Introduction: Freeman's Top Five Tips for Studying the Revolution - Being a British Colonist - Being a British American - Outraged Colonials: The Stamp Act Crisis - Resistance or Rebellion? (Or, What the Heck is Happening in Boston?) - Being a Revolutionary - The Logic of Resistance - Who Were the Loyalists? - Common Sense - Independence - Civil War - Organizing a War - Heroes and Villains - Citizens and Choices: Experiencing the Revolution in New Haven - The Importance of George Washington - The Logic of a Campaign (or, How in the World Did We Win?) - Fighting the Revolution: The Big Picture - War and Society - Confederation - A Union Without Power - The Road to a Constitutional Convention - Creating a Constitution - Creating a Nation - Being an American: The Legacy of the Revolution
The American Revolution (HIST 116)
In this lecture, Professor Freeman discusses the Declaration of Independence and sets the document in its historical context. The Declaration was not the main focus of the Second Continental Congress, which was largely concerned with organizing the defensive war effort. The Congress had sent King George III the Olive Branch Petition in a last attempt at reconciliation in August 1775, but the King ignored the petition and declared the colonies to be in rebellion. Throughout the colonies, local communities began debating the issue of independence on their own, often at the instruction of their colonial legislatures, and these local declarations of independence contributed to the formal declaration of independence by the Continental Congress in July 1776. Professor Freeman concludes the lecture by describing the decision to have Thomas Jefferson draft the Declaration.
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website httpopen.yale.educourses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.