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Explore Colonial Williamsburg
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Between Patrick Henry’s "Give me Liberty, or Give me Death” speech in March 1775 and the surrender of British troops to George Washington at Yorktown in October of 1781 a profound change occurred in the way Virginians and other colonial Americans came to define themselves.

 

Discover what it’s like to live in a town in the midst of a revolution. What are the challenges of creating a new government against the backdrop of war? Which side will you take? Meet the men and women—rich and poor, great and humble, free and enslaved—who lived through these extraordinary times that created our great nation. Find out More

 

As the American Revolution turns from political debate to armed combat, the people of Williamsburg are compelled to make difficult choices that cause them to break ties with Great Britain, reshape their concept of citizenship, and define the bounds of democracy and republican forms of government.

 

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress votes for independence. But voting for independence is one thing; winning it is another. Great Britain is the foremost military power of the age and Virginia is one of thirteen fledgling states struggling just to survive.