Traditions and Encounters, AP Edition (Bentley), 5th Edition

Chapter 28: Revolutions and National States in the Atlantic World

Interactive Map Quiz


Map A. American Revolution

The military phase of the American Revolution began in Massachusetts in 1775, but quickly spread. An American invasion of Canada in 1775 and 1776 proved unsuccessful, but combined with patriot agitation in the South, it convinced the British that the colonial revolt was not a local phenomenon in the area around Boston. After the British evacuated Boston, the focus of the war moved to New York and Pennsylvania. There, from 1776 to 1778, the struggle turned into a conventional war in which the American were woefully overmatched. A series of British blunders and misfortunes allowed the Americans to escape defeat and even to score an important victory in upstate New York in the fall of 1777. The British turned their attention to the South, and spent three frustrating years battling a new and baffling form of guerrilla warfare throughout the Southern countryside. Despite significant victories at Savannah and Charleston, the British commander Lord Cornwallis was forced to surrender the bulk of the British troops at Yorktown on October 17, 1781.

In the first phase of the war, where were the forts that the British used for their attacks? What geographical features did Britain take advantage of to press its attack?


What cities were key to both British and Colonial strategy? What features of climate and geography made these cities so important?


How did climate and geography impact the American and British war effort? What are some examples of hardships or opportunities imposed by these factors on both sides of the war?


How was the war in the South different from that in the rest of the colonies? How did geographic and human settlement patterns make it difficult for England to win the war in the South?


How did the entry of France into the war give a critical advantage to the colonists? What new path of transport and troop movement did the French intervention open up for the colonists? How did this entry weaken Britain's military position?


Map B. Napoleon's Empire

This interactive map details the empire of Napoleon circa 1812. After the chaos of the French Revolution, France needed a centralizing force to help re-establish the country as a world power. With the rise of nationalism and empire building, France looked to gain territory through imperial wars. Although there was some fighting in the late eighteenth century, the central struggle began in 1804, with the coronation of Napoleon as Emperor of France. In this map, Napoleon's empire is shown at the height of his power in 1812. While Britain still retained supremacy of the seas, the armies of Napoleon were clearly superior on land. However, during the 1812 invasion of Russia, his armies suffered a huge loss. Over 400,000 men marched towards Russia, crossing the Nieman River in June. In September, the French army captured and burned Moscow, but Alexander I, the current Tsar, refused to surrender, and Napoleon was forced into a massive retreat. Over 275,000 men died during the retreat; many of the deaths were due to the freezing weather. By the time of his return to Paris in November, only 10,000 soldiers were left. At the same time, Napoleon's forces were losing many smaller battles in Spain, and his troops were again forced into retreat. By 1814, France had lost much of the advantage it once had, and Napoleon abdicated the throne and was exiled to Elba.

Discuss the difference between cultural and political nationalism.


Compare and contrast the goals and results of the French and American revolutions.


Where did slavery fit in the enlightenment theory of equality?


Write an essay explaining the relationship between the revolution and the nation state. Do revolutionary movements always seek to create a nation?

Traditions & Encounters, 5e
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