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Describe the life and achievements of important leaders during the Revolution and the early years of the United States.
Focus Question: What were the key achievements of important Revolutionary Era men and women?
Topics on the Page
King George III
Mercy Otis Warren
Women in the American Revolution
for short summaries of the lives and accomplishments of women during this period. For more on women, see those highlighted on this page.
Africans in America: The Revolutionary War
for background on African Americans during the time.
African Americans During the American Revolution
from Colonial Williamsburg. Salem Poor was a hero of the Battle of Bunker Hill.
African Americans and Civil Rights in Pennsylvania
includes material on the American Revolution.
: Runaway slaves during the American Revolution and Thomas Jefferson's contradictory attitudes toward slavery.
Born 1735, and died July 4, 1826
Harvard educated lawyer
During the Revolutionary War, he served in France and Holland as diplomat
Served as George Washington's Vice President twice
Became the second president of the United States in the election of 1796 defeating old friend and rival Thomas Jefferson
Alien and Sedition Åcts
in response to the French-British War and was intended to frighten foreign agents out of the country
Retired to his home in Quincy, Massachusetts and later died on July 4, 1826
Video on the
Political Career of President John Adams
Born 1706, and died 1790
One of the Founding Fathers
He was a leading writer, publisher, inventor, diplomat, scientist, and philosopher.
He is well-known for his experiments with electricity and lightning, and for publishing "Poor Richard's Almanac" and the Pennsylvania Gazette.
He served as Postmaster General under the Continental Congress, and later became a prominent abolitionist.
He is credited with inventing the lightning rod, the Franklin Stove, and bifocals.
Franklin's Interactive Timeline
presents events from Franklin's life and times.
Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography
in this vook on iTunes.
King George III
Born 1738, died 1820
King of Great Britain.
George William Frederick ascended to the throne in 1760 at the age of twenty-two.
He played a major role in the creating the terms of the Treaty of Paris of 1763 that brought an end to the Seven Years War.
In 1770, finally gained control over the English Parliament with the installation of Lord North, as prime minister.
Repressive policies towards the American colonies throughout the North ministry backfired with the American rebels' struggle for independence from English rule.
Began peace negotiations to end the American Revolution in March 1782.
Born 1755, died 1804
Columbia University graduate, studied law
Supporter of John Locke
Was a lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army, under George Washington
Supporter of a stronger national government than that provided by the Articles of Confederation
A principle contributor to the
Became Secretary of the Treasury and created the Bank of the United States in 1791
Died in a shooting duel versus Vice President Aaron Burr in 1804
Check out the PBS documentary
Born 1743, died July 4, 1826
minister to France in 1785, resigned in 1793 due to disagreements with Hamilton over empathy for French Revolution
Assumed leadership of Republican party, attacked Federalist policies, opposed a strong centralized government
Vice President to Adams in 1796
acquired Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon in 1803 during his own presidency.
aimed to stay neutral during Napoleonic wars although trading policies with France and England made this difficult
retired to Monticello after Presidency
For more on Jefferson's Presidency, see
United States History I.22
participated in the framing of the Virginia Constitution in 1776, served in the Continental Congress, and was a leader in the Virginia Assembly
Wrote the Federalist essays, and helped to frame the Bill of Rights
Was elected President in 1808 and later declared war on Britain in the War of 1812
As a result of the victory in the War of 1812 the Federalist party disappeared as a national party in America
born 1732, died December 14, 1799
elected Commander in Chief of Continental Army 1775
Fought Revolutionary War, and in 1781 forced the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown with the help of the French
Knew the country wasn't functioning well under Articles of Confederation and was a primary component of starting the Constitutional Convention
Unanimously elected the first President of the United States in 1789
For more on Washington's Presidency, see
United States History I.22
Insisted on a neutral course of action in the French-English war that stemmed out of the French Revolution and in his
warned against the potential problems of longstanding alliances
Died of a throat infection on December 4, 1799
Did George Washington Chop Down His Father's Cherry Tree?
Historians now agree that he did not.
Click here to learn about the myths
about George Washington that can be found in Parson Mason Weems 1800 biography,
The Life of Washington
Click here to see
more George Washington myths debunked
Washington, the Whiskey Baron
, Michael Beschloss, The New York Times, February 14, 2016
about Washington and the cherry tree myth.
born 9/27/1722, died 10/2/1803
cousin of fellow activist John Adams
Was a Harvard educated lawyer, who worked in Thomas Cushings shop
Signed the Declaration of Independence
Member of the First Continental Congress
Was part of the meeting held right after Boston Massacre, and played a key role in the aftermath
Called by a newspaper in Boston the "Father of the American Revolution"
born 1/14/1741 and died 6/14/1801
Born in Norwich, CT and went to school at Canterbury
Was commissioned as the leader of an invasion of Canada by the Continental Congress
Was constantly involved in strife with in the politics of the early states and fellow officers
Was a valiant and courageous officer in battle and eagerly fought at any opportunity
Sometime during 1779, was involved in treason with the British
Gave information for 10,000 pounds and land in Canada.
The original and most famous traitor in American History.
Women's Roles and Impacts
, a leading voice in the revolutionary movement and later author of one of the earliest American histories,
History of Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution
She was also an ardent anti-federalist, anonymously writing
Observations on the New Constitution
(1788) in opposition to the proposed federal constitution.
Like other anti-federalists, her opposition ranged from the "lack of a bill of rights guaranteeing freedom of the press and the rights of individuals, to the indirect, antidemocratic method for electing the president" (Massachusetts: A Concise History, R.D. Brown & J. Tager, 2000, p. 108).
, wife of the second President and early voice for women's rights and involvement in politics.The relationship between John and Abagail Adams is considered one of the most fruitful partnerships in American history. In addition to mother and wife, Abagail Adams was one of John Adams's closest advisors and confidants.
To recieve a better look into the inner workings of their relationship, the Massachusetts Historical Society has digitized John and Abigail's
to and from Mercy Otis Warren.
Women of the American Revolution: A Unit of Study for Grades 5-8
from the National Center for History in the Schools.
Assessing Change: Women's Lives in the American Revolutionary Era
For some really cool and fun interactive games based on Revolutionary War please visit this site!!
As well as;
"Who Wants to Marry a Founding Father?"
to learn more about the lives of the men - and women - of the American Revolution.
Flashcards, Matching, Word Searches, or Concentration
to connect important places to their historical significance in the American Revolution.
Image IDs from left to right
Wikimedia Commons, "1788 JohnAdams by MatherBrown".
Wikimedia Commons, "Benjamin Franklin by Jean-Baptiste Greuze".
King George III
Wikimedia Commons, "King George III by Sir William Beechey".
Wikimedia Commons, "Hamilton small".
Wikimedia Commons, "ThomasJeffersonStateRoomPortrait".
Wikimedia Commons, "James Madison".
Wikimedia Commons, "George Washington 1795".
Mercy Otis Warren
Wikimedia Commons, "Mercy Otis Warren".
Wikimedia Commons, "Abigail Adams".
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