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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pursuit of Happiness =
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.