The Idea of Europe and the Origins of the American Revolution

ISBN : 9780198862925

D.H. Robinson
464 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Sep 2020
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In The Idea of Europe and the Origins of the American Revolution, Dan Robinson presents a new history of politics in colonial America and the imperial crisis, tracing how ideas of Europe and Europeanness shaped British-American political culture. Reconstructing colonial debates about the European states system, European civilisation, and Britain's position within both, Robinson shows how these concerns informed colonial attitudes towards American identity and America's place inside - and, ultimately, outside - the emerging British Empire. Taking in more than two centuries of Atlantic history, he explores the way in which colonists inherited and adapted Anglo-British traditions of thinking about international politics, how they navigated imperial politics during the European wars of 1740-1763, and how the burgeoning patriot movement negotiated the dual crisis of Europe and Empire in the between 1763 and 1775. In the process, Robinson sheds new light on the development of public politics in colonial America, the Anglicisation/Americanisation debate, the political economy of empire, early American art and poetry, eighteenth-century geopolitical thinking, and the relationship between international affairs, nationalism, and revolution. What emerges from this story is an American Revolution that seems both decidedly arcane and strikingly relevant to the political challenges of the twenty-first century.


I 'The Venerable Head': The Reflections of Ezra Stiles
Prologue: The Neighbour's House, 1533 - 1775
II 'The Rose of Sharon': The English and the Peace of Christendom
III 'Peace and Tranquillity': The System of Europe in British Grand Strategy
IV 'The Temper of the People': Public Politics in British America
Part One: The Liberties of Europe, 1740 - 1763
V 'Giving Peace to Europe': Colonial Whigs and the Balance of Power
VI 'The Patron of Mankind': Geopolitics and Colonial Nationalism
VII 'In a National Light': War and the Ethics of Imperial Politics
Part Two: A British Empire, 1763 - 1776
VIII Magna Britannia': European Crisis, British Isolation, and Colonial Longing
IX 'The Asylum of Liberty': Universal Monarchy and American Nationhood
X 'Arbitress of the Universe': Empires, Futures, and Revolutionary Geopolitics
XI Events Abroad': America between Two Worlds

About the author: 

Born in Northumberland, D. H. Robinson earned his bachelor's and doctoral degrees at Peterhouse, Cambridge, before becoming a fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford. He served as Senior Policy Advisor at the Cabinet Office in Theresa May's government. In both academia and public policy, his work has explored unionism, separatism, and the idea of Europe in the English-speaking world.

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