The American Revolution is a pivotal moment in American history that changed the course of the nation forever. The war lasted from 1775 to 1783 and resulted in the formation of the United States of America.
But when was the history of the American Revolution written? Let’s explore.
The Early Histories
The first histories of the American Revolution were written just a few years after the war ended. These histories were often written by participants in the conflict or their immediate descendants, and they tended to focus on military campaigns and battles. Some examples include “The Campaigns of the American Revolution” by Henry Clinton and William B. Willcox, published in 1779, and “An Impartial History of the War in America” by Stedman, published in 1794.
The Second Wave
In the early 19th century, a new wave of historians began writing about the American Revolution. These historians were more interested in analyzing the causes and consequences of the war than in recounting military actions. Many of these historians were lawyers or politicians who drew on their experiences to write about political theory and constitutional law.
One example is “The Rise and Progress of the United States” by George Tucker, published in 1828. Another is “The History of Political Parties in the State of New York” by Jabez D. Hammond, published in 1842.
The Civil War Era
During the Civil War era, many historians wrote about how their understanding of American history related to contemporary events. They often wrote with an eye toward shaping public opinion or bolstering their own political views.
One notable example is “The History of the United States from 1492 to 1866” by Samuel Eliot Morison, first published in 1888. Morison was a Union officer during the Civil War who went on to become a prominent historian. His book focuses on the causes and consequences of the American Revolution, as well as its impact on American society.
The Modern Era
In the 20th century, historians continued to write about the American Revolution, but their approach became more interdisciplinary. They drew on fields like anthropology, sociology, and economics to explore how the war affected different aspects of American life.
One influential example is “The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution” by Bernard Bailyn, published in 1967. Bailyn’s book argues that revolutionary ideas were central to the conflict and that these ideas had complex origins in British intellectual history.
In conclusion, historians have been writing about the American Revolution for more than two centuries. The early histories focused on military campaigns and battles, while later historians explored its political and cultural significance. Today, historians continue to analyze the causes and consequences of this pivotal moment in American history.