I well remember everything that occurred the next morning. I remember that I was among the nearest to the enemy, that a man named John Summers was my file leader, that we had orders to wait for the word to commence firing, that the militia were in front and in a feeble condition at that time. They were fatigued. The weather was warm excessively. They had been fed a short time previously on molasses entirely. I can state on oath that I believe my gun was the first gun fired, notwithstanding the orders, for we were close to the enemy, who appeared to maneuver in contempt of us, and I fired without thinking except that I might prevent the man opposite from killing me. The discharge and loud roar soon became general from one end of the lines to the other. Amongst other things, I confess I was amongst the first that fled. The cause of that I cannot tell, except that everyone I saw was about to do the same. It was instantaneous. There was no effort to rally, no encouragement to fight. Officers and men joined in the flight. I threw away my gun, and, reflecting I might be punished for being found without arms, I picked up a drum, which gave forth such sounds when touched by the twigs I cast it away. When we had gone, we heard the roar of guns still, but we knew not why. Had we known, we might have returned. It was that portion of the army commanded by de Kalb fighting still. De Kalb was killed. General Dickson was wounded in the neck and a great many killed and wounded even on the first firing. After this defeat, many of the dispersed troops proceeded to Hillsboro in North Carolina. I obtained a furlough from General Dickson and had permission to return home a short time. This last tour was for the space of three months and truly laborious.
The western world of the 18th century saw the philosophies and theories of Enlightenment philosophers (like John Locke) put to the test of being made the concrete foundations of political systems. In North America, the Caribbean, and Europe violent revolutions emerged, producing new states (the United States of America, Republican France, and Haiti for example.
John Locke (1632-1704) was an English philosopher and political theorist. One of his best known works was Two Treatises of Government (1690). This book set out a theories of government that would have a long-lasting impact–especially in Europe and the western world.
The following are excerpts from Locke’s Second Treatise of Government
Despite the foreign origins of the Qing dynasty, the overall system of government remained under the control of scholar-gentlemen trained and tested in Confucian philosophies.
The following excerpt, “On the Duties of an Official,” provides an glimpse into the scope of government in China during the 18th century.
ON THE DUTIES OF AN OFFICIAL By Chen Hongmou (via Columbia University’s Asia for Educators site)
Absolutism was a political theory that claimed the monarch had absolute control of his or her realm. It arose in opposition to emerging enlightenment ideals of shared sovereignty between monarchs and nobles or the more extreme idea of power residing in the subjects of a kingdom.
The Dutch, initially led by Henry Hudson, an Englishman employed by the Dutch East India Company, arrived on Manhattan Island in 1609. This account is from over a century later, and describes the first meeting of Europeans and Natives on Manhattan.