Lecture 12 - Civil War

author: Joanne B. Freeman, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Feb. 14, 2013,   recorded: February 2010,   views: 2356
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Professor Freeman concludes the discussion of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration was widely circulated and read aloud throughout the colonies. Professor Freeman argues that by 1775-1776, British and American citizens were operating under different assumptions about how the conflict between them could be resolved. The American colonists began to organize themselves for defensive measures against an aggressive British state. Meanwhile, the British assumed that the rebels were a minority group, and if they could suppress this radical minority through an impressive display of force, the rest of the colonists would submit to their governance again. Spring of 1775 saw the beginnings of military conflict between the British army and colonial militias, with fighting at Lexington, Concord, and Breed's Hill. As a result, the colonists began to seriously consider the need for independence, and the Continental Congress began the process of organizing a war.

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