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American HonorThe Creation of the Nation's Ideals during the Revolutionary Era$
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Craig Bruce Smith

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469638836

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469638836.001.0001

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From Tension to Victory

From Tension to Victory

Overcoming Civilian and Martial Differences on Honor and Virtue during the Later War Years

(p.127) Chapter Five From Tension to Victory
American Honor

Craig Bruce Smith

University of North Carolina Press

This part studies the persistence of the old order of honor, dishonor, and the loss of virtue during the middle–late years of the war. It presents the varying conceptions of honor and virtue that existed, and the internal and societal battles between the old and new concepts. This chapter also notes contestation between within the martial and civilian society over who best exemplified America’s lofty principles—a conflict that remained until Benedict Arnold’s treason at West Point refocused the country. It advances a new claim that Arnold’s treason was vital to America’s winning the war by helping to formalize a unified image of dishonor and thereby revive the country’s focus on egalitarian ethics.

Keywords:   Conway Cabal, Horatio Gates, Martial-Civilian Tension, Benedict Arnold, Charles Lee, Battle of Monmouth, West Point, Treason, Newburgh Conspiracy, Washington’s resignation

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