Liberty's Kids: Est. 1776 (2002–2003)

TV Series  -   -  Animation | Adventure | Drama
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 614 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 4 critic

The American Revolutionary War is seen through the eyes of an American teenaged lad, a young English lady, and a French boy, all 3 of whom work as reporters for Benjamin Franklin.

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2003 | 2002
5 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
 Deborah Samson / ... (36 episodes, 2002-2003)


Benjamin Franklin enlists the help of young people to record the happenings leading up to and during the Revolution for his newspaper the Pennsylvania Gazette. First, there is a James Hiller, a patriot who tends to act before he thinks and is, at times, too quick a judge in his search for American heroes. Next is Henri, a French orphan who's only quest is for food. Lastly, a young woman named Sarah Phillips joins the team; the daughter of an ex-English general with strong views opposing slavery. Together, they travel the colonies witnessing the sacrifices made for freedom. Written by Max Vaughn

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

french | boy | reporter | newspaper | slavery | See more »



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Release Date:

2 September 2002 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Walter Cronkite's final acting role. See more »


If the series goes through the entire war from start to finish, wouldn't the kids be young adults by the time the war ends? See more »


James Hiller: Moses, Moses! Help!
Moses: Ah, James not again
James Hiller: Moses, help! This is my only clean shirt.
See more »


Through My Own Eyes
Performed by Aaron Carter and Kayla Hinkle
See more »

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User Reviews

I expect better from public television
9 November 2006 | by (Kalamazoo, MI) – See all my reviews

As a history 'buff' from a young age, I first watched 'Liberty's Kids' mainly out of curiosity. I was disappointed, to say the least, to find a public television programme spewing forth such sophomoric pablum to pass for 'history'. The episodes that I watched did not address the causes of the War of American Independence (other than to say, more or less, that it was because the big, bad British wanted to tax the poor downtrodden colonists out of their hard-earned cash), nor the actual circumstances of most of the colonists. It was neither factually correct (merely selectively), nor intellectually honest (as most other PBS shows, I've found, are).

Firstly, the war was fought as a direct result of a treaty that the British made on behalf of the colonists with the various Native American tribes that allied with the French during the Seven Years' War. The Proclamation of 1763 recognised native claims to land west of Appalachia, which many colonists chose to ignore. Instead, they preferred to encroach upon native lands and murder the rightful owners, then protested when British common law made objection. The Stamp Act and the Sugar Act were, granted, more immediate causes, but the discontent over taxes fed off of the prior discontent over the Proclamation.

The war was a rebellion, and as most rebellions are, the WAI was messy. It caused a great deal of suffering among many colonial communities, more so among those still loyal to the Crown, and even more so among the Native Americans that found themselves being dragged in. (A notable player in the Northern War was the Mohawk nation of the Haudenosaunee led by Joseph Brant, but Brant seemed not to warrant mention, being a Native American.) Nor were the tens of thousands of colonists that were driven from their homes either by force or by circumstance to Canada, to Britain and to the West Indies throughout the war (and after). The representative of the Loyalists on the show was an elderly English lady of means, perpetuating the stereotype that the Loyalists were on the whole reactionary, well-off, and 'out of touch'.

More disturbing to my mind has already been touched on by a previous reviewer - it doesn't help kids understand the motivations and the mindsets of the British, preferring instead to make them the Empire of Star Wars: wanton, callous and cruel (in the historical school of Mel Gibson, naturally. It's always a simple battle between 'us' - the 'good guys', and 'them' - the inscrutable, inhuman 'bad guys'). Come on, folks, give kids some credit for intelligence. They understand more than they let on - they can understand a few moral complexities, such as there certainly were during the War of American Independence. Shows such as 'GhostWriter' and 'Mister Rogers' Neighbourhood', that taught social responsibility and, yes, critical ethical thinking, are far more valuable than this pap. Come on, public television, show some class!

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