Two american revolutions: The American War for Independence, 1775-1783 and the Struggle for Liberty and Equality, 1776 – present



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TWO AMERICAN REVOLUTIONS:
The American War for Independence, 1775-1783 and
the Struggle for Liberty and Equality, 1776 – present




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The Atlantic World


This course puts the American Revolution in the broader context of the Atlantic world. Today’s scholars view the history of the thirteen British Colonies in North America in a framework that incorporates events elsewhere in the British Empire: in England, Scotland and Ireland, in the French, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese colonies of the Americas and on the Atlantic Coast of Africa. The political, economic, social and intellectual history of the United States was grounded in this Atlantic interaction.


Bernard Bailyn, Atlantic History: Concepts and Contours
(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2005), p56.


How has the emergence of this interest in Atlantic history [come about] as more than a geographical expression—as a subject itself, as a historical conception, as an essential passage in the development of the world we know?. . . It is a story that winds through the public life of the late twentieth century, through the interior impulses of technical scholarship, and through the social situation of those who write history. It arose neither from the wholly disengaged contemplation of the past nor from the anachronistic back-projection of the present. And its origins and developments may illustrate something of the general process by which covering ideas in historical study, framing notions, emerge, and something of the forces that impel and shape them.


D. W. Meinig, The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History 2 vols. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986)
Volume I Atlantic America, 1492-1800, pp. 64-65.


The Atlantic world was a the scene of a vast interaction rather than merely the transfer of Europeans onto American shores. Instead of a European discovery of a new world, we might better consider it as a sudden and harsh encounter between two old worlds that transformed both and integrated them into a single New World. Our focus is upon the creation of new human geographies resulting from this interaction, and that means those developing not only westward upon the body of America but eastward upon the body of Europe, and inward upon and laterally along the body of Africa. For it is certain that the geography of each was changed: radically on the American side . . . more subtly on the European side, with new movements of people, goods, capital, and information flowing through an established spatial system and slowly altering its proportions and directions, slowly and unevenly on the African side, making connections with existing commercial systems but eventually grotesquely atering the scale and meaning of old institutions.


Anglicization


The conflict of the British North American colonies with the larger British Empire is part of this larger Atlantic history. Looking back over the course of the eighteenth century, Princeton historian John Murrin described a dynamic process of interaction between the Colonies and the imperial authorities in London. The imperial authorities sought to make colonial institutions more uniform, more thoroughly Anglicized. And through the twists and turns of the eighteenth century, the Colonists sometimes celebrated, but more often resisted, this attempt to impose imperial institutional changes on their local prerogatives.



ANGLICIZATION AND COLONIAL REACTION, 1660-1775
Anglicization Colonial Reaction

I. Regulation and Rebellion, 1660-1696

A. Lords of Trade (1660)
B. Board of Trade (1696)
C. Navigation Acts
(1660-96)
D. Dominion of New England
E. Royal Colonial Charters
1. Massachusetts (1691)
2. Maryland (1691)
3. New Jerseys (1702)
4.North Carolina(1726)
5.South Carolina(1729)

A. Bacon's Rebellion (1676)
B. Culpeper'sRebellion(1677-80)
C. Rebellion against Dominion of New England (1689)
D. Leisler's Rebellion (1689-91)
E. Coode's Rebellion(1689-92)







II. Religion, 1700-1770

A. Establishment of Anglicanism (Virginia 1610)
1. New York (1693)
2. Maryland (1702)
3. S. Carolina (1706)
4. N. Carolina (1711)
5. Georgia (1758)
B. Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (1723)
C. Anglican Bishop in America

A. Great Awakening (1734-49)
1. sense of inter-
colonial unity
2.undermining established church
3.undermining authority
B. Growth of Nonconformist Denominations
1. Baptists (c. 1750)
2. Methodists (c.1766)


The Great Awakening


The First Great Awakening marked a dramatic cultural shift in the New England and Middle Colonies that reverberates to the present day in our religious and social life. Here was a thoroughly indigenous and popular movement that transformed American Protestantism and laid the groundwork for American religious pluralism and a deep skepticism of the top-down imposition of authority.


The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. I
Carlisle, Pa.: Christian Classics Ethereal Library


"Dec.12, 1743. Jonathan Edwards Account of the Religious Revival at Northampton 1740-1742

In the month of May, 1741, a sermon was preached to a company, at a

private house. Near the conclusion of the discourse, one or two

persons, that were professors, were so greatly affected with a sense of

the greatness and glory of divine things, and the infinite importance

of the things of eternity, that they were not able to conceal it--the

affection of their minds overcoming their strength, and having a very

visible effect upon their bodies. When the exercises were over, the

young people that were present removed into the other room for

religious conference; and particularly that they might have opportunity

to inquire of those, that were thus affected, what apprehensions they

had, and what things they were that thus deeply impressed their minds;

and there soon appeared a very great effect of their conversation; the

affection was quickly propagated throughout the room; many of the young

people and children, that were professors, appeared to be overcome with

a sense of the greatness and glory of divine things, and with

admiration, love, joy, and praise, and compassion to others, that

looked upon themselves as in a state of nature; and many others at the

same time were overcome with distress, about their sinful and miserable

estate and condition; so that the whole room was full of nothing but

outcries, faintings, and the like. Others soon heard of it in several

parts of the town, and came to them; and what they saw and heard there,

was greatly affecting to them, so that many of them were overpowered in

like manner, and it continued thus for some hours; the time being spent

in prayer, singing, counselling, and conferring. There seemed to be a

consequent happy effect of that meeting, to several particular persons,

and on the state of religion in the town in general.



Clashing Views of the Military: George Washington’s Report of Braddock’s Defeat,

Another important component of conflict between the American colonists and the British authorities was the defense of the American colonies in wartime. The eighteenth century was marked by a series of violent conflicts between the Atlantic Empires: the wars between Britain on the one hand and France and Spain on the other occurred in every generation, and in New England the casualty rate per capita in these colonial wars exceeded the casualty rate of New Englanders in the U.S. Civil War. The question of who would defend the British American colonies and how became increasingly fraught after the onset of the French and Indian War.


George Washington’s Report to Governor Dinwiddie
on General Braddock’s Defeat, July 18, 1755



Honbl. Sir: As I am favour'd with an oppertunity, I shou'd think myselfin excusable? was I to omit giv'g you some acct. of our late Engagem't with the French on the Monongahela the 9th. Inst.
We continued our March from Fort Cumberland to Frazier's (which is within 7 Miles of Duquisne) with't meet'g with any extraordinary event, hav'g only a stragler or two picked up by the French Indians. When we came to this place, we were attack'd (very unexpectedly I must own) by abt. 300 French and Ind'ns; Our numbers consisted of abt. 1300 well arm'd Men, chiefly Regular's, who were immediately struck with such a deadly Panick, that nothing but confusion and disobedience of order's prevail'd amongst them: The Officer's in gen'l behav'd with incomparable bravery, for which they greatly suffer'd, there being near 60 kill'd and wound'd. A large proportion, out of the number we had! The Virginian Companies behav'd like Men and died like Soldiers; for I believe out of the 3 Companys that were there that day, scarce 30 were left alive: Captn. Peyrouny and all his Officer's, down to a Corporal, were kill'd; Captn. Polson shar'd almost as hard a Fate, for only one of his Escap'd: In short the dastardly behaviour of the English Soldier's expos'd all those who were inclin'd to do their duty to almost certain Death; and at length, in despight of every effort to the contrary, broke and run as Sheep before the Hounds, leav'g the Artillery, Ammunition, Provisions, and, every individual thing we had with us a prey to the Enemy; and when we endeavour'd to rally them in hopes of regaining our invaluable loss, it was with as much success as if we had attempted to have stop'd the wild Bears of the Mountains. The Genl. was wounded behind in the shoulder, and into the Breast, of w'ch he died three days after; his two Aids de Camp were both wounded, but are in a fair way of Recovery; Colo. Burton and Sir Jno. St. Clair are also wounded, and I hope will get over it; Sir Peter Halket, with many other brave Officers were kill'd in the Field. I luckily escap'd with't a wound tho' I had four Bullets through my Coat and two Horses shot under me. It is suppose that we left 300 or more dead in the Field; about that number we brought of wounded; and it is imagin'd (I believe with great justice too) that two thirds of both received their shott from our own cowardly English Soldier's who gather'd themselves into a body contrary to orders 10 or 12 deep, wou'd then level, Fire and shoot down the Men before them.
I tremble at the consequences that this defeat may have upon our back settlers, who I suppose will all leave their habitations unless there are proper measures taken for their security.
Colo. Dunbar, who commands at present, intends so soon as his Men are recruited at this place, to continue his March to Phila. into Winter Quarters: so that there will be no Men left here unless it is the poor remains of the Virginia Troops, who survive and will be too small to guard our Frontiers. As Captn. Orme is writg. to your honour I doubt not but he will give you a circumstantial acct. of all things, which will make it needless for me to add more than that I am, etc.

G. WASHINGTON


Washington DC, Library of Congress Manuscript Collection George Washington Papers1741-99

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