“The history of our Revolution will be one continued lie from one end to the other,” wrote John Adams in 1790. “The essence of the whole will be that Dr. Franklin’s electrical rod smote the Earth and out sprang General Washington.” As Adams understood, the real story of the American Revolution is far more than the catalog of deeds done by a handful of famous men. Declaring independence on a piece of parchment on a summer’s day in Philadelphia in 1776 would have meant nothing had not tens of thousands of ordinary Americans been willing to support that cause and fight to make it a reality. People at the time knew this, though too often today, we forget. As Joseph Plumb Martin, a private in the Continental Army, later put it: “Great men get praise; little men, nothing.” In this five-part course, University of Maryland historian Richard Bell explores the tumultuous eight years of war between 1775 and 1783. These weekly sessions will examine five of the extraordinary groups of people who played central roles in the war for independence: patriot soldiers, non-combatants on the home front, Native Americans, Black Americans, and white loyalists.
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The Real Revolution; America 1775 - 1778
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