In 1776, what are the author's topic, main points, and arguments?

1 Answer

thanatassa's profile pic

thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

1776 by David McCullough is a book about a pivotal year in the American Revolution in which the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and made the momentous decision that the Colonies should fight for independence from Britain. 

The book is divided into three parts, organized in roughly chronological order. Although it does include some discussion of the ideology behind the desire of the Colonies for independence, it is more closely focused on the military aspects of the conflict between the Colonies and Britain and the personalities involved. McCullough attempts to give a balanced account of the major players in the conflicts, both British and Colonial.

The main argument of the book is that the success of the fight for independence was not a foregone conclusion, but that chance affected the military outcomes. Rather than giving a triumphalist account of the success of the colonists, instead 1776 attempts to portray both sides fairly.