The Miracle of American Independence

The Miracle of American Independence

Twenty Ways Things Could Have Turned Out Differently

Jonathan R. Dull

198 pages

Paperback

November 2015

978-1-61234-767-7

$17.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Although American independence was no miracle, the timing of the country’s independence and its huge scope, both political and territorial, do seem miraculous. In The Miracle of American Independence Jonathan R. Dull reconstructs significant events before, during, and after the Revolutionary War that had dramatic consequences for the future as the colonies sought independence from Great Britain. Without these surprising and unexpected results, Dull maintains, the country would have turned out quite differently.
 
The Miracle of American Independence reimagines how the British might have averted or overcome American independence, and how the fledgling country itself could have lost its independence. Drawing on his nearly fifty years of research and a lively imagination, Dull puts readers in a position to consider the American Revolution from the perspective of the European states and their monarchs. This alternative history provides a stimulating reintroduction to one of the most exciting periods in American and European history, proving that sometimes reality is even stranger and more miraculous than fiction.

Author Bio

Jonathan R. Dull served as the senior associate editor of the Papers of Benjamin Franklin series until 2008 and is the author of numerous books, including Benjamin Franklin and the American Revolution (Nebraska, 2010), The French Navy and the Seven Years’ War (Nebraska, 2005), and The Age of the Ship of the Line (Nebraska, 2009).

Praise

“A fabulous book by one of the leading scholars of the period. This book will make you think in an entirely new way about the path to American independence and will make you realize just how many different paths the war could have taken.”—Sam Willis, author of In the Hour of Victory: The Royal Navy at War in the Age of Nelson

“A fascinating examination of possibilities in the American Revolution that might have served to deny independence. Jonathan Dull knows the scholarly studies of the American Revolution, and he has mastered many of the sources that bear on the period. His book takes up hypothetical questions framed on ‘what if’ circumstances. It is careful and balanced despite its unorthodox method. Any reader interested in the Revolution will find it engaging and valuable.”—Robert Middlekauff, Preston Hotchkis Professor of American History, Emeritus, at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Washington’s Revolution

Table of Contents

Preface
Part 1. Seven Ways the British Might Have Averted American Independence
1. Britain Could Have Continued to Accept America’s Partial Autonomy
2. There Might Have Been a Peaceful Resolution of the Colonial Rivalry of 1748–1755
3. The War of 1755 Could Have Ended in a Quick British Victory
4. The French Could Have Won the War
5. The British Army Could Have Withdrawn from the American Frontier
6. The British Government Might Have Learned a Lesson from the Stamp Act Fiasco
7. The British Might Have Avoided War with the American Colonies
Part 2. Twelve Ways the British Could Have Overcome American Independence
8. American Resistance Might Have Been Fatally Weakened during 1775
9. The Seven Years’ War Could Have Permanently Weakened the French Navy
10. The British Might Have Accepted France’s Pleas for Better Relations
11. King Louis XVI Could Have Refused to Arm the Americans
12. The British Might Have Crushed the Continental Army
13. Louis XVI Could Have Pulled Back from War
14. Spain Might Not Have Joined the War
15. Spain Might Have Made Peace with Britain
16. The British Might Have Captured West Point
17. A Financial Collapse Could Have Doomed the Revolution
18. The Allies Might Not Have Achieved the Cooperation Needed for Victory
19. The Peace Treaty Could Have Left the United States Too Weak to Survive
Part 3. The Way the United States Could Have Lost Its Independence
20. The American Union Might Not Have Lasted
Notes
Index

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