In 1801, the two decades of brutal military government euphemistically known as "the interregnum" finally ended with the death of the American tyrant, Benedict Arnold (pictured). Empowered with supreme authority by the Second Continental Congress he defeated the British Empire but then refused to disband the Continental Army which he used to rule the thirteen colonies with a rod of iron.
This post is an article from the Midshipman George Washington thread.
Midshipman George Washington #2His appointment to Commander-in-Chief was rightly earned by the capture of Quebec even if the city was retaken by Burgoyne as soon as he headed south. As a result, that ambitious, conniving opportunist Horatio Gates was overlooked for the command of the patriot forces at the decisive Battle of Saratoga and soon afterwards killed in the pursuit after Camden.
Faced with the ever present threat of mutiny Arnold had repeatedly made firm assurances to the officer corps of the Continental Army that he knew would never be honoured by the politicians in Philadelphia. The time of reckoning arrived sooner than expected because in 1781 the tide of war turned decisively in favour of the Americans. Because loyalist Admiral George Washington was defeated at Chesapeake Bay and a catastrophic British surrender forced at Yorktown.
Unwilling to accept the raw severance deal when it was finally presented in Philadelphia, General Arnold turned his troops on the Congress and emulated Cromwell's control of the Long Parliament. The destruction of America's democratic institutions caused a series of events to play out with a grim inevitability. Within six months he had established full-blown military rule and was forced to put down scattered rebellions for the next twenty years.