header by Emerson Taymor, 2005

1. The Colonial Era: 1607-1763

2. The Revolutionary Era: 1763-1789

3. The Early National Period: 1789-1824

4. Jacksonian America: 1824-1848

5. Antebellum America: 1848-1860

6. The Civil War Era: 1861-1877

7. The Gilded Age: 1877-1901

8. Progressivism: 1901-1920

9. The Twenties

10. Depression and New Deal: 1929-1939

11. World War II: 1939-1945

12. Early Cold War: 1945-1963

13. Social Ferment: 1945-1960

14. The Sixties

15. The Seventies and After




The Revolutionary Era: 1763-1789


timeline of the revolution

Andrew Burnaby scoffs at colonial unity (1760); colonial demographics and export information; smuggling and the Seven Years' War

Sir William Johnson confers with Iroquois leaders (1762); Joseph Ellis, His Excellency (a biography of George Washington), excerpt on French & Indian War

letters from Washington to Franklin about the French and Indian war; Samuel Davies, "Religion and Patriotism the Constituents of a Good Soldier" (1755); a 12-minute crash-course film explaining the war; Daniel Richter on the 7 Years War and Native Americans, from Facing East from Indian Country

PBS documentaries: The American Revolution; Religion in America

Cadwallader Colden, State of the Province of New York (1765)

Charles Woodmason, Letters from the Carolina backcountry (1768); historian William Hogeland on the Regulators in North Carolina

George R. T. Hewes, A Retrospect of the Boston Tea Party (1834); Caleb Crain, "Was the Tea Party a Good Thing?" New Yorker (2010); Janet Schaw visits Wilmington, NC (1774)

Bhu Srinivasan, "Taxes," from Americana: a 400-Year History of American Capitalism (2017); Alan Tayor, Colonial America: a Very Short History, on colonial consumption

Phillis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773) ; biography and excerpts from her writing; biography and writings by Ignatius Sancho; Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze, introduction to Race and the Enlightenment

Gouverneur Morris, The Poor Reptiles (1774); Connecticut resolution against the Intolerable Acts (1774)

Samuel Johnson, On Liberty and Slavery (1775); Samuel Seabury argues against independence (1775); Lemuel Haynes, "Liberty Further Extended" (1776)

Jefferson's deleted clause in the Declaration of Independence (1776); John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government (1690)


the events of 1775 in primary sources; Abigail and John Adams on what the revolution can achieve; the Declaration of Independence

from Gary Nash, The Unknown American Revolution: The Genie Unbottled; Unalienable Rights for Whom?; Fighting to Be Free

the Revolution at the periphery:

from Kathleen DuVal's Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution: Payamataha (Chickasaw); Alexander McGillivray (Creek); Petit Jean (an enslaved man in Mobile); Amand Broussard (an Acadian in New Orleans)

from Claudio Saunt, West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776: the Russians in Alaska; the Spanish in SF

from T.H. Breen, American Insurgents, American Patriots: reading 1; reading 2; reading 3; Robert Middlekauff, "Inside the Campaign," from The Glorious Cause (1982)

Ira Berlin on race and slavery after the Revolution, from Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America (1998); appeals for abolition, 1773-1783; Manisha Sinha on revolutionary antislavery, from The Slave's Cause (2016)

Virginia declaration of rights (1776); Kevin Kruse, "Independence Day Has Always Been a Political Battlefield," Washington Post (June 2017)

Crevecouer, Letters from an American Farmer (1782)

Peter Oliver, Origin and Progress of the American Revolution (1780s)

historiography: interpretations of the Revolution, 1775-1980


Lunenberg County pro-slavery petition (1785)

Thomas Jefferson on racial differences, from Notes on the State of Virginia (1787); Howard Zinn, "A Kind of Revolution," from A People's History of the United States


could the Articles of Confederation have worked?; abridged Articles of Confederation; Jay and Washington's letters from the 1780s; primary sources on Shays' Rebellion

Madison's Federalist #10, on the dangers of faction (1787); Elbridge Gerry on the evils of democracy (1787); George Clinton, an attack on the proposed Constitution (1787); the numbers in Hamilton's assumption plan; McCraw, "Mr. Hamilton's Growth Strategy"; how the First Bank worked, from the Federal Reserve; John Steele Gordon, "The Hamiltonian Miracle," from Hamilton's Blessing: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Our National Debt; Alana Semuels, "The Feudal Origins of America's Most-Hated Tax," The Atlantic (2016)--where property tax comes from


James Jackson vs Benjamin Franklin on Islam, America, and slavery, from Robert Allison, The Crescent Obscured (1995); Derrick Bell, "The Chronicle of the Constitutional Convention," from And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest for Racial Justice (1987); Joseph Ellis, "The Silence," from Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation (2000); why the Revolution did not lead to abolition, from Calvin Schermerhorn, Unrequited Toil (2016)

some amendments that sort of passed, but not completely, and are thus still out there (Richard Berke, New York Times (2010); two alums try to obtain a Letter of Marque (2010); on privacy and the Constitution, from Seth Lipsky, The Citizen's Constitution (2009); Noah Shusterman, "What the Second Amendment Really Meant to the Founders," Washington Post (Feb. 22, 2018); Jack Rakove, "The Accidental Electors," New York Times (2000); Steven Mintz, "Winning the Vote: A History of Voting Rights in America," Gilder Lehrman Center (2018)