The American Revolution

The American Revolution

Led by: Prof. Denver Brunsman (George Washington University)
Course Number: AMHI 621
Semesters: Fall 2016, Spring 2019, Summer 2020, Summer 2022, Spring 2024



Image: The British Surrendering Their Arms to Gen: Washington after Their Defeat at York Town in Virginia October 1781, Tanner, Vallance, Kearny & Co., and William Allen after a drawing by John Francis Renault, New York, 1819 (The Gilder Lehrman Institute, GLC05861)

Tanner, Vallance, Kearny & Co. and William Allen The British surrendering their Arms to Gen: York Town

Course Description

This course will explore the American Revolutionary era, defined broadly. Participants will gain insight into new scholarly approaches to traditional subjects, including American resistance to British rule, the decision for independence, and America’s victory in the Revolutionary War.

In addition, participants will consider marginalized figures and groups, including loyalists, women, African Americans, and American Indians, whose roles challenge conventional interpretations of the Revolution. Finally, the course will examine how the Revolution gave birth to a new—and fractious—style of politics under the Articles of Confederation and US Constitution. This dramatic range of people and events is not for the faint of heart. Participants will engage in a project as timeless as the Revolution itself: interpreting what exactly American independence meant for the inhabitants of North America and the world. 

Download Draft Syllabus Purchase Course Books

We receive an affiliate commission from every purchase made through the link provided. Thank you for supporting our programs!

Lecture preview will be available shortly.

About the Scholar

Denver Brunsman, Chair, Department of History, George Washington University

Denver Brunsman is chair of the department of history at George Washington University, where he writes and teaches on the politics and social history of the American Revolution, early American republic, and British Atlantic world. His book The Evil Necessity: British Naval Impressment in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World (2013) received the Walker Cowen Memorial Prize for an outstanding work in eighteenth-century studies in the Americas and Atlantic world. He is also a co-author of the college and AP US History textbook Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People (2015).

The views expressed in the course descriptions and lectures are those of the lead scholars.