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The Life and Soul of an Army: Discipline and Professionalism in George Washington’s Continental Army, 1775-1776 Open Access

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This thesis studies the development of discipline in the Continental Army during 1775 and 1776. Specifically how it relates to the slow professionalization of the army before the winter encampment at Valley Forge in 1777. The historiography generally considers 1777 as the beginning of the professionalization process. This thesis counters this belief and contends that the professionalization began during the early moments of the war and took several years to complete, with Valley Forge as more of a climax than a beginning. To support this argument, this thesis employs the many courts martial of the Continental Army during the early years of the war.

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