My Town Tutors is a great resource for parents & teachers.
- US History Lessons
- U.S. History Primary Source Resources
- American Revolution Jokes
- Top U.S. History Jokes
- Social Studies Jokes
The American Revolution Handbook by National Parks Service: This is a 65 page publication by the National Parks Service.
Setting the Stage by Jimmy Carter (5) This is a good opportunity to introduce Jimmy Carter and to analyze his writing.
Revolutionary War Timeline (6) This is a very detailed timeline. Excellent background information.
In Search of the American Revolution by Charlene Mires (17)
“Collection of Memories” (19)
The Path Toward Independence by Pauline Maier (26)
“Volumes Had Been Written… “ (46)
“Principles, Opinions, Sentiments, & Affections” (47)
A World of Independence by Don Higginbotham (49)
“Useful Lessons” (50)
“The Die is Now Cast” (65)
Forgotten Americans by Gary B. Nash (73)
“Silken Slippers… Wooden Shoes” (80)
“Discover, Uncover, Rediscover, and Recover.” (97)
The Revolution’s Legacy by Gordon S. Wood (99)
“Moved to a New Resolve” (1010
“If Men Were Angels” (116)
“E Pluribus Unum?” (117)
“A Political Duty of Grave Importance”
Related Sites (119) List of National Park sites.
Image Sources (128)
Jimmy Carter Introduction
The American Revolution opened a new chapter in human history. For the first time, a nation made two moral and philosophical principles the basis of government and society: that all men are created equal and that all the powers of government are derived from the consent of the governed. The decision by three million American colonists to stake their future on the principles of equality and representative government has shaped the nation’s history over more than two centuries.
America has not always lived up to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence, but those ideals have never been eclipsed. They have served as guiding beacons, available to backwoods revolutionaries from Georgia to Massachusetts and later to Abraham Lincoln, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Martin Luther King, Jr., to call upon in extending the benefits of liberty and equality to all citizens. Beyond that, America’s founding principles have captured the imagination of freedom-loving people the world over.
In this volume, in essays that address the background of the Revolution, the war itself, lesser-known participants in the struggle, and its legacy, historians offer their perspectives on the American Revolution. The essays are meant to provide a broad context for the stories told by the National Park Service at its many American Revolution sites. I hope that the material in this handbook will enhance your visits to these irreplaceable historic places. The American Revolution set the stage for the development of the United States. We only can benefit from continuing to study and reflect upon its multiple meanings and lasting legacies.
President of the United States, 1977-1981
1775 “Rage Militare”
1777 At What Price?
1778 The Tide Turns
1779 World at War
1780 A Bad Year
1781 Upside Down
1782 Stay the Course
Throughout the Handbook there are excerpts that might be useful to use in class. Select the ones that best support your curriculum.
The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution. —John Adams
Americans of various ideological persuasions come, not always reverently, to compete for the ownership of powerful national stories and to argue about the nature of heroism, the meaning of war, the efficacy of sacrifice, and the significance of preserving the patriotic landscape of the nation. —Edward Linenthal in Sacred Ground (11)
No! Ne’er was mingled such a draught In palace, hall or arbor, As freemen brewed and tyrants quaffed That night in Boston Harbor. —Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) The Ballad of the Boston Tea Party
…many of our subjects in divers parts of our Colonies and Plantations in North America… have at length proceeded to open and avowed rebellion, by arraying themselves in a hostile manner, to withstand the execution of the law, and traitorously preparing, ordering and levying war against us… —King George III
I wish the good of the colony when I wish to see some further restraint of liberty rather than the connexion with the parent state should be broken…such a breach must prove the ruin of the colony. —Thomas Hutchinson
If historiographers should be hardy enough to fill the page of History with the advantages that have been gained with unequal numbers (on the part of America) in the course of this contest, and attempt to relate the distressing circumstances under which they have been obtained, it is more than probable that Posterity will bestow on their labors the epithet and marks of fiction; for it will not be believed that such a force as Great Britain has employed for eight years in this Country could be baffled in their plan of Subjugating it by numbers infinitely less, composed of Men oftentimes half starved; always in Rags, without pay, and experiencing, at times, every species of distress which human nature is capable of undergoing. —George Washington,1783
Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another. —George Washington, 1777
Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die. —George Washington, before the Battle of Long Island, 1776
He comes, he comes, the Hero comes, Sound, sound your trumpets, beat your drums. From port to port let cannon roar Howe’s welcome to this Western shore. —Loyalist greeting General Sir William Howe to New York City, 1776
If war should break out between France and Great Britain during the continuance of the present war between the United States and England, his majesty and the said United States shall make it a common cause, and aid each other mutually with their good offices, their counsels, and their forces, according to the exigence of conjecture, as becomes good and faithful allies. —Treaty of Alliance with France, Article 1. 1778
The Americans, though not all in uniform, nor their dress so neat, yet exhibited an erect, soldierly air, and every countenance beamed with satisfaction and joy. The concourse of spectators from the country was prodigious, in point of numbers was probably equal to the military, but universal silence and order prevailed. —Dr. James Thacher, October 19, 1781, Yorktown
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States… —United States Constitution, Article 2, Section 2
And I hereby further declare all indented servants, Negroes, or others (appertaining to Rebels) free, that are able and willing to bear arms, they joining His Majesty’s Troops, as soon as may be, for the more speedily reducing the Colony to a proper sense of their duty, to this Majesty’s crown and dignity. —Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation, 1775
[P]eace was restored between America and Great Britain, which diffused universal joy among all parties, except us, who had escaped from slavery, and taken refuge in the English army; for a report prevailed at New-York, that all the slaves, in number 2000, were to be delivered up to their masters, altho’ some of them had been three or four years among the English. —Boston King’s memories of the evacuation from New York
…the Six Nations shall and do yield to the United States, all claims to the country west of the said boundary, and then they shall be secured in the peaceful possession of the lands they inhabit east and north of the same… —Treaty of Fort Stanwix, October 22, 1784, between representatives of the United States and the Six Nations
The utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Indians; their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; and, in their property, rights, and liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful wars authorized by Congress; but laws founded in justice and humanity, shall from time to time be made for preventing wrongs being done to them, and for preserving peace and friendship with them…. —Northwest Ordinance, 1787
I have done as much to carry on the war as many that set now at the helm of government. —Rachel Wells
Amidst the distress and sufferings of the Army, whatever sources they have arisen, it must be a consolation to our Virtuous Country Women that they have never been accused of withholding their most zealous efforts to support the cause we are engaged in… —George Washington to Sarah Bache, daughter of Benjamin Franklin, 1781. Bache led an association of women who purchased dry goods with their own money and sewed shirts for soldiers.
We may destroy all the men in America, and we shall still have all we can do to defeat the women. —Lord Cornwallis
I see with trembling, that if disputes continue with Britain, we shall be under the domination of a riotous mob. It is to our interest, therefore, to seek a reunion with the parent state. —Governeur Morris, 1770
That share of common sense, which the Almighty has bountifully distributed amongst mankind in general is sufficient to quicken everyone’s feeling, and enable him to judge rightly, what advantages he is likely to enjoy or be deprived of, under any constitution proposed to him. —Committee of Mechanics, New York City
The purpose of a written constitution is to bind up the several branches of government by certain laws, which, when they transgress, their acts shall become nullities; to render unnecessary an appeal to the people, or in other words a rebellion, on every infraction of their rights, on the peril that their acquiescence shall be construed into an intention to surrender those rights. —Thomas Jefferson, 1782
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. —Amendment 1 Ratified and added to the U.S. Constitution, 1791
Here is the limit of your authority; and hither shall you go, but no further. —George Wythe, 1782
The history of the past is but one long struggle upward to equality. —Elizabeth Cady Stanton
The right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of oppression, if they are strong enough, whether by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable. —Ulysses S. Grant, 1885