A finely written, skillfully researched study by a University of Wisconsin historian. To the surprise of the British, the...

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THE GLORIOUS REVOLUTION IN AMERICA

A finely written, skillfully researched study by a University of Wisconsin historian. To the surprise of the British, the ouster of King James by the ""Glorious Revolution"" of 1688 had a riveting effect on the American colonies. Some had a spell of self-government; in New England, New Jersey, New York, and Maryland, the form of rule was changed for good. Lovejoy shows how the 18th-century colonialist demand for equal rights began to take shape in the late 1600's. The special strength of the book, however, is its charting of internecine American frictions in the 1670's up through the Glorious Revolution shakeups. Control of customs and taxation, the ""growing elite quality of government"" in Virginia, for example, the question of royal land grants, and the burden of paying for provincial governments led to considerable ferment. Moreover, natural and unnatural disasters ranging from the low price of tobacco to the French and Indian terror in the North exacerbated political strife, as did religious conflicts. The colonists' efforts to get protection against the King on the one hand and redress of grievances against their own assemblies on the other were articulated via various conceptions of empire, colonial policy, and English citizenship. Unfortunately, Lovejoy does not look very hard into mercantile theory and practice, but stays on the empirical level of the Lords of Trade, the merchant leaders, and so forth. The book offers no great interpretive depth or innovation, but rather a lively sense of a developing political consciousness and a complex duster of societies, as well as an exemplary use of primary source material.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1972

ISBN: 0819561770

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1972