In the standard presentation of the American Revolution, a ragtag assortment of revolutionaries, inspired by ideals of liberty and justice, throw off the yoke of the British empire and bring democracy to the New World. In place of this fairy tale, Francis Jennings presents a realistic alternative: a privileged elite, dreaming of empire, clone their own empire from the British. This book, first published in 2000, shows that the colonists intended from the first to conquer American Indians. Though subordinate to the British crown, the colonists ruled over beaten native peoples. Some colonists bought Africans as slaves and rigidly ruled over them, and the colonists invented racial gradation to justify conquests and oppression. Jennings reveals as war propaganda the revolutionary rhetoric about liberty and virtue. Including the whole population in this meticulously documented history, Jennings provides an eloquent explanation for a host of anomalies, ambiguities, and iniquities that have followed in the American Revolution's wake.
Part I. England Extends Conquests to North America: 1. Preface; 2. Origins; 3. Embryonic empires; 4. Dependencies: Indians, The West; 5. Colonial variety I: Virginia; 6. Colonial variety II: New England; 7. Colonial variety III: New York; 8. Colonial variety IV: Pennsylvania; 9. Colonial variety V: South Carolina; Part II. Frictions Arise Within The Empire: 10. 'Salutary neglect'; 11. Royal prerogative in America; 12. War in principle; 13. Irritants; 14. At the core; 15. George III; 16. Reactions becoming revolution; 17. A variation on the theme of liberty; 18. Repression and resistance; 19. A battle for bishops; Part III. An American Clone Breaks Off: 20. Imperial and colonial frontiers; 21. Changing sides; 22. Defiance and crackdown; 23. Uniting for liberty, tentatively; 24. Shots heard round the world; 25. Multiple revolutions; 26. Decision; 27. Religion then and now; 28. A 'people's democracy'; 29. Liberty, virtue, empire; 30. Conquest, slavery, race; 31. Combat: multiple outbreaks; 32. Combat: the western theatre, I; 33. Combat: the northern theatre, I; 34. Combat: the northern theatre, II; 35. Saratoga; 36. Combat: the western theatre, II; 37. 'West' in the middle; 38. Combat: the southern theatre; 39. Yorktown; Part IV. The Clone Establishes its Form: 40. What next?; 41. Land; 42. People; 43. Power; Part V. More Conquests: 44. Climax; 45. In sum.