A huge factor in the start of the revolution was the French and Indian War during the years of 1754 through 1763; this changed the age-old bond between the colonies and Britain, its mother....
These causes in themselves could not have sparked such a massive rebellion in the nation, but as the problems of the colonies cumulated, their collective impact spilt over and the American Revolution ensued.
The American Revolution began in the mid 1700s and ended with the Treaty of Paris signed in 1783. As John Adams said, The revolution was effected before the war commenced. The revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people. Following the French and Indian War, the colonists began feeling the confidence that victory brings. They increasingly saw themselves as a separate entity, one that could defend itself against any opposing threat. Of course, King George III and Parliament were viewing the situation quite differently. They were affirming their need for the colonies in order to remain a world power and to generate revenue through taxes and trade. Prompted by this perception, the British government increased control over the colonies and levied taxes, which in turn led to the rebellion known as the American Revolution.
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.
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).
I attribute the structure of my lesson to the content lectures that I participated in as a student during the Midlands Institute. The daily content lessons made me think of history in a way that is different from most of the history classes that I have taken. During the course, I was able to make connections across time periods and events. Then I was able to put these events, people, and places together in uncommon ways. For example, when we were required to write an essay based on information from the book Stono: Documenting and Interpreting a Southern Slave Revolt by Mark Smith, I was able to clearly see the connection between The Negro Act, Charleston School for Negroes and the Treaty of Paris of all things. I found that this method of instructions aligns with my beliefs as a teacher of history. I believe that history is a way to understand people and their behaviors. I also seek to have my students engage in this level of understanding about history. As a result, I thought that the best way to help students understand the essence of the American Revolution through primary documents was to teach the causes and consequences instead of the regular names and dates.
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)
c) describing key events and the roles of key individuals in the American Revolution, with emphasis on George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and Thomas Paine. (This unit will emphasize the key events.)
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)
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.
The American Revolution, the birth of our nation, was fueled and powered by many individuals and events. Looking at primary source accounts of key events will contribute to an understanding of the causes of the revolution and the struggles colonists faced as they moved from being loyal to the King to rebelling outright against him.
It came as no surprise that eventually the only recourse appeared to be war. It began on an April day in 1775. The British had received word that the colonists were stockpiling the Kings munitions in Concord and they aimed to retrieve them. Colonists in Lexington received word the Redcoats were marching their way bound for Concord. A group of brave, proud colonists took their stand on the Lexington green. Confronted by the Redcoats and asked to retreat, these men remained vigilantly stationary. Someone fired a shot, the shot heard round the world, and the American Revolutionary War began. Students will be studying key events that led to this Revolution.