Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89” as Want to Read:
The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  394 Ratings  ·  20 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 838)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 30, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it
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
Sep 28, 2009 Nicole rated it really liked it
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
Jan 06, 2013 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 26, 2016 Timothy rated it really liked it
Picked up a heavily marked copy for $1 at a thrift store and read it while travelling through the US. For a European with only scattered knowledge about the precise order of events this booklet is a good introduction. I don't think it is meant to be more than that. However, at several points throughout the book Morgan offers his own reinterpretation of the revolution while presenting it as the consensus view, which it isn't always.
Richard de Villiers
Jul 17, 2014 Richard de Villiers rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 16, 2014 Broc Christian rated it really liked it
Shelves: college-class
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.
Rachel Wearne
This is the best book I have ever read about the American Revolution!
Jul 05, 2009 Zach rated it it was ok
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
Jun 07, 2015 John rated it really liked it
I read this in college for a course on the American Revolution and just re-read it. Morgan's contention is that human interest aligned with individual principles (somewhat, i.e. slavery) to form the foundations of the new Republic. So much for the moral evolution of man...
Jan 06, 2015 Lee rated it liked it
Shelves: revolution
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.
Dec 06, 2008 Tommy rated it liked it
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 really liked it
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
Dec 01, 2011 Chris Gager rated it liked it
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
Dec 14, 2013 Joshua Horn rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 22, 2009 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
A good commentary on what happened during the revolutionary war time period in the United States.
Apr 30, 2011 Lance rated it it was amazing
Loved this quick and easy synopsis of the revolution and constitutional periods. Good analysis.
Wisteria Leigh
Jul 23, 2008 Wisteria Leigh rated it really liked it
TAH,2008-Winter,non-fiction,American history,American Revolutionary Era
Jun 10, 2013 Rebecca rated it it was ok
I only read it for school but I read it so it counts!!
Jan 06, 2016 Jeff rated it liked it
A good brush up.
Ingrid is currently reading it
Aug 24, 2016
Lori added it
Aug 21, 2016
Nathan Evers
Nathan Evers marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2016
Tomáš Zemko
Tomáš Zemko marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2016
Kevin Chappell
Kevin Chappell rated it liked it
Aug 14, 2016
Mae marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2016
James marked it as to-read
Aug 11, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 27 28 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States
  • The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787
  • The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution
  • Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution
  • The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America
  • Errand into the Wilderness
  • Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788-1850
  • From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain 1765-76
  • The Americans, Vol. 1: The Colonial Experience
  • The Minutemen and Their World
  • Liberty's Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800
  • Jefferson and the Rights of Man
  • Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution
  • The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence
  • Before the Revolution: America's Ancient Pasts
  • The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788-1800
  • The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War
  • The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North America (Pivotal Moments in American History)

Other Books in the Series

The Chicago History of American Civilization (1 - 10 of 30 books)
  • The Colonial Wars, 1689-1762
  • The War for Independence: A Military History (Chicago History of American Civilization)
  • The Nation Takes Shape: 1789-1837
  • The War of 1812
  • The Mexican War
  • Death of Slavery: The United States, 1837-65
  • The Confederacy
  • Reconstruction after the Civil War
  • The Response to Industrialism, 1885-1914
  • The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932

Share This Book