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Desert Area Teaching American
History Institute

Resources for Learning About
the American Revolution on the Internet

General Sites:

American Revolution Timeline
Here are hyperlinked timelines of American Revolutionary history. Divided by date range, the 1756-1774 timeline links to the French and Indian War and the taxation acts passed by the British parliament. The subsequent timelines link to descriptions of battles through the establishment of the Articles of Confederation. Standards 5.5.1, 5.5.3, 5.6.1, 5.6.2, and 8.1.3

Pictures of the Revolutionary War
This National Archives photo collection relates to the American Revolution. They are photographic copies of works of art. The dates and mediums of the originals and the names of the artists are given wherever it has been possible to determine them. They are categorized into twelve topics for easy access. Standards 5.5.1, 5.5.2, 5.5.3, 5.5.4, 5.6 all

American War of Independence: The Rebels and the Redcoats
This BBC site provides a fascinating description of the American Revolution from a British perspective. It links to articles about the war, a timeline, biographies of William Pitt and George the III, and a multimedia presentation on weapons throughout history. Standard 5.6.1

Biographies of the American Revolution
Here are brief biographies of over 120 men and women who were part of history at the time of the American Revolution. Both British and Americans ae listed but also some of the French and Polish leaders. Standard 5.6.0

Role of African Americans in the American Revolution
African American soldiers were on both sides and brought new hopes for freedom to many. Standard 5.6.7 and 8.1.2

Hargrett Rare Map Collection – American Revolution
This collection of historical maps from Hargrett features primary source maps from the era of the American Revolution. Some show war zones and others are detailed maps of states and towns. Standard 5.6.1

American Revolution and Its Era:
Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750-1789

This Library of Congress collection of maps from the Revolutionary era has over 2000 items. There is a thorough explanation of each. Some sizes are not as larger as would be valuable for classroom use. Standard 5.6.1

U.S. History Maps
This list of clear maps with in-depth annotations provides a summary of American history from colonial to modern times.

Liberty! The American Revolution
This PBS site will bring the American Revolution alive to everyone, young and old. The chronology of events, leading to and following from the Revolution, are described in the eye-appealing fashion of a newspaper or broadside. The chronology is very useful for researching events happening simultaneously. For young students, there are interactive pictures describing life on a colonial farm or daily activities of a British or American soldier. Standards 5.5 all and 5.6 all

Liberty Kids
This is a kid-friendly site developed by PBS to support their Liberty Kids TV programs. It can be used independently of the show. The characters are from Philadelphia at the time of the revolution and include Benjamin Franklin, and others from his household or print shops with a range of views on the liberty movement among the colonials. Standards 1.3.3, 3.4.3, 3.4.6, and 5.5.4

1776-1783: Diplomacy of the American Revolution
This U.S. State Department site has fascinating information about the behind-the-scenes work of the diplomats who negotiated for the warring colonies during the Revolution in Paris, Madrid, Holland and Russia. Many believe that French support for the Americans in the Revolution was essential element in our winning independence. Standards 5.5.4 and 5.6.2

Revolutionary Leaders:

Paul Revere House: Paul Revere Biography
Description: Find out about Paul Revere's life, his silversmith business and those important years at the beginning of America as a nation. Standards 2.5, 3.4.6, 5.5.4, and 5.6.1

The Paul Revere - Midnight Rider Virtual Museum
Description: From this Entrance Foyer you may visit five different exhibit halls about Revere and the American Revolution. Each exhibit has one or more activities for you to complete. Some activities can be done individually while others are better done in a small group or with your whole class. Check with your teacher first. The Midnight Rider Virtual Museum is designed to be visited in order, beginning with Hall One. This will build your knowledge of Paul Revere and his Midnight Ride step by step. Standards 3.4.6, 5.5.4 and 5.6.1

The Electric Ben Franklin
The remarkable Benjamin Franklin, a printer by trade, a scientist by fame, and a man of action by all accounts, continues to shape American thinking and action. The Independence Hall Association has commissioned and assembled these resources for educators and students to explore the diversity that was Benjamin Franklin. Included are a biography, his autobiography, a timeline, primary sources, the kite experiment, quotes, and much more. Standards 5.5.4, 5.6.2, and 8.9.1

World of Benjamin Franklin: Glimpses of the Man
Here is a comprehensive look at Franklin and his contributions as a scientist, philosopher, musician, economist, inventor, printer, and statesman. Included are links to a timeline, Poor Richard's Almanac, and the Franklin Institute. Standards 2.5, 3.4.6, 5.5.4, 5.5.3, 8.2.1 and 8.2.2

George Washington
A George Washington biography, a description of his time in Williamsburg, and an excerpt from the book Duel in the Wilderness. Standards 2.5, 3.4.6, 5.5.4, and 5.6.1

George Washington's Home Page
Here is the entire collection of George Washington's diaries and papers. When did he find the time? Standards 5.5.4, 5.6.3, 8.2.4, 8.4.2

Captain Nathan Hale (1755 - 1776)
Written by Mary Otner of the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, this biography of Nathan Hale shows the sacrifice he made when signing on to Washington army in the American Revolution. In 1776, Washington desperately needed to know the site of the upcoming British invasion of Manhattan Island. The best way to obtain this pivotal information was to send a spy behind enemy lines and Nathan Hale volunteered. Standard 5.6.1

Marquis de Lafayette: French Soldier & Statesman
This is a brief biography of Lafayette by writers from A & E's Lucid Cafe site. It links to other online resources and to places where viewers may purchase books on Lafayette. Standard 5.6.2

Story of Molly Pitcher
This is a brief description of the exploits of Mary Hays McCaul, known today as Molly Pitcher, during the American Revolution. Standard 5.6.3

Sybil Ludington
This is a brief description of Sybil Ludington's ride to muster American troops in her father's regiment to stop the British from mass destruction of the town of Danbury. It has a map of her route. Standard 5.6.3


The "Boston Massacre"
On March 5, 1770 a mob of men and boys taunted a British soldier guarding the Boston Customs House. When other British soldiers came to his aid there was a confused conflict in which the British fired shots into the crowd. This quickly became known as the Boston Massacre. Here are primary sources related to the event. Standard 5.5.1

Battles of Lexington and Concord
This article by Braden Giacobazzi presents an account of the battles which "fired the shot heard 'round the world." Click on the embedded links to learn more about some of the people and ideas that are presented.

The Boston Massacre Files
This rich site has a complete and authoritative coverage of the Boston Massacre including a description of the event, pictures, documents, a time line, and a story of the trial. There is even a section on the British view of the event. Standard 5.5.1

Boston Massacre: An Anonymous Account
Description: This is an excerpt from the transcript of the trial of Captain Thomas Preston who was in charge of British troops involved in the Boston Massacre, March 12, 1770. Standards 5.5.1

Boston Tea Party
Description: This section of the From Revolution to Reconstruction site of the University of Groningen is a clear essay on the causes and results of the Boston Tea Party. Standard 5.5.1

Boston Tea Party: Eyewitness Account
Description: This primary source account of the Boston Tea Party was written by George Hewes. This page from The History Place does not have an introduction or background information but the spelling and grammar have been modernized. Standard 5.5.1

“Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” -
A Picture Essay of Patrick Henry’s Famous Speech

Who was Patrick Henry? And why do we remember his words? Learn about it here. Standard 5.5.4

The Decisive Day Is Come: Battle of Bunker Hill
The Massachusetts Historical Society set up this site to commemorate the 225th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill. There is a background essay for the teacher, a timeline, manuscript and printed accounts of the battle, biographies of John Adams, Abigail Adams, Joseph Warren, Mercy Otis Warren, John Burgoyne, Israel Putnam, etc., and maps and views of the battle site and surroundings. In addition to the famous correspondence between John and Abigail Adams, there are letters and journals of American and British soldiers, as well as civilian observers who lived in the Boston area. Standards 5.6.1 and 5.6.3

Virginia Plantation Owner's Diary
These entries from the diary of Colonel Landon Carter of Virginia in 1776 describe what happened when some of the plantation's slaves ran away as a result of the Dunmore’s Proclamation. Standard 5.6.4 and 8.7.2

Declaration of Independence and War:

Founding.com – A User’s guide to the Declaration of Independence
This site by the Claremont Institute focuses on the Declaration of Independence and other founding documents, asking key questions to guide readers to understanding. What is so special about the Declaration of Independence? What Do the Ideas of the Declaration Mean for Individual Citizens? Do the Principles of the Declaration Include Us All? What is equality? Does Equality Mean Equal in All Respects? Equality of Rights: What is the Basis of Human Equality? What Is a Right and What is Not? and Are there Natural Rights Other than those Listed in the Declaration? Standards 5.5.3, 8.1.2, 10.2.2, 11.1.0, and 12.1.3

Declaration of Independence - 1776
Although the section of the Lee Resolution dealing with independence was not adopted until July 2, 1776, on June 10th the Continental Congress appointed a committee of five to draft a statement of independence for the colonies. The committee included Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman, with the actual writing delegated to Jefferson. Here is what they wrote. Here is an introduction, a transcript, and a printable version in handwriting of the Declaration of Independence. Standards 3.4.3, 5.5.3, 8.1.2, 10.2.2, 11.1.1 and 12.1.3

Declaration of Independence
This is a primary source document showing America's Declaration of Independence. Standards 3.4.3, 5.5.1, 5.5.3, 7.11.4, 8.2.1, 8.2.2, 10.2.2, 11.1.2, and 12.2.1 civics

Lee Resolution - 1776
This short document was written by Richard Henry Lee at the direction of the Second Continental Congress. Though brief, it declares independence, calls for the formation of foreign alliances, and for the formation of a confederation. Standard 5.5.2


George Washington - Master of Misinformation
The misinformation machine created by George Washington was critical to the winning of the Revolutionary War. It became clear in 1776 that the American army was no match for the British in direct confrontation. So Washington quite early in the war adopted a strategy of delayed confrontation hoping ultimately to lure the British into battle where the situation favored an American victory. Standard 5.6.1

Major Events of the Revolutionary War
From Paul Revere's Ride to the Treaty of Paris, learn about the major event of the American Revolution. Almost 40 events are described, some of them battles, others events such as the Declaration of Independence. All the text is brief and readable and most is supported by a map or picture. Standard 5.5.3 and 5.6.1

Virtual Marching Tour of the American Revolution
This page on the USHistory.org site has a great history of battles of the American Revolution beginning with the Philadelphia Campaign 1777. It has a quick history of the Revolutionary War 1765-1777 plus an overview of the events leading up to the campaign. Standard 5.6 1

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