In the critical months that General George Washington spent at Newburgh, he made some of his most important contributions to shaping the American republic. It was here that Washington rejected the idea that he should be king after the war, also ending the Newburgh conspiracy. He prevented military control of the government and defused the threat of a mutiny among his officers over pay and pensions. Washington created and awarded the Badge of Military Merit at this site, which became the forerunner of the Purple Heart. Washington's instatement of an order for the "cessation of hostilities" formally ended the Revolutionary War in April 1783.