Professor Freeman continues her discussion of the Boston Massacre and how it represented a growing sense of alienation between the American colonists and the British authorities. The Americans and British both felt that the colonies were subordinate to Parliament in some way, but differed in their ideas of the exact nature of the imperial relationship. This period saw the formation of non-importation associations to discourage merchants from importing British goods, as well as committees of correspondence to coordinate resistance. One instance of such resistance occurred in December 1773, when Boston radicals who were frustrated with the Tea Act threw shipments of tea into Boston Harbor.
Reading assignment: Bailyn, Faces of Revolution, chapters 1-2, 8-9
The American Revolution entailed some remarkable transformations--converting British colonists into American revolutionaries, and a cluster of colonies into a confederation of states with a common cause--but it was far more complex and enduring then the fighting of a war. As John Adams put it, "The Revolution was in the Minds of the people... before a drop of blood was drawn at Lexington"--and it continued long past America's victory at Yorktown. This course will examine the Revolution from this broad perspective, tracing the participants' shifting sense of themselves as British subjects, colonial settlers, revolutionaries, and Americans.
Course Structure: This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Spring 2010.