Preliminaries of the Revolution, 1763-1775

By George Elliott Howard | Go to book overview

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

THE struggle between the English colonies and the parent state resulting in the recognition of a new and dominant nation in the western hemisphere is justly regarded as a revolution. Its preliminaries cover the twelve years between the peace of Paris in 1763 and the appeal to arms in 1775; but its causes are more remote. Up to the very beginning of hostilities the colonists disclaimed any desire for independence; yet it seems clear to us that unconsciously they had long been preparing themselves for that event. The origin of the Revolution is coeval with the earliest dawning of a sentiment of American union. Its assigned causes are, indeed, mainly economic and political. It was not a social revolution in the conventional sense; yet it was profoundly sociological in character. The conditions were favorable to the rise of a more united and a freer society in America; but this was hindered by the inertia of a colonial system which the American people had outgrown. Hence it is a grave mistake to see in the struggle between Great Britain and her colonies merely a useless contest provoked by the fanaticism, the ambition, or the

-xvii-

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