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by Charles McLean Andrews

eBook The Colonial Background of the American Revolution: Four Essays in American Colonial History, Revised Edition download ISBN: 0300000049
Author: Charles McLean Andrews
Publisher: Yale University Press; Revised ed. edition (September 10, 1961)
Language: English
Pages: 240
ePub: 1485 kb
Fb2: 1939 kb
Rating: 4.2
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Category: History
Subcategory: Americas

Charles Andrews, writing in the early 1920s, thought that contemporary understanding and appreciation of the . Brute force, not conciliation, was the answer.

Charles Andrews, writing in the early 1920s, thought that contemporary understanding and appreciation of the American Revolution was clouded by popular propaganda and national tendency for ancestor worship. Colonial grievances, Andrews says, were in no way interpreted as legitimate claims or as an expression of a newly developed concept of naturals rights or liberty. Rather, they were viewed as craven examples of colonial ingratitude and treasonous disrespect.

Charles McLean Andrews was one of the most distinguished American historians of his time as a leading authority on American colonial history. He is especially known as a leader of the "Imperial school" of historians who studied, and generally admired the efficiency of the British Charles McLean Andrews was one of the most distinguished American historians of his time as a leading authority on American colonial history. He wrote 102 major scholarly articles and books, as well as over 360.

Charles McLean Andrews (February 22, 1863 – September 9, 1943) was one of the most distinguished American historians of his time as a leading authority on American colonial history. He is especially known as a leader of the "Imperial school" of historians who studied, and generally admired the efficiency of the British Empire in the 18th century.

Classic historical study of British imperial policy and colonial conditions leading to American Revolution. Foreword by Leonard Labaree (1961). Samuel Eliot Morison.

Charles McLean Andrews. Yale University Press, 1961 - History - 220 pages.

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Items related to The Colonial Background of the American Revolution:. ISBN 13: 9780300000047.

Charles McLean Andrews was one of the most distinguished members of a group of American historians in the first third of this century who pioneered a new interpretation of the colonial period and the American Revolution

Charles McLean Andrews was one of the most distinguished members of a group of American historians in the first third of this century who pioneered a new interpretation of the colonial period and the American Revolution. Most earlier writers had regarded the English colonies primarily as embryonic states of a future American nation.

The colonial background of the American Revolution : four essays in American colonial history. Classic historical study of British imperial policy and colonial conditions leading to American Revolution. Charles McLean Andrews.

Charles McLean Andrews, . teacher and historian whose Colonial Period of American History, vol. 1 of 4, won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1935. After teaching at various American universities, Andrews was professor of American history at Yale University from 1910 to 1931. Well started on his important.

Almost universally accepted as the most penetrating analysis of the events leading to 1776, Andrews’ classic explores the whole colonial period, as it was viewed on both sides of the Atlantic, beginning with the founding of the Jamestown colony.  “No such balanced and masterly review of Colonial conditions and British colonial policy has ever been given to the public.” –Samuel Eliot Morison
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Charles Andrews, writing in the early 1920s, thought that contemporary understanding and appreciation of the American Revolution was clouded by popular propaganda and national tendency for ancestor worship. This monograph, "The Colonial Background of the American Revolution," seeks to reverse the general habit of trying to justify rather than explain, and the tendency by early nineteenth century historians to concentrate exclusively on the years of the conflict, without exploring in any detail the nearly two centuries of colonial experience that preceded it.

England may have stumbled blindly into empire and the American colonists may have moved in a slow, clumsy manner toward self government, but these inexorable movements in opposite directions were destined to strain colonial relations, Andrews argues. Just as England was coming to the realization that it needed greater control and authority over its vast colonial holdings, the American colonies were realizing that they were developing an independent self-identity. Thus, the hundred years before the Stamp Act mark a "silent revolution" that was gradual, yet profound; balancing the needs of establishing an imperial domain while placating a radical colonial population were irreconcilable.

Despite the effects of this silent revolution, Andrews maintains that cooperation and conciliation could have prevented the American War for Independence. Thus, the American Revolution was more the product of obstinacy and radicalism by British and Colonial elite, respectively, than it was of any true principle of liberty. Ultimately, however, the two competing parties simply failed to understand one another, according to Andrews. Although they came from the same racial stock and institutional tradition, two hundred years of life apart had left an indelible impression. Americans were imbued with the "spirit of the frontier" and a fierce drive for independence and self government, all feelings that the common Englishman of the eighteenth century were incapable of understanding. But even if they could appreciate the motivations behind the revolts and were willing to explore conciliation, the British government simply could not accept the colonial argument of the solubility of Parliamentary laws without directly threatening the entire foundation on which the British empire rested.

From the perspective of official London, there was only one proper response to the behavior and increasingly strident demands of the colonial radicals: physical coercion. Brute force, not conciliation, was the answer. Colonial grievances, Andrews says, were in no way interpreted as legitimate claims or as an expression of a newly developed concept of naturals rights or liberty. Rather, they were viewed as craven examples of colonial ingratitude and treasonous disrespect. The author claims that this disdain for popular dissent among the governing elite was not dissimilar from the "gag rule" over slavery instituted by American Congressional lawmakers in the early nineteenth century.

Andrews maintains that the Revolution was a direct result of two native, ruling elites with a total inability to empathize with the other and an irrational unwillingness to even try. In addition, he cites a host of minor causes. Among them are: 1) Royal Governors, who either failed to appreciate the inadequacies of Royal colonial government or understand the fundamental changes that had taken place in colonial society (often both); 2) Privy Council, which even more than the Royal governors failed to grasp the need for change in colonial administration; and 3) Crown Legal Advisors, who almost to a man maintained a strict interpretation of existing legislation, which condemned colonial actions out of hand for legal reasons and gave the ruling authorities the motivation to maintain a very hard line in dealing with the radicals.

Interestingly, it is only after 1774 that Andrews believes that King George III deserves any culpability in the events leading to the Revolution, and that overall the King has been made a scapegoat. He was surrounded, the author argues, by officials who refused to depart in any way from a strict interpretation of the law. Although, over time, George became a true believer in the value of coercion as the only way to settle the situation, Andrews continues. In a way, the American Revolution was like Vietnam for the George III administration. All close advisors urged a hardline policy and threatened that failure to respond with resolute action tempted a domino scenario throughout the empire, as one profitable colony after another fell to self-determination. Once engaged in a costly war, many former advocates became critics and the timeless argument of sunk costs reared its baleful head. George III ultimately had to find an exit for a war his advisors had created.

"The Colonial Background of the American Revolution" might be a rather arcane, academic history of early American history, but it's one that reads well and retains its relevance nearly a century after its initial publication. The fact that it is still in print is testimony to its enduring value.