Revolutionary America, 1763-1815: A Political History

Revolutionary America, 1763-1815: A Political History

Revolutionary America, 1763-1815: A Political History

Revolutionary America, 1763-1815: A Political History

Synopsis

The American Revolution describes and explains the crucial events in the history of the United States between 1763 and 1815, when settlers in North America rebelled against British authority, won their independence in a long and bloddy stuggle and created an enduring republic.Placing the political revolution at the core of the story, this book considers:* the deterioration of the relationship between Britain and the American colonists* the Wars of Independence* the creation of the republican government and the ratification of the United States Constitution* the trials and tribulations of the first years of the new republic. The American Revolution also examines those who paradoxically were excluded from the political life of the new republic and the American claim to uphold the principle that all men are created equal. In particular this book describes the experiences of women who were often denied the rights of citizens, Native Americans and African Americans. The American Revolution is an important book for all students of the American past.

Excerpt

In the past two decades there have been three very good overviews which consider the period of the founding of the United States: Robert Middlekauff's The Glorious Cause, Edward Countryman's The American Revolution and Colin Bonwick's book, also titled The American Revolution. Each of these works made a significant contribution to the literature and advanced our knowledge of the subject. Middlekauff provided a detailed political, military, and diplomatic account of the American struggle for independence. Countryman's more concise treatment had as its major theme the impact of the Revolution on American society. Bonwick presented a detailed synthesis of the literature on the rebellion of the American colonies and the creation of the United States. Given the strengths of these works one might ask: why another book on the American Revolution?

In part, the nature of the exercise itself provides the answer to the question. It has been nearly a decade since the most recent of the studies noted above, Colin Bonwick's The American Revolution, appeared. Early American history remains one of the most active fields in American historiography. The discussion groups on early America sponsored by H-Net are among the most active academic discussion groups on the Internet. The annual output of significant articles in journals such as The Journal of American History, The Journal of the Early Republic and especially The William and Mary Quarterly is testimony to the strength of the field. Each year, aspects of the revolutionary and early national period are the subject of high-quality monographs such as those published by the University of North Carolina Press under the auspices of the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture. Given the quality and quantity of the scholarship on the period, it is necessary to take stock of the literature periodically. At a basic level, this work endeavors to present a synthesis of the secondary literature on the Revolution with particular attention to the scholarship of the past decade.

As Middlekauff, Countryman, and Bonwick have demonstrated, such a synthesis is a worthy and challenging undertaking. In the course of writing the present work, I have often questioned my own worthiness for such a . . .

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