Monday, July 9, 2012

Glorious Cause


  1. Bre Begley
    Blog # 1: Part 1

    After reading Rise to Rebellion by Jeff Shaara, I decided that I would also read the next book, The Glorious Cause. Like Rise to Rebellion, I really have not been disappointed with the book, because it is entertaining while full of history.

    Reading Like a Historian:
    Change and Continuity: When looking at this book from the beginning to middle, I found a noticeable change. At the beginning of the Revolution, there was a large amount of colonists that had volunteered to fight for independence with great pride, but as time goes on the patriotic feeling begins to diminish and the push among colonists is not as strong. At this point many begin to desert and return home to their families. The amount of soldiers once again changes when the Americans begin to do well in the war effort. When they win battles among the British, some hope is restored and a large batch of colonists come forward again. To me, this shows that there need to be some proof that there is a possibility to succeed, otherwise people just grow desperate. Im sure that there are many other contributing factors that led to the decline of soldiers volunteering, but lack of doing well is the main one that I found.

    Differing Perspectives: One trait that I enjoy about this book is the change of character's perspectives. This definitely makes the reading more interesting as you have more to consider as a whole.What I have noticed about The Glorious Cause compared to Rise to Rebellion, is that there is much more British perspective shown. I think that both the American and British perspectives seem to have similarities. At times, they both seem almost desperate and hopeless. They also miss aspects of home that cannot be given in a war setting. In addition, leaders of both groups acknowledge people on their side that lack confidence in their leadership. The main difference in perspectives is the cause they are pushing for. Otherwise they seem to have the same general thoughts at this point in the book. The British may have had more confidence and little to expect when first confronting the rebels, but as time went on , there is much worry on each side.

    Reading Thoughts:
    Connections: As I read this book, one connection seems a little humorous but scary. Before reading this book, I had no idea that the British took soldiers from outside countries to fight for their cause. So when I found out about the Hessians, I was pretty surprised. Even more interesting to me though was how they reminded me of robots. The way they are described in part one makes them seem as though they are indestructible monster like beings. “He watched them with amazement, no panic in those men, retreating in good order, stopping to load and fire, astounding discipline” (146). They are described as abusing the civilians, and stealing which seems very different from how the British soldiers are described. Therefore, in a sense, they remind me of an evil robot from a terminator like movie.

    Evaluation: When reading this book so far, I have really not seen any bias on the authors side. One may think that he would write toward the American side, because he is an American, but he does a really great job in evening it out. In the first book, I though that he may have been more towards the American side, but I think that I just because there was more americans speaking. In this book, it seems even to me.

  2. Mr. Seeley


    Wonderful organization (and way to think like a historian!). It is clear that you took a lot from the book.

    I found your connections comment very interesting (comparing the Hessians to the Terminator robot). I never thought of this but like the comparison. They did what they were hired to do, fight.

    Thank you for your hard work.

  3. Bre Begley
    Blog Post #2: Part 2

    Thinking Like a Historian:
    Turning Points: As I finished up The Glorious Cause, by Jeff Shaara, I was really considering certain points and what the future would have been like if they were to not have occurred. When I got to the last and final Battle of Yorktown, it was really apparent to me that the French were really a needed help. Not only did they contribute funds, they brought over equipment, weapons, and experienced soldiers. Therefore, I think one of the largest turning points of the entire war would be the alliance with the France. Without it, I believe that the American side may have lost the war.

    Through Their Eyes: One detail in the book that intrigued me was the attitude difference between the French and the Americans. The French people seemed as though they would be more frivolous. There was more of an arrogance in their clothes and how they presented themselves. It seemed that some were described as commonly flaunting. Other then just being a slight annoyance, the attitude did not seem to affect much. The only time I saw it affecting was some of the veteran French officers not accepting Lafayette's American ranking at the beginning of their involvement. What I gained from this is the how the more modest attitude of the Americans worked in the favor of having more people join their cause.

    Reading Thoughts:
    Evaluation: Another detail that I picked up while reading this book is how the Revolution changed the style of war. It was a lot less “get together and shoot” (even though it still seemed to involve much of that) and more strategy to trick the opposite side. But then again, I am not totally sure, because I'm not an expert on the previous wars and how they were fought. The proper war etiquette was brought up time and time again,and I was made to think that the Americans were not following the “rules of war”. An example is attacking during the winter on Christmas. This seemed to stun the British.

    Importance: While looking into the British perspective throughout the book, it seemed as though they faced much difficulty with the the Americans forces escaping to avoid battles. It was good strategy on the American side. The British grew weaker while the Americans did what they could to train and bulk up strength. In the end, they took this strength to one of the final defeats in Yorktown. If the American were quick to fight and fight at the beginning of the war, their supplies would have been used up and soldiers tiresome or lacking. So spanning out the war really benefitted their side and resulted in a final surrender on the British side.