This book concludes with the events that occurred nearly a hundred years before the Declaration of Independence, redcoats in a colony were viewed by Americans as the arm of a repressive authority. It was in 1677 that Colonel Herbert Jeffreys implanted this perception by leading more than a thousand British soldiers into Virginia to restore royal authority in the wake of Bacon's Rebellion. “This extraordinary show of force,” as Wesley F. Craven has called it, could have been viewed by the many former adherents of Bacon only as a manifestation of the iron fist. Thereafter in America, redcoats represented authority—and distant authority at that. Every colonist, whatever his political stance, understood that the king's forces were there to prevent civil insurrection.
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