Revolutionary America (1755-1787)

Historical context

The American Revolution was a political movement and war that eventually led to American independence from Great Britain. As colonies of Britain, America paid taxes but did not have representation in British government. In 1765, colonists protested the Stamp Act, which they viewed as unfair taxation. Protests escalated in the 1770s, and the British government imposed new legislation that limited the colonies' self-governance. Within three years, the colonies established a Continental Congress, went to war with Britain, and declared independence. The war ended in 1781 with Britain's surrender to American forces at Yorktown.

Culturally relevant pedagogy considerations

In many ways, the American Revolution can feel foreign to modern students. The distance of time combined with the socio-political changes in our communities can make this event feel distant. Consider how concept-based inquiry questions can help students draw connections between themselves and historical actors who are in many ways very different from them. Challenge yourself to explain exactly why this event from the past matters to students today, not just in terms of why it should matter but a compelling argument that connects with what students believe does matter. Concepts like power, justice, fairness, and more can help draw connections between what students believe to be important and how this history influences the way we define those concepts today.

Classroom ready resources

The Boston Massacre (Upper Elementary School)

Boston Massacre Newspaper Articles (Upper Elementary School)

Revolutionary North America

A map of the British and French dominions in North America

Date: 1755
Creator: John Mitchell
Type: Map

Revolutionary Stamp

This is the place to affix the stamp

Date: 1765
Creator: William Bradford
Type: Illustration

Revolutionary Bloody Massacre in 1770

The bloody massacre

Date: 1770
Creator: Paul Revere
Type: Engraving

Revolutionary Tarring and feathering in 1774

The Bostonians paying the excise-man

Date: 1774
Creator: Robert Sayer and John Bennett
Type: Cartoon

Revolutionary Franklin Letter

"You are now my enemy"

Date: 1775
Creator: Benjamin Franklin
Type: Letter

Revolutionary England Cartoon

Poor old England endeavoring to reclaim his wicked children

Date: 1777
Creator: Matthew Darly
Type: Cartoon

Revolutionary Washington Painting

George Washington

Date: 1780
Creator: John Trumbull
Type: Painting

Revolutionary american woman broadside

The Sentiments of an American Woman

Date: 1780
Creator: Unknown
Type: Broadside

Revolutionary bunker hill drawing in 1783

View of the attack on Bunker’s Hill

Date: 1783
Creator: John Lodge
Type: Drawing

Revolutionary Philadelfia statehouse

A N.W. view of the state house in Philadelphia

Date: 1787
Creator: Charles Willson Peale
Type: Drawing


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