Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies : The Great Courses: Modern History

  • by The Great Courses, Robert Allison
  • Narrated by Professor Robert J. Allison
  • Series: The Great Courses: Modern History
  • 18 hrs and 33 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

The history of colonial America is a story of extraordinary scope, with Europeans, Africans, and the native peoples of North America interacting in a drama of settlement and conflict that lasted nearly three centuries. Go back in time and relive this epic story in 36 spellbinding lectures.
While concentrating on British North America, Professor Allison also covers developments in the colonial outposts of Spain, France, the Netherlands, and the all-important British possessions in the West Indies, which were the source of the most lucrative crop in the New World - sugar - and the reason for the enormous growth in the slave trade.
As you'll discover, the colonies were often turbulent, dangerous places. You'll learn about Indian wars, slave revolts, witch persecutions, rampant piracy, and other upheavals, as well as the gradual cementing of social order and the development of customs that made the colonies distinct - and difficult for the British government to rule.
These lectures build toward a discussion of the roots of the rebellion that succeeded in toppling the colonial system - the American Revolution - covering its long gestation and closing with an examination of the meaning of the Declaration of Independence.
In fundamental ways, the world we know today emerged from the tempestuous and eventful history of colonial America. Deepen your appreciation for this formative era with these historically rich, captivating, and highly informative lectures.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

good history, but beware if you're british

Good factual and interesting history, I would suggest it for everyone. However if you're like myself (british) there is a few instances in which you may get a little ticked off.

he constantly refers to the british settlers in North America as 'the English'...even when referencing history after the act of union and when there are a good amount of Scottish and welsh migrants to north America.

His American bias shows here and there, ofcourse it ended with the obligatory 'benjamin Franklin was the greatest' and the obvious god bless americaisms...but there are many instances that he references how ignorant all the english settlers were, and then when he goes on to talk about someone interesting or someone who did something impressive, they conveniently become virginian, or Bostonian or a colonist or even a few times he calls them 'american'. He speaks with much more enthusiasm about any of the individuals who were involved with independence than he does with everyone else before that or who weren't involved in that event.

apart from these things, it was a great series of lectures and all the history was interesting and entertaining.
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- Jason

Possibly my favourite history listen to date

Where does Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

See headline title


What was one of the most memorable moments of Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies?

go away


Which character – as performed by Professor Robert J. Allison – was your favourite?

irrelevant - what a surprise


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The Death of Pocahontas. No just kidding, another stupid irrelevant question - It's a dry history !


Any additional comments?

Now with all the stupid Audible questions out the way I shall proceed.The good professor has an excellent delivery style, a dry wit and an engaging voice. He relates some quite minor events in some detail which paint a fascinating picture of life and development in all the colonies at various points over a span of some 250 years.Particularly interesting are the stories of the reasons for the establishment of all the 13 original colonies. The relationships with the various indian tribes was also enlightening and informative.In many ways this as much as a transplanted European History as much as it is an American History. When after all did these emigrants become distinctly American ?This is the sort of History of America so far removed from the usual stuff though towards the end Franklin and Washington do come into it.So much history we learn about just hits key points and joins dots; simplistic narratives we all doze off to. Some tales , such as Pocahontas are now so historically inaccurate as to be laughable . And it ain't all Disney's fault either.For anyone interested in well told properly researched primers histories of early America, I wonder if anyone could do better than this audiobook

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- Hector Chub "Retriever Books"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses