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''Liberty's Kids'' is a Creator/{{PBS}} series created by Creator/DICEntertainment, the producers of WesternAnimation/StrawberryShortcake, that follows the adventures of three teenagers, two of whom were in the employ of Creator/BenjaminFranklin's newpaper/publishing business, as they find themselves witnesses to the UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution from the Boston Tea Party in 1773 to the signing of the US Constitution in 1787.

The major characters are:
* '''James Hiller''', a young reporter who is an enthusiastic supporter of the colonial resistance who has to learn that there are hard realities in the events around him that fly in the face of his ideals.
* '''Henri Richard Maurice Dutoit [=LeFebrve=]''', a young French orphan troublemaker who finds himself swept up the politics of the day.
* '''Sarah Phillips''', a dignified British girl who is initially a staunch Loyalist determined to present her side's perspective of the conflict as a reporter under Franklin, only to ultimately side with the Revolution.
* '''Moses''': An African-American ex-slave who works in Franklin's printing business. A self-taught engineer, he serves as a respected adult authority over the kids.

Although the series was created for a juvenile audience (ages 7 to 14), it nevertheless takes a relatively sophisticated look at the American Revolution, which highlights not only the heroes and achievements of the independence movement, but also its less palatable aspects such as the role of slavery, mob violence and the privations the Native Peoples of America suffered in this conflict.

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!!Tropes employed in this series include:
* AdobeFlash: The "Liberty News Network" segments are clearly animated in flash, while the rest of the show is traditional animation.
* TheAgeless: The titular kids don't seem to age at all throughout the series.
* AllStarCast: Let's just look at the guest stars... [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0337550/fullcredits#cast Oh, boy]]...
* UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution: [[CaptainObvious Duh.]]
* BaitAndSwitchCredits: Somewhat. The lyrics to the intro are pretty fitting, but the song itself is a pop tune with brief Aaron Carter rapping, a little out of place for a historical cartoon that does take itself seriously.
* BeenThereShapedHistory: The premise, basically. The kids are involved in every event of the Revolution that could form the plot of a show.
* BelligerentSexualTension: James and Sarah.
* BigEater: Henri and his pastries.
* [[BlondeBrunetteRedhead Blond Brunet Redhead]]: James, Henri, and Sarah.
* BloodlessCarnage: For a show that talks a lot about killing and wounding people, there isn't a whole lot of blood shown. Then again, it ''is'' a show aimed at kids seven and up.
* BoyfriendBluff: A variation on this trope makes for a CrowningMomentOfFunny in "One Life to Lose." When British sailors attempt to kidnap James and press him into service, Sarah and Henri show up just in time and demand they let him go. When the sailors ask for a reason to let James go, Henri gleefully pipes up and says Sarah and James are engaged. HilarityEnsues as Sarah immediately picks up on the lie and launches a dramatic tale of their love and how James is eager to join the English navy, but she demanded he "hold on just a little longer, dearest" until they were married. She begs them not to take "her love" away, not after all they'd been through (at which point, even Henri is rolling his eyes). When asked if that was true, James awkwardly smiles, clenches his teeth and says that yes, she ''is'' his fiance and they are "very much in love." The sailors buy it hook, line, and sinker and even have a nostalgic moment for "young love" as the James and Sarah shuffle away hand in hand.
* BritishStuffiness: Sarah starts out like this.
* BrokenPedestal: As it did in RealLife, this trope concerns itself with Benedict Arnold. He is a revered war hero at first (he's the soldier whom Sarah looks admiredly at in the show's intro), and as such many are struck by his FaceHeelTurn.
* ChainedHeat: James is imprisoned with a Hessian deserter, and the chained-together pair have to cooperate to escape.
* CharacterDevelopment: James and Sarah. James starts out as a jerkass who accepts all the Revolutionary rhetoric without any opinions of his own, while Sarah is an IceQueen who is solidly British and can't understand why the colonists would want to rebel. They both get better.
* CheerfulChild: Henri.
* ChekhovsGunman: Cato, big time.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Henri at times.
* ComingOfAgeStory: The theme song sums it up thus: ''I'm looking at life through my own eyes/Searching for a hero to idolize/Feeling the pain as innocence dies...''
* ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch: An in-universe example when Sarah villifies Creator/ThomasPaine's "Common Sense" even when she meets the author personally. Once she gives it a read, she learns to at least appreciate it.
* [[CoolBigSis Cool Big Bro]] ''and'' CoolBigSis: James and Sarah to Henri.
* CoolOldGuy: Creator/BenjaminFranklin, much like in RealLife.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Sarah, although it doesn't take her long to warm up to them.
* DisappearedDad: Sarah's father.
* DissonantSerenity: Sarah's introduction; calmly writing a letter to her mother even as the ship she's boarding is rocked by a big storm.
* DivideAndConquer: The series shows how the British went through great lengths to woo the Loyalists, Native Americans, and even slaves to their side, and they were very good at it.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[ForegoneConclusion Benedict Arnold]].
* FakeBrit: Sarah is voiced by native Nebraskan Reo Jones.
* AFatherToHisMen: A bunch of the officers are this way: George Washington repeatedly calls his circle of officers his family, Baron von Steuben encourages inspiring devotion in the men and at one point [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming spoonfeeds a sick soldier]], and Lafayette charges into a battle to calm the retreating Continentals down. Benedict Arnold also counts, which actually makes his inevitable FaceHeelTurn more of a TearJerker than it is normally portrayed.
* FelonyMisdemeanor: The soldiers are outraged at Baron von Steuben for demanding such unreasonable things as drilling for battle, having discipline, keeping the camp clean, and winning the devotion of their underlings.
* FieryRedhead: Sarah
* FiveManBand:
** TheHero: James
** TheLancer: Henri/Sarah. Henri acts more like a Lancer, but Sarah serves this function more in the plot, acting as a backup reporter to James.
** TheSmartGuy / TheMentor: Benjamin Franklin
** TheBigGuy: Moses
** TheChick: Sarah
* FrozenInTime: In a weird way -- the historical events progress at a reasonable pace, spanning about fifteen years, but the kids don't age.
** Confusingly, the passage of time is mentioned occasionally, such as in the penultimate episode when Sarah mentions it's been ten years since the Declaration of Independence. She looks exactly the same.
* GreaseMonkey: Moses.
* HappilyAdopted: Henri's fate; he is eventually adopted by the Marquis de Lafayette.
* HeartwarmingOrphan: James ''and'' Henri.
* HeelFaceTurn:
** Sarah becomes a Patriot in "Not Yet Begun to Fight."
** Happens to a Loyalist couple when some British soldiers ransack their food and supplies for their own needs while the Revolutionaries had passed by an hour or so back and didn't take a thing. The commander even ordered them not to harm the land at all.
* HeroesWantRedheads: James in regards to Sarah, anyone?
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Heaps of them, naturally.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: Averted very well with Benedict Arnold, who is shown to be an invaluable part of the colonial army before he switched sides. The section of the series that focuses on him explains the events surrounding his turn better than a course on American history is likely to.
* IdiosyncraticWipes: Not unlike ''Series/TheWildWildWest''.
* InnocenceLost: James in particular when his naivety about the revolution collides with its unpleasant realities he witnesses with it.
** Heck, it's in the opening theme lyrics! ("Feeling the pain as innocence dies...")
* InnocentCohabitation: The only reason it's okay for Sarah to be living with three males.
** One of them black. Along with every inn and house they stayed at on their travels.
* KarmaHoudini: Sarah's guide to Ohio would count considering what he does.
* KickTheDog: Various historical characters get their own moment. However, one of the most obvious is during the American siege of Yorktown. In order to conserve supplies, Cornwallis leaves the blacks who joined his army to fend for themselves.
* KidDetective: Well, kid investigative reporters.
* KidHero: [[NotAllowedToGrowUp And they stay that way.]]
* KleptomaniacHero: Henri starts out as this.
* LimitedWardrobe: In the 14 years that took place, the main characters went absolutely everywhere wearing the same outfits. Even when crawling through the mud and forests Sarah would still wear her dainty little gown.
** Actually, this is accurate, as folks of the time only would have 1-2 sets of clothes. Still, you'd think in 14 years they might grow.
* MadeASlave: Moses and Henri in their backstories. Yes, Henri, a white boy, and it's specifically said ''not'' to be indentured servitude. Try finding a high-school textbook that makes the distinction.
* MagicalNegro: Moses.
** To be fair, it's not as if Moses and other black people had a choice but to be this. [[ValuesDissonance It was the 18th century.]] Just being friendly with white people [[WhereDaWhiteWomenAt (specifically, a teenaged white ''girl'')]] was pushing the envelope of society's tolerance. It's lucky he wasn't lynched on the spot at that slave auction as a buyer. Had he been an AngryBlackMan or a MalcolmXerox, he wouldn't have lasted long. Real-life characters like James Armistead and Elizabeth Freeman are evidence of this.
* ManHug: Lafayette and Washington are very fond of these.
* MeetCute: James getting struck on the head with a book-stuffed pillowcase by Sarah... in the midst of the Boston Tea Party.
* MementoMacguffin: James has his mother's wedding ring and Sarah has the gold locket her father gave her. Then it's twisted around when said locket is lost in Boston Harbor and James [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming uses his ring to forge a new one for Sarah]].
* MinoredInAssKicking: Thomas Paine, albeit very briefly.
* MysteriousPast: All the main characters have one.
* NeverSayDie: Strongly averted. The show not only had characters die, but also wounded, sometimes in gruesome ways (though [[BloodlessCarnage without a whole lot of blood]]).
* NoHuggingNoKissing: Lots of hints dropped, but James and Sarah never did end up as anything more than friends.
* NotAllowedToGrowUp: Although the events of the series span 14 years of history, the show featured kid characters who never appear to age even while the adults around them do. After all, by the end of the series, the trio should have been entering their late 20s. [[TagAlongKid Henri]] doesn't even get CharacterDevelopment!
* OfficerAndAGentleman: Sarah's father, a major of the Seven Years' War, Ohio territory explorer, and even a friend to the Indians sheltering him.
* OppositesAttract: James, the poor, orphaned, American patriot, and Sarah, the rich English loyalist.
* ParentalAbandonment: None of the main teenage characters live with their parents. Sarah is the only one whose parents are still alive.
* PietaPlagiarism: Tom
* PluckyComicRelief: Henri.
* PoliticallyCorrectHistory: Mostly averted. Although the kids are friends with Moses, most of society still treats blacks the way they were in the 18th century, albeit in a way that children's programming can swallow.
* [[RedHeadedHero Red Headed Heroine]]: Sarah.
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized: Not that it dwells on it for very long, but the show doesn't dismiss that the American Revolution was initiated by angry colonists who were mostly seen as radical idiots at the time. Not to mention the tar-and-feathering...
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeVilified: Monkeywrenched. Although generally the American Revolution is portrayed as a good thing, the British and Loyalists are allowed to express their points of view and even look like the good guys on occasion, what with the Brits offering freedom to slaves and the Continentals, especially slaveholders like GeorgeWashington, refusing to do so. It even shows the colonists as ''actual bad guys'' at some points, especially considering the mob violence against the Loyalists and the privations the Native Peoples suffer in the war.
** Not that it justifies anything, the Native Americans weren't exactly innocent themselves. Joseph Brant, to the show's credit, mentions that he fought on the side of the British and lost. He didn't like what happened, obviously, but he was not surprised by the results of his defeat.
* SacrificialLion: Sarah's cousin Tom, among others.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: In ''The New Frontier'', after pacifistic Shawnee chief Cornstalk and his son [[spoiler: are wrongfully executed by Patriots at Fort Randolph]], Sarah quits her job as a reporter and outright ''leaves the colonies'' and returns to England. [[spoiler: She comes back though three episodes later.]]
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: James and Sarah, as noted below.
* ShownTheirWork: Some elements of PoliticallyCorrectHistory aside, the show is a rather insightful look into its time period and gives several facts about its prominent figures that most U.S. history books would leave out.
* SickEpisode: Sarah contracts Smallpox in "An American In Paris."
** More accurately, she gets innoculated for smallpox and has a reaction, most likely a mild form of the disease. But yes, she gets better.
* SlapSlapKiss: James and Sarah's relationship can be interpreted this way.
* SlipknotPonytail: Actually happens once to Sarah.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: While at first glance this appears to be Sarah's role, her being female is more of a bonus; her main purpose in the story is to be a loyalist contrast to the rest of the revolutionary main cast.
* SorryThatImDying: Nathan Hale, [[TruthInTelevision of course]].
* StuntCasting: ''Liberty[='s=] Kids'' is a prime example. Walter Cronkite had a recurring role as Creator/BenjaminFranklin; other celebrities playing revolutionary heroes included Creator/DustinHoffman as Benedict Arnold, Annette Bening as Abigail Adams, Billy Crystal as John Adams, Creator/BenStiller as UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson and MichaelDouglas as Patrick Henry. Others include General Norman Schwarzkopf as George Rogers Clark, Creator/LiamNeeson as John Paul Jones, SylvesterStallone as Paul Revere, Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger as Friedrich von Steuben, and WhoopiGoldberg as [[SweetPollyOliver Deborah Sampson]].
* SympatheticPOV: In many of the episodes, a good deal of time is spent seeing the conflict through the eyes of the British, and showing the reasoning and justifications of their actions during the war.
** Providing this is actually Sarah's job in the newspaper.
* TagalongKid: Henri at times, although he certainly has his uses.
* TarAndFeathers: James watches as an innocent man is tarred and feathered by a mob and joins in their mocking. This lasts until he is later informed how horrific the act can be and meets the man being treated for it, near-death.
** Later in the series, he stands up to a mob of angry laborers who want to tar-and-feather a wealthy Tory, delaying them long enough for soldiers to arrive and restore order.
* TeamMom: Sarah
* TheThemeParkVersion: Averted, for the most part.
* ThreeAmigos: James, Sarah, and Henri.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Henri loves pastries with jelly on them.
* TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse: Well, Philadelphia.
* TravelingAtTheSpeedOfPlot: Played with. The characters mention roughly accurate travel periods for the time, but often, news makes it to faraway places way faster than it should have.
* TrueCompanions: The three kids eventually form this amongst themselves, with Ben and Moses.
* {{Tsundere}}: Sarah is often a Type A towards James throughout their {{story arc}}s, and this element to her personality brings the underlying {{UST}} in their relationship.
* VagueAge: The characters' ages are rather unclear, considering how many years are passing during the context of the show despite everyone's appearances not aging at all.
* ViewersAreMorons: Both played straight and averted. Anyone old enough and smart enough to even follow the surprisingly advanced analysis and description of the complex issues surrounding the American War of Independence is highly unlikely to enjoy or be even remotely challenged by the ridiculously juvenile games and puzzles they use in place of commercial breaks when shown on PBS. "Continental Cartoons", for example, is a stupendously easy set of rebus-style puzzles. These are omitted when the show is aired on other networks.
** The DVD release thankfully takes the same route but includes them in the extras.
** The actual cartoon itself surprisingly averts this trope. Considering it's a kids' show, it's very detailed and takes time to show the motives and reasoning for many events and characters.
* VocalEvolution: While the three kids' physical designs don't change, their voices do sound somewhat more mature with the show's progression.
** They probably didn't ''think'' they looked older and that's why. Also, most children's clothing of the era was just scaled-down copies of adult clothing, so their style of dress wouldn't have changed at all.
* WhatTheHellHero: The basic plot for Sarah visiting UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson's home and discovering that the writer of "All men are created equal" is a slaveholder. Sarah also calls out Washington after the Siege of Yorktown when he says that the slaves who fought for the British would be returned to their masters.
* WideEyedIdealist: Befitting their age, James and Sarah are initially blind to their patriotism toward their respective home countries, though it doesn't take long for them to see the truth of things.
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