Review of Cogliano's Revolutionary America

Topics: American Revolutionary War, United States, American Revolution Pages: 5 (1820 words) Published: December 5, 2013
Review on Revolutionary America 1763-1815

After having a thorough read through of Francis Cogliano痴 book detailing The American Revolution, I feel that he provides a refreshing look at that period of time, giving the reader an engaging and easily accessible look at early colonial times and their lives. Once I began reading through the book I believed that Cogliano had a clear and simple objective with what he was trying to create, to a piece of literature that could be classed as a modern and accessible way to look at the subject at hand aimed primarily at the undergraduate students. Whilst this work could easily be put to use for undergraduates that wish for a much deeper study into American history, it can also be useful for an A-level student or even someone not in education if they wish understand the key themes and events of what had happened in that period.

Cogliano, originally born in Massachusetts, grew up around the time of the bicentennial of the American Revolution and eventually gained an interest in American History as a whole. He originally came to Britain with the goal of staying for a year under a temporary lectureship but instead has remained in Edinburgh since 1997. Now lecturing in American history at the University of Edinburgh, Cogliano believes that living in Britain has helped him with his scholarship in a number of ways, it allows him to view what happened from the perspective of the British and not just the American way, and it helps him even more in writing a narrative for undergraduates that have little to no experience in the subject.

Cogliano has managed to succeed in what he was trying to do for both undergraduates and his peers in the subject alike. He takes an easy to understand approach that gives the reader a visual image of what is happening, taking the reader from the heart of British North America in the 1760's, through the Imperial Crisis, the War itself and the aftermath of the War. The focus is on the politics behind the United States history, but the book concentrates also on the ideas and themes that these events bring with them.

Cogliano begins his book by talking about the Native Americans and how they dealt with early Colonial America. He goes on to talk about the back and forth fighting between the American British and the Natives, going on to talk about Pontiac's Uprising. In a clear and comprehensible way he explains, how Pontiac and his tribe attacked British colonies around the areas of Detroit and Ohio throughout the month of May 1763, telling the reader exact locations and when and where it happened. He offers the reader a number of reasons as to why this happened. He talks about how in 1761, General Jeffrey Amherst stopped the policy of gift giving,and British traders raising their prices for manufactured goods.

He leads on to mention how Native American's began to unify under one another and how religion was a very important part of that. He includes the Delaware born religious prophet Neolin and how in the autumn of 1761, and how he began to preach a message of spiritual and cultural reform and renewal among the Indians. Neolin talked about how Indians should reject their dependence, both cultural and material on Europeans. His, and other similar messages began to spread throughout the land of the Native American's and by 1763, when Anglo-Indian relations were at it's weakest point, the pan-Indian movement began to gain considerable strength.

Cogliano later on in the chapter also mentions the early 1770's when the American settlers began to attack the Natives in big numbers. In particular he talks about April 30th 1774 when the Virginians at Yellow Creek murdered Indians, this in turn triggered a war during the summer known as Dunmore's War, named after the Governor of Virginia, who set out to advance his colony to the Ohio River valley. By October 10th the Virginians, had on by defeating the Shawnees and Mingoes at the Battle of Point Pleasant....
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