Summary Of A Revolutionary People At War By Charles Royster

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In “A Revolutionary People at War”, Charles Royster has developed a complex and in-depth thesis regarding the American Revolution. The book dives into the minds of the American people as it conveys the American character displayed throughout the Revolution. His book is multi-faceted, focusing on a number of themes that are beautifully intertwined. He discusses the prevailing American character during the American Revolution. The book studies the ideals of the American people during the revolution and how those ideals impacted the way the Continental Army was organized and how the Revolution was fought. Royster’s underlying thesis is that the ideals the American people had immediately conflicted with the reality of the war, and this inevitably …show more content…

The army fell short of the ideal image the American public had created for it, as it lacked experience and professionalism. However, this would not last forever. The army gained professionalism during their time at Valley Forge, eventually resembling the institution the America public feared. Royster, defines Valley Forge as a, “test of national survival because it had been a test of the army’s survival amid hardships caused in large by fellow revolutionaries” (190). It also marked a turning point in the war, as it was the last time the revolutionaries expected to be united with the same enthusiasm as in 1775. As the war escalated the division between the American public and the army continues to increase. They each have their own views that push them to continue the fight for independence. As the war comes to a close it is clear that the two groups have drifted apart and each had their own reason for why independence had been …show more content…

He starts the book at the beginning of the war and works toward the close of the Revolution. This layout allows for Royster’s main themes to develop as the war is reaching its peak points. As the book develops these key themes begin to intertwine and their significance becomes clear. The reader begins to understand how the American ideals are tied to their relationship with the Continental Army. One of Royster’s key arguments is that the revolutionaries’ loyalty to the war was based on the national character. Charles Royster not only successfully conveys this virtuous American character throughout the book, but he also accurately shows the revolutionaries dedication to preserving that virtue at all costs. Royster explains that the national character is the foundation which the relationship between the American people and the Continental Army lays. He then argues that the Continental Army continued to challenge the virtuous government many revolutionaries sought, inevitably shaping the relationship between the two groups. He displays the viscous cycle between the American people and the Continental Army. The two groups had a great dependency on each other, however there was a continual battle between them. Royster explains that the revolutionaries depended on the army to protect them from their enemies, and help them achieve their

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