The American Revolution

The American Revolution was at once a war for independence, a civil war, and a world war, fought by neighbors on American farms and between global powers an ocean or more away. It impacted millions from Vermont’s Green Mountains to the swamps of South Carolina, from the Great Lakes to Gibraltar. In defeating the British Empire and giving birth to a new nation, the American Revolution turned the world upside-down. Thirteen colonies on the Atlantic Coast united in rebellion, won their independence, and established a government by the people, for the people.

The American Revolution, our five-part, ten-hour series on America’s founding struggle, will present a true-to-life account of the men and women of the Revolutionary generation, their humanity in victory and defeat, and the crisis that tried their souls. By weaving top-down accounts of “Founding Fathers” and their loyalist and British counterparts with the perspectives of the so-called ordinary people who waged and witnessed war, The American Revolution will be an expansive, unvarnished look at the unassailable virtues and unavoidable contradictions of the fight for independence and the birth of the United States.

Directed and executive produced by Ken Burns, written by Geoffrey C. Ward, and produced by Sarah Botstein, David Schmidt, and Ken Burns, The American Revolution is slated for broadcast on PBS in 2025. (10 hours)