A Crisis of Peace
“A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution.” By David Head. ISBN: 978-1-64313-081-1. Copyright 2019. Hardcover 400 pages.
This book is a finalist for the 2020 George Washington Prize. The George Washington Prize is one of the nation's largest and most prestigious literary awards.
On March 15, 1783, General George Washington addressed a group of angry officers in an effort to rescue the American Revolution from mutiny at the highest level. After the British surrender at Yorktown, the Revolution blazed on, and as peace was negotiated in Europe, grave problems surfaced at home. The government was broke, paying its debts with loans from France. Political rivalry among the states paralyzed Congress. The army’s officers, encamped near Newburgh, NY, and restless without an enemy to fight, brooded over a civilian population seemingly indifferent to their sacrifices. The result was the Newburgh Conspiracy, a mysterious event in which Continental Army officers, disgruntled by a lack of pay and pensions, may have collaborated with nationalist-minded politicians such as Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and Robert Morris to pressure Congress and the states to approve new taxes and strengthen the central government. A Crisis of Peace provides a fresh look at the end of the American Revolution while speaking to issues that concern us still: the fragility of civil-military relations, how even victorious wars end ambiguously, and what veterans and civilians owe each other.