“Excellent . . . deserves high praise. Mr. Taylor conveys this sprawling continental history with economy, clarity, and vividness.”—Brendan Simms, Wall Street Journal The American Revolution is often portrayed as a high-minded, orderly event whose capstone, the Constitution, provided the nation its democratic framework. Alan Taylor, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, gives us a different creation story in this magisterial history. The American Revolution builds like a ground fire overspreading Britain’s colonies, fueled by local conditions and resistant to control. Emerging from the continental rivalries of European empires and their native allies, the revolution pivoted on western expansion as well as seaboard resistance to British taxes. When war erupted, Patriot crowds harassed Loyalists and nonpartisans into compliance with their cause. The war exploded in set battles like Saratoga and Yorktown and spread through continuing frontier violence. The discord smoldering within the fragile new nation called forth a movement to concentrate power through a Federal Constitution. Assuming the mantle of “We the People,” the advocates of national power ratified the new frame of government. But it was Jefferson’s expansive “empire of liberty” that carried the revolution forward, propelling white settlement and slavery west, preparing the ground for a new conflagration.
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A new look at the American Revolution: more than the David-versus-Goliath portrayal, it was the very first world war The American Revolutionary War stands as a monument to freedom and democracy the world over. The American Revolution: A World War provides a fuller story of a war that involved international interest and conflict. From acts of resistance like the Boston Tea Party to the "shot heard 'round the world," the struggle for liberty and independence still resonates; this book offers new insight into the involvement of other nations and the colonists' desire for a country that symbolized their values and the pursuit of the American way of life. Spain, France, and the Dutch Republic joined the colonists' fight against the British not because they supported American independence but because they wanted to protect their own interests. These nations offered essential financial and military support to the revolutionaries, without which the colonists may not have been able to withstand British military supremacy on land and on the seas. The colonists also benefitted from a fortunate tactical advantage: distraction. Great Britain, working to protect its lucrative colonial interests in the Caribbean and India from the other European superpowers, turned its attention away from the American front, enabling colonists to make unexpected gains in the war. These and many other moments in the Revolution are explored through a global lens to offer more context for this crucial moment in history. Featuring essays from leading scholars and historians, and fully illustrated with historical military portraiture, documents, and maps indicating campaigns and territories, this book offers a completely new understanding of the American Revolution: as that of the first world war.
Here is a brisk, accessible, and vivid introduction to arguably the most important event in the history of the United States--the American Revolution. Between 1760 and 1800, the American people cast off British rule to create a new nation and a radically new form of government based on the idea that people have the right to govern themselves. In this lively account, Robert Allison provides a cohesive synthesis of the military, diplomatic, political, social, and intellectual aspects of the Revolution, paying special attention to the Revolution's causes and consequences. The book recreates the tumultuous events of the 1760s and 1770s that led to revolution, such as the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party, as well as the role the Sons of Liberty played in turning resistance into full-scale revolt. Allison explains how and why Americans changed their ideas of government and society so profoundly in these years and how the War for Independence was fought and won. He highlights the major battles and commanders on both sides--with a particular focus on George Washington and the extraordinary strategies he developed to defeat Britain's superior forces--as well as the impact of French military support on the American cause. In the final chapter, Allison explores the aftermath of the American Revolution: how the newly independent states created governments based on the principles for which they had fought, and how those principles challenged their own institutions, such as slavery, in the new republic. He considers as well the Revolution's legacy, the many ways its essential ideals influenced other struggles against oppressive power or colonial systems in France, Latin America, and Asia. Sharply written and highly readable, The American Revolution offers the perfect introduction to this seminal event in American history.
Uncover the remarkable story of the American Revolution! Who were the Redcoats, and what was the Boston Tea Party? Explore key events like the British surrender at Yorktown, and the writing of the Declaration of Independence. Written in association with the esteemed Smithsonian Institution, this beautiful visual reference ebook will transport you back in time and onto the front lines of the American Revolution. Take chronological steps through the American Revolution, starting with the first stirrings of colonial resistance. Learn about important events and key moments of the war that gave birth to the American republic. Meet the most memorable people from the period, from George Washington to Benedict Arnold, and explore first-person accounts by soldiers and civilians. This history ebook for children grade 7 and up gives you a complete overview of the most fascinating events during the war. The action is brought to life through illustrated accounts of every major military action and comprehensive timelines for every stage of the conflict. Gallery spreads feature the weapons, arms, and uniforms that were used, to give you a full picture of what it was like. Large color pictures, black-and-white drawings, and detailed maps add intriguing visuals to the history of America, so reading can be engaging and enjoyable. This visual reference ebook also details the politics of the war and the different parts of society impacted by the events. Learn about the treatment of prisoners and the revolution's implications for women, Native Americans, and African-Americans. Dive in and explore the parts of the American Revolution you haven't yet discovered. Mapping the Road to American Independence The American Revolution is the most significant event in American history. Without it, there would not be the United States of America. More than 240 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, this educational ebook demonstrates why this historical period is still so important today. Journey through the most significant events and battles: - From Resistance to Rebellion - Before 1775 - The Start of the War - 1775 - Birth of a Nation - 1776 - The Struggle for Mastery - 1777 - A Widening War - 1778 - Conflict Spreads - 1779 - The Continuing Struggle - 1780 - America Victorious - 1781-83 - Aftermath: A Stronger Nation
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “An elegant synthesis done by the leading scholar in the field, which nicely integrates the work on the American Revolution over the last three decades but never loses contact with the older, classic questions that we have been arguing about for over two hundred years.”—Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers A magnificent account of the revolution in arms and consciousness that gave birth to the American republic. When Abraham Lincoln sought to define the significance of the United States, he naturally looked back to the American Revolution. He knew that the Revolution not only had legally created the United States, but also had produced all of the great hopes and values of the American people. Our noblest ideals and aspirations-our commitments to freedom, constitutionalism, the well-being of ordinary people, and equality-came out of the Revolutionary era. Lincoln saw as well that the Revolution had convinced Americans that they were a special people with a special destiny to lead the world toward liberty. The Revolution, in short, gave birth to whatever sense of nationhood and national purpose Americans have had. No doubt the story is a dramatic one: Thirteen insignificant colonies three thousand miles from the centers of Western civilization fought off British rule to become, in fewer than three decades, a huge, sprawling, rambunctious republic of nearly four million citizens. But the history of the American Revolution, like the history of the nation as a whole, ought not to be viewed simply as a story of right and wrong from which moral lessons are to be drawn. It is a complicated and at times ironic story that needs to be explained and understood, not blindly celebrated or condemned. How did this great revolution come about? What was its character? What were its consequences? These are the questions this short history seeks to answer. That it succeeds in such a profound and enthralling way is a tribute to Gordon Wood’s mastery of his subject, and of the historian’s craft.
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This is the first modern study to focus on the British dimension of the American Revolution through its whole span from its origins to the declaration of independence in 1776 and its aftermath. It is written by nine leading British and American scholars who explore many key issues including the problems governing the American colonies, Britain's diplomatic isolation in Europe over the war, the impact of the American crisis on Ireland and the consequences for Britain of the loss of America.
In a grand and immemsely readable synthesis of historical, political, cultural, and economic analysis, a prize-winning historian describes the events that made the American Revolution. Gordon S. Wood depicts a revolution that was about much more than a break from England, rather it transformed an almost feudal society into a democratic one, whose emerging realities sometimes baffled and disappointed its founding fathers.
Though the participation of France in the American Revolution is well established in the historiography, the role of Spain, France’s ally, is relatively understudied and underappreciated. Spain's involvement in the conflict formed part of a global struggle between empires and directly influenced the outcome of the clash between Britain and its North American colonists. Following the establishment of American independence, the Spanish empire became one of the nascent republic's most significant neighbors and, often illicitly, trading partners. Bringing together essays from a range of well-regarded historians, this volume contributes significantly to the international history of the Age of Atlantic Revolutions.
The first exploration of the profound and often catastrophic impact the American Revolution had on the rest of the worldWhile the American Revolution led to domestic peace and liberty, it ultimately had a catastrophic global impact—it strengthened the British Empire and led to widespread persecution and duress. From the opium wars in China to anti-imperial rebellions in Peru to the colonization of Australia—the inspirational impact the American success had on fringe uprisings was outweighed by the influence it had on the tightening fists of oppressive world powers.Here Matthew Lockwood presents, in vivid detail, the neglected story of this unintended revolution. It sowed the seeds of collapse for the preeminent empires of the early modern era, setting the stage for the global domination of Britain, Russia, and the United States. Lockwood illuminates the forgotten stories and experiences of the communities and individuals who adapted to this new world in which the global balance of power had been drastically altered.