“The Price of Their Blood and of Your Independency”: The Social and Economic Disparities within the Connecticut Line

Ernest Lucian Andreoli III, Providence College


For decades, historians have debated the extent of the social and economic divisions within the Continental Army. Middling, as well as poverty-stricken farmers and mechanics were at the heart of the American Revolution, and were the daring laborers that eventually comprised the majority of the Continental Army. Although no scholar has undertaken a comprehensive analysis on the social and wealth distribution of the Connecticut Line, I did so by constructing a set of case studies on Connecticut soldiers, unveiling the impact of rationing techniques on low-to-middle income soldiers, incorporating why market forces effected the financial security of Connecticut Continentals, as well as analyzing discrepancies in soldiers’ compensation records. My aim in this thesis is to explain that the social and economic distribution of the Connecticut Line was diverse, and argue that the Continental Army’s wealth disparity between the rich and the poor was far more profound than previously suggested by scholars.