American History: A Survey (Brinkley), 13th Edition


Main themes of Chapter Five:

  • The political strategies employed by the 2nd Continental Congress in declaring their independence from England and uniting the colonies in military endeavor

  • The battle strategies and military contingencies that characterized the three distinct phases of the American War of Independence

  • The attempt by Americans to apply revolutionary republican ideology to the building of the nation and to the remaking of society, and how this application affected such minority groups as African-Americans, Native Americans, and women in the newly independent colonies

  • The problems that remained after, or were created by, the American Revolution and that were faced by the weak national government under the Articles of Confederation
A thorough study of Chapter Five should enable the student to understand the following:
  • The historical debate surrounding the nature of the American Revolution and the reasons for disagreement

  • The defining of American war aims and the importance of Thomas Paine's Common Sense

  • The origins and content of the Declaration of Independence

  • The three distinct phases of the War for Independence, and its transformation into a new kind of conflict that worked against British military superiority

  • The impact of the Revolution on women, African-Americans, Native Americans, and other minorities

  • The assumptions and rhetoric of the political philosophy of republicanism

  • The types of governments created by the new states, and the important features in their governments

  • The course of diplomacy between Americans both during the War and in the years afterwards during attempts to stand up the new nation

  • The features of the Articles of Confederation, and the reasons for its creation

  • The domestic and diplomatic problems faced by the government under the Articles of Confederation, and how they were addressed

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