Robert Middlekauff the Glorious Cause Essay

Pages: 3 (1082 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: American History

Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789, the first volume in the Oxford History of the United States, author Robert Middlekauff provides readers with an in-depth view of the American Revolution. Middlekauff, the Preston Professor of American History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, has written several histories of the United States, and usually concentrates on looking at the underlying causes of behind political or social events. In the Glorious Cause, Middlekauff focuses that quest for insight on the American Revolution.

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As the title suggests, the book describes the American Revolution. However, the title is actually somewhat misleading, because the scope of the book goes far beyond the years delineated in the title. Middlekauff opens the books with an extensive history of colonial life. This history helps explain the causes behind the war, and make it clear that some type of drastic change was inevitable, and that this discontent had been fermenting long before what one typically considers the first acts of the revolution. He also goes into an in-depth examination of the battles of the Revolution, which is necessary when one comes to understand how unlikely a victory was for the colonists when they began their fight against the crown. In fact, Middlekauff's treatment of the battles in the Revolution may be the most complete one-volume treatment of these battles. However, his book is not a military history, per se; while it does focus on battles it does not do so at the expense of other historical facts or tidbits.

TOPIC: Essay on Robert Middlekauff the Glorious Cause Assignment

Middlekauff's approach supports all of his major theses. His overarching thesis appears to be that a revolution was inevitable, given why the colony was established. Though Middlekauff's history does not support the simplistic version that the colonies were established to provide people with religious freedom, he certainly provides substantial evidence that the colonies were inhabited by people seeking freedom, religious and otherwise, from the crown. While it may be true that early settlers were seeking freedom from the Anglican religion, Middlekauff reminds the reader that it was literally impossible to separate the church from the government, and that these freedom seekers were running away from government oppression more than they were running towards religious freedom. However, once these colonists came to America, they found an unexpected freedom: the freedom to become landowners. Middlekauff points out that in England, with its small area and established ownership of most land, very few people could own any type of real property; much less become a substantial property owner. In contrast, in the colonies land was extremely inexpensive. This was a significant fact because landownership was tied to the right to vote and otherwise participate in the democratic process. Therefore about half of all colonists were able to participate in the colonial parliamentary government; this was more than twice the percentage of people who could participate in England's own parliamentary democracy. This increased political freedom meant that colonists were more likely to feel direct effects of imperial oppression than the people who actually resided in England. Combine that with the fact that the colonial representatives actually tried to work for the colonists' interests rather than for Britain's and it became clear that any type of catalyst would lead to significant conflict. That catalyst came… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Robert Middlekauff the Glorious Cause.  (2011, February 18).  Retrieved December 4, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/robert-middlekauff-glorious-cause/6002

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"Robert Middlekauff the Glorious Cause."  Essaytown.com.  February 18, 2011.  Accessed December 4, 2021.
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