Eliga H. Gould is a professor and chair of the history department at the University of New Hampshire. His most recent book is Among the Powers of the Earth: The American Revolution and the Making of a New World Empire (2012). Named a Library Journal best book of the year, it received the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Best Book Prize and was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize. A Japanese-language edition was published in 2016. His current book project, "Crucible of Peace: The Treaty of Paris and the Founding of the American Republic," considers the least examined of the nation's founding documents.
To most Americans, the Revolution’s main significance lies in its impact on the internal structure of the thirteen colonies that became the United States. Yet the American Revolution was also an international transformation of the first importance, both for Britain and the British Empire, and for Western Europe, West Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. These wider, trans-Atlantic ramifications are the subject of this talk. Topics will include European involvement in the Revolutionary War, the Revolution’s impact on African American slavery and the slave trade, and its implications for Latin American independence. I will also discuss the United States’s origins as a confederation of sovereign states, whose relations with each other were often as fluid and contested as relations between the Federal government and foreign countries in Europe and, eventually, the Americas.