A core text or supplementary reader for advanced undergraduate courses on the era of the American Revolution.
Unique in both coverage and focus, this collection of primary documents and original interpretive essays provides an unusually well-balanced introduction to the era of the American Revolution. Chronologically, the text explores the period from 1750 to 1815—examining sources of both stability and discontent within the British Empire (and thereby discouraging students from assuming the inevitability of the Revolution), and ending with the War of 1812 (which many Americans saw as securing independence and the ideals of the Revolution). Topically, the text covers traditional political and military subjects as well as the newer social and cultural history of the era—providing students with a broad understanding of the Revolution as both a war for independence and an occasion for political, social, and cultural conflict and transformation. The wide variety of documents range from classic texts—such as Common Sense and the Federalist—to excerpts from diaries and travelers' accounts to newspapers advertisements and selections from contemporary histories and novels.