Part 2 Essay Questions:
1 – What problems did the British government face after the Seven Years’ War, and what solutions did it propose? How reasonable were London’s solutions, and in what ways did the colonists view them as an attack on their liberty?
2 – Revolution is a dynamic process with consequences no one can anticipate. Explain the initial goals of the colonists in 1765 at the time of the Stamp Act and the evolution of their ultimate decision to declare independence in 1776.
3 – Many students believe that the Revolutionary War was a short and relatively painless war. However, for Americans, only the Vietnam War lasted longer than the Revolutionary War. In a thoughtful essay, describe why the war was so lengthy and what the costs involved were for the British and for the Americans.
4 – Compare the relative advantages of the American and the British militaries. How was George Washington able to secure a victory over the most powerful nation in the world?
5 – Discuss the ways in which both supporters and opponents of independence used the concepts of “freedom” and “slavery” during the American Revolution. Be sure to consider the perspectives of Thomas Paine and Samuel Seabury (both in “Voices of Freedom”), the slaves who fought for both sides, and others whose ideas you consider significant.
6 – To what extent did Revolutionary-era Americans agree with Noah Webster’s statement that equality was the very soul of a republic? Your response should define what Americans meant by equality and should consider groups that seemed to enjoy equality as well as those groups that did not.
7 – How did the Revolution’s language of liberty affect slaves and slavery in the 1770s and 1780s? Be sure to include in your response information from “Voices of Freedom.”
8 – How did women react to the language of freedom and liberty? Be sure to include in your response Abigail Adams’s opinions that appear in “Voices of Freedom.”
9 – Not everyone supported the independence movement within the colonies. Explain who supported independence and who did not. Be sure to include a discussion about how socioeconomic standing, race, religion, and gender affected an individual’s support for or opposition to independence. Also consider why the other regions of the British Empire, such as Canada, the Caribbean islands, and Florida, did not also rebel and seek independence.
10 – How did the Revolution transform religion in the new nation? Consider especially issues related to religious toleration, religious liberty, and church-state relations.