Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2008

Thesis Advisor(s)

Richard D. Brown

Honors Major



Arts and Humanities | History | United States History


The mutinies of the Continental Army during the American Revolution threatened both the integrity of the army and the viability of the Revolution itself. They were complex phenomena, stemming from numerous underlying physical and psychological causes. Having slowly developed over the course of the war, the problems confronting the Continental Army eventually brought it to the breaking point. No less than four major mutinies, involving soldiers or officers, occurred between 1780-1783. This essay focuses on the reasons for the mutinies and how the participants justified their actions. It also examines responses from General Washington and other senior officers, and what effects these actions had on the army. Finally, this essay addresses the question of why so few major mutinies occurred given the miserable state of the Continental Army.