By Robert V. Remini
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Washington crossed the Delaware River at Trenton and tried to keep his army together. But his soldiers shivered in the December cold and began to desert, since the situation looked hopeless. Their general pleaded with Congress to provide supplies and additional troops but had little success. ” Indeed, Washington himself almost lost hope. ” Then he attempted something truly daring. On Christmas evening, with about 2,500 men, he crossed the ice-ﬁlled Delaware River about nine miles northwest of Trenton and attacked the Hessians who had taken the town and were sleeping off their Christmas celebration.
In Philadelphia he preached to 10,000 who were hungry for salvation. Jonathan Edwards and other revivalists, called New Lights in New England, likened humans to the lowest of God’s creatures who were in desperate need of salvation. In a sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” Edwards declared, “The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect over the ﬁre . . ” Only His mercy stays His hand from allowing the wicked to fall into hellﬁre. But unless His creatures repent and desist from their sinfulness He will surely and utterly destroy them.
It was quite a disaster for the British and prompted the French to conclude that an alliance with the United States would be to their advantage. On February 6, 1778, American ministers, led by Benjamin Franklin, signed two treaties with the French government. The ﬁ rst was a treaty of amity and commerce in which both countries were granted most-favored-nation status; they further agreed to guarantee forever each other’s possessions in the New World. The second was a treaty of alliance whereby neither country would lay down its arms until Great Britain acknowledged the independence of the United States; this second treaty was to become effective when war broke out between France and Britain.
A Short History of USA by Robert V. Remini