The American Revolution

Primary Number: HIST 20602

ConStudies Number: CNST 30012

ConStudies CRN: 29004

Primary CRN: 28260

Instructor: Carter, Katlyn

Day/Time: MW 12:50pm-1:40pm

Attributes: HIST - old Core History WKHI - new Core History

Location: Geddes Hall B034

When speaking of the American Revolution, many writers reach for a comment made by John Adams in 1818 that, "[T]he Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people. . ." Whether this assertion is true historically or not, it still does not adequately describe what that revolution was. The American Revolution obviously had its political elements, primarily the formation of the United States. To reach its political goals, military means were necessary. Without a successful War for Independence, there would have been no revolution. To leave matters there, however, would be insufficient. A fuller understanding of the revolution would need to address how it affected the whole spectrum of American life. It would consider the revolution as a social movement that challenged the political and social hierarchies of the day. It would also ask how the revolution affected those who were not white males, especially women, slaves, and Native Americans. Without considering the possible negative implications of the revolution, any telling would be incomplete. This class will take up these challenges and attempt to make a full-orbed presentation of the events surrounding the American Revolution. It will introduce students both to elites and to those whom the popular narrative glosses over. It will attempt to count the losses, as well as the gains, which flowed from the move to independence from Britain. Finally, it will attempt to describe the many changes through this period, which resulted, not only in a new political nation, but in a new society and culture--changes that in varying degrees are still with us today and of which contemporary Americans are the inheritors.