About This Chapter
The American Revolution
As the American Revolution begins, so do our lessons. The American Revolution occurred from 1775-1783 and began in a battle at Bunker Hill. However, other critical conflicts happened to flame the aggression on both sides, such as those at Lexington and Concord and Ft. Ticonderoga. You'll hear about all of these in our lessons.
The American Revolution was all about freedom, and with freedom came a new government. These lessons will cover that government, the Second Continental Congress. Lessons will also explain that the American people didn't just come up with the idea to break away from England all on their own. Discover how Thomas Paine's Common Sense helped fuel the fire towards the fight for independence.
Speaking of independence, you've likely heard of a little document called the Declaration of Independence. You'll study that here and learn about how it was created, who created it, what it says and the effect it had on this newly forming country.
At the heart of the war were the people. There were two sides - the Loyalists and the Patriots. Learn about how colonists made the decision to be loyal to the British crown or to take arms as American patriots. Also take a look at those who stood in between and chose not to take any side at all. The lesson will also talk about the odds of victory and other factors that were in play for each side.
George Washington was a key player in the war. The video lessons will touch upon the importance of his leadership. You'll look at his role at Valley Forge and the Battle of Saratoga. A discussion of other leaders, such as John Paul Jones, will also take place, with glimpses of the capture of the HMS Drake and the major navel battles of the war.
As the American Revolutionary War winds down, the lessons will cover the southern colonies and the last-ditch efforts of the British to take control over these areas. See how the Loyalists in these colonies were relied upon to help the British win the war, and see how they failed to do so. Look at the Battle of Yorktown and the Treaty of Paris to learn about the last major war battle and the British surrender.
With the conclusion of the war, the lessons will then go into covering how the war changed society in America and its impact on social status. You'll also learn about the resurgence of religion and spirituality, including a major shift in the religious values of the people.
1. Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill: The American Revolution Begins
Following the Boston Tea Party, Massachusetts was placed under the command of the British army. Rumors of a rebellion led to an attempted raid on the militia's arsenal. The events that followed at Lexington and Concord touched off the American Revolution.
2. The Second Continental Congress and Thomas Paine's Common Sense
1763 marked the beginning of the long road to revolution for the American colonies. By 1775, military actions had finally erupted. How were the colonists and their leaders going to respond?
3. The Declaration of Independence: Text, Signers and Legacy
After 12 years of tension and fighting, the colonists and their leaders were ready to declare themselves a new country, independent of Great Britain. This lesson examines the motives, the text, and the legacy of America's Declaration of Independence.
4. Primary Source: The Declaration of Independence
By far one of the most famous documents in American history, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776 to show King George the American's justification to sever ties with Britain. It formally began the war of the American Revolution.
5. British Loyalists vs. American Patriots During the American Revolution
In this lesson, learn about the difficult decisions faced by individuals as the American Revolution erupted. Would you have been a Loyalist or a Patriot? Are you sure about that?
6. George Washington's Leadership at Trenton, Saratoga & Valley Forge
After a series of setbacks in 1776, George Washington's leadership of the Continental Army helped America turn the tide of the war in three pivotal locations, prompting France to recognize the United States as a nation and an ally.
7. John Paul Jones and the Naval Battles of the Revolutionary War
Naval battles in the American Revolution are something of a lost chapter in history. Find out about the world's first military submarine, the privateers of the Continental Navy, and the helpful actions of three foreign allies at sea.
8. Loyalists in the Southern Colonies at the End of the Revolutionary War
After surrendering their northern army in the American Revolution, British leaders looked to the Southern Strategy. General Charles Cornwallis hoped that loyalist forces would hold territory so he could sweep north and end the war in Virginia.
9. The Battle of Yorktown and the Treaty of Paris
After the unsuccessful Southern Strategy, General Cornwallis pulled his army up to Yorktown, Virginia. A combined effort by the armies and navies of America and France resulted in British surrender and the 1783 Treaty of Paris that recognized the United States of America.
10. Primary Source: The Treaty of Paris
The American Revolution officially came to an end in 1783 when the British and Americans signed the Treaty of Paris. The United States became the first, but certainly not the last, nation in history to successfully rebel against a European power.
11. American Revolution: Social and Economic Impact
Learn about the impact of the Revolutionary War throughout the world, especially on various segments of American society. We'll look at political, social, and economic impacts.
12. The Second Great Awakening: Charles Finney and Religious Revival
The spirit of the Revolution led to changes in American churches in the post-war years. Beginning with a boom in evangelism and missionary work, the Second Great Awakening soon led to social reform, an intertwining of religious values with civic values, and a lasting emphasis on morality in daily life.
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Other chapters within the History 103: US History I course
- First Contacts (28,000 BCE-1821 CE)
- Settling North America (1497-1732)
- The Road to Revolution (1700-1774)
- The Making of a New Nation (1776-1800)
- The Virginia Dynasty (1801-1825)
- Jacksonian Democracy (1825 -- 1850)
- Life in Antebellum America (1807-1861)
- Manifest Destiny (1806-1855)
- Sectional Crisis (1850-1861)
- American Civil War (1861-1865)
- Reconstruction (1865-1877)
- Studying for History 103