tart by watching the first part of an award-winning PBS video — Liberty: The American Revolution.
It is 53 minutes long (no commercials!) and can be watched by clicking HERE (Links to an external site.).
Once the video screen has appeared, the video will soon begin. Be patient.
As you watch the video, question everything. Many of the events mentioned in it are treated by Foner, but in many cases there is a difference of emphasis and interpretation. Be alert also to what is left out of the video. All selection is interpretation. Omissions sometimes speak louder than what is selected.
As you view it, keep the following questions in mind and answer them for this forum assignment. At all times, compare what you see in the video with the version of this period in your textbook:
- What reasons are given in the video for the intensification of the conflict between Great Britain and the 13 colonies? Give several reasons, not one or two. Complex historical events are never monocausal. Next, why couldn’t these differences be resolved?
- Classify these reasons: are they long or short-term? Are the culprits humans, institutions, deep-lying economic trends and expectations? How well do these reasons in the video agree with what Foner states in the textbook? Where do they part company, and why?
- This video, as the host says at the start, is about Power. Using the video and the textbook, what was the power due and appropriate for government in the period from 1763 to 1783 and what powers were not appropriate or “illegal”? What was the proper role of government? In answering this question, answer it from the point of view of the following groups of colonists: 1.) to a rich Virginian planter 2.) a free black man working the wharves of New York City? 3.) a New England farmer? 4.) a Philadelphia merchant whose ships carried rum from Barbados to the colonies and Europe. Speculate on what their answers would be to these questions given your reading of Foner. Eric Foner gives you the context for this period — essential information. Give the possible answers these figures would make given the situation they found themselves in, identifying them and discussing at some length why they probably viewed the situation as they did. Use the textbook as well to create your answer.