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Revolutionary Outlaws: Ethan Allen and the Struggle for Independence on the Early American Frontier

Overview

In this revisionary look at the eighteenth-century frontier, Michael A. Bellesiles shows us that more than a legendary Revolutionary War hero, Ethan Allen was the leader of a group of frontier subsistence farmers united in their opposition to New York elites and land speculators; the independence Allen and his followers fought for was as much from eastern elites as it was from the British crown. But what makes the story of the Green Mountain frontier so remarkable is that the ...

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Overview

In this revisionary look at the eighteenth-century frontier, Michael A. Bellesiles shows us that more than a legendary Revolutionary War hero, Ethan Allen was the leader of a group of frontier subsistence farmers united in their opposition to New York elites and land speculators; the independence Allen and his followers fought for was as much from eastern elites as it was from the British crown. But what makes the story of the Green Mountain frontier so remarkable is that the settlers won.

Revolutionary Outlaws is both a biography of Ethan Allen and a social history of the conflict between agrarian commoners and their wealthy adversaries. It explores the roots of popular political commitment to the patriot cause, the significance of rural crowd activity, the character of popular religious culture and dissent, and the origins and structures of an emerging democratic polity.

University of Virginia Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Emory professor Bellesiles examines the history of the New England frontier and the life of fabled Revolutionary hero Ethan Allen; History Book Club selection in cloth. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Anyone looking for a straight biography of Ethan Allen will not find it here. If, however, one is looking for a scholarly examination of the social history of Vermont and Allen's role in its development, this is a good book to read. Bellesiles (history, Emory) details the creation of Vermont, from the fraudulent land sales by New Hampshire's Royal Governor Benning Wentworth in the 1740s to statehood in 1787. In between, we see how concerns for family welfare brought people into an unsettled wilderness; the social conflicts produced by various religious sects; and, most importantly, Allen's role and activities in the conflict between the settlers and New York, which prepared them for the larger conflict with Britain. The scholarly nature of this book makes it more suitable for academic libraries than for general collections.-- Robert A. Curtis, Taylor Memorial P.L., Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Booknews
In a revisionary look at the 18th-century frontier, Bellesiles shows that more than a legendary Revolutionary War hero, Ethan Allen was the leader of a group of frontier subsistence farmers united in their opposition to New York elites and land speculators; the independence Allen and his followers fought for was as much from eastern elites as it was from the British crown. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813916033
  • Publisher: University of Virginia
  • Publication date: 1/1/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 444
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Bellesiles is Assistant Professor of History at Emory University. He received the Louis Pelzer Award for his article "The Establishment of Legal Structures on the Frontier."

University of Virginia Press

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Legacies 6
Ch. 2 "No Change Was to Be Expected" 25
Ch. 3 "The Fatigues of Settlement" 52
Ch. 4 "Riotous Persons & Parties" 80
Ch. 5 "On Wings of Glory" 112
Ch. 6 "Our Injured Little Republic" 131
Ch. 7 Law and Political Power 156
Ch. 8 War, Diplomacy, and Independence 186
Ch. 9 Frontier Philosopher 217
Ch. 10 The Fate of Revolutionary Republicanism 245
Appendixes 269
Notes 295
Bibliography 331
Index 409
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