In the book, An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean, the author Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy takes up a relatively unexplored topic from the early history of the United States and the Caribbean. He was not hesitant in letting the reader know the uniqueness of his book several times. Andrew O’Shaughnessy studied at Bradford School as well as the Oriel College; for his higher education, he went to the prestigious University of Oxford. He has a long and distinguished career in teaching and has been in the faculty of Eton College, Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
He has been a professor in the American History in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and been a chair of History Department. In this book, Andrew O’Shaughnessy gives very convincing arguments in favor of his stance with solid literary and historical evidences. This is why it makes the book a convincing set of literature on the American Revolution especially how the British Caribbean affected it and vice versa. Content The book is written to explore the socio-political realities surrounding the mainland US, how they affected the American Revolution and in turn how the surrounding regions like the Caribbean were affected by the revolution.
The author is focused on the common things that the mainland USA and the Caribbean shared as well as the differences which existed between the two regions. The overwhelming commonalities didn’t trigger the Caribbean States to take an active part in the rebellion. In the book, the author gives many reasons for the inactivity of the British Caribbean; for example, their relative seclusion from the mainland America, the naval dominance of the British around the islands, their dependence on trade as well as their political dependence on the British fearing the inner possibility of slave revolts.
Thesis The thesis of the book is about the role of the British Caribbean and how it was affected by the revolution in turn. The central theme of the book is the fact that the British Caribbean had the same and possibly more incentives to rebel against the British just like their continental counterparts in the mainland US; however, they still didn’t go for it. All the conditions in the thirteen colonies that rebelled existed in the Caribbean as well but they seemed to be passive in their bid against the British rule. The factors which contributed to this behavior were the key focus of the writer in the book.
The author has been so convincing that it is hard to disagree on most of his points and therefore, I support the author on most of the points. There has been a bigger slave population in the Caribbean and the fear of a revolt had always been a reality.
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