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Gouverneur MorrisAn Independent Life$
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William Howard Adams

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300099805

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300099805.001.0001

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Breaking the Fetters

Breaking the Fetters

(p.73) Chapter 5 Breaking the Fetters
Gouverneur Morris

William Howard Adams

Yale University Press

This chapter explains that Morris's high-flown language was not inspired by the decrepit surroundings in which he and the Convention found themselves huddled: the abandoned church in the winter of 1777, desperately, and almost convulsively, struggling to break the fetters of trans-Atlantic despotism. Throughout the heroic era of the Revolution, the inspired rhetoric and acts of bravery often masked the actual squalor of the settings where the struggles to break free of the empire took place. Morris, the quintessential patrician would advocate the direct election of governor, the first radically democratic step in any state constitution. Morris made clear that the northern forces needed immediate help if Burgoyne's advance was to be stopped before the state was lost.

Keywords:   Morris, language, Convention, trans-Atlantic despotism, Revolution, northern forces

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