George Washington and the American Revolution

Expand/Collapse George Washington and the American Revolution


Dive into media-rich resources from George Washington’s Mount Vernon that highlight his role as a leader during the American Revolution. See the progress of the war through the actions and decisions of General George Washington, such as direct confrontation, military strategy, disease prevention, and spy techniques.

  • Yorktown: Now or Never

    Learn about the low point in the American Revolution just before the Yorktown Campaign, which triggered the events that allowed the Colonial Army to win the war, in this video by George Washington’s Mount Vernon. This visually-rich movie engages students in the details of American military history through animated maps, live action re-enactors and compelling narration. Explore the full collection of George Washington and the American Revolution resources.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Yorktown: The French Alliance

    Follow George Washington’s decision to move the course of action to Yorktown, Virginia in this video created by George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Learn about Washington’s challenge to identify the best course of action with the French allies as he decides to confront the British Command in Virginia instead of New York. This visually-rich movie engages students in the details of American military history through animated maps, live action re-enactors and compelling narration. Explore the full collection of George Washington and the American Revolution resources.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Yorktown: The Siege Begins

    Learn about the events that initiated the siege at Yorktown and positioned the Colonial Army and its French Allies for a victory in this video created by George Washington’s Mount Vernon. This visually-rich movie engages students in the details of American military history through animated maps, live action re-enactors and compelling narration. Explore the full collection of George Washington and the American Revolution resources. 

    Grades: 6-12
  • Spy Techniques of the Revolutionary War: Culper Code Book

    Decipher and create historically-accurate spy communications like those used by George Washington and the Culper Spy ring in the American Revolutionary War using this primary source and transcript (see Support Materials -> For Students). Leaders were dependent on reliable communication channels for military success; Washington’s secret intelligence served as a critical advantage over the oft-superior British forces. Put yourself in the shoes of the colonial spies and deepen your understanding of the challenges and purpose for spy communications. Explore the full collection of George Washington and the American Revolution resources.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Smallpox Inoculation Letter

    Identify George Washington’s priority for vaccination against smallpox during the American Revolution through analysis of this primary source and transcription. This letter is one example of many inoculation directives sent to different recruitment offices; it shows the priority he gave to the medical health of his soldiers which, in turn, strengthened his forces during the American Revolution.  Analyze the transcription (See Support Materials -> For Students) to better understand the recruitment process and medical challenges during the 18th Century. Explore the full collection of George Washington and the American Revolution resources.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Washington Crossing the Delaware Painting Interactive

    Analyze the painting, "George Washington crossing the Delaware,” to improve skills with art-based source material and deepen understanding of American Revolution events through this digital interactive. Use this vivid and famous artwork to explore the strengths and limitations of historical sources, both primary and secondary.  Explore this interactive and see how historical accounts of the American Revolution differ from the way the artist portrayed the events and the reasons why the artist made some of those choices. Visit the full collection of George Washington and the American Revolution resources.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Interactive Map of the Battle of Trenton

    Track the action of the American Revolution’s Battle of Trenton and increase your skills reading and using maps of historic events by using this interactive made by George Washington’s Mount Vernon.  The events of the Battle of Trenton illustrate the life of a Revolutionary War soldier, the tactics used to beat British forces, and the heroics of American leaders like George Washington and James Monroe.  Each highlighted point on the map provides student-access points to the larger historical narrative in this defining point in American History.  Explore the full collection of George Washington and the American Revolution resources.

    Grades: 6-12
  • George Washington's Revolutionary War Bed

    Use this interactive digital representation of George Washington's portable bed from the American Revolution to improve skills in object-based analysis and learn more about battlefield life during the war. The collapsible bed is suited for the large amount of ground he covered during his time a commander of the Colonial forces.  Each hotspot on the resource provides object-based historical evidence upon which students can use to draw conclusions about the life of a leading officer on an 18th century battlefield.  Explore the full collection of George Washington and the American Revolution resources.

    Grades: 6-12
  • George Washington: Letter to Thomas McKean, October 16, 1781

    Analyze the Siege of Yorktown using the report General George Washington sent to the Continental Congress with a transcription of the primary source provided by George Washington’s Mount Vernon. After a decisive week of fighting at the Siege of Yorktown, General George Washington wrote this letter to the President of the Continental Congress, Thomas McKean; his account of the preceding action shows the Colonial forces are positioned for success. Explore the full collection of George Washington and the American Revolution resources.

    Grades: 6-12

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