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Major Problems in the Era of the American Revolution, 1760-1791 3rd Edition

Richard D. Brown, Benjamin L. Carp

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2000, 1992
  • 560 Pages


Designed to encourage critical thinking about history, the Major Problems in American History series introduces students to both primary sources and analytical essays on important topics in U.S. history. Major Problems in the Era of the American Revolution, 3rd Edition, delves into the many facets of the colonial uprising and its aftermath, concluding with the ratification of the Bill of Rights. The volume combines primary sources, analytical essays, chapter introductions, and headnotes to encourage students to think critically about the revolutionary era.

Richard D. Brown, University of Connecticut, Storrs

Richard D. Brown, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of History and Director of the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute, is a 1961 graduate of Oberlin College who attended Harvard on a Woodrow Wilson Scholarship, earning his Ph.D. in 1966. Before coming to the University of Connecticut in 1971, he taught as a Fulbright lecturer in France and at Oberlin College. His research and teaching interests have been in the political, social, and cultural history of early America. His current project, "The Challenge of Equality in the Early Republic," employs microhistory and narrative. A past president of the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic and the New England Historical Association, Brown has held fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.

Benjamin L. Carp, Tufts University

Benjamin Carp is Associate Professor of History at Tufts University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2004. He teaches classes on the colonial period, the Revolutionary period, the Early Republic, antebellum America, the Civil War, and Reconstruction and also courses that focus on the history of Revolutionary Massachusetts, on the Revolutionary experience in American cities, and on American military history before 1900. Carp’s first book, Rebels Rising: Cities and the American Revolution was published in 2007. He is currently working on his second book, tentatively called Teapot in a Tempest: The Boston Tea Party of 1773.
  • Expanded regional coverage beyond the Eastern seaboard.
  • Updated scholarship throughout the text.
  • The combination of primary sources and scholarly essays presents students with the best and most accessible scholarship in their field of study.
1. The Consequences of Revolution.
E S S A Y S.
Gordon S. Wood • The Revolution Launched a Bold Republican Experiment.  
Alfred F. Young • The Revolution Was Radical in Some Ways, Not in Others.
Gary B. Nash • The Worldwide Repercussions of the Revolution Were Limited.
2. The British Empire and the War for North America.
D O C U M E N T S.
Benjamin Franklin Touts the Importance of Imperial Ties between Britain and America, 1760.
Rev. Thomas Bernard Looks to Future Glories, 1763.
The British Treasury Attempts to Reform the Customs Service, 1763.
King George III Seeks to Limit Westward Expansion, 1763.
A British Minister Justifies Customs Reform, 1765.
George Washington Scorns the Proclamation Line, 1767.
E S S A Y S.
Fred Anderson • Britain’s Victory Exposed the Need for Greater Control.
P. J. Marshall • The British Empire Tried to Reconcile Freedom and Authority.
3. Imperial Reforms and Colonial Resistance
Patrick Henry Resolves against the Stamp Act, 1765.
New York Reacts Violently to the Stamp Act, 1765.
The Stamp Act Congress Articulates the Rights of the Colonists, 1765.
Lord Camden (Charles Pratt) Exhorts Parliament to Change Direction, 1766.
Parliament Declares Its Authority, 1766.
John Dickinson Rallies the Colonists to Opposition, 1767–1768.
Charleston Merchants Propose a Plan of Nonimportation, 1769.
North Carolinians Seek Regulation, 1768–1771.
Ralph McNair Ponders the Legality of the Uprising, 1768.
A North Carolinian Describes the Battle of Alamance, 1771.
E S S A Y S.
Benjamin L. Carp • Urban Taverns Shaped Mobilization against British Policies.
Wayne E. Lee • North Carolina Regulators Used Violence for a Purpose.
4. The Imperial Crisis and the Declaration of Independence.
D O C U M E N T S.
Lord North Calls for Punishing the Town of Boston, 1774.
Gouverneur Morris Remarks on Popular Mobilization, 1774.
Thomas Jefferson Asserts American Rights, 1774.
The First Continental Congress Enumerates American Rights and Establishes a Continental Association, 1774.
Patriots Intimidate New Jersey Loyalist, 1775.
Thomas Paine Calls for Common Sense, 1776.
The United States Declare Independence, 1776.
Thomas Hutchinson Criticizes Declaration of Independence, 1776.
E S S A Y S.
Brendan McConville • Rejecting Monarchy Required a Shift in the American Worldview.
David Armitage • The Declaration of Independence was a Document of Global Importance.
5. Struggles for Independence.
D O C U M E N T S.
George Washington Asks Congress for an Effective Army, 1776.
Benjamin Rush Contrasts Loyalists & Patriots, 1777*.
A Whig Newspaper Attacks the Loyalists, 1779.
A Soldier Views Mutiny Among American Troops, 1780 (Joseph Plumb Martin).
George Washington Explains Army Problems and Calls for Help, 1780.
Two Views of the Battle of Yorktown, 1781.
Loyalists Plead Their Cause to King, Parliament, and the British People, 1782.
A Loyalist Woman Recounts her Journey in Exile, 1836.
E S S A Y S.
Michael A. McDonnell • Virginia’s Wartime Mobilization Leads to Class Struggles.
Maya Jasanoff • Loyalists in Exile Highlight the Wider British Empire.
6. The American Revolution in the West.
D O C U M E N T S.
Logan Laments the Murder of His Fellow Mingos, 1775.
New York Mourns the Death of an Indian Killer, 1775.
Oneida Indians Declare Neutrality, 1775.
The North Carolina Delegation Urges Extirpation of the Cherokee, 1776.
George Washington Orders an Expedition against the Iroquois, 1779.
An American Officer Observes the Destruction of Iroquois Homes and Crops, 1779.
Chickasaw Indians Seek Help, July 1783.
E S S A Y S.
John Grenier • Both Sides Waged Unlimited Warfare.
Gregory Evans Dowd • Indians Faced a Limited Set of Choices.
7. Equality and the African-American Challenge.
D O C U M E N T S.
Massachusetts Slaves Argue for Freedom, 1773.
Lord Dunmore Promises Freedom to Slaves Who Fight for Britain, 1775.
Lemuel Haynes Attacks Slavery, 1776.
New Hampshire African-Americans Petition for Freedom, 1779.
Three Virginia Counties Defend Slavery, November 1785.
Boston King Describes His Deliverance from Slavery, 1798.
Jehu Grant, Former Slave, Seeks Compensation for His Wartime Service, 1832, 1836.
Christopher Leslie Brown • The American Revolution Prompted New Debates About Slavery.
Manisha Sinha • Black Abolitionists Developed Their Own Radical Tradition.
Gender and Citizenship in a Revolutionary Republic.
D O C U M E N T S.
“A Female” Enlists Women for Nonimportation, 1768.
Thomas Paine Admits Women Have Some Rights, 1775.
Abigail and John Adams Debate Women’s Rights, 1776.
An American Woman Asserts Women’s Rights, 1780.
Benjamin Rush Prescribes a Plan of Education for American Women, 1787.
A “Lady” and “Gentleman” Debate the Condition of Women, 1789.
Judith Sargent Murray Argues for Women’s Equality, 1790.
E S S A Y S.
Rosemarie Zagarri • The Revolution Gave Women New Political Opportunities.
Elaine Forman Crane • The Revolution was Hardly Radical for Women.
9. Religion and the American Revolution.
D O C U M E N T S.
A Worcester Writer Defends Religious Establishment, 1776.
Virginia Baptists Assert Their Rights, 1776.
William Tennent Argues against Religious Establishment, 1777.
Ezra Stiles Projects the Future of Christianity in America, May 8, 1783.
Philadelphia Jews Seek Equality before the Law, 1783.
James Madison Protests Religious Taxes, 1785.
Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Statute of Religious Liberty 1786.
E S S A Y S.
Jon Butler • The Revolution Was a Secular Event.
Mark Noll • Republicanism Fused with Evangelicalism during the Revolutionary Era.
10. Government under the Articles of Confederation.
D O C U M E N T S.
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, 1781.
Congress Passes an Ordinance on Western Lands, 1785.
Northwest Ordinance, 1787.
Kentucky Farmers Reconsider Their Allegiance, 1786.
Delegates Report from Demoralized Congress, 1787.
Stephen Mix Mitchell to Jeremiah Wadsworth, January 24, 1787.
James Madison to George Washington, February 21, 1787.
The Regulation (or Shays’s Rebellion) Rocks Massachusetts.
Petition from the Town of Greenwich, Massachusetts, 16 January 1786.
Thomas Grover to the Printer of the Hampshire Herald, December 7, 1786.
Massachusetts General Court, An Address from the General Court to the People of the Conmonwealth of Massachusetts, 1786.
James Madison Enumerates the Vices of the Political System, 1787.
E S S A Y S.
Peter S. Onuf • The Formation of Western States Helped Redefine the Union.
Robert A. Gross • Upheaval in Massachusetts Reflected a Nationwide Conflict.
11. The Constitution of 1787.
D O C U M E N T S.
The Constitutional Convention Delegates Debate Representation in Congress, 1787.
Edmund Randolph Presents the Virginia Plan.
William Paterson Proposes the New Jersey Plan.
The Convention Debates the New Jersey and Virginia Plans.
The Convention Debates the Issues: Lower House, Sectional interests and Apportionment, Voter Qualifications, Slavery, 1787.
The Constitution of the United States of America, 1787.
The Federalist Expounds the Advantages of the Constitution, 1787–1788.
James Madison, Federalist Number 10 (Factions).
James Madison, Federalist Number 39 (National/Federal Structure).
Hamilton/Madison, Federalist Number 51 (Checks & Balances).
Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Number 84 (No Bill of Rights).
Antifederalists Attack the Constitution, 1787–1788.
Richard Henry Lee Predicts an Unrepresentative and Despotic National Government.
“Brutus” Warns of the Dangers of a Large Republic.
Mercy Otis Warren Offers Eighteen Reasons to Reject the Constitution.
Proceedings in the State Ratifying Conventions, 1788.
Massachusetts Proposes Amendments to the Constitution, 1788.
Patrick Henry Denounces the Constitution, 1788.
Virginia’s Declaration of Rights and Proposed Amendments, 1788.
The Bill of Rights, 1791.
E S S A Y S.
Richard Beeman • Slavery and Sectionalism Influenced the Convention Debates.
Saul Cornell • Antifederalists Came in Many Different Guises.
12. Government under the Constitution.
D O C U M E N T S.
Thomas Jefferson Envisions an Agrarian Republic. 1781–1787.
Robert Morris and William Findley Debate the Bank of North America, 1786.
Alexander Hamilton Calls for Federal Assumption of Debt, 1790.
William Manning Expresses Distrust of the Propertied Class, 1790.
Alexander Hamilton Promotes American Industry, 1791.
George Washington Addresses the State of the Union, and Indian Lands, 1791.
Mark Schmeller • Arguments over Public Credit Spawned New Ideas about Politics.
Terry Bouton • Many Farmers Were Dissatisfied with the Outcome of the Revolution.