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  • Volume 1: The Enlightenment and the British Colonies
  • General editor Wim Klooster, Clark University, Massachusetts
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
October 2023
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:

Book description

Volume I offers an introduction to the Enlightenment, which served as the shared background for virtually all revolutionary turmoil, and the American Revolution, which inaugurated the Age of Revolutions. Beginning with a thorough introduction, the volume covers international rivalry, the importance of slavery, and the reformist mind-set that prevailed on the eve of the revolutionary era. It addresses the traditional argument on whether the Enlightenment truly caused revolutions, concluding that the reverse is more apt: revolutions helped create the Enlightenment as a body of thought. The volume continues with a regional and thematic assessment of the American Revolution, revealing how numerous groups in British America – including Black and indigenous people – pursued their own agendas and faced interests at odds with the principles of the revolution.

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