Battles were fought in many colonies during the American Revolution, but New Jersey was home to more sustained and intense fighting over a longer period of time. The nine essays in The American Revolution in New Jersey, depict the many challenges New Jersey residents faced at the intersection of the front lines and the home front.
Unlike other colonies, New Jersey had significant economic power in part because of its location between the major ports of New York and Philadelphia. New people and new ideas arriving in the colony fostered tensions between Loyalists and Patriots that were at the core of the Revolution. Enlightenment thinking shaped the minds of New Jersey’s settlers as they began to question the meaning of freedom in the colony. Yeoman farmers demanded ownership of the land they worked on and members of the growing Quaker denomination decried the evils of slavery and spearheaded the abolitionist movement in the state. When larger portions of New Jersey were occupied by British forces early in the war, the unity of the state was crippled, pitting neighbor against neighbor for seven years.
The essays in this collection identify and explore the interconnections between the events on the battlefield and the daily lives of ordinary colonists during the Revolution. Using a wide historical lens, the contributors to The American Revolution in New Jersey capture the decades before and after the conflict as they interpret the causes of the war and the consequences of New Jersey’s reaction to the Revolution.
Rutgers University Press; April 2015
- ISBN 9780813571935
- Read online, or download in secure PDF format
- Title: The American Revolution in New Jersey
- Author: James J. Gigantino (ed.); Michael Adelberg (contrib.); Bruce Bendler (contrib.); Todd W. Braisted (contrib.); Larry Kidder (contrib.); Eleanor H McConnell (contrib.); Robert A Selig (contrib.); Donald E Sherblom (contrib.); Gregory F Walsh (contrib.)
Imprint: Rutgers University Press
In The Press
"By broadening the geographical and topical coverage of revolutionary New Jersey, this volume makes a substantial contribution to the field with chapters that should prove informative to general readers, students, and academic specialists ... Overall, the works assembled here indicate that New Jersey's revolutionary experience remains fertile ground for new inquiries."
— New Jersey Studies
"In the case of New Jersey during the Revolution, boundaries between social, economic, political, and military history were (and are) wholly artificial. Gigantino’s authors address different questions, but each convincingly demonstrates that the stories of the home and fighting fronts, in all their various facets, were part of the same narrative. Kudos to James Gigantino and his fellow essayists."
— Journal of the Early Republic
"There is still much we can learn about the Revolution in New Jersey and this volume is an important step toward that better understanding."
— Jonathan Mercantini, Kean University
About The Author
JAMES J. GIGANTINO II is the author of The Ragged Road to Abolition: Slavery and Freedom in New Jersey, 1775–1865.