Week 26 :: The Glorious Cause by Robert Middlekauff – Chapter 26: Ratification

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “What had happened in the Constitutional Convention? A fairly common opinion in 1787 had it that there had been a withdrawal of the original commitment to the principles of the American Revolution. Those of this persuasion pointed out that the Constitution virtually destroyed the old Confederation of sovereign states and replaced it with what they called “consolidated” government. In this government, power and sovereignty lay at the center—not in the individual states. In the year following the close of the federal Convention there were to be many variations on the meaning of consolidation.”
  • “For the Revolution was a complex set of events taking place over almost thirty years, events which in fact went through a number of phases. To assume that one phase is more “revolutionary,” or more “conservative,” than another inhibits understanding of them all.”
  • “The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it; the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party; and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression. Extend the sphere and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength and to act in unison with each other.”

Thought Questions

  • Who were the Federalists and Anti-Federalists and how did they impact the debate over ratification?
  • Describe the course of the Federalist-Anti-Federalist debate over ratification
  • How did the debate over ratification reflect changing attitudes from the 1770s? 
  • How did the debate over ratification reflect the experience of the War for Independence? 
  • What role did a Bill of Rights play in Constitutional ratification? 
  • Describe how the process of ratification proceeded in the states?
  • Why was Delaware the first state to ratify the Constitution and how was this symbolic of a group of states?
  • Describe the debate over ratification in Pennsylvania and how it impacted ratification
  • Describe the debate over ratification in New York and how it impacted ratification 
  • Describe the debate over ratification in Virginia and how it impacted ratification 

Articles

Primary Sources

 

Week 25 :: The Glorious Cause by Robert Middlekauff – Chapter 25: The Constitutional Convention

Thought Questions

  • Why is James Madison considered the “Father of the Constitution”?
  • What role did James Wilson play in the constitutional convention?
  • What role did George Washington play in the constitutional convention? 
  • What were the provisions of the Virginia Plan?
  • What were the provisions of the New Jersey Plan? How did they differ from the Virginia plan?
  • How did the issue of popular sovereignty and democracy impact the convention?
  • What issues did the bicameral national legislature address?
  • What issues did the chief executive of the national government raise?
  • What issues did the national judiciary pose to the convention? 
  • How was the “Federal” union proposed by some different from the “Confederation” others wanted to preserve? 
  • Why was the issue of states’ rights not primarily a sectional issue during the convention?
  • How were large population states in conflict with the small population states?
  • How did the issue of slavery effect the convention?
  • In what ways did the issue of western lands effect the convention? 
  • How was Delaware’s position representative of the small states position? 
  • How was the issue of popular ratification of the Constitution resolved? 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “What concerned him, he wrote Henry Knox in an appeal for advice, was “whether my non-attendance in this Convention will not be considered as dereliction to republicanism, nay more, whether other motives may not (however injuriously) be ascribed to me for not exerting myself on this occasion in support of it.””
  • “The Convention met for almost four months. During that time it generated its own forces, chiefly through discussion and argument. In all these deliberations, reason and intellect made their impress, just as did irrationality and passion, chance and accident.”
  • “The others did not agree and signed, apparently sharing a hope that ratification might follow without difficulty. Ratification was given in the next nine months, but not without difficulty and a certain amount of strain. Perhaps the difficulty was inevitable. On the whole it was minor, given what the Americans had already overcome.” 

Primary Sources

Articles

 

Week 24 :: The Glorious Cause by Robert Middlekauff – Chapter 24: The Children of the Twice Born in the 1780s

Notes:

  • You may wish to review Chapter 2 before reading this chapter. 
  • Remember that the Revolutionary Period saw three distinct types of “national” assemblies: 
  • Continental Congresses (improvised assemblies before the Articles of Confederation)
  • The Confederation Congress (the assembly that formed under the Articles of Confederation) -The Federal Congress (which would form under the United States Constitution)
  • Think about the struggle in this chapter in terms of “right” and “power”. Example: The Confederation Congress had the “right” to form an Army. But it did not possess the “power” – it could not pay or supply the army and depended on the states to form the actual Continental units. The “power” remained with the states. The Continental Congresses effectively had neither “right” or “power” – all they could do is talk and return home. The Federal Congress would have both the “right” to do and the “power” to do what it had the “right” to do. 
  • Balancing “right” and “power” is the prime substance of American political history. 

Thought Questions

  • How did American society evolve between 1765 and 1785?
  • How did American political institutions evolve between 1765 and 1785?
  • What were the strengths and weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation?
  • How did the Constitutional history of revolutionary Virginia impact the construction of the Federal Government?
  • What were the provisions of the Virginia Declaration of Rights?
  • Who was George Mason? 
  • Describe the evolution from the Articles of Confederation to the Federal Constitution
  • How did the issues of credit, debt and land influence the Constitutional development of the United States? 
  • How did Jefferson understand the issue of slavery and how did his conclusions evolve?
  • How did Jefferson understand the issue of public education and how did his conclusions evolve? 
  • How did the Constitutional development of Pennsylvania compare and contrast with Virginia?
  • Why does the author choose Virginia and Pennsylvania to compare state constitutional development?
  • Some people see this chapter and the previous chapter on the Stamp Act Crisis as encapsulating the author’s main themes. How does the Stamp Act “crisis” and the Virginia Constitutional “crisis” (from Jefferson’s point of view) frame the evolution of the “Glorious Cause” in America?

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Much had changed between 1765 and 1787. Although in 1765 the Americans were not one people, they knew they had much in common. By 1787 they recognized what it was. They were a people who valued liberty and representative government.”
  • “Pendleton did not agree, preferring instead to reserve the upper house for men of “great property” who would sit for life. The disadvantage in giving their selection to the lower house lay in the dependence thereby created. So chosen, they would be “the mere creatures of that body and of course wholly unfit to correct their Errors or Allay casual heats which will at times arise in all large bodies.” Jefferson did not disagree with all of this, but he did not share Pendleton’s confidence in wealthy men—“my observations,” he observed, “do not enable me to say I think integrity the characteristic of wealth.””
  • “Jefferson recommended colonization because he believed that blacks and whites could not live together peacefully. Their complex and terrible history made racial harmony unthinkable: “Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new provocations; the real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances, will divide us into parties, and produce convulsions which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race.””

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

 

Week 23 :: The Glorious Cause by Robert Middlekauff, Chapter 23: The Constitutional Movement

Thought Questions

  • Describe the deficiencies the the Constitutional movement looked to remedy
  • What was the significance of the act and method of Washington’s military resignation?
  • In what ways was the Continental Army disgruntled after the end of the conflict?
  • How was territorial sovereignty and land distribution in the west an issue at the end of the war
  • How did national public finances and debt factor into decisions about the future of the Untied States at the end of the war? 
  • What role did John Jay and James Monroe play in the European negotiations? 
  • How did the issues related to the organization of the “Old Northwest” compare and contrast with the issues related to the “Old Southwest”?
  • How did economic recovery after the war progress differently in different sections?
  • What were “Indents” and what role did the play in public finances? 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “to rely on the plighted faith of your Country, and place a full confidence in the purity of the intentions of Congress. . . . And let me conjure you, in the name of our common Country, as you value your own sacred honor, as you respect the rights of humanity, and as you regard the Military and National character of America, to express your utmost horror and detestation of the Man who wishes, under any specious pretences, to overturn the liberties of our Country, and who wickedly attempts to open the flood Gates of Civil discord, and deluge our rising Empire in blood.”
  • “This anxiety, which was perhaps fairly widespread, focused on Congress. Indeed dissatisfaction with Congress and its works—or lack of works—shaped a movement for constitutional reform in the 1780s.”

Primary Sources

Articles

 

Week 22 :: The Glorious Cause by Robert Middlekauff, Chapter 22: Yorktown and Paris

Thought Questions

  • Describe the events around Yorktown? 
  • Moving into the events around Yorktown what was the mental and physical conditions around / in the American and British military leadership and their rank and file? 
  • Who was Charles Cornwallis? How was he an “unlikely” candidate to suppress rebellion while being a “likely” candidate to win a military engagement?
  • What role did the British Navy play in the events around Yorktown?
  • What role did communications and logistics play in this phase of the war?
  • How was Yorktown the “beginning of the end” for British occupation of the United States?
  • How did the peace negotiations progress after Yorktown?
  • In what ways did the different national interests of the Americans, French and Spanish begin to emerge as issues during the peace negotiations? 
  • What role did John Adams play in the peace negotiations?
  • What were the provisions of the 1783 Treaty of Paris?
  • In what ways was the American Revolution a civil war? In what ways was Yorktown the end of a revolution and the beginning of a civil war?
  • How did the Americans and British fight a different war?
  • In what ways was George Washington an ideal leader for the war the Americans fought? 
  • What holds us together as a people? 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “In the best tradition of the military’s disdain of fear, relief was accomplished with drums beating and colors flying. If the enemy heard the drums or, more likely, noticed the colors and decided to fire at the men who were obviously under them, so be it. An eighteenth-century gentleman should always place his honor above his life.”
  • “The type of war the Americans fought, with its overriding political objective and its defensive strategy, called for a particular sort of commander.” 

Further Reading

  • There are many great biographies of George Washington. Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow is a favorite for many people. My favorite are the Washington biographies by James Thomas Flexner. The single volume is great, the four volume set is a must for biography lovers. 

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

 

Week 21 :: The Glorious Cause, Chapter 21: Outside the Campaigns

Thought Questions

  • How did the War for Independence effect the American civilians who sustained the war effort? 
  • In what ways did the British employ “terror raids” against non-military American targets? 
  • In what ways did the Continental Army and state militias carry out crimes against non-military civilian targets? In what ways was this justified by the participants? 
  • What effect did the War for Independence have on marriages and families? How was this experience similar and different in New England, the Chesapeake and the South? 
  • How did the role of women outside the home and church change during the War for Independence? 
  • In what ways did the Americans and British attempt to mitigate some negative behaviors?
  • What does the experience of Elizabeth Drinker reveal about the experience of American civilians in the War for Independence? 
  • Compare and contrast how the poor, the working population, the “middling sort” and the “gentry” population in America experienced the War for Independence? 
  • How did loyalists fit into the American War for Independence? 
  • In what ways were political positions considered crimes in the war? How did the vary in different regions and how did local war experience effect the pursuit of political crimes?
  • What were some of the paradoxes faced by slaves during the war? 
  • How did the experience of slaves in the War for Independence effect their status as Americans and as slaves?
  • How did language effect the repeated formation of Native American groups? How was this process different and similar for the Northwestern and Southern Native Americans? 

Thought / Response Quotes

  • “That the army sometimes failed in the service of the cause does not mean that the revolutionary generation’s experience was false. No society ever holds perfectly to the courses it sets for itself; and no good and honorable experience can ever be completely free of evil and dishonor.”
  • “Disease, wars, the relentless pressure of whites on their lands, had broken apart tribes and kin groups. These groups, loose collections of villages, had formed themselves over and over again—the survivors of these man-made disasters adapting to new circumstances in an attempt to retain some control of their lives.”

 

Week 20 :: The Glorious Cause, Chapter 20: Inside the Campaigns

Thought Questions

  • What were the different motivations that inspired individuals, American and British, to fight and in some cases die in the American Revolution?
  • How were individual motivations for joining the fight in the American Revolution similar and different in the War of 1812 and the American Civil War?
  • What different circumstances effected the performance of Continentals and militias?
  • How did the experience of serving in the Continental Army under Washington create a feeling of nationhood?
  • How did the geographic differences in the composition of the Continental Army and militias impact sectional characteristics and feelings?
  • Compare the factors that influenced the performance of British soldiers and the Continental Army and British soldiers and the militias?
  • In what ways did the “Civil War” the British soldiers experienced compare and contrast to the “Revolution” the American soldiers experienced?

Notes:

  • A classic American Revolution memoir is A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier: Some of the Adventures, Dangers, and Sufferings of Joseph Plumb Martin (free on Librivox)
  • If you are interested in the experience of British soldiers in the American Revolution, consider Tories: Fighting for the King in America’s First Civil War by Thomas B. Allen and British Soldiers, American War: Voices of the American Revolution by Don N. Hagist

Chapter Thought and Response Quotes

  • “Why did those men—those who survived and those who died—fight? Why did they hold their ground, endure the strain of battle, with men dying about them and danger to themselves so obvious?”
  • “We need to know why these men fought and why the American regulars performed better than the militia.”
  • “The activity of a commander in chief does not at all resemble the activity we imagine to ourselves when we sit at ease in our studies examining some campaign on the map, with a certain number of troops on this and that side in a certain known locality, and begin our plans from a given moment. A commander in chief is never dealing with the beginning of any event—the position from which we always contemplate it. The commander in chief is always in the midst of a series of shifting events and so he never can at any moment consider the whole import of an event that is occurring.”
  • “The Continentals occupied the psychological and moral ground somewhere between the militia and the British professionals.”

Optional Supplemental Reading

Continue Reading American Heritage History of the American Revolution by Bruce Lancaster

Week 19 :: The Glorious Cause, Chapter 19: The “Fugitive War” 

Thought Questions

  • In what ways did the experiences around the Camden and the South “shocking” for both sides of the conflict? 
  • What was the British war plan after Camden? 
  • What was the American war plan after Camden? 
  • Who were the “Over-the-mountain men” and what role did they play in the revolution? 
  • Contrast the character and leadership of Nathanael Greene (please note the spelling) with other military leaders in history (not just American and British) 
  • How were the particular skills and experience Nathanael Greene possessed critical to the success of the revolution?
  • In what ways did the individual strengths and weaknesses of Washington, Greene and Knox work together to create superior leadership for the revolution? (Unfortunately one of the flaws of this excellent book is its scant coverage of Henry Knox)
  • In what ways did Washington, Greene and Knox recognize and adapt to their individual weaknesses and circumstantial limitations? 
  • In what ways did British military leadership fail to recognize and adapt to their individual weaknesses and circumstantial limitations? 
  • How did issues of transportation and communication effect the revolution in the South? 
  • How did the American leadership build on their strengths?
  • How did the British leadership compound their weaknesses? 
  • In what ways did localisms effect the war in the South? 
  • Who was Daniel Morgan and how did the Battle of Cowpens unfold? 
  • How did The Battle of Guilford Court House unfold? 
  • In what ways was the war in the south the deciding factor in concluding the war? 

Thought / Response Quotes 

  • “In March 1778, much against his will and with the plaintive wail, “Nobody ever heard of a quarter Master in History,” he accepted appointment as quartermaster general. His acceptance bespoke as plainly as anything he was to do in the Revolution a readiness to do what had to be done and a devotion to the glorious cause.”
  • “Courage frequently mastered the deficiencies of leadership in the Revolution, but in this case it had no chance. The Highlanders were either killed or surrendered, and the artillerymen died gallantly trying to hold their howitzers. Beaten, the British soon began to beg for quarter.”
  • “Shifting the war to the South had seemed especially promising to British commanders after Charleston fell in the spring of 1780. In reality they faced enormous problems even after that victory.” 

Primary Sources

Articles and Maps

Optional Supplemental Reading

 

Week 18: The Glorious Cause, Chapter 18: The War in the South

Thought Questions

  • How did the British belief in the “loyal American majority” evolve and effect the war for independence? 
  • What conditions in the southern colonies make the war for independence there different from the northern colonies? 
  • In what ways was the American Revolution a “quiet”, “defensive”, “conservative” process? 
  • What role did the British imagine for the southern colonies? 
  • How did the British invasion of South Carolina unfold?
  • Compare the working relationships between Colonial American officers and the relationships between British officers
  • How was the fighting in South Carolina different from the other colonies and how did this impact the nature of South Carolina society? 

Primary Sources

Articles

Optional Supplemental Reading

 

Week 17: The Glorious Cause, Chapter 17: The Revolution Becomes A European War

Thought Questions

  • In what ways was the American Revolution connected to European affairs? 
  • What pragmatic advantages did France see in American Independence? 
  • Why was Spain concerned with American Independence? 
  • What arguments did Americans make to the French and Spanish courts to gain support? 
  • In what ways was American independence a “double edged sword” for the French?
  • How did John Adams function as a diplomat in Europe during the war for independence? 
  • How did Thomas Jefferson function as a diplomat in Europe during the war for independence? 
  • How did Benjamin Franklin function as a diplomat in Europe during the war for independence? 
  • How did Adams, Jefferson and Franklin represent different “Americas” to the Europeans?
  • What were the significant provisions of the treaties between France and the United States? 
  • How did events in America effect British and American diplomacy in Europe? 
  • How did the British react towards French recognition of American independence? 
  • How did British actions in the Caribbean work with their strengths while their actions worked with their weaknesses in the mainland colonies? 
  • What was the experience of Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-78?
  • How did geography effect Valley Forge as winter quarters for the Continentals?
  • How did Washington’s army live off the land during the Valley Forge winter?
  • In what ways was a commissary system attempted by the Continental Army? 
  • Who was Baron von Steuben and how did he assist in the war for independence? 
  • Who was Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette and how did he assist in the war for independence?
  • Why is Lafayette remembered significantly and von Steuben remembered slightly? 
  • What was the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse and how did it effect the balance of power in the colonies? 
  • How were the French involved in the battles around Newport in 1778?
  • How did the outlook of American Independence change from 1777 to 1778? 

Primary Sources

Optional Supplemental Reading

 

Week 16: The Glorious Cause – Chapter 16 War of Maneuver

Thought Questions

  • What does the author mean by “War of Maneuver” and how did it effect the War for Independence? 
  • In what ways was the War for Independence a guerrilla war? In what ways was it a conventional war?
  • What was the initial British plan to subdue the revolution?
  • How was Canada involved in the American Revolution? 

Optional Supplemental Reading

 

Week 16: The Glorious Cause – Chapter 16 War of Maneuver

Thought Questions

  • What does the author mean by “War of Maneuver” and how did it effect the War for Independence? 
  • In what ways was the War for Independence a guerrilla war? In what ways was it a conventional war?
  • What was the initial British plan to subdue the revolution?
  • How was Canada involved in the American Revolution? 

Optional Supplemental Reading

 

Week 15: The Glorious Cause – Chapter 15 War of Posts

Thought Questions

  • Describe the events around Staten Island, Long Island and Manhattan Island in 1776
  • Describe the events around New Jersey in 1776
  • What does the author mean by a “war of posts”?
  • What were the factors that limited American actions in 1776
  • What problems did the British face in ending the American Revolution?

Optional Supplemental Reading

Primary Sources

Articles

 

Week 14: The Glorious Cause – Chapter 14 Independence 

Thought Questions

  • What were the main issues of discussion in the Second Continental Congress?
  • What were the main results of the Second Continental Congress? 
  • Why did different groups of Americans see different answers to the problems the colonies were experiencing with the British Empire?
  • What role did Native American relations play in 1776 and the deliberations of the Second Continental Congress? 
  • What was the “Olive Branch Petition” of 1775 and how did British reaction to it shape the events of the Second Continental Congress? 
  • What were the main points of the “Causes and Necessity of Their Taking Up Arms”?
  • Who was Lord George Germain and what was his relationship to the King and Lord North? (Don’t confuse him with George Grenville) 
  • What was the American Prohibitory Act of 1776 and what intended and unintended consequences of its passage?
  • Describe the events around the drafting and passage of the American Declaration of Independence? 
  • Who was Thomas Paine and what role did “Common Sense” play in American Independence?
  • What in John Adam’s life prepared him for the role he would play in the Second Continental Congress?
  • What in Thomas Jefferson’s life prepared him for the role he would play in the Second Continental Congress? 
  • How did the strengths of Washington, Adams and Jefferson combine together to shape American Independence? What were their weaknesses and how did these shape American Independence? 
  • How did the American Continental Army begin to form and what challenges did it face in becoming a national army?

Optional Supplemental Reading

Primary Sources

Articles

Week 13: The Glorious Cause – Chapter 13 Half A War

Thought Questions

  • Who were the Green Mountain Boys and Ethan Allen?
  • What were the opening steps in the forming of the American Continental Army? 
  • Describe the events surrounding the Battle of Ticonderoga. 
  • Describe the geography around Bunker Hill 
  • How did the events surrounding the battles around Bunker Hill unfold? 
  • What was the name of and circumstances surrounding the first well known American Colonial leader to die in the American Revolution?
  • Describe the circumstances surrounding the Second Continental Congress?
  • How were the First and Second Continental Congresses different in character? 
  • What was the Second Continental Congress’ response to the New York Petition? 
  • How did issues relating to transportation and communication effect the opening phases of the American Revolution? (Always ask how transportation and communication effected an event).
  • How was British Canada involved in the early phases of the American Revolution?
  • Describe the early life and experiences of George Washington
  • What is the origin and meaning of the phrase “The Glorious Cause”? 

Optional Supplemental Reading

Continue Reading As If an Enemy’s Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of Revolution by Richard Archer

Primary Sources

Articles

 

Week 12: The Glorious Cause – Chapter 12 War

Thought Questions

  • What were the different parts and functions of the Intolerable Acts? 
  • What were the initial reactions to the First Continental Congress? 
  • How did the division between eastern and western Massachusetts reflect the broader divisions in revolutionary America? 
  • How did Britain react to the First Continental Congress and the American responses to the Intolerable Acts? 
  • How did Thomas Gage view the Intolerable Acts? 
  • How did Thomas Gage attempt to enforce the Intolerable Acts? 
  • What were the intentions of General Gage in planning the British expedition to Lexington and Concord? 
  • What were the goals of the Lexington and Concord British expedition? 
  • What were the events that led up to the clashes at Lexington and Concord?
  • What were the events of the Lexington and Concord clash?
  • What were the consequences of the Lexington and Concord clashes? 
  • Who were Joseph Warren and Paul Revere and what was their involvement in the events surrounding Lexington and Concord? 
  • In what ways did the British home reaction to the Colonial response to the Tea Act and the British military’s reaction to armed resistance to the march on Lexington and Concord show a lack of understanding of the situation in the American colonies by the British?
  • In what ways does Lexington and Concord reflect the conflict in the colonies as a Popular Revolution such as the French revolution and not as an institutional Civil War over power such as the Russian revolution? 

Optional Supplemental Reading

Primary Sources

Map

Articles

Week 11: The Glorious Cause – Chapter 11 Resolution

We’ll be reading a great deal about John Adams Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. It is a great idea to read their letters to get an idea of their personality as you read their history. In a way, this is the most significant chapter in this book.

Thought Questions

  • What was the Tea Act of 1773 and how was it a paradox?
  • Why did the Tea Act of 1773 evoke a strong response from the colonies?
  • How was the response to the Tea Act different in the different colonies? 
  • What were the events that led up to the Boston Tea Party and how was the Boston Committee of Correspondence involved? 
  • What is the significant quote from Samuel Adams at the start of the Tea Party? 
  • In what ways did slow communications effect relations between America and Britain? 
  • What was the purpose of the “Intolerable Acts”? 
  • What is meant by “the supremacy of Parliament and King”? 
  • What was the Boston Port Act and the other Intolerable Acts? 
  • What were the terms of the Massachusetts Government Act? 
  • How did Boston and the other colonies react to the Intolerable Acts? 
  • What was the background to the calling of the First Continental Congress and why was it significant? 
  • Describe the early life of John Adams and his convictions and principles and how his Puritan roots effected him.
  • Who were some of the significant individuals involved in the First Continental Congress and how did factions begin to emerge? 
  • What was significant about the First Continental Congress? 
  • How did the pens of Massachusetts compliment the oratory of Virginia? 
  • What were the issues surrounding the debate over non-importation, non-consumption and non-exportation? 
  • Something to keep in the back of your head: As you compare the First and Second Continental Congresses, which is comparatively more significant and which is comparatively more consequential? 

Optional Supplemental Reading

Primary Sources

Articles 

Week 10: The Glorious Cause – Chapter 10 Drift

Thought Questions

  • Who were William Pitt the Elder, George Grenville and Lord North and how did their different leadership styles effect relations with the colonies and the crown?
  • How and Why was the time between 1770-1772 different from the preceding years and how was it different in distinct colonial regions? 
  • What was the American Bishop controversy? 
  • How was the relationship between crown officials and Rhode Island merchants especially difficult and What is the Gaspee Affair? 
  • How did Royal Judicial jurisdiction and Vice Admiralty Courts aggravate relations between the colonies and Britain?
  • What were “Committees of Correspondence” and why and how did the begin? 
  • How did controlled of the salaries of Royal Officials aggravate relations between the colonies and Britain? 
  • What did Thomas Hutchinson’s response to the Boston Committee demonstrate about the Royal Government in Massachusetts? 
  • What was the Hutchinson letter controversy? 
  • Summarize the “Quiet Years” of the American Revolution 

Optional Supplemental Reading

Primary Sources

Articles

Week 9: The Glorious Cause – Chapter 9 The “Bastards of England”

Thought Questions

  • Who were the North Carolina Regulators, why did they exist and what were their purposes and methods? Who were the South Carolina Mechanics, why did they exist and what were their purposes and methods? 
  • How did the different interests of Artisans and Craftsmen on one side and Colonial Merchants on the other effect non-importation and non-consumption?
  • What was “Committees of Inspection”? 
  • Who was Christopher Seider? 
  • What was the relationship like between the citizens of Boston and the British garrison?
  • What were the circumstances to led to the Boston Massacre? 
  • How was the reaction to British actions differ and evolve in different colonies? 
  • Who was Christopher Gadsden? 
  • In what ways did Colonial leaders use legal means to cover less than legal actions by Colonial interest groups and individuals or How did the Colonials use and protect populist terrorism to commit crimes and violence against individuals they disagreed with? 
  • How was domestic manufacturing encouraged by the British actions? 

Optional Supplemental Reading

Primary Sources

  1. The Quartering Act; May 15, 1765
  2. Circular Letter to the Governors in America; April 21, 1768 
  3. Copies of letters from Governor Bernard to the Earl of Hillsboroug (University of Michigan) 
  4. Select Papers of John Hancock (1754-1792) Harvard University
  5. Personal Papers, 1754-1785
  6. College Accounts, 1766-1786
  7. Administrative Records, 1773-1792 

Articles and Resources

 

Week 8: The Glorious Cause – Chapter 8 Boston Takes the Lead

The Response to the Townshend program by Americans 

Thought Questions

  • What were non-importation and non-consumption agreements? 
  • Who was Samuel Adams and what was his life like before the revolution?
  • Who was John Hancock and what was the Liberty Incident? 
  • Who was Charles Townshend and what was his role in government? 
  • Who was John Dickinson and what did he write that influenced the course of revolution? 
  • How and Why was the response to the Townshend program different from the Stamp Act? 
  • How and Why was the response to the Townshend program different in each colony? 
  • Who were the American leaders against the Townshend duties? 
  • Who and What was the “Glorious 92”

Optional Supplemental Reading

Primary Sources

Articles

Week 7: The Glorious Cause – Chapter 7 Chance and Charles Townshend

The program of Charles Townshend to tax the colonies 

Thought Questions

  • Who were George Grenvilleand Charles Townshend?
  • Who were Thomas Hutchinsonand Francis Bernard?
  • What was the “Townshend Program”? 
  • What was the Currency Actand how did it effect the American colonies?
  • What was theQuartering Act and how did it effect the American colonies? 
  • Who were the Sons of Liberty and how did they evolve through the Grenville to Townshend period? 
  • How did Americans and British understand what “internal taxes” and “external duties”? 
  • How did Americans and British view taxation for regulationand taxation for revenue differently? 
  • How did the Americans and British misunderstand each other? 
  • How did the Americans and British intentionally misunderstand each other? 
  • How was resistance to British policy effected in Pennsylvania by local issues and how did that effect in turn change local politics? 

Optional Supplemental Reading

Primary Sources

Articles

 

Week 6: The Glorious Cause – Chapter 6: Selden’s Penny

An introduction to the political ideology of the Americans and British 

Thought Questions

  • What were the different ways that the word “property” was used and why was it important?
  • What argument regarding colonial rights did James Otis Jr. use in Rights of British Colonies Asserted
  • What were some of the questions left unanswered in Rights of British Colonies Asserted
  • Why were the colonials disturbed by the concept of “virtual representation”?
  • What reasons did the colonials have for wanting to keep the power of taxation within the colony? 
  • What were the misunderstandings between the Colonial Americans view of British actions and the intention of the British in taking the actions? 
  • What mistakes did the British make in responding to the colonists? 

Optional Supplemental Reading

Primary Sources

 

Week 5: The Glorious Cause – Chapter 5: Response

The American response to the Stamp Act and the British reaction and retreat. 

Thought Questions

  • How did Americans react to the Stamp Act
  • Who were the American leaders of the Stamp Act resistance
  • Who and How was the American response to the Stamp Actcontrolled?
  • In what ways was the American reaction to the Stamp Actspontaneous and uncontrolled? 
  • In what ways did the Americans misunderstand British actions and intentions? 
  • In what ways did the British misunderstand American responses to the Stamp Act?
  • In what ways did local interests or inter-colony politics effect the reaction to the Stamp Act

Optional Supplemental Reading

Primary Sources

Week 4: The Glorious Cause – Chapter 4 The Stamp Act Crisis

The creation and adoption of the Stamp Act by the British and the American reaction to the news of the bill being drafted. 

Thought Questions:

  • What were the primary and secondary purposes George Grenvillieintroducing the Stamp Act?
  • Why did Colonial Americans object to the Stamp Act?
  • How were the public reasons and private reasons for supporting or opposing the Stamp Act different and contradictory?
  • How did the immediate consequences of theStamp Act work against the long term goals of Colonial Americans and the British? 

Primary Sources:

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Further Reading

Week 3: The Glorious Cause – Chapter 3 Beginnings: From the Top Down 

Overview of the beginning of the reign of George III and the transformation of British Colonial policy. Covers the revision of the Sugar and associated Acts in c.1763-1764.

Thought Questions

  • What common themes emerge between the Colonials attitudes towards Native Americans and the British attitude towards Colonial Americans? 
  • What was the perspective from the British point of view towards the colonies? 
  • What was the perspective from the Colonial point of view about the actions taken in Britain?
  • What were the main Colonial exports and imports and what types of currency were used? 
  • What different patterns of trade existed in the Atlantic world in 1763 and how did these different patterns fit together into a trade network? 

Optional Supplemental Reading

Primary Sources:

 

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