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After Britain’s expensive victory in the French and Indian War of 1754 -
1763, the crown decided to recoup some of the costs of defending the
colonies by taxing the colonists. The colonists were outraged at the tax,
but unlike their British counterparts, had no elected representatives in
Parliament. "Taxation without representation is tyranny," became
a battle cry. Each year at this time, we celebrate the colonists’ victory
and the birth of our nation. Happy Independence Day!
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"Now, the ride of Paul Revere set the nation on its
ear, and the shot at Lexington heard ’round the world, when the British
fired in the early dawn, the War of Independence had begun, the die was
cast, the rebel flag unfurled." You can listen to this frolicking
song from School House Rock in a variety of formats, but the animated
QuickTime movie is my favorite. Click on "Back" for links to
more revolutionary tunes such as No More Kings and Fireworks.
This easy-to-peruse time line starts with the early explorers
("1000 A.D. – Leif Ericson, a Viking seaman, explores the east coast
of North America and sights Newfoundland, establishing a short-lived
settlement there.") and continues to the early years of our new nation
("July 10, 1790 – The House of Representatives votes to locate the
national capital on a ten square-mile site
along the Potomac, with President George Washington choosing the exact
location.") Don’t miss their Five Tips on writing a better history
"It’s 1763. You’re a basically happy, content
colonist in North America. British and proud of it. The French and Indian
War has just ended. Peace reigns on the continent. What did Great Britain
create, in 1765, that put you on The Road to Revolution?" So begins
the interactive game that puts you in the middle of the revolutionary
action. Other fabulous clicks are Perspectives on Liberty (a clickable
view of daily colonial life) and Liberty Today (a photo montage of newly
My favorite click at this student-created site is the Road to
commander of the continental army. You will be responsible for managing
troops, trading for supplies and money, and for coping with disasters. . .
. To win this war, you must conquer five fictional cities, each city better
defended than the previous." Additional sections cover Key Events,
Heroes, and Major Battles of the Revolutionary War.
In late July 1777 "the largest [British] armada ever assembled in
America set sail off of Sandy Hook, New Jersey. It was carrying 17,000
British soldiers and sailors in over 260 ships. The armada was headed for
an attack on the capital city of Philadelphia. They underwent a distressful
thirty-four day sea-trek. The voyage took its toll in lost time, seasick
soldiers, and scores of dead horses. Washington’s troops started in
northern New Jersey and shadowed the movement of the British fleet."
Starting with an excellent backgrounder on the events that spurred the
colonists to revolt, this virtual marching tour provides a battle-by-battle
view of the war.