This chapter covers the struggle for independence from the British as well as a struggle for national identity. Americans had traditions of local autonomy and power competing against the new and much more fragile concept of nationhood. Various groups based on class, sex and ethnic identity also made demands upon the new state governments and Congress. Economic dislocation added to the volatile mix. The national government under the Articles of Confederation managed successfully to gain independence and make certain reforms. Its inability to solve economic problems and resulting internal rebellions led to a desire to strengthen the national government and create a more centralized United States.
After reading this chapter you should be able to:
Explain how the experience of Valley Forge helped build a greater sense of being American.
Outline the basic events of the war for independence and the negotiation for peace.
Summarize the contributions of various groups (Indians, African Americans, women) in the Revolution, as well as the Revolution’s effects on these groups.
Describe the structure of the government under the Articles of Confederation and list its successes.
List the various rights and reforms enacted in the states in the revolutionary era.
Discuss the major economic problems and the resulting dislocations and rebellions that took place.
Trace the continued development of Americans as a united people as opposed to individual colonies from 1763 to 1786.