Episode 163: The American Revolution in North America

When we think about North America during the American Revolution, most of our brains show us images of eastern Canada and the thirteen British American colonies that waged a revolution and war for independence against Great Britain.

But what about the rest of the North American continent? What about the areas that we know today as the midwest, the Great Plains, the southwest, the west, and the Pacific Northwest? What about Alaska? What went on in these areas during the American Revolution?

What did the American Revolution look like through the eyes of Native American peoples?

In this episode of the Doing History: To the Revolution series, we explore what the American Revolution looked like within the larger context of North American history with historians Claudio Saunt and Alyssa Mt. Pleasant.

About the Series

The mission of episodes in the Doing History: To the Revolution series is to ask not just “what is the history of the American Revolution?” but “what are the histories of the American Revolution?”

The Doing History series explores early American history and how historians work. It’s produced by the Omohundro Institute.

Be sure to check out Doing History season 1, Doing History: How Historians Work.

About the Show

Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.

It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.

Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.

Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.

Episode Summary

Historians Claudio Saunt and Alyssa Mt. Pleasant help us explore the American Revolution within the larger context of the history of North America during the revolutionary era.

During our exploration these scholars reveal why we only think about the eastern seaboard of North America when we think about the American Revolution; The independence and interdependence of North America and its people; And what the Revolution looked like and meant for the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois people.

What You’ll Discover

  • Why we think only of the eastern seaboard of North America
  • Consequences of dividing North America along the Mississippi River
  • Native American violence on the Great Plains
  • Spain and the American Revolution
  • Russians in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest
  • Spanish colonization of California
  • Spanish colonies in North America
  • Native American peoples in North America
  • Independence and interdependence of North America
  • The Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people and their culture
  • Haudenosaunee diplomacy
  • Gayaneshagowa or the Great Law of Peace
  • The Treaty of Paris, 1783
  • Native American resistance to American territorial claims
  • Treaty of Canandaigua, 1794


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