|American Revolution Newspaper Assignment
Your task, if you choose to accept it, is to create a newspaper outlining the causes & events of the American Revolution. Students will study events that led to the revolution and people who fostered liberty from England to gain an understanding of the causes of the American Revolutionary War. You will interpret and analyze primary sources. Using the information gleaned from these sources, you will fashion a front page of a newspaper that resembles one written during the Revolutionary Era. You will include 4 articles on separate events of the Revolution on your front page.
What You Need to Include:
A minimum of 4 American Revolution events or causes. Each event or cause must be explained in detail from an revolutionary perspective
2 Interesting & funny advertisements based on the time
A catchy, revolutionary name to your paper
At least 3 images or pictures
Events & Causes
-Royal Proclamation 1763
-Lack of Democracy & Accountability: British Parliament & King George III
-The Sugar Act 1764
-The Stamp Act 1765
-The Townshend Act 1767
-The Boston Massacre 1770
-The Tea Act & the Boston Tea Party 1773
-Quebec Act 1774
-Intolerable Acts 1774
-The Shot Heard Round the World 1775
-Thomas Paine’s Common Sense 1776
-Declaration of Independence July 4th , 1776
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.
One tax imposed upon the colonists was the Sugar Act in 1764. This tax was suggested
to Parliament by Prime Minister George Grenville, who felt the colonists should help
pay the debt accrued by the French and Indian War. This act placed duties on molasses
and sugar. It was not only that Parliament passed this tax that grieved the colonists so,
but that the British took great strides in enforcing this law. The British would stop and
search colonial ships for smuggled goods. As a reaction to this tax, the rallying cry
"taxation without representation" was born through the ideas of Samuel Adams and
James Otis and noised throughout the colonies.
In 1765, the Stamp Act was proposed. Under this act, the colonists were required to pay for a stamp or seal to be placed on all paper goods they bought. These goods included legal documents, licenses, newspapers, pamphlets and playing cards. Refusal to buy these stamps could mean jail time or a fine for a colonist. Reaction to the Stamp Act was loud and demonstrative. The colonists boycotted those goods or simply refused to buy the stamp. This caused British merchants to appeal to Parliament to repeal the law and they did in 1766. Only one year later, Parliament came up with another tax, the Townsend Acts. This law placed duties on imported glass, lead, paint, paper and tea. The monies collected from this tax paid
for military costs in the colonies and the salaries of colonial governors.
Women began taking an active role in the resistance to increased British control. They formed the Daughters of Liberty who promoted a boycott of all British goods. "The tighter the cord of unconstitutional power is drawn round this bundle of arrows, the firmer it will be,"
boasted Sam Adams as he observed the colonies unify in the boycott. Not all their
actions were peaceful. We often don't hear about the gangs who tormented Loyalists,
causing them to sleep with pistols by their bedside or the young boys who pelted would be
customers with dung, dirt or snowballs spiked with seashells.
It is not so surprising that the "Boston Massacre" occurred. In March 1770, a soldier was injured in a fight with a dock man. The Redcoats retaliated by placing notices throughout Boston warning of an attack on the townspeople, if this raucous behavior continues. An
outraged crowd of Patriots gathered at the Custom House, taunting and jeering at the
nine-man guard. The crowd threw snowballs and brickbats. The guards being out
numbered by the angry mob, fired in self defense. When the air cleared, five colonists
lay dead or dying. One month later, the Townshend Act was repealed.
In 1773, Parliament passed the Tea Act, which allowed the East India Company to sell
tea at a cheaper price directly to the colonists. Parliament hoped this would end the
boycott of the tea and decrease the smuggling. Colonists, fearing this would set a
precedent that would put the colonial merchant out of business, made a united front
against the Tea Act. When three ships carrying British tea docked at Boston Harbor in
November 1773, the Sons of Liberty demanded they leave immediately. (The Sons of
Liberty were a group of men whose purpose was to protest taxes and intimidate tax
collectors.) When Governor Hutchinson failed to force their departure, the Sons of
Liberty devised the Boston Tea Party. They dressed up as Native Americans in order to
hide their true identity, entered the 3 ships and dumped the contents of 342 chests of
tea into Boston Harbor. This type of patriotic activity was the kind in which Sam Adams,
master planner of the Sons of Liberty, reveled.
When news reached the shores of England, Lord North, the new Prime Minister was
filled with rage and indignation. Parliament decided to punish Massachusetts with The
Intolerable Acts, as the colonists named them. Their given name was the Boston Port
Acts. There were 4 intolerable laws imposed on the colonists through these acts.
Boston Harbor was closed until it could pay for all the tea that was dumped in
to the harbor
The royal governor could decide if and when the Massachusetts legislature
Any crimes committed by a royal official would be tried in England, not the
Colonists were forced to provide living quarters, candles and beverages to
Parliament intended to make an example of Massachusetts causing the other colonies to
separate from Massachusetts for fear of being treated in the same manner. They also
thought that Massachusetts would need their trade so badly that they would yield to
their requests and pay back the cost of the tea quickly. What actually happened was the
reverse of England's hopes! The Intolerable Acts united all the colonies. Outraged by
the audacity of England to take away the basic rights of the Massachusetts colonists, the
other twelve colonies were spurred into action. They came to the aide of Massachusetts,
making sure needed supplies were transported and distributed to them.
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 King's 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