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What was the Newburgh Conspiracy? My book doesn't give a definition.

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mrcno5 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 6, 2009 at 7:18 AM via web

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What was the Newburgh Conspiracy? My book doesn't give a definition.

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enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted January 6, 2009 at 7:53 AM (Answer #1)

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In 1783 officers of the Continental Army circulated a petition (known as the First Newburgh Address, since the Army headquarters was at Newburgh, NY) or rather a series of demands upon Congress to settle its outstanding accounts and to pay the soldiers, some of whom were owed 6 years back-pay!  In the first letter, officers threatened to not disband at the conclusion of the war and "retire to some unsettled country," leaving Congress and the fledgling new republic without an army. General Washington responded by denouncing the "irregular invitation" and the "disorderly proceedings," and called for a meeting.  A second "address" circulated claiming that Washington was siding with Congress and implied that he would do little to address the complaints. At this point, Washington realized a coup was at hand -- he held a meeting with the officers and was able to turn the officer's grumblings into the realization of just how hard he had labored for the sake of his country, and got them to reaffirm their allegiance to Congress.  Read more about what he did during his speech to sway his officers at the first link below: 

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