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.
The American Revolution entailed some remarkable transformations--converting British colonists into American revolutionaries, and a cluster of colonies into a confederation of states with a common cause--but it was far more complex and enduring then the fighting of a war. As John Adams put it, "The Revolution was in the Minds of the people... before a drop of blood was drawn at Lexington"--and it continued long past America's victory at Yorktown. This course will examine the Revolution from this broad perspective, tracing the participants' shifting sense of themselves as British subjects, colonial settlers, revolutionaries, and Americans.
As one of the world's great universities, Yale traces its roots back to the early 1640s when colonial clergyman sought to establish a school in order to continue the tradition of European education within the Americas. Yale has now grown to educate over 11,000 students from over 100 countries on a 310-acre campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Within the school's 260 buildings are over 2,000 undergraduate programs in 65 departments taught by a distinguished faculty. As Academic Earth's first partner school, Yale has been a leader within the space of OpenCourseWare by consistently delivering on its esteemed mission to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.