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Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies | [The Great Courses, Robert Allison]

Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies

The history of colonial America is a story of extraordinary scope, with Europeans, Africans, and the native peoples of North America interacting in a drama of settlement and conflict that lasted nearly three centuries. Go back in time and relive this epic story in 36 spellbinding lectures. While concentrating on British North America, Professor Allison also covers developments in the colonial outposts of Spain, France, the Netherlands, and the all-important British possessions in the West Indies, which were the source of the most lucrative crop in the New World - sugar - and the reason for the enormous growth in the slave trade.
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Publisher's Summary

The history of colonial America is a story of extraordinary scope, with Europeans, Africans, and the native peoples of North America interacting in a drama of settlement and conflict that lasted nearly three centuries. Go back in time and relive this epic story in 36 spellbinding lectures.

While concentrating on British North America, Professor Allison also covers developments in the colonial outposts of Spain, France, the Netherlands, and the all-important British possessions in the West Indies, which were the source of the most lucrative crop in the New World - sugar - and the reason for the enormous growth in the slave trade.

As you'll discover, the colonies were often turbulent, dangerous places. You'll learn about Indian wars, slave revolts, witch persecutions, rampant piracy, and other upheavals, as well as the gradual cementing of social order and the development of customs that made the colonies distinct - and difficult for the British government to rule.

These lectures build toward a discussion of the roots of the rebellion that succeeded in toppling the colonial system - the American Revolution - covering its long gestation and closing with an examination of the meaning of the Declaration of Independence.

In fundamental ways, the world we know today emerged from the tempestuous and eventful history of colonial America. Deepen your appreciation for this formative era with these historically rich, captivating, and highly informative lectures.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2009 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2009 The Great Courses

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  •  
    James R. Ellis sacramento, ca 01-10-14
    James R. Ellis sacramento, ca 01-10-14 Member Since 2009

    dancing fool

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "New Perspectives and great insights"
    What made the experience of listening to Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies the most enjoyable?

    I am researching the family tree in America from 1625 in Virginia and 1640 in New Hampshire. This series does a great job of describing each colony's progression and has explained migration issues and how native American blood lines entered the tree


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ben Franklin and Cotton Mather interactions


    What about Professor Robert J. Allison’s performance did you like?

    I could stay awake through his lectures any day


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    36 1/2 hour sessions


    Any additional comments?

    I have been through the material twice and still picking up info

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 09-28-13
    Matthew 09-28-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Teacher ! Great Course!"

    This series presented a lot of information in an easy to absorb and interesting way. Loved it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer ND 02-25-15
    Amazon Customer ND 02-25-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Subject Matter is wonderful, Narrator no so much"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies to be better than the print version?

    N/A


    What other book might you compare Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies to and why?

    This is a lecture series, but the first 1/4 of The History of the United States, 2nd Edition from The Great Courses might be considered to be comparable.


    What three words best describe Professor Robert J. Allison’s voice?

    So very slow.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There were no big gotcha moments. However, I did learn quite a lot that I did not know before. This was especially true in the sections on the non-British efforts to colonize various sections of America.


    Any additional comments?

    Professor Allison's narration was nearly unlistenable on x1.0 speed. There is no nice way to put it, his delivery was slow and ponderous. Under normal circumstances would not recommend listening to this particular series while driving. The good news is, the Audible.com playback speed can be adjusted. Sped up to x1.5 speed, the lecture series was enjoyable and scarily normal sounding. This made me wonder of the issue lies not with Allison, but with the postproduction process. Either way, once the speed was adjusted I found the lectures extremely interesting, bordering on riveting. I feel I must inform readers that I am a huge nerd when it comes to American history and my bias may be showing with the riveting comment, but nevertheless, I standby it. The lecture summaries and transitions were smooth, and they did not detract from the body of each lecture. I would wholeheartedly recommend the series, just don't forget to speed that player up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvonne MD Smith Sunland, CA USA 02-05-15
    Yvonne MD Smith Sunland, CA USA 02-05-15 Member Since 2012

    Vonnie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Now I know!!!"

    Such a fascinating listen. I learned so much and was totally entertained. You need to hear this! The great migration










    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rodney Florida 10-14-14
    Rodney Florida 10-14-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good overview"

    What I was looking for was something more along the lines of how your average citizen lived in the years before the revolution, like simple stuff - how did newspapers work, how did you buy groceries, all that sort of day to day stuff. Of course this is not that and it's not really covered here so I'm not deducting any points for that, I just wish someone did have a series on that since I think it would be interesting.

    Anyways, this lecture covers basically all the time before 1776. It started off a bit slow for my tastes, but as it goes along it gets better. I think Professor Allison does a good job of presenting various points of views and beliefs, in this day of political correctness that is refreshing.

    Overall I enjoyed this lecture, like all of The Teaching Company's courses this is excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David United States 09-18-14
    David United States 09-18-14 Member Since 2012

    Hellicopter Man

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "First Rate and Plenty Of It + free read see below"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Thirty six chapters and could do with 36 more. I even searched for orher presentations by Allison but found none.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies?

    The captivity narratives.

    Even discovered a free audio book "Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson" at librivox which was a treat. Done by volunteers. Not professional reading but well worth the time.


    What about Professor Robert J. Allison’s performance did you like?

    Animated


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Captivity narative.


    Any additional comments?

    All told quite a value.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Banner Maine 09-17-14
    Nancy Banner Maine 09-17-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Really 'exceeds expectations'"
    What did you love best about Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies?

    Full of facts, well documented, filling in the story we all learned in school.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies?

    The role of Cotton Mather in favoring a new process - innoculation - while most scientists were sceptical of it.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not really


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent speaker expert on the material

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Elizabeth Reynolds SUMMERVILLE, SC, United States 03-16-14
    Mary Elizabeth Reynolds SUMMERVILLE, SC, United States 03-16-14 Member Since 2013

    author of Lowcountry Legend's series

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not High School History"

    Highlights the turning points in American history, not the drivel the feed us in high school.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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