1776 Book Review
1776is the most important year in American history. It was during thistime that the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and decidedtheir assembled colonies had a privilege to be free and autonomousstates (McCullough, 2006). Antagonism between Americans and Britishpoliticians became worse and war was unavoidable. In the BritishParliament, legislators like Edmund Burke assaulted state governmentapproach in America as unnecessarily irritating, while individualsfrom the Continental Congress continued with their calls for change(McCullough, 2006). Yet, the surge of occasions, particularly theprogressing squabbles, soon overwhelmed calls for balance. Later thatyear, the American Revolution started decisively and was almost lost.With his solid feeling of account and impressive ability fordepicting the good nature of his characters, McCullough guides theaudience through an outstanding story with both form and beauty.
McCullough`snarrative is an unadulterated and customary account history. Heconstructs a lot of his record with respect to the activities andencounters of the pioneers at the time: namely, George Washington,Henry Knox, Nathanael Greene, and their British adversaries Sir HenryClinton, Howe siblings, and Charles Cornwallis (McCullough, 2006).McCullough likewise incorporates a chorale of lance transporters,normal troopers, camp adherents, regular citizen onlookers, andlawmakers. The creator utilizes an artist`s ear in his choice ofsuperb quotes drawn from more than fifty journals, diaries, andaccumulations of correspondence to bolster his own particularexuberant portrayal. McCullough`s essential concentration, in anycase, remains solidly settled on George Washington`s command ofmilitary operations and his consistent assurance to make anefficient, proficient battling power out of the dampened, debilitatedand battered volunteers, and militiamen who framed his armed force.The creator`s fundamental concentration on George Washington isremarkable and dissimilar to numerous histories that invest a lot ofenergy portraying the Continental Congress` advancement of the notionof liberty and freedom as it connected to the states at the time(McCullough, 2006).
McCulloughdivides the narrative into three expansive subdivisions: The Siege,Fateful Summer, and The Long Retreat. The story begins in England on26th October 1775, with King George III of England giving a speech atthe British Parliament on the violence in the North Americansettlements (McCullough, 2006). McCullough disagrees with thegenerally held thoughts of the ruler, regularly more known for thefranticness of his later years than for his knowledge and perseveringauthority of his nation. First, McCullough provides the Britishviewpoint on the incidents that preceded the revolution, re-tellingthe open deliberation in Parliament over the king`s choice to subduethe disobedience.
Afterhis depiction of the circumstance in Britain toward the close of1775, McCullough shifts focus to the circumstance in Boston. Theauthor describes the Bunker Hill war as one of the pivotal wars in1775 (McCullough, 2006). It was a battle that saw close to a thousandBritish soldiers die on the field. However, the British still won thefight that left them very scarred. That same year, George Washingtontook charge of the American troops and began reorganizing the army.
Thebook talks about George Washington`s gallant fights, as well asgiving a reasonably inside and out report of his life outside thebattlefield: namely, his instructive foundation, his wedding toMartha Custis, his career as an affluent Virginia grower, and hisadoration for design and lovely comforts for his residences(McCullough, 2006). His respectable identity emerges from his warendeavors, as well as in his own dealings with his generals andsoldiers.
McCulloughalso describes other characters that played a crucial part in theAmerican Revolution. The author describes General Nathanael Greene asone of the most unlikely candidates for such a high military rank.Greene’s outward appearance was not appealing and he had a slightlimp (McCullough, 2006). He had never been in a battlefield until heentered the war. He never permitted his firm leg to become anobstacle in the war zone as he was dependably at the forefrontleading his men. Although the General had minimal formal tutoring, hetaught himself through regular reading. Greene`s diaries are richwith the portrayal of Washington, the significance of life, and thebattles he fought. Similarly, Greene`s companion Knox, anentrepreneur by profession, had a harmed hand, a loyalist spouse, andno experience as a warrior. All these qualities were far from that ofa good statesman and soldier. However, Knox stood out from othersoldiers, bringing guns from the seized Fort Ticonderoga in New Yorkover numerous miles and in loathsome climate to the American fightersin Boston (McCullough, 2006). As charming as the book seems to be,1776 talks about an oft-told story that has pulled in theconsideration of numerous students of history throughout the years.It is an arresting and moving story of the year that saw the decreeof American autonomy and the plummet of the full force of the Britishdomain to pound it.
McCulloughchooses to begin the story with King George III because as the rulerof England at the time, the king was responsible for the actions ofhis troops. King George’s speech in parliament highlights hisdispleasure with the fighting in America. The King suggests thedeployment of more troops into America and parliament approves itafter an intense debate. This decision sets the tone for the rest ofthe book. By suggesting an all out war on the Americans, the King’sdecision creates an intense mood for the other sections in the novel.As a reader, there is a feeling of uneasiness and suspense broughtabout by the king’s decision. Nobody knows how the Americans willreact or how they intend to counter the attacks from the British.McCullough presents King George III as a man of simple tastes anddelight. An individual with such a character is more likely to beconsiderate and not too rash to go into battle. But McCullough failsto change the reader’s opinion of the King with this descriptionbecause George’s speech in parliament showed that he was a ratherdirect man and he did not fear sending his men to battle. Therefore,King George III was as innocent as the author tried to portray him.Another important observation from the book is the mixed feelings ofGreat Britain towards America. Some politicians like Charles JamesFox and Alexander Wedderburn strongly supported the deployment ofmore troops into America, while Prime Minister North and ColonelIsaac Barre were against the idea (McCullough, 2006).
GeorgeWashington had one of toughest jobs in the world – to lead an armyof untrained men into the battlefield. Beating all odds, he was ableto quickly turn things around when all hope was lost. General Howewas a British commander in charge of the British troops. However, henever took the war seriously and at one time even withdrew his troopsfrom battle because he believed the weather was not favorable(McCullough, 2006). George Washington was not a trained military manlike Howe, but he had will and persistence. Every time Washington’smen clashed with the British, they were always ready and determinedto fight. George Washington believed in his men and he alwaysencouraged them to never fear. He was a man that people could easilyrelate with because he was so open. This book only reinforces GeorgeWashington’s character as an outstanding leader. The readerwitnesses firsthand the great leadership qualities of GeorgeWashington as he leads his army to various victories.
Thesigning of the Declaration of Independence sparked renewed optimismin the army as they knew what they were fighting for. It created asense of purpose and belonging for the army. They were fighting forthe freedom and liberty of their country. It was important for thethirteen colonies to state their intentions in the Declaration ofIndependence in order for their cause to have meaning. Othercountries began to take America’s fight for freedom seriously afterthey signed the formal document. For example, France showed itssupport by providing weapons (McCullough, 2006).
Theuntrained army of the colonial army had strategic advantage over theBritish army. They were good at countering the British army’splans. Americans knew the areas well and they used that knowledge totheir advantage against the British troops. For example, when theBritish attempted to take Philadelphia, Washington’s men corneredtheir rivals into defeat by approaching them from Delawere andlaunching numerous unexpected attacks (McCullough, 2006). The wealthof letters and first hand information cited by McCullough shows thatthe American army was very tactical and aware despite their lack ofexperience in the battlefield.
NathanielGreen and Henry Knox had iron wills and they could not easily bebroken by the battle. General Green had led the colonial army beforeWashington’s arrival and he gladly stepped down to allow the lessexperienced George to take command upon arrival. Green was importantto George Washington because of his loyalty and commitment to thecause. Nathaniel’s military leadership skills were also an addedadvantage. On the other hand, Henry Knox was an expert in weaponryand Washington relied on his advice for such tasks. For example, Knoxhelped the colonial army stage an impressive canon ambush atDorchester Heights (McCullough, 2006). The British army withdrewfearing the consequences. Despite his personal reservations, GeorgeWashington depended on these two men because they were confident intheir abilities and had the attitude needed to win a war.
Thisbook report describes important points from 1776byDavid McCullough. It is a historical book with the prose and flow ofa regular novel. It describes historical events that lead to theAmerican Revolution in a dramatic and captivating way. Historicalfigures are active instead of being passive. Using memoirs andpersonal diaries, McCullough describes events from the character’sperspective and brings the book to life. It is truly a historicalnarrative with a difference.
McCullough,D. (2006). 1776.New York: Simon & Schuster.
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