Jacket for 'To Begin the World Over Again. How the American Revolution Devastated the Globe'


UK/USA - Yale University Press
China - Yilin Press

To Begin the World Over Again. How the American Revolution Devastated the Globe

By Matthew Lockwood

Published Sep 2019


The first account of the catastrophic impact the American Revolution had upon the rest of the world


In the 1770s, onlookers dared to hope that the American Revolution would be a turning point, the start of an age of republican liberty.  This was a chance, in the words of Thomas Paine, to ‘begin the world over again.’  But while the War for Independence did usher in a new nation of peace and freedom, its shockwaves were devastating for the wider world.

Through powerful individual stories, Matthew Lockwood presents the neglected history of this unintended revolution.  He shows how it sowed the seeds of collapse of the preeminent empires of the day, setting the stage for the domination of Britain, Russia and the United States.


From imperial expansion in India to the Opium Wars in China, from anti-imperial rebellions in Ireland and Peru to the colonization of Africa and Australia, the influence of the American Revolution was most evident in the tightening grip of oppressive world powers – and of Britain in particular.

To Begin the World Over Again illuminates above all the forgotten lives of the communities and individuals who struggled to adapt to this drastic alteration in the global balance of power.

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