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1774: The Long Year of Revolution

Evening Program with Book Signing

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1L0300
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“Americans throwing the Cargoes of the Tea Ships into the River, at Boston”, in The History of North America, 1789 (Library of Congress)

The 16 months from December 1773 to mid-April 1775 helped define the course of America as a nation. Colonial historian Mary Beth Norton examines the critical “long year” that encompassed the Boston Tea Party, the first Continental Congress, and two significant early battles in the War of Independence.

Norton surveys the developments and events that led loyalists to King George III to accept the inevitability of war against the British Empire and to the clashes at Lexington and Concord in mid-April 1775. Despite a vigorous campaign mounted by conservatives criticizing actions of the Continental Congress, in early 1775 governors throughout the colonies informed officials in London that they were unable to thwart the increasing power of the committees and their allied provincial congresses.

Although the Declaration of Independence would not be formally adopted until July 1776, even before the outbreak of war Americans had in effect declared independence by obeying the decrees of their new provincial governments rather than colonial officials.

Norton is the Mary Donlon Alger professor emerita of American history at Cornell University, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and a past president of the American Historical Association. Copies of her book 1774: The Long Year of Revolution (Penguin Random House) are available for purchase and signing.

S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)