Redcoats and Rebels - The American War of Independence

Ref: C2338816

These sessions will explore the story of the birth of the United States and the many fascinating personalities involved, some of them very famous such as George Washington, but others just ‘ordinary’ folk who were there. In one sense the war was a civil war between ‘cousins’, and it could easily have ended differently as this course will explore. These sessions will explore the context and causes of the conflict of 1775-1783 and also their consequences for not only Britain and America but also the wider world. Wherever possible the course will access primary source material as the evidence for what took place. The topic is a fascinating one to study and it is very relevant to our understanding of the world which it helped shape so much.

Course aim

This course will study the American War of Independence, the world's first great popular revolution.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No prior knowledge is required, just an interest in history and a willingness to participate in group discussion and learning.

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

  • Demonstrate an increased knowledge of the key events and major personalities of the American War of Independence.
  • Use historical sources such as letters, official records, maps, newspapers, posters and various art works to illustrate this period of history.
  • Describe some of the key changes and continuities that occurred in American Colonial Society during the period.
  • Critically consider the popular stories of the American Revolution.
  • Have a greater awareness of how the American Revolution has shaped our world.

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?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • Mainly verbal feedback through individual and group 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

  • I really like Stephen Conway’s 'A Short History of the American Revolutionary War'. Session hand-outs will include many suggestions for further reading and useful websites connected to the particular topics.

What can I do next?

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

Download full Course information sheet

Redcoats and Rebels - The American War of Independence


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • 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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