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Book Cover
Author Resch, John Phillips.

Title Suffering soldiers : Revolutionary War veterans, moral sentiment, and political culture in the early republic / John Resch.

Published Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, [1999]


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  305.90697 SUFF    AVAILABLE
Physical description xiii, 319 pages : illustrations, 1 map ; 24 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 291-307) and index.
Contents Chapter 1 Peterborough in the Revolutionary War 13 -- Chapter 2 Revolutionary War Veterans in Peterborough 47 -- Chapter 3 Image of the Suffering Soldier 65 -- Chapter 4 Suffering Soldiers and Public Policy: The 1818 Revolutionary War Pension Act 93 -- Chapter 5 Pension Scandal, 1818-1820: Moral Sentiment and Public Policy on Trial 119 -- Chapter 6 Pension Administration, 1820-1823: Bureaucracy, Moral Sentiment, and Public Policy 146 -- Chapter 7 Veterans, Political Culture, and Public Policy 177.
Summary This book examines how the moral sentiment of gratitude, as expressed in the image of the suffering soldier, transformed the memory of the Revolutionary War, political culture, and public policy in the early American republic. This popular depiction removed the stigma of vice and treason from the Continental Army, legitimized the army as a republican institution, and credited it with securing independence. By glorifying the now aged, impoverished, and infirm Continental soldiers as republican warriors, the image also accentuated the nation's guilt for its ingratitude toward the veterans.
Using Peterborough, New Hampshire, as a case study, John P. Resch shows that the power of the suffering soldier image lay partly in its reflection of reality. Tile citizen-soldiers from Peterborough who fought in the Continental Army did indeed represent a cross-section of the town, and they experienced greater postwar deprivation and alienation than their peers who had not gone to war.
Personal and political sympathy toward the veterans eventually led to the passage of the Revolutionary War Pension Act in 1818. The War Department further validated the soldiers' claims and public gratitude through its liberal administration of the pension program, which attracted more than 20,000 applications.
Subject United States. Continental Army -- Public opinion.
Military pensions -- United States -- History -- 18th century.
Military pensions -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Public opinion -- United States -- History.
Veterans -- Government policy -- United States -- History.
Veterans -- United States -- Social conditions.
Veterans -- New Hampshire -- Peterborough -- Social conditions.
Political culture -- United States -- History.
United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Veterans.
New Hampshire -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Veterans.
ISBN 1558492321 (cloth : alk. paper)