Lectures in Liberty

The Institute sponsors a variety of lectures and other presentations on aspects of the American Revolution and its legacy, given by leading scholars in the American history field. A selection of these talks—many given as public lectures at the Institute’s headquarters, Anderson House—has been recorded and is available below. These presentations address major political, social and cultural aspects of the Revolutionary era, from the interests of the British Empire to the ratification of the United States Constitution. The videos also explore major people and events of the Revolutionary War, from the Battle of Bunker Hill to the Newburgh Conspiracy. Most of the productions are available both in full length and in shorter chapter segments for use either in classroom instruction or for personal learning.


Louis XVI and the War of American Independence

John Hardman
October 25, 2019

Professor John Hardman, former lecturer in modern history at the University of Edinburgh and biographer of King Louis XVI, presents the 2019 George Rogers Clark Lecture on the king’s decision to support the American War for Independence. Louis, he…

The American Revolution and the French Military Enlightenment

Christy Pichichero
October 10, 2019

Christy Pichichero, associate professor at George Mason University and the 2015 Tyree-Lamb Fellow of the American Revolution Institute, discusses her work on war and the Enlightenment in the context of French experiences during the American Revolution. French officers such…

A Portrait of American Loyalist James DeLancey

Emily Schulz Parsons
November 16, 2018

Portraits of American loyalists depicted in the uniforms they wore when they fought against the patriot cause are rare. Emily Parsons discusses a recently acquired oil painting of Colonel James DeLancey of Westchester County, New York, who led several loyalist…

Battlefield Clean-up during the American War of Independence

Robert Selig
October 30, 2018

Battlefield clean-up is a topic rarely covered by modern historians. However, following almost any military engagement, corpses need to be buried. Who disposed of these corpses and how can we tell who buried whom? Were officers and other ranks…

The American Revolution on the Spanish Borderlands

Kathleen DuVal
October 26, 2018

Lexington, Valley Forge and Yorktown are familiar, but few Americans have ever heard of the capture of Mobile or the Siege of Pensacola—events that were critical to the outcome of the Revolutionary War, the future of the American South…

Colonel Jeremiah Lee of Marblehead

Robert Booth
October 3, 2018

Colonel Jeremiah Lee was a fabulously wealthy colonial merchant who turned against the British Empire and became a leader of the rebel movement in Massachusetts. Historian Robert Booth brings this outspoken revolutionary to life as part of the 250th anniversary…

Was the American Revolution Inevitable?

Robert Allison
October 27, 2017

The American colonies broke with the British empire in 1776, but could they remain united even as they fought in a common cause? The people in the colonies had profound differences—religious, social, political and economic—that surfaced in local…

The British Empire and the Causes of the American Revolution

Andrew O'Shaughnessy
October 28, 2016

Great Britain provoked the American Revolution by pursuing increasingly authoritarian policies to centralize control over its North American colonies. These colonists, fearful of the Crown’s similarly harsh treatment of the Irish, rebelled against the tyranny that likely followed for…

American Prisoners in the Revolutionary South

Carl P. Borick
April 19, 2016

During the Siege of Charleston in 1780, British forces under General Sir Henry Clinton and Admiral Mariot Arbuthnot captured nearly six thousand American troops, the largest number of prisoners taken during a single operation of the Revolutionary War. Mr. Borick…

Washington’s Face: What did the Average Citizen See?

Wendy Wick Reaves
February 23, 2016

At the start of the Revolutionary War, almost any fictitious image could pass as a portrait of an American hero, but George Washington as commander-in-chief warranted extra efforts. American printmakers searched for an accurate likeness of Washington throughout…

Archaeology at Parker’s Revenge

Meg Watters
December 9, 2015

On April 19, 1775, a fight later known as Parker’s Revenge broke out between the Lexington Militia, led by Captain John Parker, and the British, who were retreating to Boston after the Battles of Lexington and Concord. While the…

American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World

Maya Jasanoff
October 23, 2015

At the end of the American Revolution, sixty thousand Americans loyal to the British cause fled the United States and became refugees throughout the British Empire. Loyalists traveled to Canada, they sailed for Britain, they journeyed to the Bahamas and…

Two Narratives of the French Army’s March to Yorktown in 1781

Rachel Jirka
August 14, 2015

Ms. Jirka shares two manuscript narratives of the French army’s march to Yorktown in 1781 from the library collections of the American Revolution Institute, written by Henri-Dominique de Palys, chevalier de Montrepos, and Robert Guillaume, baron de Dillon…

The March to Yorktown

Robert Selig
July 16, 2015

Robert Selig traces the epic 1781-1782 march of French forces under the comte de Rochambeau to and from Yorktown, alongside their American allies led by George Washington, as they traveled from Newport, Rhode Island, and West Point, New York…

An Empire Divided: The American Revolution in the Caribbean

Andrew O'Shaughnessy
December 4, 2014

There were twenty-six colonies, not thirteen, in British America in 1776, and the majority of the colonies outside the mainland were in the Caribbean. Even though they shared many important similarities and connections with the mainland colonies, they did…

George Washington and the Newburgh Conspiracy

James Kirby Martin
October 24, 2014

Rumors of peace after Yorktown brought anxiety to soldiers in the Continental Army. Congress had not paid them for some time, and they would soon return home, many impoverished. The soldiers had sacrificed prime years of their lives in the…

Revolutionary War Heroes in the Art of the U.S. Capitol

Farar Elliott
November 15, 2013

In the early nineteenth century, Americans searched for icons to unite them as a new nation, particularly ones that evoked civic virtue. The only symbols that the fractured and growing nation could agree on were Revolutionary War heroes. Ms. Elliott…

Women in the American Revolution

Carol Berkin
October 25, 2013

The American War of Independence was a home-front war that brought scarcity, bloodshed and danger into the life of every American, women included. While men left to fight, women shouldered greater responsibility as they maintained their farms alone and…