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Not all online courses are created equal. It’s hard for an open classroom to make the jump to a different medium. For me, it was headphones, moonlight on the sidewalks, sweat, and Joanne Freeman’s voice. History 116: The American Revolution pulls it off. It took me a few weeks to wade through the material, but the Open Yale course held my attention over multiple lectures. I felt like a college freshman again, and I’m glad I went back to learn the fundamentals. Here were a few takeaways:

  • In studying history, it’s important to walk a little in the lead’s shoes. The best part of the course was thinking through how people lived, and how it impacted the outcomes of the conflict.
  • The founding fathers debated many systems of government.
  • They fought for the freedoms we have today, it’s important to remember. Never forget.

And Thomas Paine had passion:

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

“These are the times that try men’s souls.”

“Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”

“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.”