The REvolutionary Era (1763-1787)
Britain emerged from the Seven Years' War as the world's greatest power, winning all of New France and dominating the seas. But her effort to deal with the costs incurred by the war would lead to another conflict a dozen years later--this time against the American subjects they fought to protect.
Beginning with the Stamp Act in 1765, Parliament and the colonies were locked in a bitter struggle over control of colonial affairs. After much arguing and violence, things finally came to blows at Lexington Green on April 19th, 1775.
The American Revolution (1775--1781) was the seminal event in U.S. History. Changing the American people from subjects to citizens, the Revolution forever changed how we viewed ourselves, our relationship to government and to the world. It gave rise to our most famous figures: Thomas Jefferson, the writer who gave voice to American ideals through the Declaration of Independence. George Washington, who managed to turn farmers into soldiers while evading British capture. Benjamin Franklin, the proud British subject who switched sides, and whose diplomacy with France provided a crucial partnership. As well as the countless patriots on the ground--the average colonists who came to believe that independence was a better path than the safety of empire.
The final battle, however, occurred after the guns were silenced at Yorktown. When the Constitutional Convention convened in 1787 to hammer together a united country, there was no guarantee that it would happen. After nine months of intense debate, all 13 colonies ratified the proposed Constitution, and the United States became a united Republic. The first modern experiment in republicanism was begun.
The French and Indian War
Taxing the Empire to Death
The First Phase: New England to Trenton
The Second Phase: Trenton to Saratoga
The Third Phase: Saratoga to Yorktown
Essays and Documentaries
George Washington's French and Indian War by Theodore Crackel
Anti-Slavery before the Revolutionary War by Sylvia Frey
Thomas Jefferson and Deism by Peter Onuf
Revolutionary Philadelphia by Ray Raphael
Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, and the Election of 1800 Smithsonian