Britain seemingly should have won the Revolutionary War. Its failure to do so is commonly assumed to be due to the incompetence of commanders and the politicians who are ridiculed in fiction and in movies. Although less crudely presented, such caricatures even permeate scholarly literature. The talk will challenge the stereotypes and offer a very different explanation of why Britain lost the American War of Independence.
Andrew O’Shaughnessy is the Vice President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He was born in Britain where he earned his undergraduate degree and doctorate at Oxford University. His most recent book The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire (Yale University Press, 2013) has been the recipient of five national awards including the New York Historical Society American History Book Prize and the George Washington Book Prize.
The seminar meets at 4:00 p.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room, Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop.
The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center. It meets weekly during the academic year. See www.nationalhistorycenter.org for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as webcasts and podcasts. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations for its support.