Read the Revolution

March 11, 2014

The Common Cause of America

After the Boston Tea Party, the city’s inhabitants held their collective breath as they awaited reaction from the mother country. Parliament’s retaliation—closing the city’s port—was a devastating blow. Yet Boston soon learned that fellow patriots both near and far made a spontaneous choice to stand with them, in support of “the common cause of America.” In T. H. Breen’s book The Marketplace of Revolution, he offers a look at how one city’s rebellion became an entire people’s war.

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February 25, 2014

Taking Charge

When the Continental Army was formed in 1775, George Washington wasn’t the only person being considered to be its leader. In this excerpt from Stephen Brumwell’s book, George Washington: Gentleman Warrior, we learn how Washington secured this history-making post: a combination of the esteem he earned from many in power and his own savvy self-positioning as the best man for the job.

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February 11, 2014

A War of Personal Liberation

In 1781, a 14-year-old boy named James Forten resolved to fight for the Patriot cause. While many boys as young as James made a similar decision, Forten also happened to be African-American, born into a free black family in Philadelphia. His decision reflected a growing sense of optimism that the Revolution would lead to a new society in America, one that would truly provide opportunities for all, regardless of color or station.

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