WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION?
"The British are coming!" shouted Paul Revere.
"If they mean to have a war, let it begin here!" said Captain John Parker on Lexington Green in the predawn light of April 19,1775.
"Don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes!" yelled Colonel Prescott at Bunker Hill.
When asked about the American Revolution, many Americans remember only a few "historic" quotations like these. But each quotation is questionable because (1) no authenticated contemporary accounts verify that these words were spoken by these men, and (2) given the historical context, it is unlikely that these people would have expressed their thoughts in precisely these words.
For example, Paul Revere would have said "the Regulars" were coming, not "the British," since all colonists considered themselves British Americans before war broke out and sides were taken.
IS IT MYTH OR REALITY?
Here are more myths that are often accepted as authentic fact:
Myth: Most of the early action of the war took place in Boston.
Reality: As described in this book, other towns, from Cambridge to Concord, were involved in the start of the Revolution, as were other colonies.
Myth: All American colonists supported the Revolutionary War effort.
Reality: Only about one third of Americans were patriots, one third were
Tories loyal to the king, and the other third were neutral or indifferent.
Myth: Colonial patriots consisted exclusively of white Protestant males of British descent.
Reality: American patriots included in their ranks many diverse people (see this book’s chapters on women, children, blacks, Jews, and Native Americans).
Myth: The American Revolution was less significant than other wars, such as the Civil War.
Reality: Colonial patriots risked their lives to guarantee rights that, after independence, became guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Their actions laid the foundation for America’s greatness and inspired other freedom-fighters around the world.
Myth: We have nothing new to learn about the American Revolution today.
Reality: As this book explains, historians continue to study and reinterpret this important chapter in our history.
For every visitor to eastern Massachusetts, a wealth of discoveries await- in the pages of this guide and among the cities and towns, houses and greens, monuments and churches, and other sites waiting to be explored in ...
REVOLUTIONARY BOSTON, LEXINGTON AND CONCORD