5. Arrange class with six stations. Place one primary source document at each station. Documents include South Carolina Stamp Act Resolutions, Eyewitness Account of the Boston Tea Party, United Streaming video of the Charleston Tea Party, Dire Confusion, Declaration of the Rights of Man, Declaration of Independence (see Primary Sources and Tools section above). Have students visit each station to analyze each document. They should use the to keep track of their analyses from each document. Groups should spend about 10 minutes at each station analyzing each document. Have students answer the following questions in groups. As far as you can tell from the document, what was the problem? How did colonists respond to the problem? Why do you believe they responded this way? At the end of class, lead the class in a whole group discussion summarizing the actions of people throughout the colonies and their reactions prior to the Revolutionary War. (1 to 2 class periods)
3. Present the “” teacher-created presentation included in this packet. The presentation is automatic with narration. Give students the opportunity to ask questions after viewing the presentation. Lead students in a discussion about global affairs before the American Revolution. Ask: What major events were taking place in Europe 50 to100 years prior to the American Revolution? How did these events have an impact on the American colonies? (1 class period)
Paradoxically, it was Parliament, supposedly the guardian of British liberty, which seemed to endanger the liberties of Britons in America in 1765. In the aftermath of the Seven Years' War, British political leaders and imperial administrators sought to assert greater control over the far-flung parts of the empire and in so doing they came into conflict with the political traditions and assumptions of the colonists who resisted what they saw as unconstitutional parliamentary innovation. The American Revolution began in a dispute over finance in which the British government advocated change and the colonists sought to maintain tradition. As the imperial crisis developed neither British nor American political leaders demonstrated a willingness or ability to compromise.
As a classroom teacher, I have used primary documents. However, I have only used written documents and never with the intent of allowing the document to tell the story. Through this summer’s course I was able to work through the process of planning a lesson around a primary source. In other words, I let the source be the focus of learning instead of it just being an addition to learning. The goal of my lesson was to have students understand the basics of the American Revolution including the causes, and consequences. The documents I used were intended to connect England and America and show students how global conflicts eventually lead to internal conflicts. I also used documents like an eyewitness account of the Boston Tea Party and South Carolina’s Stamp Act Resolutions to show how people on a local level reacted to the events of the time. These resources helped to frame a plan that allowed my students to think critically about history.
One of our many renovation-related tasks involves re-foldering and re-boxing our fragile newspapers. The Rubenstein Library has thousands of American newspapers, dating from the Revolutionary War through the early twentieth century. Here is one of the highlights, from The Daily Express of Petersburg, Virginia, 1858 Dec.:
In contrast to the great revolutions that have marked thetwentieth century, the American Revolution succeeded inaccomplishing what it set out to do - (Miller, xviii-xix).
Writing with the benefit of hindsight in 1818, John Adams, one of the central figures in the American Revolution, recalled that Americans were committed to independence in their hearts long before war broke out in America in 1775. Adams' comment suggests that American independence was inevitable: this was not the case. In 1763, Americans joyously celebrated the British victory in the Seven Years' War, revelling in their identity as Britons and jealously guarding their much-celebrated rights which they believed they possessed by virtue of membership in what they saw as the world's greatest empire.
The American Revolution was not fought based on the happenings of a single event or events occurring only in the colonies. There were a series of events over a century that led to the battle between Great Britain and Her colonies. The fight between Great Britain and the colonies began as a result of a series of wars that mostly took place in Europe, over European power struggles. The colonies named these wars King William’s War, Queen Anne’s War, and King George’s War after the English monarchs in power at the time of each war. As Europe fought, the colonies controlled by the countries at war fought in response. Power changed hands many times throughout these wars, with England gaining more and more power in Europe and in America. The finale of these wars was fought on American soil over territory between France and Great Britain. The French and Indian War left Great Britain strapped for cash. When time came to develop the Ohio Valley which was won at the conclusion of the French and Indian War, Great Britain was pressed to raise the revenue needed to finance these new expeditions. This point in history is what most people consider to be the beginning of the problems between Great Britain and the colonies ( Wise Bauer, 2004, 120-135).
While the question of how revolutionary the AmericanRevolution was remains an inherently unresolved issue (Lipset,10), there is no doubt that the American experience was a realRevolution.
Americans had contributed significantly to the recent victory both militarily and financially, yet within a dozen years of the British victory war broke out between British soldiers and Massachusetts militiamen at Lexington and Concord. Between 1763 to 1775, successive British governments took decisions which resulted in the loss of the 13 rebellious colonies in America. If John Adams was correct and revolution was in the hearts of Americans years prior to 1776, then it was the actions of British ministers which made independence first a possibility and then a likelihood.
The American Revolution has been studied and will continue to be studied in countless ways. However intricate or simple, the lessons will always tell of the history of a nation that is arguably the most powerful and influential in the world today. The lesson that follows this essay does not seek to introduce a myriad of details, facts, names and figures concerning the American Revolution. Instead, this lesson seeks to create a framework for understanding the connections between colony and mother country thus helping students to understand the necessity of such a battle. In addition, students will be introduced to South Carolina’s reactions in the series of events. I hope to achieve a web of information that helps students bridge connections between colonists in South Carolina, colonists throughout America and governance throughout Europe.
These taxes were imposed onto the colonies due to the debts from the French and Indian war.
King George III decided to, rather than tax Britain, tax the colonies extra on items such as glass, paper, and sugar.
Major Movements/ Influences of the American Revolution:
King George III
The Sons of Liberty
Common Sense (Thomas Paine)
The Intolerable Acts (The Boston Port Act, Administration of Justice Act, Massachusetts Government Act, and Quebec Act)
French and Indian War (7 Year War)
Many experts and historians argue that the American Revolution was inevitable due to the need for independence.