In our final lecture, we'll examine the last years of the war, culminating in the British defeat at Yorktown. How and why did Britain's General Charles Cornwallis manage to get his army bottled up there? How did the Americans and the French combine their forces to compel his surrender? And finally, we'll attempt to place the American Revolution in historical perspective by comparing it with its sequel, the French Revolution, which not only emerged out of the financial crisis caused by French support for the American Revolution but was also inspired by the American example. Why did the French Revolution culminate in the dictatorship of Napoleon, whereas the American Revolution issued in the reluctant presidency of George Washington? We'll highlight the career of the Marquis de Lafayette, a brilliant success in the American Revolution, but a failure in the French Revolution, from which he was fortunate to escape with his head still attached to his body!


Gordon S. Wood,

The American Revolution: A History,

Modern Library,

ISBN 0812970411


Here is a PDF document you can download and print with Prof. Thompson's reading for the whole quarter.

AmRevRec Reading