The Americas in the age of revolution, 1750-1850 /
Lester D. Langley.
New Haven, Conn. : Yale University Press, 1996.
xvi, 374 p.
More Details
New Haven, Conn. : Yale University Press, 1996.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1996-10-14:
Every serious scholar of United States or Latin American history should own this book. Although it's not a light read, it is an intriguing study and is a vital complement to bibliography of this field. Revolutionary leaders of this era were profoundly influenced by the successes of those that went before. Langley, a professor of history at the University of Georgia and coauthor (with Thomas Schoonover) of The Banana Men, proposes "a portrait of hemispheric political culture in an epoch spanning three wars in the Americas, each of which left a powerful legacy for the new states that took form in their aftermath. In a half-century, three European empires fell to independence movements." This comparative history of the revolutionary age in the Americas emphasizes the social tensions and political upheavals that transformed British North America into the United States, French Saint Domingue into Haiti and Spanish America into South America and Mexico. The author is mindful, however, of the aftermath of violence and the death of empires, and he closely examines the social and political climate of the postrevolutionary periods. But the book is a supplement, not a substitute. While it contains voluminous notes (nearly 70 pages), maps and an index, prior knowledge of the region's history is required for full enjoyment. Langley's study is a valuable matrix of events that can help us better understand the relationships in our hemisphere then and now. Illustrated. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 1996-11-15:
In this sophisticated comparative history, Langley (The Banana Men, Univ. of Kentucky, 1994) examines the causes, character, and consequences of the American, Haitian, and Spanish American revolutions. Because the nature of the revolts varied, he explains, it is only logical that their legacies differ. While British American revolutionary leaders proclaimed lofty principles of liberty and refused to install a centralized, dominating revolutionary government, their Spanish American counterparts were unwilling to follow their lead. Consequently, the democratic achievements of the revolutionary era tended to be retained in America but reversed in Latin America. For these reasons, Langley calls these two revolts respectively, the "revolution from above," and the "revolution denied." His well-documented and readable work effectively distinguishes between independence movements and true revolutions. A nice complement to any academic collection; highly recommended.-Raymond J. Palin, St. Thomas Univ., Miami, Fla. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 1997-04-01:
Langley (Univ. of Georgia) has crafted a challenging comparative study of New World revolutions between 1750 and 1850. One is inevitably reminded of R.R. Palmer's The Age of the Democratic Revolution (2 v., 1959-64), to which Langley alludes in his initial definition of revolution. The study does an outstanding job of analyzing the contradictions and confusions, especially racial and social, of the revolutions that took place in the Thirteen Colonies ("from above"), Santo Domingo, or Haiti ("from below"), and Iberoamerica ("denied"). Langley affirms his belief in the "critical importance of personality" in history. What eventuated in the US, grave contradictions notwithstanding, was a republic with egalitarian tendencies and the promise of economic growth. In Haiti, a polity crippled by economic decline and rural poverty, racial strife and militarism soon evolved. In Hispanic America, authoritarianism triumphed. Despite some minor authorial--or editorial--derailments, this is a valuable and informative study, sensitive to the complexities and contradictions of a variety of revolutionary processes. Source notes; five helpful maps. All levels. R. H. Thompson Indiana University-Purdue University--Columbus
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, October 1996
Library Journal, November 1996
Choice, April 1997
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Bowker Data Service Summary
In this book Langley not only describes and compares the U. S. the Caribbean and the Spanish-American independence struggles but also discusses the underlying causes and consequences of each one.
Main Description
In this masterly work, Lester D. Langley compares the political and social histories of three revolutions in the Americas: the American Revolution in 1776, the 1791 slave revolt in the French colony that became Haiti, and the prolonged Spanish -- American struggle for independence. Langley explores the characteristics that distinguished each upheaval, and he shows how the legacies of the revolutionary age affect virtually every modern political issue.
Table of Contents
List of Maps
A Note on Usage
Introductionp. 1
The Tense Societyp. 13
A People at Warp. 35
The Dilemmas of Victoryp. 60
The Caribbean on the Eve of the Haitian Revolutionp. 87
The Slave Rebellionp. 102
The Haitian Revolutionp. 122
Iberoamerica on the Eve of Revolutionp. 147
The Feared Revolutionp. 166
The Price of Victoryp. 191
Tocqueville's Americap. 217
Bolivar's Americap. 239
The Americas at 1850p. 261
Epiloguep. 285
Notesp. 289
Indexp. 367
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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