《美利坚开国生死战》的原文摘录

  • The American Revolution pitted an amateur army fighting for a new order of liberty and independence against two professional armies (British and Hessian) defending an old order of hierarchy and discipline. Until Washington crossed the Delaware, the triumph of the old order seemed inevitable. Thereafter, things would never be the same again. (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 16:44:49
  • Northerners admired it as a symbol of freedom and union; southerners liked it as an image of liberty and independence. When the Civil War began, it was used to raise money for the Union Cause and the antislavery movement. The presence of an African American in the boat was not an accident; the artist was a strong abolitionist. (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 16:45:59
  • Emanuel Leutze also understood that something more was at issue in this event. The small battles near the Delaware were a collision between two discoveries about the human condition that were made in the early modern era. One of them was the discovery that people could organize a society on the basis of liberty and freedom, and could actually make it work. The ideas themselves were not new in the world, but for the first time, entire social and political systems were constructed primarily on that foundation. Another new discovery was about the capacity of human beings for order and discipline. For many millennia, people had been made to serve others, but this was something more than that. It was an invention of new methods by which people could be trained to engage their will and creativi... (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 16:45:59
  • When the conflict began in earnest, during the late summer and fall of 1776, the forces of order won most of the major battles, but an army of free men won the winter campaign that followed. They did so not by imitating a European army of order, a profound error in historical interpretations of the War of Independence, but by developing the strengths of an open system in a more disciplined way. (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 16:45:59
  • To study them with their general is to understand what George Washington meant when he wrote, "A people unused to restraint must be led; they will not be drove." (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 16:45:59
  • From these men George Washington learned the creed he followed all his life. It valued self-government, discipline, virtue, reason, and restraint. Historians have called it a stoic philosophy, but it was far removed from the ancient Stoicism of the slave Epictetus, who sought a renunciation of the world, or the emperor Marcus Aurelius, who wished to be in the world but not of it. The philosophy that Washington learned among the ruling families of the Northern Neck was a modern idea. It was a philosophy of moral striving through virtuous action and right conduct, by powerful men who believed that their duty was to lead others in a changing world. Most of all, it was a way of combining power with responsibility, and liberty with discipline. Much of this creed was about honor: not "primal ho... (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 18:12:19
  • Washington thought of liberty in the Stoic way, as independence from what he called "involuntary passion." He was a man of strong passions, which he struggled to keep in check. For him the worst slavery was to be in bondage to unbridled passion and not in "full possession of himself." George Washington also thought of liberty as a condition of autonomy from external dominion, but not as we do today. He believed that only a gentleman of independent means could be truly free.This way of thinking was widely shared by the gentry of the Northern Neck, and it made liberty into a system of stratification. Gentlemen of honor and independence such as the Fairfaxes and Washingtons had great liberty; small freeholders had not so much of it. Tenants had little liberty, servants less, and slaves none ... (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 18:12:19
  • He deliberately kept others at a distance and advised his manager at Mount Vernon always to deal that way with inferiors. "To treat them civilly is no more than what all men are entitled to," Washington wrote,"but my advice to you is, to keep them at a proper distance; for they will grow upon familiarity, in proportion as you sink in authority." Washington had been taught to treat people of every rank with civility and "condescension," a word that has changed its meaning in the modern era. In Washington's world, to condescend was to treat inferiors with decency and respect while maintaining a system of inequality. (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 18:12:19
  • These New England men were raised to a unique idea of liberty as independence, freedom as the right of belonging to a community, and rights as entailing a sense of mutual obligation. (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 18:12:19
  • Here was another idea of liberty, different from the collective consciousness of New England towns, and the liberty-as-hierarchy among the Fairfax men, and liberty for African Americans among the Marblehead mariners. The backsettlers spoke of liberty in the first person singular: "Don't Tread on Me." (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 18:12:19
  • Here was yet another way of thinking about liberty and freedom, in a manner that was true to the founding principles of Pennsylvania and to an idea of liberty that was inscribed on the Great Quaker Bell of Liberty in 1751. It bore a verse from Leviticus: "Proclaim Liberty throughout the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof." This was an idea of liberty as reciprocal rights that belonged to all the people, a thought very different from the exclusive rights of New England towns, or the hierarchical rights of Virginia, or the individual autonomy of the backsettlers. (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 18:12:19
  • They agreed to elect their officers, to be bound by "sacred ties of Honour and love and justice due to ourselves and our country," and to submit to martial discipline, but "not to extend to corporal punishment." Here was another idea of liberty as a voluntary agreement, much like the commercial contracts these men made routinely in Baltimore and Annapolis. (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 18:12:19
  • In that process the Continental army, beginning with the Marblehead regiment, became the first integrated national institution in the United States. (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 18:12:19
  • In 1776, Americans were less interested in pulling down a monarchy than in raising up a new republic. Washington's leadership was becoming a major part of that process within the army. Men who came from different parts of the continent were beginning to understand each other. And Washington was learning how to lead them. He learned that the discipline of a European regular army became the enemy of order in an open society. To impose the heavy flogging and capital punishments that were routine in European armies would destroy an army in America. The men would not stand for that abuse. (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 18:12:19
  • Still more remarkable was the quality of this great force. A military observer thought that the British army on Staten Island was "for its numbers one of the finest ever seen." Every man was a long-serving volunteer. This was a modern professional army, with much experience of war. Its fifteen generals were on the average forty-eight years old in 1776, with thirty years of military service. By comparison, the twenty-one American generals who opposed them in New York were forty-three years old, with two years of military service. In British infantry regiments, even privates had an average of nine years' service in 1776. Most American troops had only a few months of active duty. (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 19:47:22
  • As a social institution, the British army in 1776 was a bundle of paradoxes. Regimental badges and colors proclaimed that it served the king, but it was entirely the creature of Parliament. The army cherished its traditions but operated under a law called the Mutiny Act that expired every twelve months. The British people took pride in its achievements but deeply feared the power of a standing army and kept it on a short leash. The officers of the army made another paradox. Many were highly skilled professional soldiers who studied war as a science and followed it as a career, but they cultivated the casual air of a country gentleman, and in most regiments they acquired their commissions by purchase....Later generations condemned this "purchase system" as organized incompetence and instit... (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 19:47:22
  • Contrary to persistent myth, British soldiers were not an army of outcasts,criminals, and psychopaths. Most were farmers, weavers, and laborers with clean records....By 1778, the supply of recruits ran so low that Parliament passed an Army Press Act, carefully exempting all parliamentary voters from the draft. The law was intended mainly to stimulate voluntary enlistment. Always it was thought that British soldiers should enlist as an act of choice. (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 19:47:22
  • An enduring strength of the British army, and another application of its modern idea of discipline, was its ability to enlist its most formidable enemies as entire regiments or corps, with their own customs and traditions intact but with a high standard of order. The first of many groups were the warrior clans of the Scottish Highlands, who as recently as 1745 had been mortal foes of the English army. After the battle of Culloden, Scots were forbidden to wear the kilt or carry weapons. Only a few years later they were enlisting in the British army. Highlanders who had long been faithful to the house of Stuart began to serve throughout the empire as loyal soldiers of a Hanoverian king. (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 19:47:22
  • In Highland regiments many of these men rose from the ranks to be officers. Colonel David Stewart of Garth remembered that in his seventeen years with the Forty-second Foot, twenty-eight sergeants became commissioned officers, an extraordinary number in comparison with English regiments in which the number of officers commissioned from the ranks approached zero. Arms were the profession of these men, and many served for life. The record for long service belonged to Private Donald Macleod, who joined the Forty-second Foot shortly after it first mustered as a regiment in 1740. He served for seventy-five years and settled in London at the age of 103, surrounded by his children who ranged in age from eighty-three to nine. (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 19:47:22
  • A Highlander's fierce pride and loyalty to his regiment appeared in an incident that happened during the American Revolution. A large body of recruits for Fraser's Highlanders and the Royal Highland Regiment were ordered to the Eightieth and Eighty-second Foot, which were regiments of lowland Scots who spoke English and did not wear the kilt. The Highlanders refused, insisting that they had enlisted only to serve with their own kin. A large force was sent to arrest them, and the recruits drew up by regiments on the shore in Leith and prepared to defend themselves. A battle followed. Of the Regulars who tried to arrest them, nine were killed and thirty-one wounded by a force of raw recruits. The Highlanders were at last overpowered and eventually court-martialed in Edinburgh Castle. Severa... (查看原文)
    照叶 2020-07-06 19:47:22
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