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Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in… (original 2000; edition 2007)

by Fred Anderson

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718713,105 (4.29)29
Member:ianracey
Title:Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766 (Vintage)
Authors:Fred Anderson
Info:Vintage (2007), Edition: 0, Kindle Edition, 912 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:ebook, American history, French history, British history, military history, 18th century

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Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766 by Fred Anderson (2000)

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This is a masterful work of history. Anderson seamlessly blends scholarship with clear and engaging writing. When I first picked the book up I was concerned that it would be a slog, but the pages just flew by.

While providing an excellent history of the French and Indian War, Anderson also tracks the larger trends shaping 18th Century North America, putting the war in the context of relations between the European colonists and the Native Americans as well as the relations between the colonists and Europe. ( )
  JLHeim | Aug 2, 2013 |
Crucible of War sets the stage for the American Revolution. The work explains how the misunderstanding between the Indians, the colonists and Great Britain ultimately led to revolution. It is a definitive work on the happenings and effects of the 7-year War (of French and Indian War if you prefer).

It is a history of what happened in the colonies, in the trans-appalachian area and in parliament in London. It begins with George Washington standing stunned in the midst of a massacre and ends with him giving advice to a friend to go west to settle new land in spite of British law.

It is big book but well-written and well worth reading. It is in sufficient detail to satisfy any non-scholar with plenty of footnotes for those who want to read more and go deeper. ( )
1 vote xenchu | Mar 18, 2010 |
While Fred Anderson's main goal is to put the contingency back in the history of the American Revolution, as the last thing that men like Benjamin Franklin and George Washington could have imagined at the conclusion of the French & Indian Wars is that they would be leading a revolution against London in the not-so-distant future, the pivot of this story would appear to be "blowback" to empire.

Consider that the last round of the game of empire between France and Britain had more to do with the Iroquois Nation losing their hold on their satellite nations in the Ohio County, having compromised the interests of those peoples one time too many. Thus leading to the situation where a subject leader of the Iroquois overrides George Washington to stage a sanguinary massacre against French captives to try and regain his authority, thus leading to a great war.

Or look at how British Empire quickly runs upon the rocks at the end of the Seven Years' War, as differing understandings of what it means to be a British subject could no longer be fudged, between the American attitude that empire was a collaborative effort, and the British effort to forge an efficient system in keeping with their understanding of what constituted proper order. This is while in a maelstrom of demographic changes and economic dislocation, the affects of which would have challenged the most daring of political leaders.

That last point might be the key issue, as the dislocations of empire, even in a winning cause, did open the door to daring leadership in America, and these are the men who swept away the old British order in the 13 Colonies; men who realized that popular sovereignty could now only be disregarded at one's own risk. The thing is that Anderson does not interpret this turn of events in a romantic "great man" fashion, but as a wave of chaos that could only be channeled, not held back. ( )
1 vote Shrike58 | Oct 5, 2009 |
After three background chapters, George Washington steps onto the stage . . . and stumbles, starting the French and Indian Wars in Colonial America and the Seven Years War in Europe. At the end of that war in 1763 Great Britain had a world empire but the war also started the events that in thirteen more years would trigger the American Revolutionary War. This book tells the story in considerable detail and is very readable. ( )
1 vote patito-de-hule | Dec 20, 2008 |
3435. Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766, by Fred Anderson (read Apr 21, 2001) I cannot believe the story which Anderson tells of this significant time could be better told. This is history of the highest order, and tells and interprets as good history should. ( )
1 vote Schmerguls | Nov 23, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375706364, Paperback)

Histories of the American Revolution tend to start in 1763, the end of the Seven Year's War, a worldwide struggle for empire that pitted France against England in North America, Europe, and Asia. Fred Anderson, who teaches history at the University of Colorado, takes the story back a decade and explains the significance of the conflict in American history. Demonstrating that independence was not inevitable or even at first desired by the colonists, he shows how removal of the threat from France was essential before Americans could develop their own concepts of democratic government and defy their imperial British protectors. Of great interest is the importance of Native Americans in the conflict. Both the French and English had Indian allies; France's defeat ended a diplomatic system in which Indian nations, especially the 300-year-old Iroquois League, held the balance between the colonial powers. In a fast-paced narrative, Anderson moves with confidence and ease from the forests of Ohio and battlefields along the St. Lawrence to London's House of Commons and the palaces of Europe. He makes complex economic, social, and diplomatic patterns accessible and easy to understand. Using a vast body of research, he takes the time to paint the players as living personalities, from George III and George Washington to a host of supporting characters. The book's usefulness and clarity are enhanced by a hundred landscapes, portraits, maps, and charts taken from contemporary sources. Crucible of War is political and military history at its best; it never flags and is a pleasure to read. --John Stevenson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:50 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Demonstrating that the decisive "Seven Years' War" changed the balance of power between the British and French in North America, the author argues that this conflict destroyed the delicate balance of power that gave Native people a voice in the affairs of the continent while creating an "American generation."… (more)

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