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1776 by David McCullough - Book Report/Review Example

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The 4th of July,Independence Day, December 7th,1941,a day which will live infamy,September 11th-these dates are iconic and etched on the historical consciousness of Americans.Dates have a way of reifying a moment to be remembered by the rest of history…
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1776 by David McCullough
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1776 by David McCullough

Download file to see previous pages... McCullough a renowned popular historian utilizes as many techniques of hard academic scholarship as he does novelistic and entertaining ones in order to radiate history to the masses.The events of 1776 are well-rehearsed in high school American social studies classes around the country, but what is often left out is the social and cultural context in which many of these events occurred.Pedagogically, much of history as currently taught in our secondary education system is the history of great men in great battles subsequently signing important treaties.McCullough,while his narrative is tightly focused on the trials and tribulations of Washington's Continental Army,seeks to broaden his methodological perspective and focus less exclusively on maps and troop movements and instead fill in the details and sharpen our understanding of what is happening on the periphery of this war. He does so not by focusing on the revolutionary aspects of the American Revolution but what made that revolution so American.Moreover,it is these lessons about America that going forward we can try to refine our perception of the United States and attempt to make better sense of its past,present and future. ...
He wrote, "America must raise an empire of permanent duration, supported by the grand pillars of Truth, Freedom and Religion, encouraged by the smiles of Justice and defended by her own patriotic sons" (McCullough 68). It is worth observing similarities and dissimilarities between this ideological tripartite and another that would become the rallying cry of a revolution that would transform France some 13 years later, "Liberte, Equalite, Fraternite." Enlightenment thinking held the attention of many leaders during the American Revolution, as many of the framers were introduced to philosophy and political science in their studies in such places as Harvard College and William & Mary. Adam Smith's classic text The Wealth of Nations was published in 1776 and so thoughts of liberty and its many manifestations were very much in the spirit of the times.
Religion and the appraisal of its role during colonial times is a much debated topic among contemporary "users of history." Some wish to point out that the initial settlers, seeking escape from religious persecution, is what underlies the deeply religious and spiritual foundations of this country. Some also point to the Judeo-Christian principles self-evident in the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. This "self-evidency" is elicited to confirm that the United States, in its current state, is to some degree or all degrees a debauched and morally bankrupt society, which has slid into apostasy from its former austere and upright self. Others conversely protest that in fact that many of the framers of those essential documents, and many other individuals in the colonies did not wear their religious ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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