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Empire and Nation

, 392 pages

1 b&w photo

January 2005



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Empire and Nation

The American Revolution in the Atlantic World

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.

How did events and ideas from elsewhere in the British empire influence development in the thirteen American colonies? And 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 of the book 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. The empire 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."

Eliga H. Gould is a professor of history and chair of the Department of History at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of Among the Powers of the Earth: The American Revolution and the Making of a New World Empire. Peter S. Onuf is professor emeritus of history at the University of Virginia. He is the author of The Mind of Thomas Jefferson.

"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."

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

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

"Exciting new collection."

"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."

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

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

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

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