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Freemasons, The Co Pilots Of The Revolution: How Freemasonry Steered The American Revolution And The Revolutionary War

1232 words - 5 pages

Although their influence on the social sphere was by far the largest, the masons also had an impact on military conditions during the American Revolution and War for Independence. The masons were essential in providing military camaraderie during the wars leading up to the American Revolution and during the Revolutionary war through their military lodges and inclusive stance. Military Lodges provided support and boosted morale for soldiers during the War for Independence among other wars. Military lodges were much like normal lodges except that they did not have permanent locations. These lodges were portable so that they could travel with the military and so that freemasons fighting in the war has the ability to continue their membership in the fraternity even when they were at war. There were at least 11 military lodges during the War for Independence, with the most famous being the American Union Lodge Number One (Fay 245). Having a lodge in the field created a support system for masonic soldiers because it gave them a piece of home as well as created friendships. This military morale was a masonic contribution to the Revolutionary Era because it helped empower American soldiers and created military community.
Another important piece of how the masons affected the American Revolution through the military was the fact that Military Lodges were open to soldiers of all ranks. Much like regular lodges, military lodges were not based on rank, but open to all men who met the standards of Constitutions. This separated the masons form other military groups because many of the other groups were exclusive, only allowing men holding high ranks to join. According to a chart of numbers of members depending on rank in the American Union Lodge, the Pennsylvania Line, and the New Jersey Brigade, compiled by the historian Steven C. Bullock, men in military lodges ranged from lieutenants and captains, to colonels and company-grade, all the way to doctors, chaplains, and paymasters (Bullock 126). This mixing of ranks created a more open society, a group of people more open to connections between the classes. The masons left this lasting impact on the society with only small gestures such as their inclusive stance and motivational lodges.
Besides the masons internal effects such as the spreading of republican principles in the social arena and the motivation in the military, freemasons also left their mark on international affairs during the American Revolution. Masons were vital as unofficial ambassadors in international affairs between the United States and other peoples both European and Native American. One thing freemasonry did for foreign affairs is that it encouraged goodwill amid fighting. When two people or groups are in a fight, much less a war, often the parties are less than cordial to each other. Freemasonry ensured that despite fighting, men on either side would be respected. During the War for Independence, this became important in saving masonic...

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