OpenUW: A series of free courses presented by UW Educational Outreach
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 Part 1
Part One: The Colonies on the Eve of Revolution (1776)
 Part 2
Part Two: The Path to War
 Part 3
Part Three: The War and Its Consequences
The American Revolution*


The American Revolution


The American Revolution was an event unprecedented in history. It transformed the English and Europeans living in the colonies from loyal subjects of the Crown to proud citizens of a new nation. It replaced rule by monarchy with the promise of rule by ordinary people. The American Revolution was not only a political revolution, but also a social one, a revolution that put behind it forever the rigid hierarchical society of the Old World and opened the door to the building of a more egalitarian society. It was a revolution that paved the way for emancipation of slaves, enfranchisement of women, unparalleled economic growth, and the eventual emergence of the United States as a world power.

The following is recommended reading for this OpenUW course:

In this course, you will explore the features of colonial society at the time of the Revolution, the relationship between Britain and the colonies, and the elements that caused the relationship to change--almost overnight--from amicable to adversarial. You will follow the emergence of anti-British sentiment that led to the Declaration of Independence. You also will learn about the first form of government established after independence, and why it was replaced by the Constitution of the United States.

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What You'll Learn

After completing this OpenUW course, you will be able to discuss:

  • the economic and political life of the colonists prior to the Revolution;
  • the major political and economic factors that led the colonists to seek independence from Great Britain;
  • the effects of the American Revolution on American society;
  • the major differences between the Articles of the Confederation and the Constitution.
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