In this masterful book, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence -- when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been... read more
The book 1776 by David G. McCullough is an interesting book that has a lot of historical references and facts, while at the same time telling the story of the whole year of 1776. The book has so much information with historical references and side stories so that at times it is somewhat... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
The book 1776 by David G. McCullough is an interesting book that has a lot of historical references and facts, while at the same time telling the story of the whole year of 1776. The book has so much information with historical references and side stories so that at times it is somewhat difficult to follow. This book starts off with the beginning of 1776 and will end with the conclusion of the year. It is over 300 pages of pure history.
In the beginning of the book we start out in England with King George addressing Parliament. Then we switch to Boston and we see what the state of the thoughts of the rebel Americans is. Some people are still loyal to the king others are mad with the unfair taxes. We begin to see the change of people’s minds in both directions as the war begins to start. Some of the people who opposed the British rule are starting to want no part in the war anymore, and some of the people who were supporting the British before the war started will find that they want to be part of the Revolution. Change of heart is a common theme to the book as it is an unstable time until the Declaration of Independence is to be signed.
When the Declaration is signed the change of heart truly shows. People have gained confidence by this document and it shows too. At one point the people in a town stormed the streets after being read the Declaration and destroyed a statue of King George and began to celebrate. The people who wrote the document also changed in heart because they knew after this Document went into effect losing the war would amount to them being hung for treason. It showed a lot of courage to do that. The book concludes with one of my favorite lines
“The year 1776 is over. I am heartily glad of it and I hope you nor America will ever be plagued with another,” Robert Morris.
This truly concludes the book and summarizes the ups and downs of the year.
““The year 1776 is over. I am heartily glad of it and I hope you nor America will ever be plagued with another,””Robert Morris
““Suppose this army should be defeated, two or three of the leading generals killed our stores and magazines all lost, I would not be answerable for the consequences that such a stroke might produce in American politics””Nathanial Greene to John Adams
““Here we are at Loggerheads””Brigadier General Rhode Island
These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.Highlighted by 113 Kindle customers
He was not a brilliant strategist or tactician, not a gifted orator, not an intellectual. At several crucial moments he had shown marked indecisiveness. He had made serious mistakes in judgment. But experience had been his great teacher from boyhood, and in this his greatest test, he learned steadily from experience. Above all, Washington never forgot what was at stake and he never gave up.Highlighted by 97 Kindle customers
“Be easy…but not too familiar,” he advised his officers, “lest you subject yourself to a want of that respect, which is necessary to support a proper command.”Highlighted by 85 Kindle customers
A century later, Sir George Otto Trevelyan would write in a classic study of the American Revolution, “It may be doubted whether so small a number of men ever employed so short a space of time with greater and more lasting effects upon the history of the world.”Highlighted by 80 Kindle customers
“A people unused to restraint must be led, they will not be drove.”Highlighted by 76 Kindle customers
In fact, the Americans of 1776 enjoyed a higher standard of living than any people in the world. Their material wealth was considerably less than it would become in time, still it was a great deal more than others had elsewhere. How people with so much, living on their own land, would ever choose to rebel against the ruler God had put over them and thereby bring down such devastation upon themselves was for the invaders incomprehensible.Highlighted by 75 Kindle customers
“’Tis not in mortals to command success, but we’ll do more, Sempronius, we’ll deserve it.”Highlighted by 69 Kindle customers
The war was a longer, far more arduous, and more painful struggle than later generations would understand or sufficiently appreciate. By the time it ended, it had taken the lives of an estimated 25,000 Americans, or roughly 1 percent of the population. In percentage of lives lost, it was the most costly war in American history, except for the Civil War.Highlighted by 63 Kindle customers
Like most southerners, Washington did not want blacks in the army and would soon issue orders saying that neither “Negroes, boys unable to bear arms, nor old men” were to be enlisted. By year’s end, however, with new recruits urgently needed and numbers of free blacks wanting to serve, he would change his mind and in a landmark general order authorize their enlistment.Highlighted by 63 Kindle customers
The total British armada now at anchor in a “long, thick cluster” off Staten Island numbered nearly four hundred ships large and small, seventy-three warships, including eight ships of the line, each mounting 50 guns or more. As British officers happily reminded one another, it was the largest fleet ever seen in American waters. In fact, it was the largest expeditionary force of the eighteenth century, the largest, most powerful force ever sent forth from Britain or any nation.Highlighted by 61 Kindle customers
Part I: The Siege
CHAPTER ONE: SOVEREIGN DUTY
CHAPTER TWO: RABBLE IN ARMS
CHPATER THREE: DORCHESTER HEIGHTS
Part II: Fateful Summer
CHAPTER FOUR: THE LINES ARE DRAWN
CHAPTER FIVE: FIELD OF BATTLE
Part III: The Long Retreat
CHAPTER SIX: FORTUNE FROWNS
CHAPTER SEVEN: DARKEST HOUR
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