In this course, readers are provided an in-depth look at the single most consequential event of American history: the American Revolution. Distinguished historian Edmund Morgan wrote that no one has ever quite understood the Revolution and that no one ever will.
This course is an attempt, at least on some level, to prove him wrong. While the American Revolution now appears to have been inevitable, it was, in fact, highly improbable. An early conversation between Continental Congressman Eldridge Gerry and Benjamin Harrison about the prospect of being hanged by the British is a prime example of the enormous risks that were involved. In the following pages, it will be shown just how problematic and uncertain this period of history actually was.