(Episode 4) Get Off My Lawn: The American Revolution

George did not take the breakup well. It’s an all-out war, now.

In Episode 4, we discuss the American Revolution, i.e., the war that won the American colonists their independence from England. Even though it’s the “American” Revolution, it really was a global war with several major players besides Britain and the colonists. Rather than simply reiterating your basic high school history class, we wanted to discuss some of the stories you’ve maybe never heard and dispel some of the myths that you may have come to accept over the years.

Remember that this is just a snapshot. The amount of material that can be discussed for any war, including this one, is significant enough to fill an entire college course, and we’ve only got about an hour-long podcast. We do go into the basics (the who, what, when, etc.), but then we got to be a bit choosy about the rest. We decided to focus on the information you may not have put together when you last talked about the Revolution, the people about whom you may never have learned (including slaves' and women's involvement), and the big-picture meaning and impact of this war.

We talked in Episode 3 about the cost and risks of rebellion and treason. The American Revolution was the second bloodiest conflict in U.S. History1. Nearly one percent of the budding country’s population was killed; in 2017’s numbers, that’s like losing 3.2 million people. Freedom carries a heavy price.

We initially thought that there wouldn’t be a lot of original sources tied to the Revolution. Boy, were we wrong. Check out Teaching American History’s library, for example, and you’ll see what we mean.

Our other sources for this episode include:
-The Stamp Act and the Quartering Act (carryovers from our G3 episode)
-On slaves' and black women's involvement, from Digital History
-On the global aspect of the war, An Appeal to the Inhabitants of Quebec and more on the nature of the French Alliance

We leave you with a quote from George Washington, addressing his generals and officers several months after the Treaty of Paris declared the end of the War: “With a heart filled with love and gratitude, I now take my leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.”

1 In first place is the American Civil War. More on that later.