American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804

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W. W. Norton & Company, Sep 6, 2016 - History - 736 pages

“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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

The American Revolution has been canonized by Americans as the good one, the non-messy one. In fact, it was a civil war among British whites, and drew in numerous other nations, notably the Indian ... Read full review

American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Taylor, professor of history at the University of Virginia and Pulitzer Prize–winner for The Internal Enemy, further cements his reputation with this comprehensive analysis of an American Revolution ... Read full review


The North Atlantic c 1750
The Atlantic Seaboard 1754
The SpanishAmerican Borderland 1783
World War 17751783

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About the author (2016)

Alan Taylor is Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor of History at University of Virginia. He has twice won the Pulitzer Prize in history, most recently for The Internal Enemy, which was also a finalist for the National Book Award.

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