Unit- The American Revolution Grade Level- Eight Lesson- “Early Battles” and “Declaring Independence”
Objectives To acquire knowledge of the Revolution’s initial battle sequences, as well as the debates and issues surrounding the move towards independence To understand the relationship between the concept of natural rights and the Declaration of Independence To apply this understanding to an analysis of the Declaration’s influence on durable characteristics of the American spirit
Objectives To lay foundations for later study of the Bill of Rights To consider the extent to which the colonies’ break with Britain was justified
Student Activities The first fifteen minutes of the fifty minute class period will involve students individually reading the “Early Battles” section of the class text. They will be asked, as always, to isolate main ideas and concepts as a precursor to the coherent study of ensuing sequences in the Revolution narrative.
Student Activities Students will occupy another fifteen-minute segment in partners, wherein each student will alternately quiz the other over the section’s content. The teacher will devote the final twenty minutes to a lecture-discussion over the principal points in the “Early Battles” and “Declaring Independence” sections
Student Activities Students will be asked to read the “Declaring Independence” section for homework, and to provide written answers to a series of questions derived from the final three listed objectives.
Early Battles 1775 Second Continental Congress Lake Champlain Fort Ticonderoga Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys “In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!”
Early Battles Continental Army George Washington Olive Branch Petition Patriots A ragtag army on home turf An indomitable navy on distant shores
Early Battles Loyalists: about 20% of colonists; fewer in New England than elsewhere; fled to England and Canada The Boston theater William Prescott and William Howe Bunker Hill and Breed’s Hill minutemen
Early Battles Battle of Bunker Hill Washington arrives in Boston Overcoming provincialism to create a functional army Cannon on Dorchester Heights and the flight of the British Blockade
Early Battles Hessian mercenaries The debacle in Canada: Richard Montgomery; Benedict Arnold; inclement weather; threadbare army; repulsed at Quebec
Declaring Independence 1776 Thomas Paine Common Sense “I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense.” (the tradition of self-evident truth) Richard Henry Lee: “These United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.”
Declaring Independence Traitor The Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson John Hancock preamble
Declaring Independence Natural Rights “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” British crimes and the right to redress them through revolution