Writing Early America

From Empire to Revolution

by Trevor Burnard

To join a conversation, one must know what is being said. Writing Early America is a field report on the current state of the historiography on the colonial era—from the time of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 to the end of the American Revolution around 1784.

Based on a close reading of nearly four hundred articles in leading journals published over the past decade, Trevor Burnard provides an unprecedented analysis of the direction of the field encompassed by the popular hashtag #VastEarlyAmerica. He examines scholarship on the most important areas of current research—Indigenous history, slavery and race, and gender. Burnard also demonstrates how important imperialism has become in providing a framework for colonial American history, especially for new scholarship on the American War of Independence, which historians increasingly see in its context as part of a broader Age of Revolutions.

This is the first book in over thirty years to offer advanced undergraduate and graduate students and scholars a comprehensive guide to the historiography of early America.


  • isbn
  • publisher
    University of Virginia Press
  • publisher place
    Charlottesville and London
  • rights
  • rights holder
    The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia
  • series title
    The Revolutionary Age
  • doi