This is the story of the American Revolution, the men who made it and who then secured it. It is the story of an improbable victory by a provincial collection of loosely knit colonies over the dominant military and political power in the world. It is also the story of the creation of a nation founded on principles that no one at the time regarded as viable, and that over time have come to be regarded as the most successful recipe for political success in the modern world. The central theme of the story is that the creation of this nation of laws was only made possible by a small group of men, whom we refer to here as the Brotherhood of the Revolution.
In this course, readers are provided an in-depth look at the single most consequential event of American history: the American Revolution. Distinguished historian Edmund Morgan wrote that no one has ever quite understood the Revolution and that no one ever will. This course is an attempt, at least on some level, to prove him wrong. While the American Revolution now appears to have been inevitable, it was, in fact, highly improbable. An early conversation between Continental Congressman Eldridge Gerry and Benjamin Harrison about the prospect of being hanged by the British is a prime example of the enormous risks that were involved. In this course, it will be shown just how problematic and uncertain this period of history actually was.
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