Adam Ruins Everything (2015) s02e17 Episode Script

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Truth

1 (narrator) History, that immortal chain of events that links the present to the past.
(Adam) Ooh, are you talking about history? I love history! (narrator) What was that? Is someone talking during my intro? Hello? Ugh, maybe I'm hearing things.
Where was I? Ah, yes.
Put down your smartphones and let me, your trusty uncorrectable narrator guide you through my animated chronicle of fascinating historical facts.
Let us begin with the founding of our nation, the American Revolution.
It's the story of honest, faithful George Washington, who led his band of patriots to victory.
Come, patriots! Fight for liberty! (man) For freedom! (Man 2) For liberty! (man 3) And 'cause we hate tea for some reason! Actually (narrator) Patriots like Paul Revere, whose midnight ride saved Boston.
The British are coming, the British are coming! Uh, that's not The British are coming! (narrator) And the brave soldiers of the continental army, who, united by a desire to be free, overcame tyranny.
(Adam) Actually, everything you just said is wrong.
(narrator) That's it! Who do you think you are interrupting my show? Hi, I'm Adam! Adam? Who in the Ah, you must be one of the Frenchmen.
You don't come in until later.
I'm not French.
You're gonna tell me you're not French with hair and clothes like that? Nope, not French, but destroying misconceptions is my raison d'être.
Many of the stories we know about the Revolution aren't really history.
They're myths.
So I'm here to set the record straight.
Stop dog-earing the page, you jerk! You're ruining it! Sorry, ruining is kinda my thing.
I'm Adam Conover and this is "Reanimated History.
" (narrator) The American Revolution.
Those fateful years when General George Washington inspired a group of patriots, bound by their love of freedom, to form the mighty continental army.
(all) Three cheers for liberty, freedom, and our beloved General Washington! (Adam) Oh, that's a nice story.
But the truth is, the Continental Army wasn't made up of patriots.
It was mostly drunks, immigrants and poor farmers looking to get paid.
(narrator) Ugh, The Frenchman again! Where are you? I'm the horse now.
Isn't animation fun? Ahh! (man) Down, down! Okay, just ask nicely.
(narrator) What are you talking about? The Continental Army formed due to a groundswell of patriotic pride! Not in the slightest.
In fact, in 1775, as few as one in five colonists even supported the Independence movement, and much of that support came from wealthy land-owning elites.
It'd be great for me if we were our own country.
The king's taxes are really hurting my bottom line.
(Adam) But the average colonist didn't care about patriotism at all.
I've got a farm to tend.
I don't care which elitist wig-head is in charge! (speaking German) Beer hats! We should make 'em.
(Adam) And on top of that, about a third of the colonists actually supported the British side.
(whistling) I rather like being British.
Have you tried our tea? It's divine.
(scoffing) (narrator) What? But I thought these people had so much of that patriotic spirit! No, they didn't.
Even Washington himself said Without the support of the people, Washington and the Continental Congress were desperate for an army.
So they resorted to shady recruitment practices to raise their ranks.
Let's go trick some rubes into fighting against their will! (giggles) Ya-haw! Ahh! Maybe we should have a safe word.
How about "bibliography"? Hyah! Ahh! (narrator) Come on, how shady could they possibly have been? (Adam) First, they offered money to bribe potential recruits.
I know you don't want to fight, but maybe my friend Mr.
Washington can change your mind? Who the hell's Mr.
Washington? I am.
I'll be on the money, eventually.
(sighs) It's a bribe, I'm bribing you.
Bribe? Why didn't you say so? Give me a gun, I'll shoot those red jackets.
(Adam) But the Continental Army didn't actually have enough money to pay the soldiers, so most received IOUs.
Here you are, you can cash it in at the end of the war, if we win.
And if you don't lose that.
And if you survive! What? Nothing! Don't worry, it'll be fine.
Next, they'd walk into bars beating a drum and literally march people into the army while they were drunk.
Join the army! Join the army! Join the army! Join the army! Let's follow that drummer boy! He's leading us to Christmas.
Join the army! (all) Join the army! Join the army! Hey, thanks, Santa Claus.
(Adam) They would even trick immigrants with limited English into signing enlistment contracts they couldn't read.
Here, sign this.
It's, uh, the check.
(speaking German) Ha ha, you idiot! You just agreed to be in the army! (laughing) Oh, I got you good! (Adam) But the dirtiest trick of all is when they would frame colonists for crimes and have courts punish them with forced enlistment.
(baby crying) That man stole my baby! The punishment for baby-snatching is permanent enlistment! And that baby isn't old enough to be in this bar.
Enlistment! (baby crying, Washington chuckling) Junior! (narrator) Okay, so some underhanded tactics were used to fill out the ranks, but the rest of the army were brave volunteers.
Please tell me they were.
Even with all that chicanery, Washington still didn't have enough men, so the colonies had to resort to something very unpopular.
Still not enough men.
We need a draft.
(man) One draft, coming up.
(glass breaking) No, not a draft beer! Mandatory conscription.
(thunder cracking) And also, wasting beer is a crime, you have to join the army.
(narrator) A draft? Like in Vietnam? No! (Chuckles) I'm afraid so.
And what's even worse is that the wealthy elites who the war benefitted the most were able to avoid the draft by paying poor people to take their place.
I'd fight, but I don't want my wig to get dirty.
Make me proud.
Oh, wow, my life in exchange for money.
Seems fair.
All right, let's get you on the front lines.
(narrator) I can't believe this.
You're telling me Washington's army was made up of people who were drafted, tricked or paid off? Yep, and as a result, desertion was a constant problem.
As many as 20% of all the soldiers in the Continental Army ended up deserting.
All right, let's slam some red coats! Who's with me? (wind blowing, man coughing) (speaking German) (Adam) So Washington decided to enforce a statute that said (Washington) "Any soldier who abandons his post will receive little mercy and suffer death immediately.
" (narrator) No, Washington would never threaten to kill his own men! That's blasphemy! (Adam) Oh, he didn't just threaten.
Some soldiers were so upset about the poor conditions and lack of pay that they coordinated full-blown mutinies.
In one case, 200 continental soldiers mutinied, but they were soon captured.
We must make an example of these traitors.
Put them in front of a firing squad and make their own friends pull the trigger.
Assemble all the regiments to bear witness, so that every soldier may know the price that is paid for treachery! (gunfire) (narrator) That didn't really happen.
I cannot tell a lie.
It did.
Support for the war effort was so minimal, that Washington resorted to killing his own men just to keep his army of bribed, drunk, confused, and impoverished colonists together to fight for a cause they had no interest in defending.
Economic freedom for wealthy elites.
(narrator) That's terrible.
Were there no patriots at all? No, of course there were.
Have you ever heard of the enslaved man who became a spy and turned the tide of the war? (narrator) No, I have not.
Where have you been? Are you deserting, too? Bad horse! I'll tell you in a sec.
Ahh! Bibliography! Bibliography! and Alexander Hamilton.
But there's one revolutionary hero we never talk about, even though we should.
(narrator) Oh, now the hairdo's got some great history story, huh? Well, if you think you can be a narrator, go ahead and give it a try.
Wow me.
Oh, okay.
Allow me to tell you the tale of the slave who became a spy and helped to secure the patriot victory.
(narrator) Okay, that's actually a pretty good start.
Thank you.
His name was James and he's an unsung badass of history.
The year is 1781.
General Washington and Commander Marquis de Lafayette of France are in the dark about the British army's plans.
(growling) If we don't figure out what those redcoats are up to in Virginia, we are finished! What are they doing? Je ne sais pas, Monsieur.
They are British, so maybe breeding Corgis? (dog barking) (Adam) Meanwhile in Virginia, an enslaved man named James did not like his home state being invaded.
Virginia sucks! (Laughing) That's it! I'm joining the army and beating some British butt.
(Adam) James wished to join the Continental Army, which was rare, because while the British actively recruited slaves to fight Hear ye, hear ye! All who fight for the crown shall be free! (Adam) The patriots didn't even allow it at first, and when they finally did, they made no promises of freedom.
Hear ye, hear ye! All who fight for liberty shall still be slaves! Sucks for you.
(Adam) Due to this, there were up to 20 times more slaves fighting for the British than on the Patriot side.
(chuckles) Huh well, sucks for us.
(Adam) But despite this, James joined the Patriots to serve under Marquis de Lafayette.
Take that, General Cornwallace! I throw darts in your face! You filthy British stinkfoot! (spitting) Uh, sir? I want to help the cause.
Sacre bleu.
A slave fighting for us? I can read and write, too.
You are what we call in France, "le unicorn.
" You could spy on the British and no one would suspect a thing.
Here, take this coat to save the ruse.
Thank you, sir.
Take that, Lafayette, you pillock.
I have assaulted your face with darts.
British General, sir? I am loyal to the crown and wish to fight for the king.
Notice my red coat.
Egads! A runaway slave loyal to the crown.
You are what we call in Britain, a regular occurrence.
You'll fit right in.
Now, it's time to look at my battle plans.
Psst! General! You sure you want to leave those battle plans out around him? Him? He's a slave! It's not like he can read and write! (both laugh) So, I read and wrote down their entire battle plan.
Cornwallace is in Yorktown? This will win us the war! (Adam) With this information, General Washington was able to ambush Cornwallace's army at Yorktown, forcing him to surrender.
Someone must have told them my battle plan! But who could it be? James, any ideas? Uh Oh, well, I'm stumped.
Time to go surrender.
(Adam) This became the last major battle in the Revolutionary War, paving the way for the founding of America.
James, your intelligence helped us win the war.
You are what we call in France, "le hero.
" (men cheering, overlapping chatter)