War & Society in the American Revolution: Mobilization and Home Fronts

TitleWar & Society in the American Revolution: Mobilization and Home Fronts
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2007
Series EditorResch, John Phillips, and Walter L. Sargent
Number of Pages326
PublisherNorthern Illinois University Press

The War for Independence touched virtually every American. It promised liberty, the opportunity for a better life, and the excitement of the battlefield. It also brought disappointment, misery, and mourning. In this collection of original essays that highlight the variety and richness of recent research, eleven leading historians investigate the diverse experiences of Americans from North to South, from coast to backcountry, from white townsfolk to African American slaves. Revolutionary ideology may have inspired some soldiers in the Continental Army, but as the case studies in this volume document, the men of New England also weighed family commitments, economic concerns, and local politics when deciding whether or not to enlist in the militia. Slaves joined the army believing the war would bring them personal freedom while women served as auxiliaries or as camp followers. Those left behind defended the home front--unless the war took their homes and made them refugees. On the frontier, politically astute Native Americans weighed the relative advantages to themselves before deciding to support the patriots or the Crown. By bringing together the perspectives of soldiers, women, African Americans, and American Indians, War and Society in the American Revolution gives readers a fuller sense of the meaning of this historical moment. At the same time, these essays show that instead of unifying Americans, the war actually exacerbated social divisions, leaving unresolved the inequalities and tensions that would continue to trouble the new nation.

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