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These ideas—generally referred to as the ideology of republicanism—stressed the corrupting nature of power and the need for those involved in self-governing to be virtuous i. Patriots would need to be ever vigilant against the rise of conspiracies, centralized control, and tyranny.

Only a small fringe in Britain held these ideas, but in the colonies, they were widely accepted. In the s, two seemingly conflicting bodies of thought—the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening—began to combine in the colonies and challenge older ideas about authority. Perhaps no single philosopher had a greater impact on colonial thinking than John Locke. In his Essay Concerning Human Understanding , Locke argued that the mind was originally a tabula rasa or blank slate and that individuals were formed primarily by their environment. The aristocracy then were wealthy or successful because they had greater access to wealth, education, and patronage and not because they were innately superior.

Locke followed this essay with Some Thoughts Concerning Education , which introduced radical new ideas about the importance of education. Education would produce rational human beings capable of thinking for themselves and questioning authority rather than tacitly accepting tradition. These ideas slowly came to have far-reaching effects in the colonies and, later, the new nation.

Between and , the Rev. George Whitefield, an enigmatic, itinerant preacher, traveled the colonies preaching Calvinist sermons to huge crowds. In his wake, new traveling preachers picked up his message and many congregations split. Both Locke and Whitefield had empowered individuals to question authority and to take their lives into their own hands. In other ways, eighteenth-century colonists were becoming more culturally similar to Britons, a process often referred to as Anglicization.

As colonial economies grew, they quickly became an important market for British manufacturing exports. Colonists with disposable income and access to British markets attempted to mimic British culture. By the middle of the eighteenth century, middling-class colonists could also afford items previously thought of as luxuries like British fashions, dining wares, and more. The desire to purchase British goods meshed with the desire to enjoy British liberties. It was truly a world war, fought between multiple empires on multiple continents. At its conclusion, the British Empire had never been larger.

It had also consolidated its control over India. But the realities and responsibilities of the postwar empire were daunting. War let alone victory on such a scale was costly. Britain doubled the national debt to Britain faced significant new costs required to secure and defend its far-flung empire, especially the western frontiers of the North American colonies. These factors led Britain in the s to attempt to consolidate control over its North American colonies, which, in turn, led to resistance.

They represented an authoritarian vision of empire in which colonies would be subordinate. The king forbade settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains in an attempt to limit costly wars with Native Americans. Colonists, however, protested and demanded access to the territory for which they had fought alongside the British. In , Parliament passed two more reforms.

The Sugar Act sought to combat widespread smuggling of molasses in New England by cutting the duty in half but increasing enforcement. Also, smugglers would be tried by vice-admiralty courts and not juries. Parliament also passed the Currency Act, which restricted colonies from producing paper money.

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Hard money, such as gold and silver coins, was scarce in the colonies. In March , Parliament passed the Stamp Act. The act required that many documents be printed on paper that had been stamped to show the duty had been paid, including newspapers, pamphlets, diplomas, legal documents, and even playing cards. Parliament had never before directly taxed the colonists.


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This led, in part, to broader, more popular resistance. Resistance to the Stamp Act took three forms, distinguished largely by class: legislative resistance by elites, economic resistance by merchants, and popular protest by common colonists. Colonial elites responded by passing resolutions in their assemblies. Men and women politicized the domestic sphere by buying and displaying items that conspicuously revealed their position for or against parliamentary actions.

Salem State University. Those rights included trial by jury, which had been abridged by the Sugar Act, and the right to be taxed only by their own elected representatives. The second type of resistance to the Stamp Act was economic. While the Stamp Act Congress deliberated, merchants in major port cities were preparing nonimportation agreements, hoping that their refusal to import British goods would lead British merchants to lobby for the repeal of the Stamp Act. The third, and perhaps, most crucial type of resistance was popular protest. Riots broke out in Boston. The following week, a crowd also set upon the home of his brother-in-law, Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson, who had publicly argued for submission to the stamp tax.

Popular violence and intimidation spread quickly throughout the colonies. In New York City, posted notices read:. We dare. By November 16, all of the original twelve stamp distributors had resigned, and by , groups calling themselves the Sons of Liberty were formed in most colonies to direct and organize further resistance. These tactics had the dual effect of sending a message to Parliament and discouraging colonists from accepting appointments as stamp collectors.

With no one to distribute the stamps, the act became unenforceable. Violent protest by groups like the Sons of Liberty created quite a stir both in the colonies and in England itself. This print of the event was from the British perspective, picturing the Sons as brutal instigators with almost demonic smiles on their faces as they enacted this excruciating punishment on the Custom Commissioner. Pressure on Parliament grew until, in February , it repealed the Stamp Act. It could be argued that there was no moment at which colonists felt more proud to be members of the free British Empire than But Britain still needed revenue from the colonies.

The acts also created and strengthened formal mechanisms to enforce compliance, including a new American Board of Customs Commissioners and more vice-admiralty courts to try smugglers. Revenues from customs seizures would be used to pay customs officers and other royal officials, including the governors, thereby incentivizing them to convict offenders. Unsurprisingly, colonists, once again, resisted. New forms of resistance emerged in which elite, middling, and working-class colonists participated together. Merchants reinstituted nonimportation agreements, and common colonists agreed not to consume these same products.

Lists were circulated with signatories promising not to buy any British goods. These lists were often published in newspapers, bestowing recognition on those who had signed and led to pressure on those who had not. Women, too, became involved to an unprecedented degree in resistance to the Townshend Acts. They circulated subscription lists and gathered signatures. The first political commentaries in newspapers written by women appeared. Spinning clubs were formed, in which local women would gather at one of their homes and spin cloth for homespun clothing for their families and even for the community.

At the same time, British goods and luxuries previously desired now became symbols of tyranny. Committees of Inspection monitored merchants and residents to make sure that no one broke the agreements. Offenders could expect to be shamed by having their names and offenses published in the newspaper and in broadsides. Nonimportation and nonconsumption helped forge colonial unity. Colonies formed Committees of Correspondence to keep each other informed of the resistance efforts throughout the colonies. Newspapers reprinted exploits of resistance, giving colonists a sense that they were part of a broader political community.

Britain sent regiments to Boston in to help enforce the new acts and quell the resistance. On the evening of March 5, , a crowd gathered outside the Custom House and began hurling insults, snowballs, and perhaps more at the young sentry. After the smoke cleared, five Bostonians were dead, including one of the ringleaders, Crispus Attucks, a former slave turned free dockworker. The soldiers were tried in Boston and won acquittal, thanks, in part, to their defense attorney, John Adams. News of the Boston Massacre spread quickly through the new resistance communication networks, aided by a famous engraving initially circulated by Paul Revere, which depicted bloodthirsty British soldiers with grins on their faces firing into a peaceful crowd.

The engraving was quickly circulated and reprinted throughout the colonies, generating sympathy for Boston and anger with Britain. This iconic image of the Boston Massacre by Paul Revere sparked fury in both Americans and the British by portraying the redcoats as brutal slaughterers and the onlookers as helpless victims. The events of March 5, did not actually play out as Revere pictured them, yet his intention was not simply to recount the affair. Revere created an effective propaganda piece that lent credence to those demanding that the British authoritarian rule be stopped.

Library of Congress. Resistance again led to repeal. In March , Parliament repealed all of the new duties except the one on tea, which, like the Declaratory Act, was left, in part, to save face and assert that Parliament still retained the right to tax the colonies. The character of colonial resistance had changed between and During the Stamp Act resistance, elites wrote resolves and held congresses while violent, popular mobs burned effigies and tore down houses, with minimal coordination between colonies.

But methods of resistance against the Townshend Acts became more inclusive and more coordinated.

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Colonists previously excluded from meaningful political participation now gathered signatures, and colonists of all ranks participated in the resistance by not buying British goods and monitoring and enforcing the boycotts. A new sense of shared grievances began to join the colonists in a shared American political identity. Tensions between the colonies and England eased for a time after the Boston Massacre. The colonial economy improved as the postwar recession receded. The Sons of Liberty in some colonies sought to continue nonimportation even after the repeal of the Townshend Acts.

But in New York, a door-to-door poll of the population revealed that the majority wanted to end nonimportation. In April , Parliament passed two acts to aid the failing East India Company, which had fallen behind in the annual payments it owed Britain. But the company was not only drowning in debt; it was also drowning in tea, with almost fifteen million pounds of it in stored in warehouses from India to England.

In , Parliament passed the Regulating Act, which effectively put the troubled company under government control.

It then passed the Tea Act, which would allow the company to sell its tea in the colonies directly and without the usual import duties. This would greatly lower the cost of tea for colonists, but, again, they resisted. But like the Sugar Act, the Tea Act affected only a small, specific group of people. The widespread support for resisting the Tea Act had more to do with principles. The Tea Act stipulated that the duty had to be paid when the ship unloaded. This worked and the tea did not reach the shore, but by December 16, the ships were still there.

Hence, another town meeting was held at the Old South Meeting House, at the end of which dozens of men disguised as Mohawk Indians made their way to the wharf. The Boston Gazette reported what happened next:. But, behold what followed! As word spread throughout the colonies, patriots were emboldened to do the same to the tea sitting in their harbors. Popular protest spread across the continent and down through all levels of colonial society.

Women across the thirteen colonies could most readily express their political sentiments as consumers and producers. Because women often made decisions regarding household purchases, their participation in consumer boycotts held particular weight. The agitation of so many helped elicit responses from both Britain and the colonial elites. The following spring, Parliament passed four acts known collectively, by the British, as the Coercive Acts.

Colonists, however, referred to them as the Intolerable Acts. First, the Boston Port Act shut down the harbor and cut off all trade to and from the city. The Massachusetts Government Act put the colonial government entirely under British control, dissolving the assembly and restricting town meetings. The emotional connection with the characters was intermittent, sometimes I was able to connect like I did with Franklin and Washington, but other times no matter how much I tried, some characters seemed plastic such as John Adams.

Despite this, it is still an amazing work of fiction and probably one of the best out there on the American Revolution, one that portrays it so accurately and yet in such an interesting manner. It makes American history enthralling and accessible, there is no excuse that any American shouldn't at least know the basics presented in this book and this book is a brilliant way of obtaining it. Alas, Rise to Rebellion, a novel covering the events leading up to the revolutionary war, is not nearly as good. In order to cover the important events, Shaara goes from one leading character to another.

Instead of getting us started with the action immediately in each scene, Shaara spends many paragraphs engaged in excruciating exposition.

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American Revolution

Shaara also has every character philosophize, droning on in speech and in thought. I suspect this may be because Shaara felt intimidated because he was writing about the Founding Fathers, whom we have been taught to revere, and treated them with too much respect. I appreciate that covering the events leading to a war is a challenging basis for a novel, as it involves many characters, places, points of view, events, and can span several years.

Herman Wouk did this well in The Winds of War. The only chapters which I truly enjoyed were those with George Washington. Shaara is much better when he writes about military action. I do respect the research he did and I did learn a fair amount about the events leading to the revolutionary war. View all 3 comments. I picked up this book on my own for the chance to get a better look into the colonies and American revolution for my AP US history class and i must say i was pulled into the fictional prospective style of writing than i thought i would be.

The books a great read and easy to understand giving both perspectives of English foot soldiers to American radicals. It contains a lot more information than you would think and conveniently places it all in a better to understand time sequence instead of just I picked up this book on my own for the chance to get a better look into the colonies and American revolution for my AP US history class and i must say i was pulled into the fictional prospective style of writing than i thought i would be.

It contains a lot more information than you would think and conveniently places it all in a better to understand time sequence instead of just memorizing the events. The book does a great job of keeping you in the building events of the revolution and portraying historical figures in new lights you probably would never have guessed and gives explicit details on their lives which can help give a better understanding for their course of actions. While the book is still fiction that's for the purpose of keeping the dialog in a fluid state and being able to convey characters views to a higher understanding, but also keeps it to a close historical accuracy.

Shaara like his father before him can make history a readable subject, and this book is evidence of that. In his own way he works into the historical situations and lifestyles of each type of individual, from urban American farmer to the poor Irish state of suppressed living. I would recommend this book to anyone who would need a little more background into the countries beginning or to build a better understanding of the US war for independence or if you prefer a interesting novel it all works out.

As the author notes, by definition this book is a novel. As true as he tries to be in telling the story through the voices of the characters, in their own words and through their own experiences, the dialogue and thoughts must be read as fiction. For some, there might too much information, because the book does skirt the line between fiction and nonfiction, but that made it perfect for me. Wanting to know more about this particular period in history, I fell back onto my usual course, which is to read novels set during that time, and moving on to nonfiction later.

This book is like getting both at the same time, the ease of a novel with the preponderance of information of a nonfiction book. I learned a lot from this book. While the main story was familiar to me, there were lesser known occurrences, glossed over in school, that gave more depth and breadth to the events, and to the people who brought them about.

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Despite the fact that I own the book I decided to pick up the audiobook at the library to listen to while I work. The audio book is read by Victor Garber and he was great. He did a great job with the character voices, including British and American accents. My only complaint about the audio book was that it was the abridged version!

Apparently the unabridged version is I've always loved American History, especially the Revolutionary War time, so this book has been on my TBR pile for awhile now. Apparently the unabridged version is really hard to find even amazon didn't have it. So now I am going to have to read the book to get the parts I missed. I enjoyed this book much more than my failed attempt to read by David G McCullough back in high school.

This book was history as a story, which made it even better than the facts I learned in school. There were times where I really felt that I was right there, witnessing what happened especially the Boston Tea Party. It had all your major revolutionary events with some personal touches by the characters as well. I can't wait to pick up the sequel, The Glorious Cause. In a few weeks, I'm going to Boston and in preparation for the trip, I decided to read Rise to Rebellion. I could not be happier that I did.

This book was fantastic in a multitude of ways. It was a great overview of the beginning of the Revolution and told this incredible story through such eloquent language that parts almost moved me to tears. Though not fully Jeff Shaara's penmanship, the reading of the Declaration of Independence to Washington's soldiers had me thoroughly choked up. Warren's chapter on Bunker Hill was also particularly moving, if you know the outcome. And there were many, many speeches and a plethora of internal dialogue that were affecting and articulate I've long found the American Revolution to be my niche and I would recommend this to anyone looking for more information that isn't just dryly worded facts in a nonfiction history book.

Reading the events in this way truly made me feel like I was there. All I can say is that this was fantastic and it has already cemented its place on my favorites shelf. What I most enjoyed about this book was the ease with which I could lay it down for extended periods and pick it up right where I left off, without any lag in interest. This is not always easy for me with standard fictional novels.

The fact that this is a"novel," though absolutely historically-based, made it more stable in its connection to truth - i. I do however feel there were many more fascinating details about the day-to-day experiences of these important characters that were probably were left out for expediency's sake. For example, after finishing the book I once again picked up David McCollough's and thoroughly enjoyed rediscovering numerous intriguing details about New York in the spring and summer of just after Washington's entry following his departure from Boston. Nonetheless, I fully intend to read book two, Shaara's The Glorious Cause and will likely begin it within the next day or two.

Having never read any of Shaara's Civil War works, I was new to his writing but enjoyed this immensely and am currently reading the second part of the story, "Glorious Cause". The book recounts the period of , from the Boston Massacre to the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, as a well-executed novel, primarily from the perspectives of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, General Gage, and, much later in the book, George Washington. Drawn primarily from their own written words, Shaa Having never read any of Shaara's Civil War works, I was new to his writing but enjoyed this immensely and am currently reading the second part of the story, "Glorious Cause".

Drawn primarily from their own written words, Shaara seems to get a solid handle on the characters, but due to the narrative focus, some events are given enormous attention, while others are merely included after the fact. The book also succeeds in setting the tone of both sides of the conflict, but from a distinctly American vantage point, which works particularly well in novel format. Remember all the stuff you learned in grade school about the American Revolution? Hey - it was over 40 years ago. The "Rise to Rebellion," and its successor, "The Glorious Cause," make the entire historical event come alive.

Now, of course a lot of the dialog and many of the events in the book need to be taken with a bit of skepticism, because who knows what George Washington really said or thought? But like any good piece of fiction, you are able to suspend your disbelief to enjoy Remember all the stuff you learned in grade school about the American Revolution? But like any good piece of fiction, you are able to suspend your disbelief to enjoy the story, and still feel like you're getting a history lesson at the same time. I live in New Jersey, and so much of the American Revolution took place here.

When I read the book and can picture the towns, roads and even the geography as it's described, the story really comes to life. Rise to Rebellion made me a "historical fiction" fan. You're probably familiar with characters involved in the birth of the United States--the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, to name a few.

Jeff Shaara has taken the massive amount of research necessary to bring these characters to life. You can walk with them, look into their thoughts and see actual historical events unfold. I found my understanding of what really, finally got the colonists to think about independence expanded when I could take a peek into the actual liv You're probably familiar with characters involved in the birth of the United States--the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, to name a few.

I found my understanding of what really, finally got the colonists to think about independence expanded when I could take a peek into the actual lives of people living at that time. As the author admits, he has written a novel, but it is historically accurate, including quotes from the characters. The story is written from the viewpoints of several different colonists as well as some British.

This is a great, enjoyable way to make history come to life. I would recommend this book to middle and high school students as well as adults. Popular understandings of the American Revolution tend to overlook the contributions of women. Berkin finds that while women of various races, classes, ages, and backgrounds experienced war differently, they each played a unique and important role in the Revolution. Rather, Horne demonstrates how the Revolution reinvigorated the slave trade and subsequently bore a counter-revolution of slavery.

He argues that African slaves played an important role in igniting the rebellion that would become the American Revolution, a conflict he traces back to crucial turning points like the Glorious Revolution. Horne ultimately contends that our current understanding of the Founding is in need of revisiting.

During the winter at Valley Forge General Washington faced chronic shortages of manpower. Rhode Island general James Varnum proposed a possible solution - he suggested that Rhode Island recruit an all-African American regiment to serve in the Continental Army. Washington did not object, and Varnum began recruiting that spring of Spears use a combination of microhistory and narrative storytelling to tell the story of the men who enlisted and where the regiment served. Enter your email address to have each new issue of Read the Revolution delivered to your inbox.

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