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From one of our most acclaimed and original colonial historians, a groundbreaking book--the first to look at the critical "long year" of 1774 and the revolutionary change that took place from December 1773 to mid-April 1775, from the Boston Tea Party and the First Continental Congress to the Battles of Lexington and Concord. A WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF 2020 Mary Beth Norton keenly focuses on the sixteen months during which the traditional loyalists to King George III began their discordant "discussions" that led to their acceptance of the inevitability of war against the British Empire and to the clashes at Lexington and Concord in mid-April 1775. Drawing extensively on pamphlets, newspapers, and personal correspondence, Norton reconstructs colonial political discourse as it happened, showing the vigorous campaign mounted by conservatives criticizing congressional actions. But by then it was too late. In early 1775, governors throughout the colonies informed colonial officials in London that they were unable to thwart the increasing power of the committees and their allied provincial congresses. Although the Declaration of Independence would not be formally adopted until July 1776, Americans, even before the outbreak of war in April 1775, had in effect "declared independence" by obeying the decrees of their new provincial governments rather than colonial officials.
In this original and important book, Mary Beth Norton's first in more than fifteen years, she looks at the sixteen months during which the traditional loyalists to King George III began their discordant 'discussions' that led to their acceptance of the inevitability of war against the British Empire and to the clashes at Lexington and Concord in mid-April, 1775. Drawing extensively on pamphlets, newspapers, and personal correspondence, Norton reconstructs colonial political discourse as it happened, showing the vigorous campaign mounted by conservatives criticizing congressional actions. But by then it was too late. In early 1775, governors throughout the colonies informed colonial officials in London that they were unable to thwart the increasing power of the committees and their allied provincial congresses. Although the Declaration of Independence would not be formally adopted until July 1776, Americans, even before the outbreak of war in April 1775, had in effect "declared independence" by obeying the decrees of their new provincial governments rather than colonial officials.
From one of our most acclaimed and original colonial historians, a groundbreaking book tracing the critical "long year" of 1774 and the revolutionary change that took place from the Boston Tea Party and the First Continental Congress to the Battles of Lexington and Concord. A WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR In this masterly work of history, the culmination of more than four decades of research and thought, Mary Beth Norton looks at the sixteen months leading up to the clashes at Lexington and Concord in mid-April 1775. This was the critical, and often overlooked, period when colonists traditionally loyal to King George III began their discordant “discussions” that led them to their acceptance of the inevitability of war against the British Empire. Drawing extensively on pamphlets, newspapers, and personal correspondence, Norton reconstructs colonial political discourse as it took place throughout 1774. Late in the year, conservatives mounted a vigorous campaign criticizing the First Continental Congress. But by then it was too late. In early 1775, colonial governors informed officials in London that they were unable to thwart the increasing power of local committees and their allied provincial congresses. Although the Declaration of Independence would not be formally adopted until July 1776, Americans had in effect “declared independence ” even before the outbreak of war in April 1775 by obeying the decrees of the provincial governments they had elected rather than colonial officials appointed by the king. Norton captures the tension and drama of this pivotal year and foundational moment in American history and brings it to life as no other historian has done before.
A groundbreaking account of the American Revolution—from the bestselling author of American Dynasty In this major new work, iconoclastic historian and political chronicler Kevin Phillips upends the conventional reading of the American Revolution by debunking the myth that 1776 was the struggle’s watershed year. Focusing on the great battles and events of 1775, Phillips surveys the political climate, economic structures, and military preparations of the crucial year that was the harbinger of revolution, tackling the eighteenth century with the same skill and perception he has shown in analyzing contemporary politics and economics. The result is a dramatic account brimming with original insights about the country we eventually became.
Book The American Revolution 1774–1783 Description/Summary:
The American Revolution has been characterized politically as a united political uprising of the American colonies and militarily as a guerrilla campaign of colonists against the inflexible British military establishment. Daniel Marston argues that this belief, though widespread, is a misconception. He contends that the American Revolution, in reality, created deep political divisions in the population of the Thirteen Colonies, while militarily pitting veterans of the Seven Years' War against one another, in a conflict that combined guerrilla tactics and classic eighteenth century campaign techniques on both sides. The peace treaty of 1783 that brought an end to the war marked the formal beginning of the United States of America as an independent political entity.
Book Crossroads of the Revolution Description/Summary:
A history of Trenton during the American Revolution Exhaustively researched and beautifully written, this it he story of revolutionary Trenton, New Jersey both a critical supply post and a crucial junction halfway between loyalist New York, and patriot Philadelphia. Trenton between 1774 and 1783 is a microcosm of the challenges faced by ordinary Americans during the revolution, struggles intensified by Trenton’s geographic location in the state which saw more military activity than others and on a road constantly user to move and supply armies. Life in Trenton connected to just about every aspect of the revolution. The story of the people who lived in Trenton, or who spent time there because of the revolution, helps us better understand the hitherto untold importance of their town beyond the one well known day of battle. Praise for CROSSROADS OF THE REVOLUTION: 1774 - 1783 A meticulous, compelling, and well-researched account of how the American Revolution pivoted around a village in southern New Jersey.– Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer Prize Winning Historian William L. Kidder’s Crossroads of the Revolution: Trenton, 1774-1783is a gem. In this engaging and well-researched narrative, Kidder shines a light on Trenton, its people, and the events that centered on that town. Most Americans know Trenton as the location of George Washington’s post-Christmas victory over a Hessian brigade in 1776. Trenton was, however, much more than that. It was an active and lively town at the center of the American Revolution in New Jersey. Through his lively writing bolstered by assiduous research, Kidder tells the stories of Whigs, Loyalists, slaves, Britons, Hessians, and others who helped make Trenton a crossroads of the American Revolution. Readers will not be disappointed. - Ricardo A. Herrera is Associate Professor of Military History, US Army School of Advanced Military Studies and the author ofFor Liberty and the Republic: The American Citizen as Soldier, 1775-1861. Known by most Americans for an hour of dramatic combat, Trenton was a small but important industrial city at the crux of so much of the War for Independence. Mr. Kidder’s marvelous study not only brings to life Trenton’s many unique personalities, but stands as a valuable case study for how a town and its people weathered and adapted through nine grueling years in the eye of the storm we know as the Revolution.Richard Patterson Executive Director, Old Barracks Museum, Trenton, NJ Most histories of the Revolution remember Trenton, New Jersey, simply as the battle site where George Washington snatched the Patriot cause from the jaws of defeat on December 26, 1776, with his surprise attack on a Hessian brigade. William L. Kidder’s Crossroads of the Revolution, presents a vivid, well-research portrait of a community at war, which reveals the daily courage and persistence it took to win independence. Trentonians faced a daunting array of crises and other challenges between 1774 and 1783, and innumerable options with unpredictable outcomes. Not all chose the same course – not all saw their stories end happily – but all were Americans who sought to define liberty in their own terms – much like their descendants who live in equally uncertain times today. Gregory J. W. Urwin, Professor of History, Temple University
In Separated by Their Sex, Mary Beth Norton offers a bold genealogy that shows how gender came to determine the right of access to the Anglo-American public sphere by the middle of the eighteenth century. Earlier, high-status men and women alike had been recognized as appropriate political actors, as exemplified during and after Bacon’s Rebellion by the actions of—and reactions to—Lady Frances Berkeley, wife of Virginia’s governor. By contrast, when the first ordinary English women to claim a political voice directed group petitions to Parliament during the Civil War of the 1640s, men relentlessly criticized and parodied their efforts. Even so, as late as 1690, Anglo-American women’s political interests and opinions were publicly acknowledged. Norton traces the profound shift in attitudes toward women’s participation in public affairs to the age’s cultural arbiters, including John Dunton, editor of the Athenian Mercury, a popular 1690s periodical that promoted women’s links to husband, family, and household. Fittingly, Dunton was the first author known to apply the word "private" to women and their domestic lives. Subsequently, the immensely influential authors Richard Steele and Joseph Addison (in the Tatler and the Spectator) advanced the notion that women’s participation in politics—even in political dialogues—was absurd. They and many imitators on both sides of the Atlantic argued that women should confine themselves to home and family, a position that American women themselves had adopted by the 1760s. Colonial women incorporated the novel ideas into their self-conceptions; during such "private" activities as sitting around a table drinking tea, they worked to define their own lives. On the cusp of the American Revolution, Norton concludes, a newly gendered public-private division was firmly in place.
Book The Howe Brothers and the American Revolution Description/Summary:
By focusing on the Howe brothers, their political connections, their relationships with the British ministry, their attitude toward the Revolution, and their military activities in America, Gruber answers the frequently asked question of why the British failed to end the American Revolution in its early years. This book supersedes earlier studies because of its broader research and because it elucidates the complex personal interplay between Whitehall and its commanders. Originally published in 1974. A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.
Book The First American Revolution Description/Summary:
The original rebels: “Brings into clear focus events and identities of ordinary people who should share the historic limelight with the Founding Fathers.” —Publishers Weekly According to the traditional telling, the American Revolution began with “the shot heard ’round the world.” But the people started taking action earlier than many think. The First American Revolution uses the wide-angle lens of a people’s historian to tell a surprising new story of America’s revolutionary struggle. In the years before the battle of Lexington and Concord, local people—men and women of common means but of uncommon courage—overturned British authority and declared themselves free from colonial oppression, with acts of rebellion that long predated the Boston Tea Party. In rural towns such as Worcester, Massachusetts, democracy set down roots well before the Boston patriots made their moves in the fight for independence. Richly documented, The First American Revolution recaptures in vivid detail the grassroots activism that drove events in the years leading up to the break from Britain.
A dramatic untold ‘people’s history’ of the storied event that helped trigger the American Revolution The story of the Boston Massacre—when on a late winter evening in 1770, British soldiers shot five local men to death—is familiar to generations. But from the very beginning, many accounts have obscured a fascinating truth: the Massacre arose from conflicts that were as personal as they were political. Professor Serena Zabin draws on original sources and lively stories to follow British troops as they are dispatched from Ireland to Boston in 1768 to subdue the increasingly rebellious colonists. And she reveals a forgotten world hidden in plain sight: the many regimental wives and children who accompanied these armies. We see these families jostling with Bostonians for living space, finding common cause in the search for a lost child, trading barbs and and sharing baptisms. Becoming, in other words, neighbors. When soldiers shot unarmed citizens in the street, it was these intensely human, now broken bonds that fueled what quickly became a bitterly fought American Revolution. Serena Zabin’s The Boston Massacre delivers an indelible new slant on iconic American Revolutionary history.
T. H. Breen introduces us to the ordinary men and women who took responsibility for the course of the American revolution. Far from the actions of the Continental Congress and the Continental Army, they took the reins of power and preserved a political culture based on the rule of law, creating America’s political identity in the process.
Book The Revolutionary War Lives and Letters of Lucy and Henry Knox Description/Summary:
In 1774, Boston bookseller Henry Knox married Lucy Waldo Flucker, the daughter of a prominent Tory family. Although Lucy's father was the third-ranking colonial official in Massachusetts, the couple fled British-occupied Boston after the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Knox served in the Continental Army as Washington's artillery commander until the war's end. Like John and Abigail Adams, the Knoxes were often separated during the war and spent much of their time writing to one another. They penned nearly 200 letters, more than half of which are annotated for this volume. This correspondence--which spans the entire war--provides a remarkable window into the couple's marriage. Struggling to cope with a momentous conflict and attempting to preserve their family, the Knoxes negotiated shifts in gender and power relations through their personal and intimate letters. Working together, Henry and Lucy maintained their household and protected their property, raised and educated their children, and adjusted to other dramatic changes within their family, including a total break between Lucy and her Tory relatives. -- Back cover.
Book Illuminating History: A Retrospective of Seven Decades Description/Summary:
The brilliance of a master historian shines through this “elegant and engaging memoir” of a lifetime’s work (Richard Aldous, Wall Street Journal). Over a remarkable career Bernard Bailyn has reshaped our understanding of the early American past. Inscribing his superb scholarship with passion and imagination honed by a commitment to rigor, Bailyn captures the particularity of the past and its broad significance in precise, elegant prose. His transformative work has ranged from a new reckoning with the ideology that powered the opposition to British authority in the American Revolution, to a sweeping account of the peopling of America, and the critical nurturing of a new field, the history of the Atlantic world. Illuminating History is the most personal of Bailyn’s works. It is in part an intellectual memoir of the significant turns in an immensely productive and influential scholarly career. It is also alive with people whose actions touched the long arc of history. Among the dramatic human stories that command our attention: a struggling Boston merchant tormented by the tensions between capitalist avarice and a constrictive Puritan piety; an ordinary shopkeeper who in a unique way feverishly condemned British authority as corrupt and unworthy of public confidence; a charismatic German Pietist who founded a cloister in the Pennsylvania wilderness famous for its strange theosophy, its spartan lifestyle, and its rich musical and artistic achievement. And the good townspeople of Petersham, whose response in 1780 to a draft Massachusetts constitution speaks directly to us through a moving insistence on individual freedoms in the face of an imposing central authority. Here is vivid history and an illuminating self-portrait from one of the most eminent historians of our time.
The American Revolution was a home-front war that brought scarcity, bloodshed, and danger into the life of every American. In this groundbreaking history, Carol Berkin shows us how women played a vital role throughout the conflict. The women of the Revolution were most active at home, organizing boycotts of British goods, raising funds for the fledgling nation, and managing the family business while struggling to maintain a modicum of normalcy as husbands, brothers and fathers died. Yet Berkin also reveals that it was not just the men who fought on the front lines, as in the story of Margaret Corbin, who was crippled for life when she took her husband’s place beside a cannon at Fort Monmouth. This incisive and comprehensive history illuminates a fascinating and unknown side of the struggle for American independence.
When Americans declared independence in 1776, they cited King George III "for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us." In Quarters, John Gilbert McCurdy explores the social and political history behind the charge, offering an authoritative account of the housing of British soldiers in America. Providing new interpretations and analysis of the Quartering Act of 1765, McCurdy sheds light on a misunderstood aspect of the American Revolution. Quarters unearths the vivid debate in eighteenth-century America over the meaning of place. It asks why the previously uncontroversial act of accommodating soldiers in one's house became an unconstitutional act. In so doing, Quarters reveals new dimensions of the origins of Americans' right to privacy. It also traces the transformation of military geography in the lead up to independence, asking how barracks changed cities and how attempts to reorder the empire and the borderland led the colonists to imagine a new nation. Quarters emphatically refutes the idea that the Quartering Act forced British soldiers in colonial houses, demonstrates the effectiveness of the Quartering Act at generating revenue, and examines aspects of the law long ignored, such as its application in the backcountry and its role in shaping Canadian provinces. Above all, Quarters argues that the lessons of accommodating British troops outlasted the Revolutionary War, profoundly affecting American notions of place. McCurdy shows that the Quartering Act had significant ramifications, codified in the Third Amendment, for contemporary ideas of the home as a place of domestic privacy, the city as a place without troops, and a nation with a civilian-led military.
A rich and illuminating biography of America’s forgotten Founding Father, the patriot physician and major general who fomented rebellion and died heroically at the battle of Bunker Hill on the brink of revolution Little has been known of one of the most important figures in early American history, Dr. Joseph Warren, an architect of the colonial rebellion, and a man who might have led the country as Washington or Jefferson did had he not been martyred at Bunker Hill in 1775. Warren was involved in almost every major insurrectionary act in the Boston area for a decade, from the Stamp Act protests to the Boston Massacre to the Boston Tea Party, and his incendiary writings included the famous Suffolk Resolves, which helped unite the colonies against Britain and inspired the Declaration of Independence. Yet after his death, his life and legend faded, leaving his contemporaries to rise to fame in his place and obscuring his essential role in bringing America to independence. Christian Di Spigna’s definitive new biography of Warren is a loving work of historical excavation, the product of two decades of research and scores of newly unearthed primary-source documents that have given us this forgotten Founding Father anew. Following Warren from his farming childhood and years at Harvard through his professional success and political radicalization to his role in sparking the rebellion, Di Spigna’s thoughtful, judicious retelling not only restores Warren to his rightful place in the pantheon of Revolutionary greats, it deepens our understanding of the nation’s dramatic beginnings.
In The Founding Fortunes, historian Tom Shachtman reveals the ways in which a dozen notable Revolutionaries deeply affected the finances and birth of the new country while making and losing their fortunes. While history teaches that successful revolutions depend on participation by the common man, the establishment of a stable and independent United States first required wealthy colonials uniting to disrupt the very system that had enriched them, and then funding a very long war. While some fortunes were made during the war at the expense of the poor, many of the wealthy embraced the goal of obtaining for their poorer countrymen an unprecedented equality of opportunity, along with independence. In addition to nuanced views of the well-known wealthy such as Robert Morris and John Hancock, and of the less wealthy but influential Alexander Hamilton, The Founding Fortunes offers insight into the contributions of those often overlooked by popular history: Henry Laurens, the plantation owner who replaced Hancock as President of Congress; pioneering businessmen William Bingham, Jeremiah Wadsworth, and Stephen Girard; privateer magnate Elias Hasket Derby; and Hamilton’s successors at Treasury, Oliver Wolcott, Jr. and Albert Gallatin. The Founders dealt with tariffs, taxes on the wealthy, the national debt, regional disparities, the census as it affected finances, and how much of what America needs should be manufactured at home in ways that remain startlingly relevant. Revelatory and insightful, The Founding Fortunes provides a riveting history of economic patriotism that still resonates today.
Book In the Time of the Revolution Description/Summary:
The American Revolution was a war, but it was also a time, a span of history, in which some people fought, but most just lived. They thought, acted, worked, raised families, worshipped, built, sold, bought, and tried to live as best they could in a time of hope, anxiety, despair, loss, gain, and, above all, disruption. In the Time of the Revolution is a popular, single-volume history of the American Revolution, 1775 to 1783, an intensely active, exciting, and critical span of time in North America. It began with a lopsided skirmish at Lexington, Massachusetts, culminated militarily in a major amphibious campaign mounted by a large Franco-American army against British army and naval forces at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781, and then passed through two more years of desultory combat and cruel fights between diehard Loyalists and vengeful Patriots before ending in the Treaty of Paris. During these eight years in an America that was a collection of young towns on the edge of a vast wilderness, the break-up with the mother country was the central fact of life.