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American Revolution

IN APRIL 1775, the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, plunging the American colonies into the Revolutionary War. Just more than a year later, in July 1776, the Continental Congress endorsed the Declaration of Independence, providing legitimacy for the fight for independence from England, then the world's greatest power. When the young nation entered the war, it had only a weak central government; there were no efficient governmental organizations to take charge of procurement for the American troops. The overall result of the lack of organization was chaos, waste, inefficiency, and corruption.

Profiteers were quick to take advantage of the government's shortcomings and to use the emergency situation to their own advantage. It was not uncommon for American troops to go without food, ...

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