The American War of Independence - Redcoats and Rebels

Ref: C2337929

These sessions will consider how a group of thirteen squabbling and diverse colonies achieved their independence from the British Empire and established the United States of America. They will explore many fascinating characters from King George III and George Washington to humble people - some Loyalists and some Patriots - and some who changed sides including the infamous Benedict Arnold. At times the story is inspirational and at times the cruelty and hatred upsetting but it is a story whose legacy continues in our own world. Loyalty and betrayal, heroism and cowardice, integrity and incompetence - these sessions have them all.

Course aim

To study the historical context, key personalities and major events of the American Revolutionary War or Fight for Independence.-

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No prior knowledge is required, just an interest in history.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • 1. Demonstrate an increased knowledge of the key events and major personalities of the American War of Independence.
  • 2. Use historical sources such as letters, official records, newspapers and various art works to illustrate this period of history.
  • 3. Explain why Britain lost the war and the thirteen colonies.
  • 4. Discuss the achievements and legacy of the American Revolution.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Pens, notepad and a file to store hand-outs would be useful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Libraries and websites offer vast amounts of material on this subject. A biography of George III or Washington or John Adams would be useful. American books to try include "1776 - America and Britain at War" by David MaCullough.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • The tutor will be happy to offer advice about further study.

Download full Course information sheet

The American War of Independence - Redcoats and Rebels


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  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
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  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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