1. The context of revolutions around the world helps to put the American Revolution in perspective. This would include events where the population rejected of monarchy, such as in France, the Caribbean, and other places. It would be useful to establish the relationship of different concepts such as liberty to the ideas of the American Revolution (Bailyn, 55-79).
2. The development and signing of the United States Constitution is a critical aspect of the American Revolution. This should be understood in terms of its meaning, but also in terms of the chronology of events and the people who are associated with those events. The debate leading up to signing of the Constitution makes clear the different interests and perspectives in the late 18th century as well as the intention of the founding fathers (Edling, 1-18).
3. Various aspects of life in the colony in the decades leading up to the American Revolution should be clear, especially how people in different regions had different interests, lifestyles and standards of living (Middlekauff and Woodward, Ch. 1-4). The differences between the north and the south, the diversity of religion and national background, the occupations which were common, and typical lifestyle and amenities (or lack of comforts) help in understanding what the difficulties and challenges were before, during and after the revolution.
4. The founding fathers should be explored, including brief biographical information and the contribution of each to the making of America (Morris, 1-334). By understanding Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton it can help to position not only key persons in the American Revolution and making of America, but also the concerns that each was representing. In other words, why was it these men? How did they each come to sit at the table of power in the creation of the United States? Other important inclusion for this would be the Federalist papers.
5. It is important to discuss who was present but left out of the founding of America. This would include African slaves (Freehling, 81-93). Native Americans, women, and the French and Spanish speaking people and households who had settled under other governments were also excluded. It is important to understand their lives, and how exclusion from the nation making process had impacts on them.
6. The concept of manifest destiny, its sources, and its impact on the development of America and its first one hundred years would be important as it helps to understand the justification in the minds of the people regarding the creation of the nation as well as its future course (Dion, 227-247). Understanding manifest destiny and how it was incorporated into the ideals of the time also helps in understanding how the population planned to build America.
7. The key battles of the American Revolution, and the stages of the war from declaration, through the Battle of Saratoga, to the end of the war, are necessary to understand what events the revolution was composed of (Sieminski, 35-56). This also necessitates understanding background information regarding which territories belong to who, why the various battle sites were important strategic points, and the various strongholds within the American colonies.
8. The imposition by British authorities on life in the American colonies, including the Stamp Act, the Townsend Tariffs, the Tea Act and the Boston Massacre, are necessary to understanding how the early events unfolded, as well as the frustration of the colonial people (Wood, 635-642). The loss of income represented by the heavy taxation and fees, and the cavalier loss of life when colonists gathered to show resistance provide insight into the importance of the revolt against the British Crown.