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The Americas in the Age of Revolution 1750-1850
ISBN 0300077262 / 9780300077261 / 0-300-07726-2
Publisher Yale Univ Pr
List price $28.00
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Within half a century, three European empires fell to American movements for independence. In this innovative and sophisticated account of comparative history, Lester D. Langley considers the revolutions in the American colonies, Saint Domingue (later Haiti), and the "Iberoamerican" independence movements in South America. He compares class leadership, racial factors, and the relative violence of each movement. His study alters the typical framework for analyzing American independence as he considers revolution from a dynamic or systemic perspective. Eschewing questions of causation such as "Why did the revolutions occur?" or "What did they achieve?" he explores instead the importance of place and location as well as what the revolts brought in terms of industrialization, militarization, and material progress. Professor Langley's arguments are based in an intriguing understanding of chaos theory, which he applies to the interpretation of historical experience in order to draw out the roles of probability and randomness as constraints on and conditions for the various revolutionary movements. [via]