From one of our most acclaimed and original colonial historians, a groundbreaking book--the first to look at the critical long year of 1774 and the revolutionary change that took place from December 1773 to mid-April 1775, from the Boston Tea Party and the First Continental Congress to the Battles of Lexington and Concord. A WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF 2020
Mary Beth Norton keenly focuses on the sixteen months during which the traditional loyalists to King George III began their discordant discussions that led to their acceptance of the inevitability of war against the British Empire and to the clashes at Lexington and Concord in mid-April 1775.
Drawing extensively on pamphlets, newspapers, and personal correspondence, Norton reconstructs colonial political discourse as it happened, showing the vigorous campaign mounted by conservatives criticizing congressional actions. But by then it was too late. In early 1775, governors throughout the colonies informed colonial officials in London that they were unable to thwart the increasing power of the committees and their allied provincial congresses. Although the Declaration of Independence would not be formally adopted until July 1776, Americans, even before the outbreak of war in April 1775, had in effect declared independence by obeying the decrees of their new provincial governments rather than colonial officials.
About the Author
MARY BETH NORTON is the author of five books and coeditor of several others. Her textbook, A People and a Nation, a survey of U.S. history written with five other authors, has been published in ten editions and has sold more than 500,000 copies. Norton is the Mary Donlon Alger Professor Emerita of American History at Cornell University. She lives in Ithaca, New York.