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The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89 (The Chicago History of American Civilization)

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  297 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In one remarkable quarter-century, thirteen quarrelsome colonies were transformed into a nation. Edmund S. Morgan's classic account of the Revolutionary period shows how the challenge of British taxation started the Americans on a search for constitutional principles to protect their freedom and eventually led to the Revolution.

Morgan demonstrates that these principles wer
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 1st 1993 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1956)
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4.5 stars.
A fine book by one of America's most distinguished historians. The author's contention is that in the period from 1763 to 1789 principle (the growing awareness of the principle of human equality, for example) was aligned with self-interest (the centrality of property rights) to provide the incentive for declaring independence, successfully waging the war, and coming together as one nation. Certainly, this is hardly a radical notion, but his discussion of it is illuminating. Morgan is s
I love this book for all the wrong reasons.

In my very humble opinion, this is bad history. Morgan does little to hide his bias - if anything, he seems to revel in it with passages like, "They [the commissioners sent to Boston to enforce the Navigation Acts:] were a rapacious band of bureaucrats who brought to their task an irrepressible greed and a vindictive malice that could not fail to aggravate the antagonism not only against themselves but also against the Parliament that sent them. Custom
Morgan has a long and distinguished pedigree as an American historian. This book is one of his earliest works and it isn't his best. It's a light, quick read about the preludes to the Revolutionary War, the war itself, the adoption of the Articles of Confederation and ultimately the creation of the national, federal government with the politically-charged ratification of the Constitution.
It's a lively read for the big easy picture of the chronology of birth of the republic.
However, Morgan colla
Richard de Villiers
Don't let the brevity of this book fool you - it packs plenty in its slender confines. Morgan makes a persuasive case for principle more than any other motive inspired our Founding Fathers. Along the way he knocks some shibboleths from the founding. The internal/external tax distinction? Well the colonies never really subscribed to it. The abysmal failure of the Articles of Confederation? Well not totally anyway. Ok, perhaps it isn't the most scintillating but for an academic work it moves brisk ...more
Broc Christian
Good overall summary of the political history of the Amer. Rev. Would be a good intro for someone who doesn't know to much about the Revolution.
In addition to a cursory overview of the American Revolution, Morgan attempts to awkwardly impose some theories of his about the motivations of the founders, namely that they were driven by an ideological vision of freedom. But time and again he lists reasons why they might have been motivated by self-interest but merely waves them away without offering any sort of argument for his thesis. In the end, it was shallow both in terms of history and analysis.

Read as a summer reading assignment in adv
This was a good overview of the period before, during and after the Revolution. It is short so there isn't a lot of detail. If you want some background on the Revolution and don't know much about it, this would be a decent place to start.
A concise history of the Amer revolution. Great refresher if you forgot all that you needed to know about why and how we became a nation in the first place. Morgan has some interesting theories too, but doesn't cram them down your throat.
Jul 06, 2008 Zinger rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
This book is a quick and general overview of the the events leading up to the Revolutionary War and ratification of the U.S. Constitution. There is a wonderful list of books going into further details, several of which I will try to obtain.
Chris Gager
Back to back non-fiction! An easy enough read and some of it has stayed with me but not that much sad to say. Not that long ago either. Maybe that's why I read fiction. Seems more compelling.
Joshua Horn
While I think the author is not always right, this book is short, interesting and contains a lot of analysis.
Nov 01, 2010 Darla marked it as to-read
Hoping I can use this to teach a middle school revolutionary War history class at coop next semester.
A good commentary on what happened during the revolutionary war time period in the United States.
Loved this quick and easy synopsis of the revolution and constitutional periods. Good analysis.
Wisteria Leigh
TAH,2008-Winter,non-fiction,American history,American Revolutionary Era
I only read it for school but I read it so it counts!!
Lacey Holley
Lacey Holley marked it as to-read
Jan 16, 2015
Michael O'Toole
Michael O'Toole marked it as to-read
Jan 15, 2015
Ridge Briel
Ridge Briel marked it as to-read
Jan 10, 2015
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