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The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17, 1775 by John Trumbull (circa 18th century). Vintage etching circa 19th century.

The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17, 1775 by John Trumbull (circa 18th century). Vintage etching circa 19th century.

How The American Revolution Became Part of The Current Political Divide

July 13, 2023

How The American Revolution Became Part of The Current Political Divide

Ask Students: What is the significance of 1776 to members of the current militias mentioned in the piece? How is nationalism different from patriotism?

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The American Revolution and the founding founders are two parts of U.S. history celebrated on July 4. But two centuries later, 1776 was a rallying cry for rioters disrupting a national election at the Capitol. It’s an example of how the politics and rhetoric around the founding have become ideological tools and can eclipse the actual history involved.

For a transcript of this story, click here.

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Discussion Questions

  • What is the significance of 1776 to members of the current militias mentioned in the piece?
  • How is nationalism different from patriotism?
  • When did conservative Americans say U.S. society being to change in a way that encouraged them join militias and similar groups?
  • Why is there an increasing social and political divide among Americans in more recent history?
  • What is the role of historians in helping more Americans understand history?

Focus Questions

Should the Founding Fathers be celebrated? Why or why not?

Media Literacy: Why did journalist Lisa Desjardins interview these particular two individuals in her discussion of the current political divide?

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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