The Mutiny That Created Washington, D.C.

By | June 6, 2019

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Revolutionary War Soldiers Reenactment. Source: (

At the end of the Revolutionary War, veterans from the Continental Army wanted to get paid and wouldn't take no for an answer. The result was one of the first major confrontations between a state and the national government and ultimately resulted in the creation of the United State's capital.

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A $55 note issued by the Continental Congress. By 1783 these were worth a fraction of their original value, destabilizing the United States. Source: (

 At the end of the American War of Independence, the United States faced a crisis. It needed to demobilize its army and pay its soldiers either at the federal or state level. However, the new nation was precarious financially and had entered into an economic depression that lasted from 1782 to 1789. The national government and the individual states paid $25 billion in 2019 currency to finance the war. Payments were deferred, delayed, or paid in over-inflated, worthless currencies.  Soldiers were put on unpaid furloughs. Meanwhile, the country operated under the Articles of Confederation which provided for a weak, decentralized government. As a result, this national problem could not be handled effectively.

While the treaty that would officially end the Revolutionary War was being negotiated, many soldiers were furloughed home without pay while others remained on duty, again without pay. The situation grew explosive.