Did the Americans win the War for Independence? Or did the British simply lose the war?
The history of the American War for Independence is complicated. And history books tell many different versions of the event, which is why we need an expert to guide us through the intricacies of whether we should look at the war as an American victory, a British defeat, or in some other light.
Andrew O’Shaughnessy, author of The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire, joins us to explore British viewpoints of the American War for Independence.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
In this episode, Andrew O’Shaughnessy, the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and author of The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of an Empire, helps us explore the American War for Independence from British points of view.
During our exploration, Andrew reveals how the British government operated during the mid-to-late 18th century; Officers in the British government and the roles they played in the American crisis; And the various roles played in the War for Independence by commanding officers in the royal army and navy.
What You’ll Discover
- How we came to understand American victory in the War for Independence as inevitable
- How we came to view British leadership during the war as incompetent
- How the British government operated during the mid-to-late 18th century
- How Andrew chose the 10 men he featured in his book
- King George III and his role in the American War for Independence
- King George III’s papers and the Georgian Papers Programme
- Frederick, Lord North and his views concerning the American colonies
- Lord George Germain, Secretary of State for America
- The Howe Brothers: Sir William and Lord Richard Howe
- Army-Navy Coordination and British wartime strategy
- The British defeat at the Battle of Saratoga
- Loyalist support for the British cause
- Henry Clinton
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Andrew O’Shaughnessy
- Andrew’s University of Virginia webpage
- The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire
- An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean
- Richard Hofstatder,The American Political Tradition: And the Men Who Made it
- Barbara Tuchman,The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam
- Georgian Papers Programme
- Draft of a message of abdication from George III to the Parliament
- Cornell University Press
- Critical Edition of Cadwallader Colden’s The History of Five Indian Nations
- Episode 109: John Dixon, The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden
- Episode 026: Robert Middlekauff, George Washington’s Revolution
- Episode 046: John Ferling, Whirlwind: The American Revolution & the War That Won It
- Episode 112: Mary Beth Norton, The Tea Crisis of 1773
- Episode 119: Steve Pincus, The Heart of the Declaration
- Bonus: Stamp Act
In your opinion, what might have happened if the British government had raised and staffed an army of occupation instead of a conquering army at the start in 1775? How would the American War for Independence have been different?
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