Includes bibliographical references (p. -604) and index.
The spirit of 1775 -- The Revolution: Provocations, Motivations, and Alignments. Liberty's vanguard ; Religion, ethnicity, and revolutionary loyalty ; A revolution for economic self-determination ; Urban radicalism and the tide of revolution ; Challenge from the backcountry ; The ideologies of revolution. -- 1775: The Battlegrounds. Fortress New England? ; Declaring economic war ; Five roads to Canada ; The global munitions struggle, 1774-1776 ; The supply war at sea ; The first British southern strategy, 1775-1776 ; Is Falmouth burning? ; Red, white, and black ; Divided national opinion and Britain's need to hire mercenaries ; The Chesapeake: America's vulnerable estuary ; The American Revolution as a civil war ; The Declaration of Independence : a stitch in time? -- Consequences and Ramifications. The Battle of Boston: a great American victory ; Canada: defeat or victory? ; Lord Dunmore's second war ; Whaleboats, row galleys, schooners, and submarines: the small-ship origins of the U.S. Navy ; Europe, the Bourbon Compact, and the American Revolution ; The southern expedition of 1775 and the limitations of British power ; 1775: a good year for revolution.
What if the year that has long been commemorated as America's defining moment was in fact, misleading? In this book the author, a historian punctures the myth that 1776 was the watershed year of the American Revolution. 1775 was the year in which Patriots captured British forts and fought battles from the Canadian border to the Carolinas, obtained the needed gunpowder, and orchestrated the critical months of nation building in the backrooms of a secrecy-shrouded Congress. He suggests that the great events and confrontations of 1775 such as Congress's belligerent economic ultimatums to Britain, New England's 'rage militaire,' the exodus of British troops and expulsion of royal governors up and down the seaboard, the new provincial congresses and hundreds of local committees that quickly reconstituted local authority in Patriot hands, were the events that delivered a sweeping Patriot control of territory and local government that Britain was never able to overcome. Here the author surveys the political climate, economic structures, and military preparations, as well as the roles of ethnicity, religion, and class to demonstrate how they had a huge effect on how the country shaped itself. This work attempts to revolutionize the understanding of America's origins.