Breaking from traditional historical interpretations of the period, Eric Nellis takes a long view of the origins and consequences of the Revolution and asserts that the Revolution was not, as others have argued, generated by a well-developed desire for independence, but rather by a series of shifts in British imperial policies after 1750. Nellis argues that the Revolution was still being shaped as late as 1820 and that many racial, territorial, economic, and constitutional issues were submerged in the growth of the republic and the enthusiasm of the population. In addressing the nature of the Revolution, Nellis suggests that the American Revolution and American political systems and principles are unique and much less suited for export than many Americans believe.
Eric Nellis is an Emeritus Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia.
List of Maps and Tables Acknowledgements Introduction I. The Colonial Background to the American Revolution II. The New British Empire: Reform and Protest, 1763-1774 III. The Continental Congress, War, Common Sense, and the Declaration of Independence, 1774-1776 IV. The War for Independence V. The Problems of Independence, 1783-1787 VI. The Constitution, Ratification, and the First Party System VII. The Politics of the Federalist Era VIII. Jefferson, Madison, and the Expanding Republic IX. The War of 1812 and the Sectional Republic Epilogue: The Generation of 1820 Appendix 1: The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription Appendix 2: The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription Appendix 3: The Bill of Rights, 1791 Reference Bibliography Index