In one remarkable quarter-century, thirteen quarrelsome colonies were transformed into a nation. Edmund S. Morgan's classic account of the Revolutionary period shows how the challenge of British taxation started the Americans on a search for constitutional principles to protect their freedom and eventually led to the Revolution.
Morgan demonstrates that these principles were not abstract doctrines of political theory but grew instead out of the immediate needs and experiences of the colonists. They were held with passionate conviction, and incorporated, finally, into the constitutions of the new American states and of the United States.
Though the basic theme of the book and his assessment of what the Revolution achieved remain the same, Morgan has updated the revised edition of The Birth of the Republic (1977) to include some textual and stylistic changes as well as a substantial revision of the Bibliographic Note.