Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The Age of Revolutions: And the Generations Who Made It (Nathan Perl-Rosenthal)

Between 1760 and 1825, much of Europe and the Americas went through a series of revolutions that ushered in new countries and an increasing use of democratic republics. Two generations of revolutionary leaders made their marks in Europe and the Americas, transforming the lives of millions and leading to significant change in government and history. These leaders and the revolutions they helped incite are the focus of Nathan Perl-Rosenthal's book The Age of Revolutions: And the Generations Who Made It.

England, France, and Spain controlled the vast majority of the Americas in the 1750's. But within 75 years, colonial possessions of the three nations had dramatically changed. Canada was wholly taken over by England, and much of the rest of the Americas became a series of independent states or federations. France also dealt with internal revolutions of its own -- with the monarchy deposed before a short-lived republic, the era of Napoleon, and a return of the monarchy after Napoleon's downfall. Other attempts at republican forms of government took place in the Netherlands and parts of Italy. 

Perl-Rosenthal does an artful job of bouncing back and forth across the Atlantic numerous times, sharing the backgrounds of pivotal individuals such as Adams, Bunel, Bolivar, and of course, Napoleon. Each had an impact on their country and changed it dramatically. Each generation of changemakers learned from a prior generation, but the era of 1760-1825, in the author's eyes, was arguably one of the most transformative in world history.