Part of the Reacting to the Past series, Patriots, Loyalists, and Revolution in New York City, 1775-76 draws students into the political and social chaos of a revolutionary New York City, where Patriot and Loyalist forces argued and fought for advantage among a divided populace.
Students engage with the ideological foundations of revolution and government through close readings of Locke, Paine, and other contemporary arguments. Each student’s ultimate victory goal is to have his/her side in control of New York City at the end of 1776 (not as of the end of the Revolution, when all know who won), as well as to achieve certain individual goals (e.g., slaves can attain freedom, propertied women can be granted voting rights, laborers can make deals for land). Winning requires the ability to master the high politics arguments for and against revolution as well as the low political skills of logrolling, bribery, and threatened force. Military force often determines the winner, much to the surprise of the students who concentrated merely on internal game politics.