tv Book Discussion on George Washingtons Journey CSPAN March 22, 2016 10:01pm-10:56pm EDT
and i, there's, you know, who knows where there may not be martha washington letters that were not published in the edition of her papers by joseph fields. it's going to be very exciting over the next four or five years. i think it will go online and be published as well in about four years. so i'm, i have to say it's one of the few times that i'm looking forward to revising my book. [laughter] because then i can read all martha's, all the new letters that i hope will come out. because, you know, america's a treasure-trove of 18th century papers in the different historical societies, and people travel so much in america like
martha's great granddaughters in her papers are in louisiana. and so it's, hopefully, everyone's going to come forward with new martha letters which would be exciting. and there might be a diary. that will be too exciting for words. [laughter] [applause] >> so, flora, thank you very much. you will all be delighted to know that flora fraser will be outside to sign books. i invite you all out for a cocktail reception, and i want to thank you all for being here, so thank you very much. thank you. [applause]
>> tomorrow house speaker paul ryan will talk about the state of american politics. we'll show it to you in its entirety at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> tomorrow night on booktv in prime time, a focus on disease and medical care with books on cancer, psychiatry, awe thetism and tracking -- autism and tracking contagions. join us at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> on the on booktv -- tonight on booktv, a focus on george washington. next, author t.h. breen talks about his book on the long journey george washington took as president around the 13 original tates. from politics and prose bookstore in washington, d.c., this is about an hour. >> professor timothy breen is currently the james marsh
professor at large at the university of vermont, a guggenheim fellow, professor breen has also taught classes at oxford, cambridge, yale, the university of chicago and also northwestern university which he just retired from. he has written several award-winning books on early american history on subjects raking from the tobacco -- ranging from the tobacco culture of early tidewater planters to the consumer politics of the american revolution. his new book tells the story about a series of journeys that george washington took to all of the original 13 states during his first term in office. through his detailed account of the president's travels, professor breen demonstrates the vital importance of washington's ambitious trip, vealing the role that it plays -- revealing the role that it played in helping unify a scattered nation. renowned historian gordon wood notes, quote: it is hard to think that anything new could be said about george washington.
but breen has done it in clear and accessible prose. he has given us new insights into the acute political skills of our first president and the state of the country in the 1790s. end quote. please join me in welcoming professor timothy breen. [applause] >> thank you very much for coming out on this cold, coming from vermont i need not apologize about the cold, but i gather a little snow down here is pretty lethal business. [laughter] i would be happy to answer questions at the end of my remarks. the remarks are somewhat truncated so that there will be time for discussion. washington's, george washington's journey, i should say unabashedly, was the most fun book i've ever written or researched because i followed
the road that the president took during his first term of office, drove the same -- well, not exactly the same roads because they're now paved, but washington took a trip to america, all 13 original states, a journey of well over 2,000 miles. it was in several segments, the longest and most difficult by far was from the then-capital, philadelphia, to savannah and augusta and around into the back country on roads that were extremely difficult. he had a very heavy coach and took with him 13 horses not because that was the number of states -- [laughter] but he was, he was very proud. this one? yeah. hello. >> thank you. >> he was very proud that not one single animal died, which is really amazing. what is also equally almost
providential is that twice on washington's journey to the american people he almost had, he had near fatal accidents, both of them crossing water, once in the chesapeake bay and one a river in northern virginia. and one can only imagine what the country, the new republic would have been like if the most popular, the strongest figure in american history had been killed in the first few months of office. but as he was not shot during the american revolution, he didn't die on the journey. my book is not what i would call a founding father book. we have plenty of those. you can find everything both praiseworthy and salacious about every founding father. we probably know what they ate and who they loved and to on. but this is -- and so on. but this is not that kind of book. it's a book about a critical moment in our nation's political
history when a president who, i argue, was one of the most astute political leaders, a man who knew how to read a political situation as well as, well, let's think lincoln, fdr, our great, great presidents, he stands with them as a political figure. interacted on this journey with the american people at a time when no one, including the president, was quite certain what the future of a republic -- republics were historically very fragile, they usually ended in revolutions or coups. and at the time that washington took this, these segmented tours, 1789 and then the long tour to the south in 1791, he was none too sure that the country was table. he worried a lot about faction and regionalism and states pulling away maybe in the name
of slavery or in new england the name of perhaps different commercial situations. but he felt very much that the country was imperilled even after the ratification of the constitution. and as i argue, we should see washington at this moment in his life as perhaps we see other great revolutionary leaders such as gandhi or mandela as a person who recognized that a revolution is not over when the last battle is fought. revolutions must lead to stability of the regime, a security of property and a political process that you can count on x. so that washington -- and so that washington as president was trying to fulfill the goals of the american revolution. he wasn't looking forward to us, he was trying to cement what he felt was a wonderful and grandly promising new republic. and i emphasize that on the road
at this time in order to seal this country's future he brought a positive message that's so important. i think even in these political times which i shall not comment on, when you hear so much negativity about our country and about our people, washington was smart enough to realize that the message he had to take to georgia and to new hampshire and to the middle colonies was one of positive possibilities. if the country would simply unite and support a union, they would become more prosperous, prosperous in a way that no state could guarantee because the projects were larger than simple states. that a strong union would guarantee security. there were still many countries -- great britain one of them, but you'll say france and spain -- that would have
loved to have taken one of our states and incorporated it into their own empires. he knew that. and no state could defend the country, but the country as a unit could stand strong. and and as i also argue in the book, washington had a strong sense of what we might call human rights. maybe that's stronger or than it should be, but he understood that people living in small communities, small communities are easily marginalized and denied their rightings. and if there is no a force strong enough to guarantee those rights, to protect those rights, then there are no rights at all. and so he saw a large federal union as the guarantor of the basis of our constitutional rights. and that was the message he took to the people. if you let the revolution go, if you do not fulfill your own revolution, if you let the future slide away, it's your own fault. but we can pull together. and the idea of the trip, which
was formulated in the very first months of his presidency -- he was inaugurated in 1789 in the then-capital, new york city -- the idea of a trip, a journey to the american people was entirely his own. and i might add that almost all the books that you can read about the founding fathers, you know the names, they're like celebrity ball players, jefferson and also also and madison and now hip-hop hamilton. [laughter] you know who they are. they did fine things, and i'm not going to demean their stature. but washington usually is put in the background as sort of the friendly, well-meaning uncle that didn't quite get the jokes and you hope didn't embarrass you at dinner. washington doesn't, is not seen as a bold or creative political figure. in my research and my many,
many, many hours of driving the roads with george washington, i found him to be of equal stature. he was a man who did not write noble documents that we read in school. he was a man of action. he was a pragmatic figure. and when he saw a problem, he tried to solve it immediately, and that problem was, of course, as i've indicated, the unity of the new nation. and so on his own, he decided that a man elected by the people who owed his office to the people must be in some way accessible to those very people. this was a republic. we had put down monarchy. no one had stature simply because their fathers or mothers had proper bloodlines. it was a new republican world. as washington said, i walk on untrodden ground. everything he did was a new precedent, an experiment in republican government,
government of us, of us all the time. and he realized that by taking a trip to places like charleston and savannah and augusta or boston, salem, portsmouth, to all the little cities in between that he was by his very person bringing a greater sense of emotional bonding to the country. we might call it patriotism. maybe we would call it nationalism. but he was giving a sense of this emotional identity to a larger, new republic. but i also found and what you will see when you look at my book, and that is washington was a master of political theater in a way that really surprised me as an author. he understood how to make the right move, the right gesture at the time.
i suppose that's what all great politicians do, but he was a master of it. let me give you an example. he had a really extraordinary coach which impressed people. and behind the coach as he went around the country was a smaller baggage wagon in which there were tough, you know, baggage. and when he got to the area outside of a town, he'd call a halt and go to the baggage wagon and put on his full regalia as the commander in chief of the continental army, the man who had won the revolution. then he would get on a special white horse, a charger, a battle horse and ride into town. can you imagine if you were in a little town like tarboro, north carolina, newburn or worcester, massachusetts, and you're -- did you see that? [laughter] ..
and special songs and every window illuminated in these villages. it was a massive outpouring of the sense of the people responding to their leader. their leader coming with the message of the possibilities if our country would just take the invitation. in a sense, the the people and their leader were crafting what i call a new republican narrative, getting away from the old monarchical rule. then we have a certain amount of time so instead of talking about george washington, a man about which i thought i knew a lot until i actually dealt with him. it was a wonderful sense of discovery doing this research, of meeting a person who i thought i respected and then coming to know that i really,
really admired this gentleman. this is not true of all the founding fathers when you dig into their personal lives. sometimes you wish you hadn't looked under the rock and the large thing is that he is what he purported to be. he's an extraordinary person. i don't want to talk about that. i want to talk briefly, before we have questions, about some of the american people. the ordinary people, ordinary people, men and women who encountered george washington on the road and their encounters with this man must have transformed his their lives in some way. we've all met famous people or remember some historical moment when they punctuate their lives. the first person i want to introduce is a young teenage woman who lived on a farm in north carolina a few miles south of southbury. the road runs up from charlotte
to the middle of north carolina. george washington was riding outside of his coach for exercise. it was a hot day. he decided it would be really wonderful to have a drink the water. he came to this farm and he knocked on the door and ms. betsy brandon answered and she was in a sour mood, and said young lady, what is wrong with you. she said, all my family has gone up to saulsberry to see the president of the united states. [laughter] they left me back here to take care of the animals. i just don't think that's fair. washington was taken aback. he said young lady, i am the president. you can imagine what her
reaction might've been. betsy brandon in north carolina is a figure people still talk about as a young girl who met the president. there was another young girl that was influenced by the president. she lived in salem massachusetts. washington came there and there was a tremendous reception of people and many, many of the young women and men went. nancy fisher wasn't invited but when it was over, she asked her friends, her lady friends, what was he like? was he really handsome? it was sort of like iraq group going through in town and they all told her how washington looked and so on. she wrote a letter that night which is a letter i would say is a start.
i would say it was a letter i misread peer i went back to the letter four times to make sure i had not rejected modern values onto the past. nancy fisher said, many of my friends save that george washington is a god, he's an angel, he something more than us she said no, he isn't. he's he's just a man. he's a human being because if he wasn't, he wouldn't pay any attention to us. angels don't come to salem that often. but he's a man and i want to tell you there's only one thing that would make me more happy and that would be to discover that george washington was a woman. this was in 1789. you can see, i read back, no, i have miss read this document, but she could imagine a political situation in which our country would turn to a female
leader. he was also an inventor and an oddball. his nickname was crazy rumsey. james rumsey lived out in western virginia and he told washington he had invented about in the late 1780s that, without a motor, could propel itself against the current. this this is remarkable. he built one of these boats and it looked like a goldberg contraption. it worked good unless the current got above a couple knots. nonetheless, washington went to crazy rumsey because he understood, washington did, washington did, that the future of the 13 original states depended on its ability to incorporate new territory, new
states and if kentucky and tennessee and ohio were treated the way they treated massachusetts and virginia, we would have a problem on our own hand. so washington spent a great deal of his journey talking about rivers and canals. a man last night, when i gave a presentation, he said he thought he would like to compare washington to dwight d eisenhower. i said to some extent, for washington, washington, on this journey, canals and rivers were like highways. our ability to keep ourselves as a union is dependent on our ability to have commerce flow. crazy rumsey is a figure you will meet in my book and he was a nutter, but a very desirable one.
also, you will meet in one of the most touching scenes of the whole journey, a man who just buys to the state of rhode island. they were reluctant to ratify the constitution and in fact on washington's first trip to new england, he carefully of avoided setting foot in rhode island as a way of drawing attention that they hadn't joined the union. but when they did, he took a trip and went to newport but when he was in newport, he was very interested in jewish culture. that is something he hadn't had much experience with. he met a very extraordinary man
who was the head of the synagogue, one of the oldest and most beautiful synagogues in america. he represented this jewish community and they came out in washington and exchanged greetings. let me read the words of moses and washington's response, because i think it was his most touching and articulate expression i ran across. so moses sextus feel we have been denied of valuable rights of citizens and we know we behold a new government elected by the majesty of the people. a government which to bigotry
gives new sanction, to perk persecution no assistance but generously affording to all liberty of conscious and deeming everyone of whatever nation and whatever tongue or language equal part in the great governmental mandate. 1790, washington himself responded, the american people provided mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy. a policy worthy of imitation. they assured the jew of new parts and it is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it
were by the indulgence of one class of people than another enjoy the exercise of their inherent right. in other words, the jews of newport have their rights simply because they were people. the government's responsibility was not to give them toleration but to protect their rights as human beings. 1790, and open inclusive sense of our republic. so these men and women in various places, boston gave one of the largest parades. people came forward and express
their part of being part of a wonderful new experience and relaying george washington's fears about a new republic. i want to close my comments by telling you about the moment of my research that was most meaningful. a lot of my life has been spent in archives, reading documents that my wife claims smells of mold. she's probably right, i've gotten used to it. one day i was driving with george washington near south carolina when george washington
took this trip, he kept a diary and i highly recommend buying his diary. there are a wonderfully printed source. he said he was bored out of his mind because the roads were sandy and the roads were tiny. there weren't many houses. he decided to break the tedium by stopping at a plantation just north of georgetown called hampton. hampton was a huge rice plantation. rice plantations had to be huge because there was so much drainage and other things. it's so different than tobacco plantations pretty left the road to go to hampton and he was greeted by three women. very, very strong women. one was elijah pinckney. she is credited with making
indigo a commercial crop. her daughter, herriot, who was a new widow because her husband had been killed in battle in the american revolution and then harriet's daughter. washington spoke with the women and i suppose as to keep the conversation going, they took a little stroll in front of hampton. there is a huge tree, i wish i could show you but as many of you come from the south you know what a live oak tree is. at the interval, beautiful plant plant tree. there was one right in the middle of the front of hampton and she said, mr. president, i think i'm going to cut this tree down because it obstructs the view of the house.
as you come up the road, you're supposed to see the grandeur of the house and it must speak to the people and here's this tree in the way. washington looked at her and looked at the tree and said let it stay. that tree can do no harm. it was then 200 years old. it's now almost 500 years old. so i invite i invite all the readers of my book to stop at hampton and touch the tree that's called the washington oak it connects you with the father of our country. thank you. [applause].
>> was there any concern on washington's part, did he articulate any concern of danger? was there any danger presented to him about his travels? >> yes, the question is about the dangers. it was extremely risky business travel in those days. he bought a coach in philadelphia in one of the largest trips to the south. i have a chapter in the book about the mystery of the coach. the coach at mount vernon, if you go down there it's a beautiful coach, but it's it's not a washington coach. it's a faux coach.
that coach was purchased by the mayor of philadelphia. the real -- anyway, to answer your question, it was a very large vehicle and the roads were terrible. when washington left philadelphia, thomas thomas jefferson warned him and said you're going to have a terrible accident. this is top heavy. it's like an suv going over in the wind. besides, there's rocks and tree stumps and it's really bad business. he did not have an accident of that kind but in crossing the chesapeake bay over to an apple, a terrible storm came up and all of the boats in the washington group went aground. it was a terrible moment because the governor and everybody in maryland could see from the shore what was happening but
they could not do a thing. washington was crossing the river near here in the horses got spooked and pulled off the barge and threatened to take the whole paraphernalia into the water. the day was only saved because there were so mini spectators, people who would come out in small boats to see the president on his trip that they rescued the situation. so yes, it was dangerous. washington always survived. >> what about human danger. >> yes. it is a thought that the president of the united states, with one secretary and a number of servants probably unarmed with no military or police protection could travel the length of our country and not worry about assassination or terrorism.
it's a strange idea. >> this journey was undertaken, i suppose in large part to help cement the union. given that perhaps the largest fault line in that union, did you encounter any references in the documents to how the issue of slaves or freed men in any of those colonies became a part of that journey? >> that's a question that i should bring to everyone's mind. a larger percentage of the american population at the time were african-americans then. even today.
these were not invisible folks. there were two, if i may say, to incidents, one that absolutely surprised me and i wonder if any of the reviewers of my book will pick up the good one first. george washington, one of his goals was to promote american industry because he thought that a great and struggling should not be dependent on foreign imports. he wanted americans to be self-sufficient especially in textiles which was the largest import at the time. he went to the mills and looked around and praised what was really up pretty pathetic factory, but being a good president he tried to put a good
face to it. soon after he left back, he received a letter from england, from wales from amman by by mr. howells. he had a grandson who became a fairly good novelist in america later. this man was a quaker and he owned a state-of-the-art mill in wales, 80 employees in those days, and he said to the president, mr. president, i like the idea of the freedom and the expansiveness of the republic. i'd like to bring my mill to virginia and start and help you become self-sufficient. he said, but i know that you probably are not going to get many farm boys to come and work in the factories. i'll tell you what we can do. you have very talented young men
and young women and we will bring them into the factory in a kind of internship. after they learn the skills necessary to make good cloth, they will be given their freedom. it will will be a transitional experiment. now when i read this letter i thought i bet washington just through this out the coach indo. that's not what he did. he took the letter, endorsed the plan, sent it sent it to the governor of virginia, a man by the name of beverly and said we ought to think about this. everyone in the virginia government in 1790 new that it represented a road to freedom through work. i didn't invent this. it's right in washington's letter. but no historian ever noticed this extraordinary possibility that washington was holding out. now what happened?
someone came to him and said do you realize that if this guy brings the state-of-the-art mills to america, you're going to break every international treaty and law about the importation of technology from great britain? he said oh my goodness, as pres., i can't break the law. but that's the good story. the bad story is washington had, and you you can see his picture, an extraordinary slave, a man of immense charisma i the of hercules. he was the cook and when washington was on his tour, he learned from the attorney general that pennsylvania law allowed any slave brought into the state of pennsylvania, after six months you automatically became free.
that went for slaves of presidents, congressmen or anybody. these guys came all the way up from georgia and south carolina. they thought slavery slavery was forever and here's this law and they went berserk. they said were going to lose our greatest cook in the world and so they tried to fool hercules by telling him about five months and someday that he was needed back in mount vernon and it was a total hoax. hercules, to his credit realized they were fooling with him and went to martha and said, i'm part of your family. why don't you trust me? you doubt my integrity. to go through all this kind of conspiracy against me. martha broke down in tears because washington was exposed
and he was the only man we know of that forced washington to tell a lie. it's really me more remarkable. you see both sides. of all the southern founding fathers, he was the only one who freed his own slaves on his deathbed. we always quote thomas jefferson and all these others. they wrote the words but they didn't do the act. >> thank you. president washington, of course has zero well documented reputation as a host of mount vernon. i'm wondering if you learned anything or what you learn from your research about what he was like a guest in all these people's homes or the houses that he stayed. >> sure.
the guess, especially during the , they would pour in. people would just appear and say hello, i was was just passing through. i'm from france and i'm here. let's have it in her. it was quite annoying. frankly he got a little tired of it, but let me get you another aspect. people have compared his tour or asked me to compare it to what james in queens in europe did. they would go on the road with 60, 70, 80 retainers and drop in at somebody's castle and say kill the local boxes and take care and you foot the bill. that was a way of basically keeping the queens treasury full
and also reminding the local lords who was boss. washington announced at the beginning of his tour that he would only stay at public taverns, ins or ordinaries that he would not take the hospitality of any private individual. he said there were two reasons for this. one is that he was an employee of us, the american american people and if he was going to represent us, we should pay for us and it was not the business of private people to come forward. second, and brilliantly, he recognized that if you are in georgia near hampshire and you were maybe the wealthiest merchant or something and he stayed at your house, the next day, that person would say i have a special deal going with washington, and turn it into a political advantage. he did not want to be a source of that. he wanted to go on the two were
to heal faction. people say that's really good, wow, he staying at these taverns, however, if you read washington's private diary, which i spent many hours doing, you will find that he often hated these taverns. they were terrible. the food was awful. they mistreated his forces. the beds were full of bugs. he was too short and he was a big man. his bed was 6 inches too short and his feet were hanging off the bed. he said this is terrible. i described his diary as sort of a trip advisor. but that was for private consumption. the public was that he was republican leader doing what you should do if you are an employee of the government. the gentleman asked the question
hospitality. there were two times when people fooled him and he got very cross and outside of georgetown, he stayed in the house he was told wasn't in and when he got up in the morning and presented his visa card, the guy said no, i won't take your money because this is my house. it was not a really good idea to cross george washington. he did not like to be fooled but that was the one time that i know he stayed in a private home. >> sir. >> i read that george washington specified that his slaves be freed upon the death of his wife martha and subsequently, martha, not wanting to die at the hands of her slaves, she freed the
slaves. >> well you may know something about that that i don't, but when she became very ill, in 1799, he was at the deathbed with his loyal secretary and washington made it clear that his slaves would be freed. most of the slaves at mount vernon were owned by martha and brought to the marriage by her former union family. she was not at all happy about freeing slaves. she did not think that was a good idea. there is some evidence that she
was a little grumpy about her dead husband doing this. i'm sorry, i don't know that she freed her slaves later, but i can't comment on eligible he about that. >> i've read your wonderful book >> thank you. >> there are so many things in addition to what you mentioned that are great. there's one thing i don't remember you covering and that is, he was gone for a significant period of time and while the pace of government is different than it was today, did anything anything go wrong or did anything happen that he had to fix when he got back? >> right. it's a question that i've thought about because it seemed
to me that that raise or erases a very difficult issue of constitutional law that to my knowledge, no one has really thought about. when washington left, the major figures in the government of his cabinet were hamilton and jefferson. so he told these men, he said i'm going to go away. if anything comes up, you handle it. when i come back, all rubberstamp whatever you did. so you you just know i'll have your back. i don't think he had the right responsibility. he said if something really big comes up you know if the british send a gunboat up the potomac or something, then call me and i'll come back.
i'll handle it. but of course, that was a hollow gesture because if you were in savannah georgia, you're rushing back is not going to mean much even if he cut over to charleston and took a vote. the creases would have been long over. so in fact, it was a potential, a potentially big problem but it never came up. >> he didn't turn anything over to john adams. >> well there you go. george washington was not a fan of john adams. he thought he was a bore. he wrote this letter to hamilton and said you handle this, i trust you, you do what you have to do. then as a footnote, he said by the way, is the vice president still in the capital, if so include him in the conversation.
the assumption that adams would be attending the apple orchards and not minding government, washington tried to like adams. adams was a difficult person to get along with. he was always in a perpetual snap about something. washington invited adams to accompany him on one of the tours, ride in the coach, it was a time that adams could've shown that he had a sense a sense for the people. but he got one of these pouts and said no, i'm going to ride in my own code to go to days before you go. therefore he missed a tremendous opportunity to make his own reputation when abigail adams, who has the same political astuteness as george washington, when she heard about this, she said what are you doing.
you should be in that coach. when the coach up to boston and some of the sale in areas, adam got over his little pout and road briefly with washington. i was speculating with my wife this morning, one of the powerful marriages that didn't take place, but if george washington had married mrs. adams, what a powerful political combo. >> i wondered if you were able to connect anything in his background that led to his extraordinary political powers? >> i don't know about his background, but as a young man he was not one of the great families of virginia. he was extremely close to the
man who became his surrogate father and that was his brother. i think he saw that brother as a model. when he died washington was on his own. he was never close to his mother. in fact, they had not a pleasant relationship. washington learned somewhere along the way of an extraordinary self-control of his emotions, his speech, he was often guarded to the point of seeming aloof, but he had a sense of leadership that came across how pleasant it would be
of some of our other political leaders had his characteristics. he listened and made counsel and reflected on what people said. then he made his decision. time and time again. he had no problem changing his mind. nobody said washington was waffling. the thing that's deadly on fox news. he saw, several times, including the gentleman who asked about african-american history. he thought maybe we should use armed black troops. he said no way, but then he said actually that might be a good idea, let's do it. at the beginning of the war, he changed his mind because he saw pragmatically that the new answer was better than the old answer. so i think we call that leadership. >> these are great questions.
you are bringing out elements of the book the maybe i should have. >> a lot of the conventional wisdom about the relationship between hamilton and washington were linked here original remarks about your discoveries about washington strength is a political leader. i wondered whether you're the views about the relationship between hamilton washington, in terms of using the other is a political tool, what they are and whether they were changed by the research you did in connection with the tool. >> that's a fair question about hamilton and washington and i will try to answer your question it is a speculation based on my own research and i concentrated on this to work time so there
may be elements that would cause us to moderate those opinions, but washington had great admiration for hamilton brilliance as an economist. frankly i don't think washington understood half of what hamilton said about the various reports about industry and finance, but he trusted hamilton and that's another sign of great leadership. he knew how to delegate responsibility to hamilton. hamilton had been a difficult person in washington's life. outside the purview of the book, at at the end of the war when the officer of the continental army had not been paid and were very restless, there is suggestion that there would be a coup of the