. he would lose valuable property, but gain what -- gain the money that the british were going to pay him and he could have done probably just as well financially had he remained on the american side. but one of the things that's always intrigued me about arnold is that he negotiates
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with the british through intermediaries, those intermedia intermediaries, report to sir henry clinton for a long time he didn't know who they were talking to, he knew it was an important american who might be willing to commit treason. it's not until august of 1780 that arnold makes the decision to turn coat and what happens in august of 1780. in august of 1780, cornwallis scored a huge victory over an american army at camden in south carolina, an army commanded by horatio gates. and it was the fourth american army in 20 months that had been
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destroyed in the southern theater and more than 8,000 american troops had been killed, wounded or captured in those four engagements. that's the same month that washington writes that letter saying i've almost ceased to hope. and it's the same month that arthur lee in boston is saying that many of the leaders in massachusetts now believe the war is going to end in a negotiated settlement short of independence. so, i think he's then argued that when arnold finally makes his final decision to turn coat in august of 1780, he may very well have believed that the americans' goose was cooked and that the british were going to win the war and he was trying to get on the winning side.
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but having said all of that, it's all speculative. nobody really knows what was going on in arnold's mind. i do like that you put in the context of time and anguish and the decision making, so it's not an impetuous move for him to suddenly switch sides, it really could have been anyone in terms of length and opportunity, and i did appreciate that that put him in a new context and i couldn't keep from asking, is it just a guy after a paycheck? thank you. well, i think we need some questions from the audience and a terrific overview of this book and this history how it flows from you. thank you very much. are we ready for that? >> the audience is typing questions in, i want to get to the last one that terri and i put together. i think it brings the historic
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story to the modern era and gives the audience time to type anything they'd like to ask. all numbers calls casualties, and the numbers are staggering. what do you want people to know about the impact and consequences of war and this whole experience of it? >> yeah, i think there were two or three things, probably many more than that in my mind, when i wrote the book, but one of the things that was-- is that i've already mentioned is that i wanted people to understand just how long this struggle to win independence was. i think because of saratoga occurs in october of 1777 and the huge british army surrenders there and textbooks
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always depict saratoga as the turning point of the revolutionary war, that there has been a tendency on the part of many people to think, well, everything that follows saratoga was anti-climatic in and the american victory was guaranteed. so i wanted to-- i wanted readers to come away from my book understanding that a long, grim war had to be fought after saratoga, that victory wasn't guaranteed, it was illusive and clinton thought britain could still win the war in 1781. and i also wanted people to be aware of just how grim this war was, that about 15% of those
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who fought on the british side died in this war. pretty heavy attrition. and as best i've been able to determine, roughly the same percentage of people who fought on the american side died in this war, to try to put that in some sort of meaningful terms, the united states lost about 350,000 men in world war ii, but if the united states had lost 15% of its soldiers, sailors in world war ii, more than two million americans would have died in that war. so it's a -- it's a war that is really, i think, a much bloodier war than many people are aware, and also, as i mentioned, i wanted people to
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understand that the outcome of the war is determined after saratoga during that four-year struggle. and during that four years after saratoga, more americans died than died during the 30 months of war before saratoga. roughly about 65% of all americans who fought on america's side died after saratoga. there's another 4,000 americans who died fighting for great britain during this war, in fact, in 1780, there are more americans fighting for great britain than are fighting in the continental army. so, those were the things that i wanted readers to come away with and i -- what i tried to do in the book was look at the
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crises that washington faced, the crises that clinton faced and then the decisions that they made during those crises and what they knew and what they didn't know when they made those decisions. often times, i think, people sort of read history backwards, they knew how it came out, but the actors, obviously didn't know that when they made their decision, they didn't know whether it would be a good decision or a bad decision and i had to just make the decision based on what they knew at that time and so i tried throughout the book, when i looked at the decisions that clinton and washington and nathaniel green and others made, why they made the decisions that they did, and what they knew when they made those decisions. >> thank you. we do have audience questions, what would have been the
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reasons for the british to allow for a negotiated peace? what would have been in it for them? >> well, there are many people in england, they just wanted to get out of the war and it had gone on for a long time. they wanted-- winning the war, there was a fear that they were going to lose all the american, all the trade with america, the trends were double up, and post-war with america, the british might be ruined the longer the war continued. so. were some in england who were pushing for a negotiated settlement and in fact, immediately after saratoga, when lord north, the head of the war ministry, the prime minister learned to saratoga,
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north peace plan of 1778 and he actually sends a commission of diplomates that there was known as the carlisle commission that came over to america in 1778 and they were authorized to negotiate a settlement. and what lord north was willing to accept was essentially everything that the first continental congress had asked for on the eve of war with one exception and that was independence. north would not recognize independence, but he was willing to let a continental congress remain and give the americans greater autonomy and on and on and on, that the first continental congress had asked for. so certainly, even right up to the pinnacle of power in
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england, there were people who were willing to accept a negotiated settlement. >> john, thank you, your answers have been thoughtful. the book has been thoughtful and researched. absolutely enlightening and i encourage our audience to pick it up and read it and it has a different perspective and refreshing look at the american revolution. we look forward through the pandemic hopefully hosting you in person. >> i look forward to that as well. i thank you once again for having me. >> tonight on book tv on c-span2, we look at policing, starting at 8 p.m. eastern, a conversation with former new york city police commissioner bill bratton, and then the author of the book, america on fire, the untold history of police violence and black
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rebellion since the 1960's and a conversation with rosa brooks, a law professor who became a police officer in her 40's. book tv on c-span2, tonight starting at 8 p.m. eastern. >> weekends on c-span2 are an intellectual feast. every saturday, american history tv documents america's story and on sundays, book tv brings you latest nonfiction books and authors. funding for c-span2 comes from these. >> and at spark light it's our home, too, right now we're all facing our greatest challenge, that's why spark light is working around the clock to keep you connected. we're doing our part so it's a little easier to do yours. >> spark light, along with these television companies support c-span2 as a public service. >> good evening, i'm kevin butterfield executive director
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of the washington library at george washington's mt. vernon and coming to you from this evening with a talk with patrick o'donnell, i want to thank the ford motor company for sponsoring not just this talk, but many over the years, authors talk about their newest works, and it's not newer than this, this is the release of the book "indespendsables". and we have richard bernstein and new book "the education of john adam." . >>... . this program filled life from the reading room in mount vernon is the official book launch of patrick o'donnell's new book the indispensable's with the subtitle the diverse soldier marines who shaped the country,formed the navy and road washington across
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the delaware . officially released by atlantic public press today. i want you all to do with the number of autographed copies that are going out as gifts to people who submit question for this event. we have exciting questions like that. please also during tonight talked to submit questions, let us know what you want to know that patrick and we can ask those questions tonight. this is a great book. i couldn't put it down over the last week. it was reviewed just today in the "wall street journal." the it a novel like account of the necessity to or you're about to hear about from patrick. fast-paced writing. building those very, very quickly. it's an exciting story and the slot to hear from this great account of united states. to tell you more about patrick o'donnell because he will tell you these things himself, he's a best-selling critically acclaimed military historian, an expert on elite units. this is the second book on the revolutionary war. period.

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