Freedom: A History of US.
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Webisode 2: Revolution
Introduction Segment 1 Segment 2 Segment 3 Segment 4 Segment 5 Segment 6 Segment 7 Segment 8 Segment 9

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A Daughter of Liberty
Segment 1
A Revolutionary Minuteman A People's War

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That Declaration of Independence did it See It Now - The Declaration of Independence. On July 4, 1776, we Americans announced that we were free See It Now - Announcing the Declaration. Of course, England wasn't going to give up her colonies without a fight. But American people fought for a revolutionary idea: the idea that they could rule themselves. And so it was called a revolution—the American Revolution. It was a people's war See It Now - A Colonial Minuteman; men, women and children took part. Women did things they hadn't done before See It Now - A "Daughter of Liberty", they ran farms and businesses, sewed clothes for soldiers, and helped make gunpowder and cannonballs. Deborah Sampson See It Now - Deborah Sampson disguised herself as a man, served in the army for three years, and was wounded twice, taking care of her own wounds to avoid being found out. Yet equal work did not make women really free. They were still ruled by their fathers or husbands. They couldn't vote. Abigail Adams pointed this out to her husband: Hear It Now  - Abigail Adams "Whilst you are proclaiming peace and goodwill to men ... you insist upon retaining an absolute power over wives Check The Source - "I Desire You Would Remember the Ladies"."

What about African-Americans? No one knows the number for sure, but about 5,000 black men and boys are said to have fought on the American side during the Revolutionary War. Fourteen year old James Forten wanted to be a part of it. Like everyone in Philadelphia, he'd heard those words, "all men are created equal." James signed on as a powder boy on an American ship and fought bravely. He was imprisoned by the British, but then offered a chance to live in England. Forten wouldn't consider it. He was an American and he said, "I shall never prove a traitor to my country."

But why would blacks fight for a nation that allowed slavery Check The Source - Massachusetts Blacks Petition for the Right to Vote? This war for freedom and equality was confusing Check The Source - On the American Hypocrisy of Slavery.

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Did You Know?
About 5,000 black men and boys are said to have fought on the American side during the Revolutionary War (out of about 300,000 soldiers in all).

In 1774, a group of slaves from Massachusetts wrote a letter to Governor Gage demanding freedom. The slaves went to court and won their freedom through a series of court decisions. In most other northern states, laws were passed ending slavery. Those laws were not always enforced.

Did you know that Freedom is adapted from the award-winning Oxford University Press multi-volume book series, A History of US by Joy Hakim?

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