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Put yourself in the shoes of one our Founding Fathers……. -Would you be willing to give up everything you have (job, family, money) to fight for belief that you have, knowing if you were caught by the government you would be executed for treason? What is the belief that you would fight for?.

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focus question
Put yourself in the shoes of one our Founding Fathers…….

-Would you be willing to give up everything you have (job, family, money) to fight for belief that you have, knowing if you were caught by the government you would be executed for treason?

What is the belief that you would fight for?

Focus Question:
  • The student will be able to describe the American colonies in the 1700’s as well as what led them to revolt against the British crown----and tie this to the Enlightenment and our current conflict.
the american colonies
The American Colonies
  • By 1760, there were about 2 million colonists in North America.

-They had developed their OWN identity separate of the English culture.

-Each of the 13 colonies had its own local government, currency, industry, and basically independence.

-Colonists were not exactly united and had started to call themselves Virginians or Pennsylvanians, etc. depending on where they lived.

problems arise
Problems Arise
  • Other revolutions such as the English Revolution and the Glorious Revolution in the 1600’s tried to limit the power of the king.
  • To the colonists, he was even more powerful than before. He levied taxes, strict trade laws, and other restrictions.
  • This turned the minds of colonists towards revolution.
the enlightenment thinkers and their influence on revolution
The Enlightenment Thinkers and their Influence on Revolution
  • Our Founding Fathers read and studied the Enlightenment thinkers. Their ideas and thoughts were constantly in their minds.
  • The ideas of
    • Life, liberty, and property
    • Separation of powers
    • REASON and its impact on all things
    • The power of the INDIVIDUAL to make change-Progress!
the american revolution1
The American Revolution
  • The cost of the French and Indian War was huge. The British had huge debt and felt that the colonists should pay for it because they were protecting them. This outraged the colonists.
  • A series of crippling laws and taxes led to a meeting of the 2nd Continental Congress.
  • The meeting focused around defense. After long debate, the 2nd Continental Congress issued the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson.
  • This was a direct attack on King George III.
the declaration of independence
The Declaration of Independence
  • The majority of the document was influenced by the Enlightenment thinker John Locke.
  • He had said years earlier, that the people had the right to rebel against an unfair government and this was a perfect example.
patriots vs redcoats
Patriots VS. Redcoats
  • Leaders
  • George Washington – Continental Army
  • Charles Cornwallis – British Army
  • Allies
  • US-France and Spain
  • Britain-no real allies
advantages disadvantages of the patriots
Advantages/Disadvantages of the Patriots
  • The Patriots were motivated to fight for their independence.
  • They knew the land. (hide and seek)
  • Guerilla warfare-surprise attacks
  • Army not well trained at first.
  • Fighting the most powerful army in the world.
why britain lost the war and america did not win the war
Why Britain lost the war and America did not win the war.
  • Poor military planning by the British.
  • Time=$$$$ - After 7 years of fighting and paying for the war, the British soldiers and people wanted it to end.
  • The French became American allies after the Battle of Saratoga.
  • Better weapons but not the right weapons.
the new government
The New Government
  • Articles of Confederation-1st government that failed because it was too loose with no strong national leader, currency, and weak authority.
drafting a constitution
Drafting a Constitution
  • May of 1787-delegates from all 13 states wrote a completely new document that would be called the Constitution.
  • They added:

-Checks and Balances

-Division of Power

-Protection of Individual rights=Bill of

Rights and other Amendments.

the united states of america
The United States of America
  • The founding fathers wanted to protect individual liberties, limit national power and protect us by being able to check the President and the Congress.
with a partner
Write the words monarchy and republic at the top of a page and provide 7 adjectives that describe those words to you.









With a partner:
ticket out
Ticket Out

Answer two of the three in complete sentences:

  • Is it a perfect government? What would YOU change and why?
  • Would it be possible for the US to ever have another revolution against our government? Explain.
  • Winston Churchill: “Democracy is not the best form of government in the world, it is simply better than all the rest.” What does he mean?