Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Since this week began with our celebration of Independence, I thought I would share my notes from a book I read last year on the leaders of the American Revolution.  The "founding era" is my favorite time period in U.S. history.  Last summer, I read Jack Rakove's Revolutionaries.  Here are some basic themes and lessons I learned from this book (from a Power Point I used in class to discuss the book with students):

- Must distinguish between 2 generations:
Older: Independence (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, etc.)
Younger: Constitutional government (Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, etc.)
- "The revolution made them as much as they made the revolution”
- New England: lack of diversity = a people united
- Middle Colonies: diversity = potential for more civil disorder
- Radical or Conservative? (Ideas, what changes and doesn’t change)

- This revolution affected the world (inspiration for other revolutions, changing the geo-political relationship among nations, effects still evident today with our founding documents and ideas)

One segment of the book I personally enjoyed was the story of Henry and Jack Laurens of South Carolina and the personal trauma both endured.  I remember being so aggravated at Jack Laurens for how he treated his wife.  There's a brief discussion about Laurens on the Amazon page for this book (linked here). 

Here are some other notes regarding the social history of the Revolution that I use in class:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...