As we have seen in this unit, the origins of the American Revolution were complicated. While the Declaration of Independence has long been viewed as the beginning of the Revolution, in reality, the storm had been brewing for decades by the time Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
In this essay, you will be analyzing and evaluating the causes of the American Revolution using both primary and secondary sources.
In the process, you will be practicing one of the key skills in the historical thinking: evidence-based argumentation. Learning to make a clear argument that is supported by specific evidence is essential to the kind of critical thinking that your time in college should help you develop.
Please ensure you read the following from the content of this unit:
Ideas and Theories For and Against American Independence
Primary Source: The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved
Primary Source: Soame Jenyns and Samuel Johnson
Events Contributing to the Rise of an Independence Movement in the Colonies
see images below
“Bostonian’s Paying the Excise Man, or Tarring and Feathering. Philip Dawe, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.”
“Boston Massacre as portrayed by Paul Revere. Not entirely an accurate depiction of the event that transpired. Engrav’d Printed & Sold by Paul Revere Boston. The print was copied by Revere from a design by Henry Pelham for an engraving eventually published under the title “The Fruits of Arbitrary Power, or the Bloody Massacre,” of which only two impressions could be located by Brigham. Revere’s print appeared on or about March 28, 1770., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.”
“This is the place to affix the stamp. Bradford, William, 1719-1791, publisher. Illus. in: The Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advertiser, 1765 October 24. From the Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004672606/”
Then, in an essay of at least 5 paragraphs and 1000 words:
identify the main arguments used by supporters and opponents of American independence and why each side thought their viewpoint was correct. Then, identify the events portrayed in each of the three images and explain why they occurred, and combined with what happened after each event, show how they support for independence to grow. You should not limit yourself to discussing only these three events; simply use these three to help shape an analysis of various cause-effect relationships between the British and colonist actions.
Expectations and Criteria for Success
You should base your discussion with the information in the course content; outside research is not allowed. As always, be sure to keep track of where you find your information so that you can provide citations in your final essay. Citations must be formatted according to the MLA guidelines, including both in-text and a final source page. Guidelines for MLA can be found using the Purdue Owl or you can reference the Citation Help.pdf from the Start Here Module of the course.
Essays should be typed in 12-point font with a simple, clean font such as Times New Roman or Arial. Use 1″ inch margins on all sides and double-space the text.
Successful essays should be carefully organized, with strong thesis statements and specific evidentiary support from the primary sources themselves. Your introduction should include a clear statement of what you will argue in the essay (thesis statements are never questions). The body of the essay will include at least three paragraphs (though you can write more). Conclude by discussing the key conclusion you reached and why (remember not to use the first person in formal academic essays). Be sure to revise and edit carefully.
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