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Declaration: The Nine Tumultuous Weeks When…
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Declaration: The Nine Tumultuous Weeks When America Became Independent,… (edição 2010)

por William Hogeland (Autor)

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1305161,574 (3.5)3
Looks at the history of the United States during the period before, during, and after the Revolutionary War, especially focusing on the circumstances in colonial life that led Americans to fight for their independence from Britain.
Membro:dhmontgomery
Título:Declaration: The Nine Tumultuous Weeks When America Became Independent, May 1-July 4, 1776
Autores:William Hogeland (Autor)
Informação:Simon & Schuster (2010), Edition: 1, 288 pages
Colecções:Nonfiction
Avaliação:****
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Declaration: The Nine Tumultuous Weeks When America Became Independent, May 1-July 4, 1776 por William Hogeland

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A history of two things: the tumultuous fight leading to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the rise of radical democrats who backed both independence and greater political and economic equality. Hogeland, I'm sure, would argue that this is a book about one thing: the essential role radical democrats played in the passage of the Declaration of Independence. But I'm not so sure he proved the connection.

To be sure, this lively and accessible history shows some connection between the two. The Continental Congress was meeting in Philadelphia, and active associations of lower-class men rowdily agitating for change surely had some role in pressuring "reconciliationists" to change their minds and get behind independence.

But the great triumph of the radicals was a constitutional convention that effectively overturned Pennsylvania's elected legislature — elected by wealthy men and largely opposed to outright independence (though in favor of resisting British tyranny) and replaced it with a new constitution with universal manhood suffrage, a unicameral legislature, and other reforms. This constitution was written and passed in June 1776, with the new government elected on July 8, 1776 — a week too late to change Pennsylvania's instructions to its delegation at the Continental Congress. Despite this incongruity, this convention is the climax of the book.

While popular pressure — expertly channelled and led by Sam Adams and a host of pro-independence allies including John Adams and Thomas Paine — certainly played a role, the actions of the British would seem to have been far more important. At every critical moment in the independence debate, it seemed, news reached Philadelphia of new British aggression, pushing colonial waverers toward a sterner response. (Much of Sam Adams' maneuvering in 1776 was also on the inside track, trying to persuade political leaders to change sides, rather than solely mobilizing pressure on the streets.)

None of this is to say that the rise of radical democrats in 1776 — not merely as a reaction to independence, but preceding it and intertwined with it — is unimportant! To the contrary, it's a fascinating story, and Hogeland sketches it out well here. I just don't feel like the connection between his two topics is as strong as he intended.

A good book, and a quick read, despite these qualms! Recommended if you like revolutionary history. ( )
  dhmontgomery | Dec 13, 2020 |
A detailed snapshot of how thirteen colonies declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776. This relatively short book made for a nice Fourth of July read. The author is clearly more of a journalist than a historian (I really wish he had used his footnotes differently!) and is prone to utilizing a more modern vocabulary that somewhat displaces the story from the 18th century. Overall, though I enjoyed this book and learned a few unexpected things about how the Declaration of Independence came to be. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Jul 4, 2015 |
I am sad to write, I was not riveted by this book. More often than not, my mind would wander; sometimes a whole page would be read without any comprehension of what William Hogeland had written.

Some distracting points were his use of modern terms. "Predatory lending" and "class war" might have happened, but these phrases put me off. Unable to put a finger on my disconnect with Delcaration, I came upon a theory three-quarters of the way through the book. Checking a reference Mr. Hogeland made in his notes, I found the citations full of "I draw on...", "I largely follow..." and "The story is drawn from Hawke...", intonating to me that he approached this book as a piece of journalism and less a study of the events leading to the Declaration of Independence. While I can't (and don't) dispute the facts and conclusions, I believe my feeling while reading the book was that there was less passion for the subject than a historian might have applied.

To use an analogy to describe my difficulty with Declaration: In terms of minutia, this is a book on how sausage is made. Instead of a Ray Bradbury captivating description of the process, machines and ingredients, this book was more similar to reading a step-by-step process of how to mix properly measured ingredients and how best to utilize the machine to make the product as written by a technical writer.

I found there were too many names; it became confusing, bogged down in personae. Declaratation's bulk of the story turned into a recounting the turmoil that developed as Pennsylvania's state government underwent redrafting.

However, this story is an important and often overlooked one, as more focus is put on the Constitutional Convention. It is just too bad I could not enjoy this book more. ( )
  HistReader | Aug 6, 2012 |
A really nice story of the weeks leading up to the Declaration, particularly with regard to Philadelphia politics. ( )
  chrisanderson | Jul 22, 2012 |
This was fascinating...and I really didn't think it would be. I mean, as pathetic as high school history classes can be, the Declaration of ndependence is one subject that gets a reasonable ammount of time. This is a bit out of the ordinary, though. By focusing on just a few days surrounding the signing, Hofeland could go into quite a lot of depth. He tells stories of some of the fringe characters who had small yet crucial roles to play and who were interesting in their own right. He also disabuses us of the notion that our founding fathers were these paragons af moral fiber and fair play. Behind the scenes, a politician is a politician... ( )
2 vote ShanLizLuv | Jul 15, 2010 |
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Who shall write the history of the American Revolution? Who can write it? Who will ever be able to write it?
John Adams


All politics is local.

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Looks at the history of the United States during the period before, during, and after the Revolutionary War, especially focusing on the circumstances in colonial life that led Americans to fight for their independence from Britain.

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