Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume V: Historiography$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Robin Winks

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205661.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 March 2020

The American Revolution

The American Revolution

(p.94) 5 The American Revolution
The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume V: Historiography

Doron Ben-Atar

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the last thirty years of revolutionary historiography. The vast literature on the subject can be divided into three approaches: first, the Atlantic interpretations, by which is meant studies of the ‘big picture’ — the internal and external workings of the British Empire: secondly, the New Social History and its efforts to locate the origins of the American Revolution in colonial structures and processes; thirdly, the heated historiographical debate over the ideological interpretation which emphasizes the role of the republican tradition. Categorizing historians under one approach or another is a matter of emphasis. Most of the historians described consider the Revolution's imperialism, and its socio-economic and ideological contexts. Scholars such as Jack P. Greene, Edmund S. Morgan, and Bernard Bailyn have made significant contributions to all three approaches. This chapter challenges exclusive monocausal interpretations of the Revolution, and suggests that the event is best explained by effective integration of all three approaches. These approaches of modern historiography seek to explain how and why seemingly manageable political and constitutional disagreements between the colonists and the British government shattered the Empire.

Keywords:   American Revolution, British Empire, revolutionary historiography, Atlantic interpretations, New Social History, republican tradition, Jack P. Greene, Edmund S. Morgan, Bernard Bailyn, British government

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .