Empire and Nation: The American Revolution in the Atlantic World

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Overview

How did events and ideas from elsewhere in the British empire influence development in the thirteen American colonies? What was the effect of the American Revolution on the wider Atlantic world? In Empire and Nation, leading historians reconsider the American Revolution as a transnational event, with many sources and momentous implications for Ireland, Africa, the West Indies, Canada, and Britain itself.

The opening section situates the origins of the American Revolution in the commercial, ethnic, and political ferment that characterized Britain's Atlantic empire at the close of the Seven Years' War (1756–1763). The empire then experienced extraordinary changes, ranging from the first stirrings of nationalism in Ireland to the dramatic expansion of British rule in Canada, Africa, and India. The second part focuses on the rebellion of the thirteen colonies—touching on slavery and ethnicity, the changing nature of religious faith, and ideas about civil society and political organization. Finally, contributors examine the changes wrought by the American Revolution both within Britain's remaining imperial possessions and among the other states in the emerging "concert of Europe."

The essays in Empire and Nation challenge facile assumptions about the "exceptional" character of the republic's founding moment, even as they invite readers to think anew about the complex ways in which the Revolution reshaped both American society and the Atlantic world.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History
The many interesting essays in this volume together constitute a valuable scholarly contribution.

— Eric Hinderaker

Journal of American History
Taken together, these essays whet the reader's appetite for more.

— Colin Bonwick

New West Indian Guide
Exciting new collection.

— Peter A. Coclanis

Journal of American Studies
A stout, wide-ranging and well-produced volume which includes many useful contributions and testifies to ways in which the American Revolution has now been accommodated.

— Paul Giles

Journal of Southern History
The essays in this collection are in turns stimulating, provocative, and enlightening. They represent some of the best new work on the political history of the American Revolution and highlight some promising new directions in Atlantic history.

— Michael A. McDonnell

Journal of the Early Republic
In very thin disguise, this book is a thoroughly deserved festschrift for Johns Hopkins historian and long-time Doktorvater, Jack P. Greene.

— Edward Countryman

Parliamentary History
This collection of essays represents an important and rigorously-researched body of scholarship.

— James E. Bradley

Sixteenth-Century Journal
An excellent collection of specialized monographs on a variety of topics in the reformation of the British Empire following the Seven Years War.

— Wayne F. Anderson

Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History - Eric Hinderaker

The many interesting essays in this volume together constitute a valuable scholarly contribution.

Journal of American History - Colin Bonwick

Taken together, these essays whet the reader's appetite for more.

New West Indian Guide - Peter A. Coclanis

Exciting new collection.

Journal of American Studies - Paul Giles

A stout, wide-ranging and well-produced volume which includes many useful contributions and testifies to ways in which the American Revolution has now been accommodated.

Journal of Southern History - Michael A. McDonnell

The essays in this collection are in turns stimulating, provocative, and enlightening. They represent some of the best new work on the political history of the American Revolution and highlight some promising new directions in Atlantic history.

Journal of the Early Republic - Edward Countryman

In very thin disguise, this book is a thoroughly deserved festschrift for Johns Hopkins historian and long-time Doktorvater, Jack P. Greene.

Sixteenth Century Journal - Wayne F. Anderson

An excellent collection of specialized monographs on a variety of topics in the reformation of the British Empire following the Seven Years War.

Parliamentary History - James E. Bradley

This collection of essays represents an important and rigorously-researched body of scholarship.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Eliga H. Gould is an associate professor of history at the University of New Hampshire. Peter S. Onuf is the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor at the University of Virginia.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Fears of war, fantasies of peace : British politics and the coming of the American Revolution 19
2 The first union : nationalism versus internationalism in the American Revolution 35
3 War and state formation in revolutionary America 54
4 John Adams, Republican monarchist : an inquiry into the origins of his constitutional thought 72
5 Revising custom, embracing choice : early American legal scholars and the republicanization of the common law 93
6 The ratification paradox in the great valley of the Appalachians 115
7 Similarities and continuities : free society in the tobacco South before and after the American Revolution 136
8 The Irish immigrant and the broadening of the polity in Philadelphia, 1790-1800 159
9 Dionysian rhetoric and Apollonian solutions : the politics of union and disunion in the age of federalism 178
10 Civil society in post-revolutionary America 197
11 Religion, moderation, and regime-building in post-revolutionary America 217
12 The American loyalist diaspora and the reconfiguration of the British Atlantic world 239
13 Early slave narratives and the culture of the Atlantic market 260
14 The British Caribbean in the age of revolution 275
15 Freedom, migration, and the American Revolution 295
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