Roots and Reverberations: The American Revolution in Britain
Dr. Matthew Reardon
Assistant Professor, Department of History, West Texas A&M University.
Both the roots and reverberations of the American Revolution run deep in British history. Although provoked by Parliament's novel attempts to tax North American colonists in the 1760s, the Revolution's underlying causes actually lay much further in Britain's past. England's last civil war in the 1640s gave Americans their revolutionary ideology, while institutional change in Britain since that time provided the context that made the Revolution possible. Perceived as an unnatural conflict between fellow nationals, the War for American Independence compelled native Britons to reassess themselves as a people and as an imperial power. From their reexamination came both centripetal and centrifugal forces. Whereas it brought native Britons closer together through a redefined sense of “Britishness;” this national identity and its representative institutions were now reserved for them alone.
Dr. Matthew Reardon is a historian of colonial America, with an emphasis on gender and culture in the early modern British Atlantic world. Before coming to West Texas A&M University in 2013 he received a B.A. from Louisiana State University in 2000, a M.A. from the University of Alabama in 2002, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 2012. He teaches courses on United States history to 1877, colonial, revolutionary, and early national America, the British Atlantic World, gender and society, and the history of science, medicine, and technology. His current book project, “A Manly Spirit”: The Gendered Origins of the American Revolution, explores gender politics and politics of gender in the era of the American Revolution. His first article, “A Fraternity of Patriarchs: The Gendered Order of Early Puritan Massachusetts,” which examines the fraternal underpinnings of first generation Puritan Massachusetts, is set to appear this June in the Historical Journal of Massachusetts.
Dr. Reardon's lecture was held in the International Cultural Center at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX, June 25, 2014. This event was cosponsored by the TTU K-12 Global Education Outreach and supported by a grant from the Center for Global Understanding.