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Description de l’éditeur

From 1775 to 1783, North Carolina experienced significant challenges and disorders during the course of the Revolutionary War, which profoundly shaped the postwar rebuilding process in the state. Revolutionary North Carolinians were forced to deal with significant problems during the war, particularly that of disaffection within the state. Additionally, financially strapped authorities had to mobilize Continental regiments and field an effective militia force. These were challenges the state was unable to meet adequately during the war. British military successes after 1778 were devastating, taxed North Carolina’s mobilization and logistical capabilities, and intensified Tory hostilities. Moreover, the state had to adopt two invasive expedients to wage war—impressment and the draft—which alienated much of its citizenry and added to the prevalent chaos. The Revolutionary years left North Carolina in a state of physical, financial, social and political disorder by 1783. The war came to influence how Carolinians reconstructed their state throughout the 1780s. The significant level of disaffection within the state ensured that the last few years of the conflict and its aftermath were characterized by retribution and punishment against the loyalists, including banishment and property confiscation. This spirit of revenge led the state to refuse to abide by the terms of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, so that property confiscation and prevention of British debt collection could continue unabated until 1787. The failure to abide by the terms of the treaty strongly suggests a localist outlook, which characterized North Carolina for much of the 1780s. Most Carolinians seem not to have regarded the federal government as necessary for their postwar settlement, and held it in low regard. Adherence to a strong national union would mean approval of the treaty terms and loss of the state’s financially valuable western lands. Many Carolinians came to regard the Continental Congress, and later the Confederation government, as weak and ineffective due to its wartime performance, and thus refused to support North Carolina’s active allegiance to it. In fact, Carolinians ratified the Federal Constitution in 1789, only after the state’s localist self interest was satisfied in terms of land and loyalists.

Politique et actualité
18 mai