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Unit 3 - The Meaning of Liberty 

  • Unit Question – Why do people rebel?
  • Historical Context – The American Revolution, Taxation without Representation, Enlightened thinkers, General George Washington
  • Final Assessment - Unit 3 Exam – The Meaning of Liberty & The American Revolution Unit Test 

Unit Question:  Why do people rebel? 

The Meaning of Liberty & The American Revolution Unit Test 

Study Guide

  1. Magna Carta (1215)
  2. Mercantilism (1500s–1770s)
  3. Virginia House of Burgesses (established in 1619)
  4. Navigation Acts (1651 & 1653) Not enforced until 1763
  5. Bacon's Rebellion (1676)
  6. Glorious Revolution of England (1688-1689) Established English Bill of Rights
  7. Peter Zenger Trial (1733-1735)
  8. War of Jenkin's Ear (1739-1748)
  9. French & Indian War [7 Years War] (1754-1763)
  10. Proclamation of 1763 (1763)
  11. "No taxation without representation" common phrase of the Sons of Liberty (1760s-1770s)
  12. Sugar and Molasses Act (originally 1733 but largely ignored until 1764)
  13. Currency Act (1764)
  14. Stamp Act (1765)
  15. Quartering Act (1765 & 1774)
  16. Attack on Boston Royal Governor Hutchinson’s home in Boston (1765)
  17. Declaratory Act (1766)
  18. Townshend Revenue Acts (1767)
  19. Boston Massacre (1770)
  20. The Gaspee Incident (1772)
  21. Committees of Correspondence (1773)
  22. Tea Act (1773)
  23. Boston Tea Party (1773)
  24. Intolerable or Coercive Acts (1774)
  25. First and Second Continental Congress (1774-1775)
  26. Olive Branch Petition (1775)
  27. Battle of Lexington & Concord (1775)
  28. Battle of Bunker (Breed's) Hill (1775)
  29. Fort Ticonderoga: Ethan Allen & The Green Mountain Boys (1775) Start of Guerilla Warfare
  30. Thomas Paine's Common Sense and/or American Crisis (1776)
  31. Declaration of Independence (1776)
  32. Battle of Trenton (1776)
  33. Battle of Saratoga (1777)
  34. Valley Forge (1777-1778)
  35. French Assistance/Blockade (1778-1781) including General Marquis de Lafayette
  36. Battle of Yorktown (1781)
  37. Treaty of Paris of 1783 (1783)
  38. Articles of Confederation (1781-1789)

  • Enlightened Thinkers (leaders John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and others)
  • Sons of Liberty (leaders: Samuel Adams, Dr. Joseph Warren, John Hancock & Paul Revere)
  • Espionage (Spies): Nathan Hale & Washington’s Culper Spy Ring
  • Founding Fathers (leaders: Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine, and others)
  • Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben (1777) Prussian, Continental Army Officer/Inspector General and author Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States
  • King George III
  • Failures of the British Generals (including General Thomas Gage and this replacements The Triumvirate of Reputation:  Generals William Howe, John Burgoyne, & Henry Clinton)
  • BONUS:  The secret meaning of number 45

No Taxation Without Representation

King George III

Read p. 46-55 in your from Colonies to Country mini-book and answer the No Taxation Without Representation questions in your COMP books:

  1. What were those English rights the American colonists demanded for themselves? Give specifics, this is IMPORTANT.  HINT: Remember the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights (see Glorious Revolution in England from Unit 2)?
  2. Why did William Pitt say, "This is the mother country, they are the children; they must obey, and we prescribe?"
  3. What does the word mongrel mean?  Why are the American colonists called "a mongrel breed?"
  4. Do the American colonists before the American Revolution consider themselves "American?"  If not, what do they consider themselves?
  5. Do you think the British merchants were convinced that American Indians had tossed the tea into Boston Harbor?  Well, no of course not, but attempt to explain. 
  6. King George III wanted to rule as an absolute monarch, but the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights (Glorious Revolution) would not allow it in England.  That being said, is it likely he would extend British rights to the American colonists?  Explain. 
  7. Was it fair for the British to tax the American colonists for the French and Indian War?  Think honestly!  
  8. What were the Townshend Revenue Acts?
  9. What did "No taxation without representation" mean?
  10. What was the Stamp Act (tax)?
  11. How did King George III respond to the Boston Tea party?

No Taxation Without Representation Resources:

Boston Massacre Viewpoints

The Boston Massacre occurred on March 5, 1770. A mob of men and boys taunted a sentry standing guard at the city’s customs house. A group of soldiers came to the sentry’s aid and the mob started throwing snowballs at the soldiers. Mayhem ensued and the soldiers fired shots into the crowd. Four men died on the scene and a fifth died four days later. The resulting publicity stirred up the Colonists even more against the British government. British Captain Thomas Preston and 8 of his men were put on trial because of their actions. John Adams defended them and won. Relations with the mother country seemed better for a short while afterwards, but the smoldering coals of discord would soon sweep the colonies into the fires of war with their mother country.  

Was the Boston Massacre really a Massacre?  

What really happened?

Document:  Boston Massacre Viewpoints - What really happened?

Boston Massacre Resources: 

The Enlightened Thinkers (Social Contract Theory) 

European politics, philosophy, science and communications were radically reoriented during the course of the "long 18th century" (1685-1815) as part of a movement referred to by its participants as the Age of Reason, or simply the Enlightenment. Enlightenment thinkers in Britain, in France and throughout Europe questioned traditional authority and embraced the notion that humanity could be improved through rational change. The Enlightenment produced numerous books, essays, inventions, scientific discoveries, laws, wars and revolutions. The American and French Revolutions were directly inspired by Enlightenment ideals and respectively marked the peak of its influence and the beginning of its decline. The Enlightenment ultimately gave way to 19th-century Romanticism.  

Let's study a few of them:  Social Contract Theory WS.doc (classwork/homework)

The Enlightened Thinkers (The Firebrands) Continued

John Locke

Thomas Hobbes

Read p. 56-62 in your From Colonies to Country mini-book and answer The Enlightened Thinkers (The Firebrands) questions in your COMP books: 

  1. Why do you believe the founding fathers or enlightened thinkers were called Firebrands?
  2. We discussed how the colonists didn't consider themselves to be "American", but as time lapsed they no longer viewed themselves as "English" either.  So what did they see themselves as?
  3. Who was responsible for the Committees of Correspondence and what was it?
  4. Who were the Sons of Liberty?  Where did they meet?  Not really a surprise!
  5. What did Sam Adams and Thomas Paine have in common?
  6. Who helped Thomas Paine get a job in Philadelphia?  Also, not a terrible surprise.  I mean this man seemingly is everywhere!
  7. What did Thomas Paine mean by, "These are the times that try men's souls."?
  8. How much money did Thomas Paine make from his pamphlet Common Sense?  Maybe he should have taken a little more.  Check this out:  Thomas Paine Biography (Read the ending!)  Also visit Thomas Paine's Common Sense section below.
  9. Why did some of the older Virginians at the House of Burgesses yell "Treason" at Patrick Henry? 
  10. Who was Patrick Henry's fiddling friend?  And yes they were fiddling around! 

 "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

- Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence, 1776 

BONUS:  What was the impact of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke and colonial rebel (firebrand) and author Thomas Paine?  Furthermore, what is their influence on the founding fathers and the revolution? 

                          Thomas Paine's Common Sense

As late as 1775-1776, a year into the war, many Americans were still hoping that war and a break with England could be avoided (remember the Olive Branch Petition). The difficult job of the patriots in the colonies was to mobilize public opinion and move it in the opposite direction toward separation and independence. The patriots had no better propagandist than Thomas Paine. Published at the beginning of 1776, Common Sense challenged the authority of the British government and the royal monarchy. The plain language that Paine used spoke to the common people of America and was the first work to openly ask for independence from England and will inspire the Continental Congress and Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence just a few months later.  

Battles of the American Revolutionary War 

(Rank 'Em)

Directions: Open the Battles the American Revolutionary War (Rank 'Em) document.  Review the links provided for each battle.  Rank each battle, with one being the most important, based on your opinion using sound reason and evidence and be able to discuss in class.  

Most Important Battles 
1st Place Votes: 
Lexington & Concord
Bunker (Breeds) Hill
Valley Forge

War is Over!

 Let the Experiment Begin

Read p. 142-153 in your From Colonies to Country mini-book and answer the War is Over! Let the Experiment Begin questions in your COMP books:

1.  What battle(s) successfully ends the War of Independence?  
2.  How did the French help win this battle?
3.  Before the war was over the Continental Congress met to discuss ideas for a new and independent government.  They asked each of the 13 newly created states to write State Constitutions, many of these ideas eventually will be blended into created the first U.S. Constitution.  What is the name of the first U.S. Constitution?
4.  What problems could arise by each state producing its own money, navies, and taxes?
5.  Why do you think smaller states like Rhode Island, Maryland, and Delaware were nervous (or jealous of larger states) regarding this new government?
6.  Was George Washington really our first "President"?  HINT: Something to consider, read this Forgotten Presidents (Before George Washington)
7.  Why were people too intimidated to create a truly strong and central federal government?
8.  On page 150, what is meant by, "There was one good thing about the Articles of Confederation:  they were so weak they made a strong constitution possible."?  
9.  What was the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 & Land Ordinance of 1785?  What problems did these ordinances create?  Good or bad idea?  BONUS:  What former British law would not allow for any of this to take place?  HINT:  Think end of the French and Indian War
10.  What is a census?  When was the first census?  Need help?  Try this: National Archives: First Census
11.  What is habeas corpus?  Need help?  Try this: Habeas Corpus

12.  On page 153, what did Thomas Jefferson mean by, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."?  [FUN FACT:  "What Is and What Should Never Be" is the title of a great Led Zeppelin song, but enough about them for they are British and we don't like them during this era]