Monday, September 1, 2014

New Marshes and "Crucible of War"

The new marsh terrain is done, well in advance of Recruits. I built it in two sections, designed to sit on top of any existing terrain surface. Here are some more photos of the marshes on two of my 12" grass squares with a couple of Jenkins 54mm Indians for scale reference. 

They should work great for 28mm, too, for HOTTs or DBA or Saga or whatever.

Next up, I just finished reading "Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766"  by Fred Anderson and I can't recommend it too highly. It was published in 2000 so is not a new book, but it took a while to get to it as I was a bit intimidated by its size: 746 pages plus nearly a hundred pages of notes. I learned a lot about the years following the war, leading up to the Revolution. . . and that is part of the premise of the book. . . that the Revolution was not inevitable then, or even desired.

Here's a little taste from the Introduction:

The most important event to occur in eighteenth-century North America, the Seven Years' War (or as the colonists called it, the French and Indian War) figures in most Americans' consciousness of the past as a kind of hazy backdrop to the Revolution. As citizens of a nation created by an act of collective secession from the British Empire, we Americans have always tended to take our point of reference the thirteen rebelling colonies, not the empire as a whole - or the North American Continent. This perspective has generally limited our ability to see the continuities between our pre-Revolutionary past and the rest of our history. Coming to grips with the Seven Years' War as an event that decisively shaped American history, as well as the histories of Europe and the Atlantic world in general, may therefore help us begin to understand the colonial period as something more than a quaint mezzotint prelude to our national history. For indeed, if viewed not from the perspective of Boston or Philadelphia, but from Montreal or Vincennes, St. Augustine or Havana, Paris or Madrid - or for that matter, Calcutta or Berlin - the Seven Years' War was far more significant than the War of American Independence.

Unlike every prior eighteenth-century European Conflict, the Seven Years' War ended in the decisive defeat of one belligerent and a dramatic rearrangement of the balance of power, in Europe and North America alike. In destroying the North American empire of France, the war created a desire for revenge that would drive French foreign policy, and thereby shape European affairs, for two decades. At the same time, the scope of Britain's victory enlarged its American domains to a size that would have been difficult for any European metropolis to control, even under the best of circumstances, and the war created circumstances of the least favorable sort for Whitehall. Without the Seven Years' War, American independence would surely have been long delayed, and achieved (if at all) without a war of national liberation. Given such an interruption in the chain of causation, it would be difficult to imagine the French Revolution occuring as it did, when it did - or for that matter, the Wars of Napoleon, Latin America's first independence movements, the transcontinental juggernaut that Americans call "westward expansion," and the hegemony of English-derived institutions and the English language north of the Rio Grande. Why then, have the Americans seen the
Seven Years' War as little more than a footnote?

Interested enough to read the book? Hope so.

See ya!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I've been in that marsh! This is Tim that was CIC on the British side in your first Saturday session at Recruits. I ran across your blog while looking for information on This Very Ground. I just wanted to let you know that I have a few photos from the session over on my blog. One or two of the pictures might be worth grabbing.

    Thanks again for running such a great game!