School Improvement in Maryland
Clarifications: Each clarification provides an explanation of an indicator/objective to help teachers better understand the skills and/or concepts.

Standard 5.0 History

Topic C. Conflict between Ideas and Institutions

Indicator 1. Examine and explain the role of religious, social and political institutions in America at the end of the American Revolution

Objective a. Analyze the political effects of the American Revolution on American society and culture

Clarification

The political changes caused by the American Revolution also had a profound impact on American society and culture. On the eve of the American Revolution, colonists identified themselves with their states. There was very little sense of being “American.” But as the states banded together to fight their common British enemy, a nascent sense of national patriotism emerged. Alongside momentous political developments such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, important cultural icons and traditions such as the American flag, the veneration of George Washington, and Fourth of July celebrations were born. Forging a true common nationality would be a long process that may not have been complete until after the Civil War and Reconstruction, but it had its origins in the Revolutionary era.

The political rhetoric of the Declaration of Independence had far-reaching effects. It reinvigorated the earliest colonists’ belief that America was destined to lead the world on a march toward liberty. Its emphasis on equality popularized the concept of meritocracy and encouraged white men who had previously accepted social and political inferiority to demand more. The spirit of democracy created a widespread desire for common men to acquire the virtue and knowledge necessary to be informed citizens of a republic, which led to the development of state-supported public schools and universities. Educational opportunities were even extended to women so that they would be capable of raising future good citizens. The rhetoric of equality also inspired some to begin the fight for civil rights for African Americans and women, movements that would profoundly affect American society for two more centuries.

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Resources for Objective 5.C.1.a:
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