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
Lecture 25: Being an American The Legacy of the Revolution
The American Revolution (HIST 116)
Professor Freeman discusses when we can consider a revolution to have ended, arguing that a revolution is finally complete when a new political regime gains general acceptance throughout society - and that, for this reason, it is the American citizenry who truly decided the fate and trajectory of the American Revolution. Yet, in deciding the meaning of the Revolution, the evolving popular memory of its meaning counts as well. Founders like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams frequently told younger Americans not to revere the Revolution and its leaders as demigods, insisting that future generations were just as capable, if not more so, of continuing and improving Americas experiment in government. Professor Freeman concludes the lecture by suggesting that the ultimate lesson of the American Revolution is that Americas experiment in government was supposed to be an ongoing process; that the Revolution taught Americans that their political opinions and actions mattered a great deal - and that they still do.
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This course was recorded in Spring 2010.