Sheffield’s vision
The American Revolution and the 1783 partition of North America
in Making the British empire, 1660–1800
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This chapter considers the American Revolution as a moment of imperial partition. It explores how, in the wake of the Revolution, Britons and Americans remained entangled with each other in the hemispheric neighbourhood that they still shared. It also explores how, in a situation where governments were weak, where borders were shifting and ambiguous and where the forces that once bound territories and inhabitants together were often as powerful as the ones that drove them apart, making peace proved to be no simple matter, not least in terms of whose interests it served. The consequences of partition involved Britain remaining as a metropole in new ways, and Britain’s former subjects being condemned to a longer cycle of war and conflict.

Editor: Jason Peacey

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