Academic journal article Military Review

An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean

Academic journal article Military Review

An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean

Article excerpt

AN EMPIRE DIVIDED: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean, Andrew J. O'Shaughnessy, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 2000, 392 pages, $55.00.

In An Empire Divided The Ameri-- can Revolution and the British Car-- ibbean, Andrew O'Shaughnessy contends that other British colonies, in particular the British West Indies, provided the linchpin of British strat-- egy during the American Revolution. Although the "sugar" islands had many citizens who supported the call for independence by mainland colo-- nies, there was little open support for the American Revolution because of reasons of external and internal se-- curity. The islanders were more con-- cerned about the potential threat of foreign invasion and occupation or slave revolts.

Drawing on primary and second-- ary source material, including private correspondence, colonial council and assembly minutes, and the contem-- porary press, O'Shaughnessy makes clear that the American Revolution was much more than Saratoga, Val-- ley Forge, and Yorktown. An Empire Divided convincingly outlines why the British saw Caribbean colonies, not mainland colonies, as the pos-- sible primary theater of operations.

Even though "the Caribbean colo-- nies shared to a large degree the es-- sential preconditions of the Ameri-- can Revolution," they did not join in the mainland's rebellion. …

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