American Revolution: A History by Gordon S. Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

American Revolution: A History" by Gordon S. Wood. Specifically, it will contain a narrative review of the book. Wood's book is a modern look at history, and at the results of the American Revolution. While there are numerous books on the subject, this one is relatively easy to read and understand, and short enough not to put off the reader. It is an excellent reference for anyone interested in American history.

The author's thesis is set in the Preface of the book, where he notes, "The Revolution, in short, gave birth to whatever sense of nationhood and national purpose Americans have had" (Wood 26). In addition, author Wood believes that as history moves on, the true meaning and how historians view the American Revolution has altered, and this book is an attempt to illustrate these new views of a more than 200-year-old revolt. More than anything else, Wood wants modern readers to understand all aspects of the Revolution, rather than just see it in terms of black and white or right and wrong.

Clearly, there were numerous societal changes brought about by the Revolution. Probably the most important is that Americans were no longer under British rule. They had come to America to create new lives for themselves, but they had still retained a balance of English customs and "traditional patterns of life" (Wood 36). After the Revolution, Americans were no longer British subjects, and they could devise their own, brand new ways of doing things, from drinking (or not drinking) tea, to government, the judicial system, and even mode of dress. However, these were just some of the changes the Revolution brought. Ultimately, the Revolution brought freedom, certainly, but it also brought trade, economic success, and fostered an independent spirit that still lives in Americans. In addition, the Revolution fostered agricultural change, especially in the southern U.S.. Tobacco became an even more viable crop, which eventually fostered the slave/plantation system of southern agriculture that would lead to the Civil War. The population continued to grow, and westward expansion continued at a rapid rate. Education became more important, and more colleges were created after the war. Religious freedom, and the creation of new religions was common, and people felt freer to discuss their beliefs and feelings. All of these affected the fabric of America, and created great social and economic changes after the war that led to American dominance in world trade and social responsibility.

Wood believes America won the war for a number of reasons. First, the British were used to fighting in prescribed lines and formations, and the terrain and wide-open spaces of the American front was far different from what the British forces were used to. He writes, "The great breadth of territory and the wild nature of the terrain made conventional maneuverings…

Sources Used in Document:


Wood, Gordon S. The American Revolution: A History. New York: The Modern Library, 2002.

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