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 Articles of Confederation. Although they seem hopelessly weak in the long view of history, the Articles made perfect sense as a first stab at a national government by a people who deeply distrusted centralized power - a direct product of their recent experience of the British monarchy. Among the many issues that complicated the drafting of the Articles, three central issues included how war debts to European nations would be divided among the states; whether western territories should be sold by the national government to pay for those debts; and how large and small states would compromise on representation. When a series of events - like Shays Rebellion - highlighted the weaknesses of the Articles, some Americans felt ready to consider a stronger national government.
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website httpopen.yale.educourses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.