To show how Americans experienced the war and made difficult choices, Professor Freeman offers a spur-of-the-moment lecture on New Haven during the Revolution, discussing how Yale College students and New Haven townspeople gradually became caught up in the war. Warfare finally came to New Haven in July 1779 when the British army invaded the town. Professor Freeman draws on first-hand accounts to provide a narrative of the invasion of New Haven.
Reading assignment: Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution, chapters 6-12
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.