The Age of Revolutions

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The Age of Revolutions is often a term used for a period of time, usually between 1760 -1848. Although the term encompasses many revolutions across the globe, it isn’t very often that these events are examined as a whole; compared and contrasted to show the similarities, differences, and even some potential catalytic properties between them. The book The Age of Revolutions in Global Context, c. 1760-1840, put together and edited by David Armitage and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, is a book of essays collaborated on by many authors. Armitage and Subrahmanyam claim, “it is to the task of reinterpreting them that this volume contributes by viewing the Age of Revolutions as a complex, broad, interconnected, and even global phenomenon.” (Armitage, xxxii) There were significant connections made in the comparisons and contrast of the events during the Age of Revolution. The events outlined in these essays provide perspectives on these significances, and present a collaboration of evidence supporting the task of the book provided.

The first chapter, written by Gary B. Nash, demonstrates some of the global impact of the American Revolution. “The American Revolution, with the lofty goals of its early years for recreating government and society, set off a wave of radical, even utopian, thinking where the water of the Atlantic tumbled ashore.” (Armitage, 1) Focusing on main figures of that time Nash provides accounts of other countries speaking out against the freedoms offered by America to everyone but their slaves. Using key figures such as Franklin, Washington, and Jefferson it is effectively demonstrated that there were plenty of people who were key players in American independence still on the fence about slavery, which did not grant freedom to those men being enslaved. Many men remained on the fence, some until death. Nash writes, “…Layfayette’s scheme remained in Washington’s mind, finally bearing fruit when the first American president’s will revealed after his death in...
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