History of the U.S. (1774-1783): The War for Independence
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This is a resource for those studying for the History of the United States I CLEP exam, or simply for those who love to study history. The History of the Unites States I CLEP exam covers U.S. history from early colonization to 1877. This lens is one in a series of lenses that will be developed.
How to Use This Lens
Study Chapter 6 of the college text book listed. Review any sections that you need to work on either in the book or the links provided. Additional recommended reading and lectures are provided to enhance your learning experience. Once you're comfortable with the material, move on to chapter 7.
Declaration of Independence
If this doesn't make you want to study U.S. History, I'm not sure I can help you.
The College Level Text Book You'll Need
This is the text book that we are using as a basis for the lectures and study guides. The resources here are not a substitute for reading, but rather to augment your studies. This is the book we are using in our study group, but feel free to substitute any college text book on the subject.
See what it was like
The HBO mini-series, based on David McCullough's novel, is a well researched imagining of what it was like to live in Revolutionary America.
A clip from the John Adams HBO Mini-Series
April 19: Battles of Lexington and Concord.
May 10: Second Continental Congress meets.
June 17: Battle of Bunker Hill.
December 31: American attack on Quebec.
January 9: Thomas Paine's Common Sense.
July 4: Declaration of Independence.
September 15: British take New York City.
December 26: Battle of Trenton.
January 3: Battle of Princeton.
September 11: Battle of Brandywine Creek.
October 17: American victory at Saratoga.
Runaway inflation begins.
Continental Army winters at Valley Forge.
February 6: France and the United States sign an alliance.
June 17: Congress refuses to negotiate with British peace commissioners.
July 4: George Rogers Clark captures British post in the Mississippi Valley.
December 29: British capture Savannah.
Death of the great French Enlightenment writer, FranÃ§ois-Marie Arouet Voltaire.
June 21: Spain declares war on Britain.
Americans devastate the Iroquois country.
September 23: John Paul Jones captures the British ship Serapis.
May 12: Fall of Charleston, South Carolina.
October 7: Americans win Battle of Kings Mountain.
December 3: Nathanael Greene takes command in the South.
January 17: Americans defeat British at the Battle of Cowpens.
March 15: Battle of Guilford Court House.
October 19: Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown.
Influential German philosopher Immanuel Kant publishes his first major work, The Critique of Pure Reason.
March 15: Washington quells the Newburgh "Conspiracy."
September 3: Peace of Paris signed.
November 21: British begins evacuating New York.
First manned balloon flight, in France.
Quakers present first anti-slavery petition to the British parliament.
Unites states vessel opens trade with Canton, China.
Britain transports convicts to Australia.
Source: The American Journey
Key Terms - Source: The American Journey
- Committee of Safety (click to read more)
Any of the extralegal committees that directed the revolutionary movement and carried on the functions of government at the local level in the period between the breakdown of royal authority and the establishment of regular governments.
- Minute Men (click to read more)
Special companies of militia formed in Massachusetts and elsewhere beginning in later 1774.
- Conciliatory Proposition (click to read more)
Plan whereby Parliament would "forbear" taxation of Americans in colonies whose assemblies imposed taxes considered satisfactory by the British government.
- Battles of Lexington and Concord (click to read more)
The first two battles of the American Revolution which resulted in a total of 273 British soldiers dead, wounded and missing and nearly one hundred Americans dead, wounded, and missing.
- Olive Branch Petition (click to read more)
Petition adopted by the Second Continental Congress as a last effort of peace that avowed America's loyalty to George III and requested that he protect them from further aggressions.
- Declaration of Independence (click to read more)
The document by which the Second Continental Congress announced and justified its decision to renounce te colonies' allegiance to the British government.
- Contract theory of government
The belief that government is established by human beings to protect certain rights -- such as life, liberty, and property -- that are theirs by natural, divinely sanctioned law and that when government protects these rights, people are obligated to
- Republicanism (click to read more)
A complex changing body of ideas, values, and assumptions, closely related to country ideology, that influenced American political behavior during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
- Continental Army (click to read more)
The regular or professional army authorized by the Second Continental Congress and commanded by General George Washington during the Revolutionary War.
- Valley Forge (click to read more)
Area of Pennsylvania approximately 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia where General George Washington's Continental troops were quartered from December 1777 to June 1778 while British forces occupied Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War.
- Peace of Paris (click to read more)
Treaties signed in 1783 by Great Britain the United States, France, Spain, and the Netherlands that ended the Revolutionary War.
You may have to download RealPlayer (it's free) to view these lectures.
- American Experience: John & Abigail Adams
Lecturer: Elizabeth Deane, producer, American Experience, WGBH
- Mercy Otis Warren: Muse of the Revolution
Lecturer: Nancy Rubin Stewart, historian
- Armand Tuffin: French Ally in America's War of Independence
Lecturer: Regine Reynolds-Cornell, professor, writer, art consultant
- David McCullough's Biography of a Year: 1776
Lecturer: David McCullough, writer, 1993 & 2001 Pulitzer Prize
Additional Revolutionary Reading
Forests have been leveled publishing books about the American Revolution. Here are a few of my favorites.