John Adams once wrote, ?Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom!? Americans indeed witnessed great struggles and challenges in this era and fought, often with each other, to define liberty, patriotism, equality, the rule of law, and ultimately what it meant to be a nation. This course will cover the crucial founding period of United States history, including detailed explorations and discussions of the fracturing of the British Empire, the long war for independence, the framing and ratifying of the constitution, the expansion of slavery, and the new republic tested by the dangers of a world at war in the early nineteenth century. The contributions of major figures including Adams, Jefferson,Washington, Hamilton, and Madison will also be discussed in depth.