American Revolution Worksheet

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American Revolution Worksheet

Saunders VA-US history

  1. The American Revolution was justified by new political ideas about the relationship between people and their government, which were inspired by the following people. Research their works and fill in the chart below with information about their contribution to the American Revolution.


Main ideas/writings?

Significance or Importance?

John Locke

Two Treatises on Government

Natural rights” – life, liberty and property

Social Contract – Power resides with the people who consent to a form of government to protect their rights.

Whenever government becomes a threat to the people’s rights, people have the right to overthrow the government.

Ideas about the sovereignty and rights of the people were radical and challenged the centuries old practice throughout the world of dictatorial rule by kings, emperors and tribal chieftains.

Locke influenced:

  • American ideas about self-government

Thomas Jefferson in his writing of the Declaration of Independence

Thomas Paine

Common Sense

A pamphlet read by many American colonists during the mid 1700s listing the wrongs done by the British King and English parliament.

Challenged rule of the American colonies by the King of England and contributed to a growing sentiment for independence from Great Britain.

Thomas Jefferson

Declaration of Independence

“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.”

“Governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed.”

The Declaration of Independence

  • Laid the institutional foundations for the system of government under which Americans live.

  • Reflected the ideas of Locke and Paine

  • Jefferson detailed many of the grievances against the King of England that Paine had earlier described in Common Sense.

  1. In an effort to pay off the debt from the French and Indian War and prevent future conflicts, the British begin to take actions that angered the American colonist and led to the American Revolution. Create a timeline on a separate sheet of paper and list the following items in chronological order, including the date.

  1. Battle of Yorktown

  2. Intolerable Acts

  3. Navigation Acts

  4. Battle of Saratoga

  5. Declaration of Independence

  6. Tea Act

  7. Common Sense

  8. Olive Branch Petition

  9. Boston Massacre

  10. Declaratory Act

  11. Stamp Act

  12. French and Indian war

  13. Lexington and Concord

  14. Sugar Act

  15. 1st Continental Congress

  16. Proclamation of 1763

  17. Boston Tea Party

  18. Townshend Act

  1. The American colonists can be divided into three groups based on their opinion about the Revolutionary War. Fill in the chart below by describing the opinions, beliefs, and characteristics of each group. You may also list the names of any particularly influential members of these groups or nicknames given to these groups.




    • Believed in complete independence from England.

    • Inspired by the ideas of:

    • Locke and Paine

    • Patrick Henry – “Give me liberty or give me death”.

    • Supported the Continental Congress

    • Boycotted British goods\Economic support of the Daughters of Liberty\ Protests by the Sons of Liberty

    • Established new governments to bypass Parliament

    • Threatened British merchants and manufacturers

    • Provided troops for American army led by George Washington.

    • Remained loyal to Britain because of cultural and economic ties

    • Most believed that taxation of the colonies was justified to pay for British protection from Indian attacks

    • Tried to stay as uninvolved in the war as possible.

  2. The American victory in the Revolutionary War was unexpected and shocked the world. On the table below, define the advantages and disadvantages of each side and then give the reasons for the outcome.




  1. Had most powerful govt. in the world

  2. Britain could finance the war – their soldiers were paid

  3. Britain had a trained army and officers

  4. Britain had a navy to control the seas.


  1. Britain was far from home and it took 6 months for orders and supplies to get here.

  2. War was not popular in Britain.


  1. Americans only had to hold out to win - Britain controlled the cities but not the countryside.

  2. Fighting on own soil

  3. Americans were more devoted.

  4. George Washington was a very good leader.


  1. Americans soldiers were not paid.

  2. American soldiers were not trained.

Factors leading to American Victory

Military Factors

  • Although the British are trained and financed, they failed to consider the colonies a serious enemy, and they are tired of fighting

  • British troops fight in an orderly manner, while Patriots attack from behind trees and walls using guerrilla warfare learned from the Indians.

  • George Washington’s skilled leadership preserves and inspires his men. He retreats and avoids battles to save his men

  • Spain and France support the Patriots with secret shipments of arms and ammunition.

  • French will use army and navy to block the retreat of Cornwallis at Yorktown leading the British to surrender and American victory.

Diplomatic Factors

  • Ben Franklin negotiates Treaty of Alliance with France

  • British lose support for war at home. The British people get tired of the high cost and casualties of the war.

  1. The Declaration of Independence is an important document in United States History, but it does not have the force of law like the Constitution does. This means that laws can contradict what the Declaration of Independence says, but it explains the key principles of equality, liberty, and the “pursuit of happiness” that the country is founded on and has given all Americans an ideal to work toward. In the chart below, explain how each of the following ideals have been applied over time; increasing political, social, and economic participation.

Equality =

Political Participation

Liberty =

Social Participation

Pursuit of Happiness =

Economic Participation

14th Amendment – Due process to guaranteed to everyone.

15th Amendment – All men can vote regardless of race.

19th Amendment – Women can vote.
Education helps people participate effectively in Government. Virginia’s constitution guarantees the right to free, public education.

13th Amendment – Abolition of slavery.

Civil rights were extended in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s to

African Americans, Native Americans, Women, and other groups.

5th Amendment – Protection of property rights.

Protecting Property rights, so people do not lose their economic security.

Laws have been made to regulate the Free enterprise system to ensure the safety of workers and the community.

Navigation Acts (1651)

French and Indian war (1754-1763)

Proclamation of 1763

Sugar Act (1764)

Stamp Act (March, 1765)

Declaratory Act (1766)

Townshend Acts (1767)

Boston Massacre (March 5, 1770)

Tea Act (1773)

Boston Tea Party (December 16, 1773)

Intolerable Acts (1774)

1st Continental Congress (September 1774)

Lexington and Concord (April 18, 1775)

Olive Branch Petition (July 8, 1775)

Common Sense (1776)

Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776)

Battle of Saratoga (1777)

Battle of Yorktown (1781)

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