WRITTEN EXERCISE #2
WE THINK WE KNOW THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR. AFTER ALL, TH E AMERICAN REVOLUTION AND
THE WAR THAT ACCOMPA NIED IT NOT ONLY DET ERMINED THE NATION W E WOULD BECOME
BUT ALSO CONTINUE TO DEFINE WHO WE ARE. T HE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, THE
MIDNIGHT RIDE, VALLE Y FORGE—THE WHOLE GLORIOUS C HRONICLE O F THE COLONISTS’
REBELLION AGAINST TY RANNY IS IN THE AMERICAN DNA. OFTEN IT I S THE REVOLUTION
THAT IS A CHILD’S FI RST ENCOUNTER WITH H ISTORY. YET MUCH OF WHAT WE KNOW IS NOT
ENTIRELY TRUE. PERHA PS MORE THAN ANY DEF INING MOMENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY, THE
WAR OF INDEPENDENCE IS S WATHED IN BELIEFS NOT BORNE OUT BY THE FACTS.
~ JOHN FERLING
We do think we know the Revolutionary War. We grow up hearing about it year
after year in class, and celebrate our foundings with fireworks every July 4th.
And yet, much of what we believe we know is not true. What is the traditional
story of this era? How does the picture of our “founding fathers” painted by
Zinn, Loewen, Brands and Lepore differ from the stories we often learn in
history courses? Indeed, after completing the assignments over the War for
Independence and the creation of the constitution, what do you believe this era
was truly about? What does Zinn argue the ultimate causes of the war and the
drafting of the constitution to be? Do you agree with him? Why or why not? And
what are the far-reaching consequences for us today of the continuing
mythologies surrounding this time and how they are canonized in the popular
“HISTORY IS FICTION, EXCEPT FOR THE PARTS THAT I LIKE, WHICH A RE, OF COURSE, TRUE. ”
~ JIM CORDER
U N I T E D S T A T E S H I S T O R Y
A M Y B E L L
1) Your response to the question must be typed—twelve point font, double-spaced.
In writing your answer, please do not exceed five pages.
2) In your response, try to mainly use only your assigned text(s), the instructor’s
handouts, or class notes taken from discussions. You may use additional
library or internet scholarly sources.
3) Your generalizations must be supported by direct citations from the text, class
notes, or instructor’s handouts.
4) Citations should be made in MLA format. For class notes or presentations, you
might use: (Discussion Board 1) or (class notes) or (Zinn 23).
Note: You must cite parenthetically throughout your narrative. Please follow this format. There
should be many citations throughout your response taken from the sources noted above because
assumptions and interpretations must be bolstered by citations.
The strength of your response is dependent largely upon your citation of the assigned sources.
5) Do not include a bibliography.
6) You may consult with your classmates in formulating an answer to this question.
However, you must write your own, unique, independent answer to this question.
7) Date Due: Please see date on eCampus Calendar.
“ONE IS ASTONISHED IN THE STUDY OF HISTORY AT THE RECURRENCE OF THE IDEA THAT
|EVIL MUST BE FORGOTT EN, DISTORTED, SKIMM ED OVER.||WE MUST NOT REMEMBER THAT|
|DANIEL||WEBSTER||GOT||D RUNK||BUT||ONLY||REMEMB ER||THAT||HE||WAS||A||SPL ENDID|
|CONSTITUTIONAL||LAWYE R.||WE||MUST||FORGE T||THAT||GEORGE WAHING TON||WAS A||SLAVE|
OWNER…AND SIMPLY REM EMBER THE THINGS WE REGARD AS CREDITABLE AND INSPIRING.
THE DIFFICULTY, OF C OURSE, WITH THIS PHI LOSOPHY IS THAT HISTORY LOSES ITS VALUE AS
AN INCENTIVE AND EXA MPLE; IT PAINTS PERF ECT MEN AND NOBLE NATIONS, BUT IT DOES
NOT TELL THE TRUTH.”
~W.E.B. DUBOIS ( BLACK RECONSTRUCTION)