The Beautiful Life Of John Woolman

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The Beautiful Life of John Woolman

Slaughter's penetrating work in “Beautiful Soul of John Woolman” shows how this plainspoken mystic transformed himself into a prophetic, unforgettable figure. (Slaughter, 12-29) Devoting himself to extremes of self-purification—dressing only in white, refusing to ride horses or in horse-drawn carriages—Woolman might briefly puzzle people; but his preaching against slavery, rum, tea, silver, forced labor, war taxes, and rampant consumerism was infused with a benign confidence that ordinary people could achieve spiritual perfection, and this goodness gave his message persuasive power and enduring influence. Placing Woolman in the full context of his times, Slaughter paints the portrait of a hero—and not just for the Quakers, social reformers, labor organizers, socialists, and peace advocates who have long admired him. He was an extraordinary original, an American for the ages. (Slaughter, 12-29)

Where as “The War that Made America” is a short history of the French and Indian War was written by Fred Anderson, a professor of history at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Anderson has also written longer book, The Crucible of War, on the same subject. In The War that Made America, Anderson argues that the French and Indian War created the conditions that would ultimately lead to the American Revolution, and so it may be considered "the war that made America" (Anderson viii). The war essentially ended France's imperial presence in North America. Now left to contend alone with the British colonists, whose hatred of Indians was fueled by the war, Native American ability to play a determining role in the developments of North America came to an end. The conduct and conclusion of the war encouraged the British colonists in North America to view themselves as equal partners in the British Empire, while in stark contrast it emboldened Britain to use its military power to exert control over the colonies. Anderson's work will be explored through an examination of the evidence leading to his thesis, an analysis of his sources, and connections to Edmund Morgan's argument about American Freedom. (Morgan, 25)

The French and their Indian allies were successful in the initial campaigns of the French and Indian war. Eventually, however, as the war spilled over to Europe and the British turned the tide in North America, the war culminated in a treaty know as the Peace of Paris (Anderson 229). Under the conditions of the treaty, "Britain acquired all of France's North American possessions east of the Mississippi River (save New Orleans)" (Anderson 229). France's imperial presence in North America was effectively ended. Before the war, the British colonists found themselves in a dangerous world, with colonies ruled by the "tyrant king of France" to the North, ready to expand and threaten their future security and prosperity (Anderson, 250). With the French threat neutralized and the Spanish both "weak and distant," these colonists began to wonder whether they still needed the protection of the British army (Anderson, 244). The shift in power brought about by the loss of France's North American colonies would have a significant ...
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