Going Down Hill: Legacies of the American Revolutionary War


Ward, Harry M.


PhD, William Binford Vest Professor of History, University of Richmond. Author of The American Revolution: Nationhood Achieved 1763 – 1788. New York:St.Martin’s Press,1995 (CHOICE Outstanding Book of the Year) and The War for Independence and the Transformation of American Society. London: University of London Press/Routledge,1999

This research monograph by a senior distinguished historian of the American Revolutionary War and its aftermath discusses the legacies of that conflict in a newer, darker context. That context being one of growing American imperial hubris, overreach and permanent war abroad as well as economic and social decay of American homeland. Dr Ward dismisses the notion of a wholly beneficial and positive revolutionary outcome and discusses the less admirable and tragic implications of a national war/civil war that drove many thousands of Americans from their country, destroyed numerous native American societies, enshrined human slavery in its constitution and has lead to several tragic and bloody existential crises in 19th and 20th century American history.

“The author is well aware of a prime rule of historiography---avoid as much as possible present mindedness. The rule, however, does not seem too applicable when writing about legacies. Because the whole spectrum of American history since the Revolutionary War comes under a purview that is broad, selective and cogently discussed with brilliant insights as well as forceful lessons for the present. Ward discusses the road we have traveled so that we may better understand where we are today and how we got there.
‘ ‘ …Highly recommend……(a)positive contribution to understanding the legacy of the Revolution”. Professor George Frakes,Ph.D,UC Santa Barbara

Chapters titles: Freedom, Allegiance, Banishment/Detention, Sedition, Treason/War Crimes, God and Country, Beyond Glory, Conscription, Military Exemptions, Civilians Under Military Rule, Standing armies, Conquest, Imperialism/Liberation, Limited-War Mentality, The Military Advantage, The Triumph of Professionalism, The Brutal fringe, Counterinsurgency, Cement of Union, Conclusion/ Redirections

Illustrations: Yes(includes maps)

American History: Colonial, Revolutionary and the New Republic, Intellectual History, Historiography(US), American Institutions, Military History(US)
Release Date: 
Cloth: 978-1-933146-57-7/ 193314657-5
Trim Size: 
6 x 9

1727 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 507
Washington, DC 20036