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Colonial American history: 1763-1789

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Univ. Rhode...

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  1. Introduction
  2. Economic and social issues
  3. The new way of thinking and looking at the world
  4. American community
  5. The feeling of conspiracy
  6. The internal conflict
  7. Revolutionary War
  8. Conclusion

When studying history, two aspects of the subject are considered, the historical narrative and historiography. The historical narrative is simply the description of the events that occurred, and the historiography consists of the opinions and theories of historians about why certain events occurred. The following comment on the Revolutionary War period is an example of historiography: ?The period 1763-1789 was essentially an era of internal conflict and conspiracy which reached its climax between 1787-1789 when a conservative force regained control of the Revolutionary movement, foisted a new Constitution on the United States, and curtailed the growing democracy, modernity, and radicalism of the Revolutionary era.?

[...] There was an external revolution because of a clash between English and American merchants, but the internal revolution was one based on conflict between the classes, pitting the wealthy against the laborers. Mark Egnal looks at conflict and the revolution in a different light, arguing that the revolution was a conflict between expansionists and non-expansionists, especially in Virginia, but later occurring in all colonies. Despite the conflicts that arose during the war, the Americans were victorious, thanks to the help France gave by putting pressure on England. [...]

[...] In sum, a theory was proposed by Gordon Wood suggesting that colonists believed in conspiracy and deceit by British officials, and that this would eventually lead to colonial slavery. Along with conspiracy, internal conflict plagued the colonies during the revolution, between loyalists and tories, and between the classes. During the war, the Continental Congress raised troops to serve three- year terms, the states raised troops, and small militias were also used for short military stints. About 232,000 males between the ages of 16 and 60 bore arms, but of this number only about 100,000 men served with any significance. [...]

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