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America's Wars, Causes of

A guide to resources for the study of causes or origins of America's major armed conflicts.

Terminology

  • American Revolution
  • American Revolutionary War
  • American War for Independence
  • Revolutionary War (United States)

Reference Sources

Search Suggestions

 
Books, Documents, Videos, etc.

For materials held by Notre Dame analyzing the causes of the revolution use:

  • ND Catalog
  • Advanced Search
  • Subject
  • Is (exact)
  • and enter: 
  • United States History Revolution, 1775-1783 Causes

For materials providing contemporary (1750-1785) opinion & analysis use:

  • ND Catalog
  • Advanced Search
  • Subject
  • Contains
  • and enter: 
    • "great britain" OR england OR "united kingdom") AND ("united states" OR america*) AND relations AND causes
  • OR
    • "great britain" AND ("united states" OR america*) AND colonies AND [ an issue OR topic OR colony name ] 
  • Limit results ( on left ) to: 
    • 1750-1785
  • Use "facets" (left column) to further narrow results

For materials held by other libraries:

 
Articles

For scholarly articles:

  • In one or more of the recommended article databases
  • Do a "keyword" search for:
    • ("united states" OR america*) AND (revolution* OR independence) AND (cause* OR origin OR origins)
  • OR
    • ("great britain" OR engl*) AND ("united states" OR america*) AND colonies AND [ an issue OR topic OR colony name, e.g. taxation]
  • If retrieval is too great or too small,
    • limit search terms to title, subject or abstract,
    • adjust search by adding or removing or modifying search terms, and/or
    • limiting search results to "peer reviewed" or "refereed" articles.

For contemporaneous popular opinion & analysis (1750 - 1785):

In one or more of the recommended article databases

  • Do a "keyword" search for:
    • ("united states" OR america*) AND (revolution* OR independence) AND (cause* OR origin OR origins)
  • OR
    • ("great britain" OR engl*) AND ("united states" OR america*) AND colonies AND [ an issue OR topic OR colony name, e.g. taxation]
  • Limit results to:     
    • 1750-1785
  • If retrieval is too great or too small,
    • limit search terms to title, subject or abstract,
    • adjust search by adding or removing or modifying search terms

Primary Sources

Sample Published Collections of Primary Source Materials

For other collections of primary source held by Notre Dame use:

  • ND Catalog
  • Advanced Search
    • Subject
    • Is (exact)
    • united states history revolution, 1775-1783
  • AND
    • Any
    • contains
    • (cause* OR origin OR origins) AND (sources OR documents)

Tip:  Do not truncate (use the *) with origin.  This will retrieve "original" material dealing with the actual conduct of the war rather than its causes.  Therefore it may produce many irrelevant records.

Also see the "American Memory" project at Library of Congress Collections.