Yale The American Revolution with Joanne B. Freeman

Yale The American Revolution with Joanne B. Freeman

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
Professor Freeman offers an introduction to the course, summarizing the readings and discussing the course’s main goals. She also offers five tips for studying the Revolution: 1) Avoid thinking about the Revolution as a story about facts and dates; 2) Remember that words we take for granted today, like “democracy,” had very different meanings; 3) Think of the “Founders” as real people rather than mythic historic figures; 4) Remember that the “Founders” aren’t the only people who count in the Revolution; 5) Remember the importance of historical contingency: that anything could have happened during the Revolution.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: Is the War Part of the American Revolution?
08:24 – Chapter 2. Reading Materials for the Course
13:45 – Chapter 3. Freeman’s Tips One and Two: Facts and Meanings
22:13 – Chapter 4. Freeman’s Tip Three: The Founders Were Human, Too
31:33 – Chapter 5. Freeman’s Tip Four: The Other Revolutionaries
37:48 – Chapter 6. Freeman’s Tip Five and Conclusion
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
Professor Freeman discusses what it meant to be a British colonist in America in the eighteenth century. She explains how American colonists had deep bonds of tradition and culture with Great Britain. She argues that, as British colonists with a strong sense of their British liberties, settlers in America valued their liberties above all else. She also explains that many Americans had a sense of inferiority when they compared their colonial lifestyles to the sophistication of Europe. Professor Freeman discusses the social order in America during the eighteenth century, and suggests that the lack of an entrenched aristocracy made social rank more fluid in America than in Europe. She ends the lecture by suggesting that the great importance that American colonists placed on British liberties and their link with Britain helped pave the way for the Revolution.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction
02:02 – Chapter 2. Association of Colonists’ Identity to English Monarchy
11:51 – Chapter 3. The British Colonists’ Inferiority Complex
20:34 – Chapter 4. The Fluidity of American Social Order: Gentry Minorities, Prisoners, and Religious Exiles
35:02 – Chapter 5. Salutary Neglect’s Effect on British Liberties in the Colonies and Conclusion
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
Professor Freeman discusses the differences between society in the American colonies and society in Britain in the eighteenth century. She uses examples from colonists’ writings to show that the American colonies differed from British society in three distinct ways: the distinctive character of the people who migrated to the colonies; the distinctive conditions of life in British America; and the nature of British colonial administration.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction
02:30 – Chapter 2. From Dr. Hamilton’s Diary: Religiosity, Diversity, and Coloniality
11:56 – Chapter 3. Risk-takers, Landowners, Voters: Life in British America
17:31 – Chapter 4. Door Persuasions and Middling Society
23:33 – Chapter 5. Free Will and Spiritual Equality: The Impact of the Great Awakening
32:13 – Chapter 6. The Power of Colonial Legislatures and the British-American Identity
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
Professor Freeman discusses colonial attempts to unite before the 1760s and the ways in which regional distrust and localism complicated matters. American colonists joined together in union three times before the 1760s. Two of these attempts were inspired by the necessity of self-defense; the third attempt was instigated by the British as a means of asserting British control over the colonies.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction
02:52 – Chapter 2. Intercolonial Opinions: Notes from Jefferson, Washington, and Adams
11:44 – Chapter 3. Colony Types, and Differences between New England and Middle Colonies
23:58 – Chapter 4. Education and Social Culture in the Southern Colonies
30:43 – Chapter 5. Dutch Expansion and the English Dominion: The First Two Unions
36:30 – Chapter 6. The French and Indian Threats: The Third Colonial Union
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
Professor Freeman concludes her discussion (from the previous lecture) of the three early instances in which the American colonies joined together to form a union. She then turns to a discussion of the Stamp Act crisis, and how American colonists found a shared bond through their dissatisfaction with the Stamp Act. Faced with massive national debts incurred by the recent war with France, Prime Minister George Grenville instituted several new taxes to generate revenue for Britain and its empire. The colonists saw these taxes as signaling a change in colonial policy, and thought their liberties and rights as British subjects were being abused. These feelings heightened with the Stamp Act of 1765. Finding a shared cause in their protestations against these new British acts, Americans set the foundation for future collaboration between the colonies.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: The Albany Congress of 1754
09:32 – Chapter 2. British Budget Post-French and Indian War, and the Sugar Act
22:24 – Chapter 3. Colonial Responses to the Early Acts, and the Stamp Act
30:49 – Chapter 4. Limited Liberties in Virtual Representation and the Stamp Act
36:02 – Chapter 5. Patrick Henry on the Stamp Act and Conclusion
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
Professor Freeman discusses the mounting tensions between the colonists and the British in the late 1760s and early 1770s. The Virginia Resolves were published and read throughout the colonies in 1765, and generated discussion about colonial rights and liberties. Colonies began working together to resolve their problems, and formed the Stamp Act Congress in 1765. Meanwhile, Boston was becoming more radicalized and mobs began acting out their frustration with British policies. Colonists began to believe that the British were conspiring to oppress their liberties, a belief that seemed to be confirmed when the British stationed troops in Boston. The mounting tension between the Bostonians and British troops culminated in the violence of the Boston Massacre in March 1770.
00:00 – Chapter 1. The Circulation of the Virginia Resolves
03:47 – Chapter 2. The Stamp Act Congress and Parliamentary Thoughts on the Stamp Act
10:11 – Chapter 3. Mob Protests by the Sons of Liberty
15:41 – Chapter 4. The Repeal of the Stamp Act and the Complications of the Declaratory Act
19:39 – Chapter 5. Reactions to the Townshend Acts and Samuel Adams’s Propaganda
31:48 – Chapter 6. Different Viewpoints on the Boston Massacre
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
Professor Freeman continues her discussion of the Boston Massacre and how it represented a growing sense of alienation between the American colonists and the British authorities. The Americans and British both felt that the colonies were subordinate to Parliament in some way, but differed in their ideas of the exact nature of the imperial relationship. This period saw the formation of non-importation associations to discourage merchants from importing British goods, as well as committees of correspondence to coordinate resistance. One instance of such resistance occurred in December 1773, when Boston radicals who were frustrated with the Tea Act threw shipments of tea into Boston Harbor.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Different Conceptions of Colonists’ Relationship to Britain
07:55 – Chapter 2. The Growth of Non-Importation Associations in the Colonies
19:05 – Chapter 3. Taxing as Display of British Supremacy: Parliament’s Reactions
26:34 – Chapter 4. The Impact of the Tea Tax and the Development of Committees of Correspondence
33:50 – Chapter 5. Colonial Interpretation of and Reactions to the Tea Act: The Boston Tea Party
43:09 – Chapter 6. British Dismantling of Colonial Governance and Conclusion
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
Professor Freeman lays out the logic of American resistance to British imperial policy during the 1770s. Prime Minister Lord North imposed the Intolerable Acts on Massachusetts to punish the radicals for the Boston Tea Party, and hoped that the act would divide the colonies. Instead, the colonies rallied around Massachusetts because they were worried that the Intolerable Acts set a new threatening precedent in the imperial relationship. In response to this seeming threat, the colonists formed the First Continental Congress in 1774 to determine a joint course of action. The meeting of the First Continental Congress is important for four reasons: it forced the colonists to clarify and define their grievances with Britain; it helped to form ties between the colonies; it served as a training ground for young colonial politicians; and in British eyes, it symbolized a step towards rebellion. The lecture concludes with a look at the importance of historical lessons for the colonists, and how these lessons helped form a “logic of resistance” against the new measures that Parliament was imposing upon the colonies.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: The Logic of Resistance
03:23 – Chapter 2. North’s Intolerable Acts and Colonial Solidarity
11:28 – Chapter 3. The First Continental Congress
19:14 – Chapter 4. Jefferson’s Dinner Party and the Influence of Enlightenment Thought on the Colonists
27:24 – Chapter 5. Jefferson’s Reflection on Hamilton’s Favorite Hero
35:58 – Chapter 6. The Logic of Colonial Unity from the British Perspective
45:48 – Chapter 7. Edmund Burke’s Warning and Conclusion
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
The lecture first concludes the discussion of the First Continental Congress, which met in 1774. Ultimately, although its delegates represented a range of opinions, the voices of the political radicals in the Congress were the loudest. In October 1774, the Continental Congress passed both the radical Suffolk Resolves and the Declaration and Resolves, which laid out the colonists’ grievances with Parliament. The Congress also sent a petition to the King which warned him that the British Parliament was stripping the American colonists of their rights as English citizens. Given such radical measures, by early 1775, many American colonists were choosing sides in the growing conflict, and many chose to be Loyalists. Professor Freeman concludes her lecture with a discussion of the varied reasons why different Loyalists chose to support the British Crown, and what kinds of people tended to be Loyalists in the American Revolution.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: The Loyalists
01:32 – Chapter 2. Radical Voices in the First Continental Congress: the Grand Council and the Suffolk Resolves
17:23 – Chapter 3. Deliberations over Declaration and Resolves, and the Impact of the Continental Association
27:49 – Chapter 4. Taking Sides: The King’s Friends, or the Loyalists
37:53 – Chapter 5. Loyalist Demographics
44:46 – Chapter 6. Conclusion
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
This lecture focuses on the best-selling pamphlet of the American Revolution: Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, discussing Paine’s life and the events that led him to write his pamphlet. Published in January of 1776, it condemned monarchy as a bad form of government, and urged the colonies to declare independence and establish their own form of republican government. Its incendiary language and simple format made it popular throughout the colonies, helping to radicalize many Americans and pushing them to seriously consider the idea of declaring independence from Britain.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: Voting on Voting
01:40 – Chapter 2. On Paine’s Burial
05:52 – Chapter 3. Colonial Mindset during the Second Continental Congress
12:28 – Chapter 4. Serendipity and Passion: The Early Life of Thomas Paine
21:53 – Chapter 5. Major Arguments and Rhetorical Styles in Common Sense
33:45 – Chapter 6. Common Sense’s Popularity and Founders’ Reactions
39:16 – Chapter 7. Social Impact of the Pamphlet and Conclusion
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
In this lecture, Professor Freeman discusses the Declaration of Independence and sets the document in its historical context. The Declaration was not the main focus of the Second Continental Congress, which was largely concerned with organizing the defensive war effort. The Congress had sent King George III the Olive Branch Petition in a last attempt at reconciliation in August 1775, but the King ignored the petition and declared the colonies to be in rebellion. Throughout the colonies, local communities began debating the issue of independence on their own, often at the instruction of their colonial legislatures, and these local declarations of independence contributed to the formal declaration of independence by the Continental Congress in July 1776. Professor Freeman concludes the lecture by describing the decision to have Thomas Jefferson draft the Declaration.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: Independence
03:38 – Chapter 2. Organizing for War during the Second Continental Congress
10:46 – Chapter 3. King George III’s Response to the Olive Branch Petition and the Release of Common Sense
18:01 – Chapter 4. The General Populace’s Thoughts on Cries for Independence
28:35 – Chapter 5. Debates on Drafting a Formal Declaration of Independence
39:33 – Chapter 6. Editing the Declaration and Conclusion
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
Professor Freeman concludes the discussion of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration was widely circulated and read aloud throughout the colonies. Professor Freeman argues that by 1775-1776, British and American citizens were operating under different assumptions about how the conflict between them could be resolved. The American colonists began to organize themselves for defensive measures against an aggressive British state. Meanwhile, the British assumed that the rebels were a minority group, and if they could suppress this radical minority through an impressive display of force, the rest of the colonists would submit to their governance again. Spring of 1775 saw the beginnings of military conflict between the British army and colonial militias, with fighting at Lexington, Concord, and Breed’s Hill. As a result, the colonists began to seriously consider the need for independence, and the Continental Congress began the process of organizing a war.
00:00 – Chapter 1. The Editing Process of the Declaration of Independence
04:26 – Chapter 2. Short Cheers for Independence, Looming Plans for War
10:16 – Chapter 3. British Thoughts on Colonial Radicalism and Plans for Display of Force
19:19 – Chapter 4. The Symbolic Battle at Salem
25:07 – Chapter 5. The Conciliatory Resolution and Gunshots at Lexington and Concord
35:23 – Chapter 6. Changing British and Americans Opinions at Breed’s Hill
41:42 – Chapter 7. Congress’s Efforts to Organize War Efforts and Conclusion
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
In this lecture, Professor Freeman discusses four difficulties that the Continental Congress faced in organizing the colonial war effort: regionalism, localism, the supply shortage that the Continental Army faced in providing for its troops, and the Continental Congress’s inexperience in organizing an army. The lecture concludes with a discussion of a Connecticut newspaper from July 1776.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: Organizing a War
02:54 – Chapter 2. Regionalism in Leadership and Military Makeup: The Promotion of George Washington
21:50 – Chapter 3. Localism and Supply Shortages: Issues in Fighting for a National Cause and in Fighting with Proper Equipment
29:31 – Chapter 4. Continental Congress’s Inexperience in Organizing an Army
42:31 – Chapter 5. Snapshot of Early Communication in the States: The Connecticut Courant
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
In this lecture, Professor Freeman discusses Benedict Arnold as a case study of the ways in which ideas about regionalism, social rank, and gender – and the realities of the Continental Congress and the Continental Army – played out in this period. Like many Americans during this period, Benedict Arnold thought that he could improve his social rank and reputation in the military, but he was unable to advance due to the Continental Congress’s policy on military promotions. Frustrated and facing mounting personal debts, he decided to aid the British in exchange for a reward. Arnold and his wife Peggy developed a plan for Arnold to smuggle American military plans to the British with the help of a young British soldier named John André. However, André was captured while smuggling Arnold’s papers and the plot quickly unraveled. In the end, Arnold fled; his wife played upon conventional stereotypes of women to avoid punishment; and André was executed but idealized in the process.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: Complications within the Continental Congress
06:48 – Chapter 2. Opportunities for Social Mobility in the American Revolution
14:20 – Chapter 3. Benedict Arnold’s Early Frustrating Military Career
23:36 – Chapter 4. Arnold’s Marriage with Peggy Shippen and Plans for Spying
37:39 – Chapter 5. The Unraveling of Arnold’s Plot
44:17 – Chapter 6. An Example out of John Andre and the Fate of the Arnolds
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
To show how Americans experienced the war and made difficult choices, Professor Freeman offers a spur-of-the-moment lecture on New Haven during the Revolution, discussing how Yale College students and New Haven townspeople gradually became caught up in the war. Warfare finally came to New Haven in July 1779 when the British army invaded the town. Professor Freeman draws on first-hand accounts to provide a narrative of the invasion of New Haven.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: The Revolution in New Haven
06:16 – Chapter 2. Yale College as the Seedbed of Political Protest and its Relation with the New Haven Community
17:18 – Chapter 3. Diversity of Colonial Opinions at Yale and the Formation of New Haven Military Units
26:05 – Chapter 4. British Landing in New Haven and Yale’s Call to Arms
41:08 – Chapter 5. The Influence of the Revolution on Citizenship and Leadership in the Common Person
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
This lecture focuses on George Washington and the combined qualities that made him a key figure in Revolutionary America, arguing that the most crucial reason for his success as a national leader was that he proved repeatedly that he could be trusted with power – a vital quality in a nation fearful of the collapse of republican governance at the hands of a tyrant.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: The Importance of George Washington
03:36 – Chapter 2. The Many Merits of Washington from the Letters of Hamilton and Adams
15:42 – Chapter 3. Ingredients of the Washington Phenomenon: Self-Presentation, Fortune, and the Need for a King
25:07 – Chapter 4. Balancing Solemnity with Humility: Washington as the Reluctant Leader
30:13 – Chapter 5. Washington’s Symbolic Gestures as Commander-in-Chief of a Republican Army
43:08 – Chapter 6. Washington’s Legacy as a Leader
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
In this lecture, Professor Freeman explains the logic behind American and British military strategy during the early phases of the Revolution. First, she discusses the logistic disadvantages of the British during the war: the difficulties shipping men and supplies from more than three thousand miles away; the vast expanse of countryside with no one central target to attack; difficulties in recruiting British soldiers to fight in America; and the fact that the British faced a citizen army comprised of highly motivated soldiers who didn’t act in predictable ways. In addition, the British consistently underestimated the revolutionaries in America, and overestimated Loyalist support. Professor Freeman also discusses the four main phases of the Revolutionary War, differentiated by shifts in British strategy. During the earliest phase of the war, the British thought that a show of military force would quickly lead to reconciliation with the colonists. During the second phase, the British resolved to seize a major city – New York – in the hope that isolating New England from the rest of the colonies would end hostilities. By 1777, the war had entered its third phase, and the British set their sights on seizing Philadelphia and defeating George Washington. This phase ended with the Battle of Saratoga in late 1777.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction
04:14 – Chapter 2. British Disadvantages in the War
10:39 – Chapter 3. British Assumptions of Citizen Armies and Loyalists
18:45 – Chapter 4. The First Phase: British Displays of Force
29:31 – Chapter 5. The Second Phase: Capturing New York
41:42 – Chapter 6. Third Phase: Defeating Washington and the Battle at Saratoga
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
Today’s lecture concludes Professor Freeman’s discussion of the four phases of the Revolutionary War. America’s victory at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777 marked the end of the third phase of the war, and led to a turning point in the conflict: France’s decision to recognize American independence and enter into an alliance with the fledging nation. Although the British made one final attempt at reconciliation in 1778 with the Conciliatory Propositions, they were rejected by the Continental Congress. The fourth and final phase of the war lasted from 1779 to 1781, as the British Army focused its attention on the American South. The British seized Charleston and South Carolina, and defeated the Continental Army in a series of battles. But with the help of the French fleet, Washington was able to defeat Cornwallis’s army at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. Peace negotiations to end the Revolutionary War began in Paris in June of 1782.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: The Revolution was Not Inevitable
04:46 – Chapter 2. Summary of the First Three Phases of the War
12:13 – Chapter 3. Franklin in Paris and France’s Recognition of America
21:20 – Chapter 4. The British Conciliatory Propositions and their Rejection
25:09 – Chapter 5. The Final Phase: Valley Forge and the American South
39:04 – Chapter 6. The French Impact on the War and Peace Negotiations in Paris
45:08 – Chapter 7. Victory, Independence, and Uncertainty
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
In this lecture, Professor Freeman discusses the experiences of African Americans, women, and Native Americans during the Revolution, framing her discussion within a larger historical debate over whether or not the Revolution was “radical.” Freeman ultimately concludes that while white American males improved their position in society as a result of the Revolution, women, African Americans, and Native Americans did not benefit in the same ways.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: War and Society
01:53 – Chapter 2. How Radical was the Revolution?
08:52 – Chapter 3. African Americans during the American Revolution: Issues on Fighting and Slavery
24:02 – Chapter 4. The Extent of Inclusion of Women in the Political Community
34:24 – Chapter 5. Native Americans’ Relations with the British and the Americans
41:34 – Chapter 6. Conclusion
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
This lecture discusses the ongoing political experimentation involved in creating new constitutions for the new American states. Having declared independence from Great Britain, Americans had to determine what kind of government best suited their individual states as well as the nation at large; to many, this was the “whole object” of their revolutionary turmoil. Different people had different ideas about what kind of republican government would work best for their state. Should there be a unicameral or a bicameral legislature? How should political representation be organized and effected? How far should the principle of popular sovereignty be taken?
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: Confederation
03:13 – Chapter 2. An Atmosphere of Experimentation with Governance
07:47 – Chapter 3. Congressional Encouragement of New State Constitutions
13:38 – Chapter 4. Adams’s Thoughts on Government: Support for Bicameral Legislature
20:12 – Chapter 5. Core Tenets and Ideas in the State Constitutions
32:30 – Chapter 6. The Development of the Articles of Confederation
41:31 – Chapter 7. Conclusion
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
In this lecture, Professor Freeman discusses the Articles of Confederation. Although they seem hopelessly weak in the long view of history, the Articles made perfect sense as a first stab at a national government by a people who deeply distrusted centralized power – a direct product of their recent experience of the British monarchy. Among the many issues that complicated the drafting of the Articles, three central issues included: how war debts to European nations would be divided among the states; whether western territories should be sold by the national government to pay for those debts; and how large and small states would compromise on representation. When a series of events – like Shays’ Rebellion – highlighted the weaknesses of the Articles, some Americans felt ready to consider a stronger national government.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: A Union Without Power
02:12 – Chapter 2. Representation, Taxation, Western Lands: Debates on the Articles of Confederation
10:03 – Chapter 3. The Immediate Effects of the Articles
17:15 – Chapter 4. Frail Foreign Relations, Weak Congress, Splitting States: Weaknesses in the Confederation in the 1780s
30:40 – Chapter 5. Shays’ Rebellion and Newbough Conspiracy: Their Impacts on Thoughts for a Stronger, National Government
40:02 – Chapter 6. How Can the States be United? Debates on the National Constitution
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
In this lecture, Professor Freeman discusses how the new nation moved towards creating a stronger, more centralized national government than the Articles of Confederation. Complications of commerce between individual states – a factor that wasn’t regulated by the Articles – led to a series of interstate gatherings, like the Mount Vernon Conference of March 1785. Some strong nationalists saw these meetings as an ideal opportunity to push towards revising the Articles of Confederation. Professor Freeman ends with a discussion of James Madison’s preparations for the Federal Convention, and the importance of his notes in understanding the process by which delegates drafted a new Constitution.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: The Road to the Constitutional Convention
06:07 – Chapter 2. Complications of Interstate Commerce and the Mount Vernon Conference
13:11 – Chapter 3. Nationalist Hopes to the Revise the Articles of Confederation
23:29 – Chapter 4. Madison’s Historical Analyses of Republics and the Results of the Annapolis Convention
37:27 – Chapter 5. Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
Professor Freeman discusses the national debate over the proposed Constitution, arguing that in many ways, when Americans debated its ratification, they were debating the consequences and meaning of the Revolution. Some feared that a stronger, more centralized government would trample on the rights and liberties that had been won through warfare, pushing the new nation back into tyranny, monarchy, or aristocracy. The Federalist essays represented one particularly ambitious attempt to quash Anti-Federalist criticism of the Constitution. In the end, the Anti-Federalists did have one significant victory, securing a Bill of Rights to be added after the new Constitution had been ratified by the states.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: The Constitution was Not Inevitable
08:48 – Chapter 2. State Fears of Monarchy: Attendees of the Constitutional Convention
22:24 – Chapter 3. Initial Plans to Revise the Articles and Madison’s Virginia Plan
29:11 – Chapter 4. The New Jersey Plan and Hamilton’s Praise of British Governance
34:56 – Chapter 5. Debates on State Representation, Slavery, and the Executive Branch
44:44 – Chapter 6. Conclusion
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
Professor Freeman discusses the national debate over the proposed Constitution, arguing that in many ways, when Americans debated its ratification, they were debating the consequences and meaning of the Revolution. Some feared that a stronger, more centralized government would trample on the rights and liberties that had been won through warfare, pushing the new nation back into tyranny, monarchy, or aristocracy. The Federalist essays represented one particularly ambitious attempt to quash Anti-Federalist criticism of the Constitution. In the end, the Anti-Federalists did have one significant victory, securing a Bill of Rights to be added after the new Constitution had been ratified by the states.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: Creating a Nation
02:53 – Chapter 2. Difficulties in Ratifying the Constitution: Exchanges between Jefferson and Madison, and Ezra Stiles’s Diary
14:20 – Chapter 3. Debates on Balance of Power between Anti-Federalists and Federalists
22:32 – Chapter 4. In Defense of the Constitution: The Federalist Essays
28:54 – Chapter 5. The Anti-Federalists’ Push for Bill of Rights
36:04 – Chapter 6. General Consensus on Experimenting with Republican Government and Conclusion
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.

The American Revolution (HIST 116)
Professor Freeman discusses when we can consider a revolution to have ended, arguing that a revolution is finally complete when a new political regime gains general acceptance throughout society – and that, for this reason, it is the American citizenry who truly decided the fate and trajectory of the American Revolution. Yet, in deciding the meaning of the Revolution, the evolving popular memory of its meaning counts as well. Founders like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams frequently told younger Americans not to revere the Revolution and its leaders as demigods, insisting that future generations were just as capable, if not more so, of continuing and improving America’s experiment in government. Professor Freeman concludes the lecture by suggesting that the ultimate lesson of the American Revolution is that America’s experiment in government was supposed to be an ongoing process; that the Revolution taught Americans that their political opinions and actions mattered a great deal – and that they still do.
00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction: The End of the Revolution
02:21 – Chapter 2. Change and Acceptance of Revolutionary Principles between the 1770s and 1790s
15:00 – Chapter 3. Gauging Change in Public Opinion and Acceptance of New Governance: Eyewitness Accounts
24:29 – Chapter 4. Reconstructing and Remembering the American Revolution: The Founders’ Reflections
39:27 – Chapter 5. Revolution Runs in the People: A Conclusion
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2010.