Birth of the Republic

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Edmund S. Morgan, the Birth of the Republic 1763-89. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1956. 156 pp.

The Birth of the Republic by Edmund Morgan gives many reasons for the American Revolution but the main thesis in the book is the search for principles. Morgan chooses to discuss the political issues instead of military aspects. The book discusses how the colonies were initially set up, through the war, and ending at the establishment of America as an independent country all surrounding our continuous search for principles.

The British were in a lot of debt from the Seven Years War. Their solution was to tax the colonies and restrict their trade with things like the Sugar Act and Stamp act. This displeased the Americans because it was very costly for them and they had no representation in parliament. The colonist wanted to have real representation and not virtual. The British ended up changing repealing the acts but only to replace it with the Declatory Act which gave them the right to enforce any legislation. This outraged the colonists but the British moved troops in the colonies. Then the British took over the whole industry which meant the colonists had to pay Britain to get tea which made them very mad. So they began one of the first rebellions in which they took tea from British tea and threw it in the Boston Harbor. The hatred of the British government gave the colonies unity and helped them realize they need to detach from the British government. Common Sense by Thomas Paine helped everyone realize why the British government wouldn’t work for them.

All of the conflicts lead to the Revolutionary war in 1775. The Americans were largely outnumbered and Britain had the strongest military in the entire world. But the Americans had military and diplomatic advantages over the British. First the Americans used guerrilla warfare which took advantage of cover and fired as much as they could. On the other side the British all lined up at took...