Pennsylvania’s Revolution embodies a new era of scholarship about the state’s Revolutionary past. It breaks from a narrowly focused study of Philadelphia and the 1776 Constitution to evaluate Pennsylvania’s internal conflicts during the Revolutionary period. Pronounced struggles between Pennsylvania’s own citizen factions during the late eighteenth century are often cited by historians to demonstrate how this trend produced important social and political changes throughout the American colonies. By examining these experiences from multiple angles, this book reflects the overarching themes of the Revolution through a detailed study of Pennsylvania—the most radical of the thirteen colonies.
In this volume, William Pencak brings together fifteen essays that expand our knowledge of the complex changes that occurred in Pennsylvania during this tumultuous era. Acting as a companion to John Frantz and William Pencak’s regionally focused 1998 volume Beyond Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Revolution takes a topical approach to the discussion of the state’s internal turmoil. Through the lens of political and military history along with social history, women’s history, ethnohistory, Native American studies, urban history, cultural history, material culture, religious history, print culture, frontier/backcountry studies, and even film studies and theater history, this volume gives readers a glimpse of the diverse nature of contemporary and future historiography of Pennsylvania’s Revolutionary period.