her most recap (2 of 6) of the recent American Revolution Reborn conference at Penn, Liz Covart covers the session on global perspectives. This session featured papers by Kate Carte Engel, Caitlin Fitz, Aaron Fogleman, and my beloved Ph.D advisor Ned Landsman. Here is a taste of her coverage:
Biggest Takeaway: Scholars
should study the Revolution in a global context because it is useful to
compare American experiences with those in Europe, Africa, the
Caribbean, & South America.
Biggest Question: Should we expand our periodization of the American Revolution to cover the years 1760 to 1825?
Engal advocated for more studies that use religion to understand the
American Revolution. Up until now the story of the founding has been
largely secular, but what happens if we look at the Revolution through
the lens of Protestantism? What were the implications of the Revolution
Fitz would like to see the periodization of the Revolution expanded
to 1775-1825. This periodization allows scholars to compare the American
Revolution with Latin & South American revolutions. This comparison
deepens our understanding of American republicanism and ways of
thinking. As Latin & South American countries declared independence
they passed legal measures that ended slavery and promoted racial
equality. Americans followed these actions in newspapers and no one
reacted because the distance of South America from the United States
rendered South American events abstract concepts.
Fogleman has found that immigration throughout the Atlantic was much
higher from 1777 on than previously expected. Fogleman does not believe
in the notion that the Revolution secured slavery and increased racism.
When Fogleman studied the American Revolution in the Atlantic context,
he found that slavery declined from its 1760s numbers during and after
Landsman believes that American historians have not sufficiently
attended to the British aspect of the British Empire. Imperial reformers
looked at including the 13 colonies in the formal 1707 union, but by
1763 the Americans had so much sovereignty that the British had little
left to give to make the union appealing, aside from the sovereignty of
Parliament. Reformers discussed the idea of eventually moving the
imperial capital to North America, but British officials were wary of
making any concessions that might suggest that the imperial capital
would move, especially when America seemed to be pursuing a Republican
Read more here.