|Name _____________________ Class ______________ Date____________
LOYALIST OR PATRIOT ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY
Topic: Who was right, the Patriots or the Loyalists? Why?
Task: Choose a side to support and write a 5 paragraph argumentative essay convincing readers to agree with you.
Essay Structure: 5 paragraphs
Paragraph 1: Introduction: Hook, Thesis, Background Information and introduction of the 3 topics you will use to support / argue your thesis.
Paragraph 2-3: Body paragraphs
Each body paragraph needs:
A claim (topic/lead sentence)
at least 1 piece of evidence to support your claim
elaboration – real elaboration – not just restating what you’ve already written – explaining how this evidence supports your argument
a counter-argument - acknowledge and refute it
Paragraph 5: Conclusion: Restate your thesis and wrap up.
TIPS: Be sure that
Your thesis (argument) is a strong and clear statement.
Each paragraph has a strong topic sentence.
You cite 1 or more pieces of evidence in each paragraph.
All of your supporting information includes DETAILS.
You INTERPRET the evidence and ELABORATE on your supporting information.
You read enough information to gather good supporting information
Make sure that you look at the rubric.
This is a formal grade.
The Patriot Argument (circa 1775) (modified)
We Americans are tired of being treated like ill-behaved children and now want our independence from England. We were English citizens and proved our loyalty to England during the French & Indian War. Tens of thousands of American colonists fought alongside British soldiers to defeat the French and their allies. How did the British reward our loyalty: by seizing all the French lands and refusing American colonists to move west in the Proclamation of 1763? After the war, England needed money to pay its debts and tried to impose unfair taxes, including the Stamp Act, Townshend Acts and Tea Act, on Americans. England had never directly taxed the colonies before because it was against British law since the American colonies were not represented in Parliament. Lastly, we are becoming nothing better than slaves in America as the British government continues to remove our natural rights as British citizens. We are forced to keep soldiers in our homes. If arrested we are transported to Canada and refused a jury trial. It is just common sense for American colonists to declare their independence from England.
During the French & Indian War, the French and their Indian allies killed thousands of American settlers on the frontiers. We, Americans, responded to this challenge by raising militia companies to defend our homes. These militia companies helped the British defeat the French and gain control of the Mississippi Valley. As soon as the war ended, Britain issued the Proclamation of 1763 forbidding settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains to protect our former enemies, the Native-Americans. Land we had earned through the loss of the blood of thousands of Americans was unrightfully denied to us.
England was in deep debt after the war and needed to repay that debt. Americans already supported England through the use of the mercantile system. England had never directly taxed the colonies because it would violate British law which stated that only persons represented in Parliament could be taxed. In 1765, the Stamp Act, a direct internal tax, was placed on American goods. Americans strongly objected to this tax because we were not represented in Parliament and therefore had no control or voice in these decisions. England never tried to understand our position but instead issued more taxes, including the Townshend and Tea Acts, without our consent.
The Tea Act pushed Americans to violence. We wanted to send a clear message to England that they were violating our rights as Englishman. Patriots in Boston decided to dump the hated tea into Boston harbor during the Boston Tea Party, to demonstrate our anger over British interference. England responded to this but not in the way it was hoped. England acted as if we had misbehaved or broken the law. They issued the Intolerable, or Coercive, Acts and took away some of our most basic rights. They closed the port of Boston, ended all meetings, quartered soldiers in people’s homes without permission, ended jury trials and had prisoners sent to Canada for trial. All Americans were horrified by the British actions and a Continental Congress was formed by great men like Samuel Adams and John Hancock to right these wrongs.
America is growing and will no longer be treated as some ill-mannered child. We want our rights and will declare independence from any government that does not guarantee those rights. We have proved ourselves worthy on the fields of battle and are not afraid of the British Army. We will pay taxes but to our own colonial governments to fight the tyranny of the British government.
The Loyalist Argument (circa 1775) (modified)
The American “patriots” are nothing but spoiled children. England, the mother country, has for years dealt with the American colonists as a fair and loving parent. England provides protection of the American colonists from its enemies (France/Spain/Native-Americans) by its large navy and the stationing of over 10,000 troops in America. England also helps America economically by protecting American goods and supplies from foreign competition. Lastly, American colonists are British citizens and are treated as Englishman with all the rights and responsibilities that entails.
It was not so long ago (1754-63) that England and her colonies were fighting a life and death struggle against France. This war was particularly terrible here in the North American colonies. France and many Native Americans attacked and killed thousands of English settlers living on the frontiers of our colonies. William Pitt, the Prime Minister of England, determined that this world war must first be won in America, where it began. Pitt sent tens of thousands of British troops to the colonies and paid for the raising of colonial militia units as well. In three years, Pitt’s efforts freed the colonies of French interference and helped greatly to end the Indian threat.
England needed to pay its debts from this war and asked the American colonists to pay their “fair share” for their own protection. A series of taxes (Stamp Act, Townshend Acts, Tea Act) proposed by Britain on the colonists asked for a small amount of money to pay for British troops stationed in the colonies to help protect the colonists from attack. Considering that American colonists paid less than 5% of what English citizens paid in taxes, the leaders in Britain thought they were being fair. How did the colonists respond to their responsibilities as English citizens? The colonists disobeyed these laws and refused to pay their fair share of taxes. They attacked royal tax collectors, boycotted British goods and even threw tea into Boston harbor. This poor behavior was led by rabble-rousers like Sam Adams and John Hancock.
These “patriots” complain that mercantilism only benefits England while strangling the American economy. As the mother country, England deserves to use her colonies to her benefit. However colonists benefited from the mercantilist system as well. Tobacco growers from the southern colonies were granted a monopoly for tobacco use in all English colonies since the 1600s, creating large farms and plantations in the south. As a matter of fact, England did not even bother to enforce many of these laws (salutary neglect). Lastly, American colonists are wealthier on average than Englishmen living in England. If this system is so bad, then why are Americans prospering?
Finally these “patriots” claim that they have fewer rights than an Englishman. They say that that all Englishman have God-given rights, including a jury trial, no taxation without representation, and holding meetings to discuss problems. They claim that England has taken these rights away without reason. However, with rights come responsibilities as well. The colonists have not lived up to their responsibilities as English citizens. They have refused the lawful orders of Parliament and the King. They have attacked British troops during the alleged “Boston Massacre” and they, masquerading as Indians, destroyed tons of tea. In English law, criminals forfeit their rights and are punished.
England is tired of the bad manners and disobedience of its American colonies. We, loyalists, do not believe for a minute that the “patriots” represent the true feelings of the majority of American colonists who want to remain loyal to the King. We, loyalists, realize that our mother country, England, is a reasonable parent who only wants the best for her children and, like any parent, will scold or punish when their children behave inappropriately. We, Americans, must obey the laws passed in England and pay our fair share of taxes in order for our rights and privileges to be restored.