Among the Powers of the Earth: The American Revolution and by Eliga H. Gould

By Eliga H. Gould

SHEAR e-book Prize (2013), Society for Historians of the Early American Republic
George Washington e-book Prize Finalist
A Library Journal most sensible publication of 2012

What does it suggest to be a treaty-worthy nation?  No query mattered extra to american citizens in 1776.  As Eliga Gould exhibits during this prize-winning e-book, the necessity for overseas attractiveness touched everything of the us' early heritage -- from the drafting of the structure, to relatives among settlers and Indians, to the looming debate over slavery. 

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Among the Powers of the Earth: The American Revolution and the Making of a New World Empire

SHEAR booklet Prize (2013), Society for Historians of the Early American RepublicGeorge Washington e-book Prize Finalist (2013)A Library magazine top ebook of 2012 What does it suggest to be a treaty-worthy nation?  no doubt mattered extra to americans in 1776.  As Eliga Gould indicates during this prize-winning booklet, the necessity for foreign popularity touched all the pieces of the USA' early historical past -- from the drafting of the structure, to family among settlers and Indians, to the looming debate over slavery.

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Extra resources for Among the Powers of the Earth: The American Revolution and the Making of a New World Empire

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48 As the British pacification of the Highlands showed, however, European governments had formidable military and fiscal resources at their disposal, enabling magistrates to administer uniform rules of justice in the nearest of Europe’s hinterlands and clamping down on the ability of irregular and autonomous groups to challenge their monopoly on the use of violence. In the colonies, on the other hand, such resources tended to be much less developed or, in many places, entirely absent. This was true whether the groups in question were black and Native American auxiliaries, or provincial militia and privateers.

31 Finally, let me be clear about the term “treaty-worthiness” and what I mean by the struggle to become a treaty-worthy nation. As the wording suggests, the book’s focus is less on actual treaties that Americans made with other nations—though I do mention the provisions of specific agreements when they are relevant—and more on the broader process by which Americans sought to make themselves appear worthy of peaceful relations with other nations. Because the quest for treaty-worthiness affected every member of society, both in terms of the legal rights that belonging to a treaty-worthy nation conferred and the duties that it imposed, I have tried wherever possible to approach what we sometimes think of as a top-down subject from a bottom-up perspective, combining the experiences of people like John Adams with those of men and women who were neither rich nor powerful but who also had a stake in the outcome.

On one hand, the law of nations was shorthand for the system that Europe’s rulers used to manage relations with each other; on the other, it denoted a cosmopolitan world bound together by ties of commerce and sentiment. 36 As Anson’s circumnavigation made clear, these treaties and customs were as binding in the waters of the Pacific as they were at Europe’s center. 37 For British settlers, the law’s authority in the extra-European world derived added force from the doctrine that Britons who migrated overseas retained all the rights of natural-born subjects, and it was assumed that the European subjects of Europe’s other colonial powers had comparable rights, especially in long-established colonies (like French Canada) where settlers had erected civil societies and lived under internationally recognized governments that replicated the conditions of civil society and government in Europe.

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