The Nobel Revolt traces the small group
of noblemen who risked their lives and fortunes to challenge Charles I's attempt
to refashion his three kingdoms into an authoritarian monarchy. These
dozen aristocrats exploited a
contemporary rebellion against Charles's rule in Scotland to create an entirely
new political order in England. Using a mass of newly discovered evidence, the
narrative shows us how these nobles moved the kingdom into an essentially republican state in which
executive power was monopolized by a small group of noblemen, with the king
being little more than a figurehead of the government. This group of nobles
achieved their object in 1641, the year known in Continental Europe as the "year
of wonders." That
was the year the English people publically tried and executed the king's
greatest minister; stripped the King of most of his sources of
revenue; and governmental power transferred to a new 'godly' noble-dominated
cartel. It was also the year of a new and often violent phase of reformation in the English
Church, moving, often with violence, from the Established Church of England and
anything Catholic toward the stricter forms of Protestantism. E.g., The parish church of the Buckland-Ripers parish which William
Bucklin had left less than a dozen years before still today bears the marks of the violent removal
or defacing by Cromwell's forces in "cleansing Catholic" decorations loved by
the Church of England that Charles I had fashioned.
I would argue that THE NOBLE REVOLT, by John Adamson, offers
most compact, readable, and detailed discussion of the origins of the English
In a Defiant Stance : The Conditions of law in Massachusetts Bay...and the coming of
the American Revolution. John Reid has both law and history degrees,
which he uses to great effect in his historical narrative of the causes of the American Revolution. He examines
the legal weapons the Americans used, and why the British military force could
not be used to put down the rebellion. It's invigorating for the mind to
read this analysis. (And you mentally cheer for the Americans as they use their
Reid invites you to think about the facts that --- not one American
ever was successfully tried for treason or violence against English military and tax officials; but the
American courts regularly arrested and successfully prosecuted British naval
officers for enforcing the revenue laws and seizing merchandise the American smuggled.
Courts and juries could be counted on to find the English military and the tax collectors guilty
of criminal seizures and civil wrongs, to enter money judgment against them, and
to put the British commanders in jail as
debtors! The British were powerless to avoid their punishments - because it was English
law that was being used against them. (This book has special appeal for lawyers, who will fully
appreciate what the judges and lawyers successfully conspired to accomplish.)
History of the American Revolution,
This is soft cover, one volume, abridgement of John Reid's original, magnificent,
four-volumes on the American Revolution. This edition narrates how significant constitutional
disputes were in starting the American Revolution. Excerpts from two
reviews are accurate, to wit:
"....students of the Revolution have moved too
quickly from constitutional arguments to economic interests, ideology, and
social psychology. Reid's Constitutional History is essential reading for any
serious student of the American Revolution "
-Peter S. Onuf, Journal
of Am. Hist..
" Reid's argument is convincing, historians need to rethink issues and
problems of economics, social stress, and political nationalism and place
constitutionalism . . . back at the top of the list of causes of the
- Howard A. Ohline, Pennsylvania Magazine of Hist.& Bio.
Reid's distinctive analysis discusses the irreconcilable nature of this
conflict --- irreconcilable because the dynamics of constitutional
law prevented a solution that would have permitted the colonies to remain part of the
dominions of George III.
Little Commonwealth : Family Life in Plymouth Colony.
Details of everyday colonial life --- Did you know that many homes had only
one chair but might have large wardrobes of clothes? Did you know
that women of New England probably had more status and rights than those in
England? Do not let the title of the book fool you--this book embraces the
Massachusetts Bay Colony and portions of what we now know as Rhode Island. For example,
author John Demos refers to the wedding of
Joseph Bucklin and Deborah Allen and describes what the families did. (Demos
feels the Bucklins "apparently were typical" of the day.)
The Shoemaker and the Tea Party :
Memory and the
the life of an ordinary American who became involved with the Boston Tea Party
I think Alfred Young is one of the great historians of American history. This book offers
his profound discussion on the American Revolution, and
particularly the Boston Tea Party.
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