Robert Morris: Financier of the American Revolutionary War
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Robert Morris: Financier of the American Revolutionary War

Robert Morris not only financed much of his own money to the colonists during the American Revolutionary War but he also ran many ships full of supplies through British blockades and served as Treasurer in order to strengthen the colonial, and American, economy. Robert Morris also became one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and was said to be ‘the most powerful man in America’ next to George Washington.

Prior to the American Revolutionary War, England, ruled over by King George III, had begun increasing the taxes on the colonies that occupied North America at the time as an attempt to maintain a form of suppression.  Every transaction was taxed as well as every commodity.  Even inflation was propagandized as an attempt to collect additional wealth off of products that were not in fact harder or rarer to come by. With the taxes collected, England drafted and trained a large number of soldiers and increased its naval forces in preparation for a possible rebellion.  In order to quell any form of rebellion or suppress any civil disobedience more laws were enacted that made various forms of freedom of expression virtually illegal.  Quickly laws became so strict that in essence the citizens of the colonies were living in a police like state just shy of martial law.    

By 1774, just two years prior to the American Revolutionary War, King George III began purchasing large orders of firearms, black powder, cannonry, and ammunition as rebellion against England by the colonies became much more abundant.  At the same time the North American colonies spread leaflets from one to another calling for every able bodied man over the age of 17 years to bear arms and become a member of the militia.  Although the talk of fighting a civil war with England was merely gossip at that time the threshold for taxation without representation had reached its breaking point. 

One year prior to the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, 1775, England’s forces had become so strong and so tyrannical that the redcoats began to demand for citizens of the colonies to disarm.  Noticing rebellion was on the rise and having already prepared for such an event King George III ordered his troops to order the colonies to give up their weapons.  Refusing to do so the citizens of the colonies organized their militia groups, took up arms, and prepared for a civil war.

It wasn’t until the famous ‘Midnight Ride’ by Paul Revere and William Dawes in which they warned the colonies that the British troops were advancing.  “To Arms to arms,” it was shouted and by 1776 the famous quote “disarm and disperse” was commanded by the British forces.  Naturally the colonists refused and the United States of America formed thereafter. 

During the years preceding the American Revolutionary War very few men were aware of what was occurring within politics.  However, for those who were aware preparations were being continuously made especially those by Robert Morris.  While England had the upper hand when it came to ordering the largest amounts of ammunition and arms, Robert Morris undertook the task of supplying the militia forces almost single handedly.  Although Robert Morris admitted to the possibility of defeat this nevertheless deterred his efforts.  In 1775 Robert Morris, a natural born merchant, helped raised funds to supply the Continental Army alongside many other colonies.  By 1776 however, the Continental Army suffered from deprivation as much of the capital that was built was either stolen or lost and many of the colonies refused to contribute to the war efforts.  It was this turning point that Robert Morris proved his dedication to the cause and contributed $10,000 of his own money to purchase arms and ammunition in the fight against England.  During this time, Robert Morris also successfully ran many ships through British blockades delivering much needed supplies to the Continental Army.      

After the Revolutionary War was won and America became established Robert Morris, alongside many other great leaders, signed the Declaration of Independence.  In doing so, Robert Morris then became the first Secretary of Treasury as he devised a plan for the first National Bank of North America and presented it to the Continental Congress in 1781.  This plan proved successful, obviously, as it stabled the colonial economy and strengthened the war efforts.  From 1781 through to 1784 Robert Morris than served as the powerful Superintendant of Finance managing the economy of the United States and was said to be “the most powerful man in America,” next to General George Washington.


Robert Morris.” By Russel Yost. History Junkie

Robert Morris.” Signers of the Declaration of Independence

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