We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution, Level 3
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Lesson 6 Primary Sources

Association of the Sons of Liberty of New York, 1773

A publication of an organization of American colonists formed in 1765 to oppose the Stamp Act.

The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved--James Otis Jr., 1764

In the wake of the Seven Years' War, as relations between the colonies and Britain worsened, Otis wrote this pamphlet asserting that divine right existed not in single men, but in all people.

Thoughts on Government, Applicable to the Present State of the American Colonies--John Adams, 1776

From Wikipedia: This was written in response to a resolution of the North Carolina Provincial Congress, giving suggestions on the establishment of a new government and the drafting of a constitution.

Albany Plan of Union 1754

From Wikipedia: Benjamin Franklin's early attempt at forming a union of the colonies "under one government as far as might be necessary for defense and other general important purposes."

Articles of Association 1774

The First Continental Congress drafted the Articles of Association in 1774 to implement a trade boycott against Britain without severing allegiance to the crown.

Boston Port Act, 1774

An act of British Parliament in response to the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Port Act blockaded the Port of Boston, preventing the loading or shipping of any goods until restitutions were made for loss of customs duties to the crown and damages to the East India Company.

Circular Letter of the Boston Committee of Correspondence

A letter written by Samuel Adams in response to the Boston Port Act, which closed all trade in and out of Boston Harbor in response to the Boston Tea Party.

Declaration of Independence 1776

From Wikipedia: The United States Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American Colonies then at war with Great Britain were now independent states, and thus no longer a part of the British Empire.

Declaration of Rights and Grievances of the First Congress of the American Colonies, 1765

The Declaration of Rights from the Stamp Act Congress declared that, as loyal British subjects, taxes imposed upon colonies without formal consent were unconstitutional.

Declaratory Act of 1766

The Declaratory Act was an act of the British Parliament in 1766, stating that Parliament had the right to make laws for the colonies in all matters.

Edmund Burke's Speech to the Electors at Bristol, 1774

Edmund Burke's acceptance speech after being elected to represent Bristol, in which he defends the principles of representative democracy.

Jefferson to Edmund Pendleton 1776

A letter from Thomas Jefferson to Virginia Convention president Edmund Pendleton on August 26, 1776.

Jefferson's Original Draft of the Declaration of Independence

Jefferson's Original Draft of the Declaration of Independence

Massachusetts Government Act, 1774

This act of British Parliament abolished the Massachusetts charter and brought the colony's government under British control.

Olive Branch Petition

A document attempting to reconcile with King George III, stating that the colonists were merely seeking to regulate taxes and trade with Great Britain.

Quartering Act of 1765

This act, passed by the British Parliament, required colonies to house and provide food for British soldiers.

Quartering Act of 1774

This act amended the Quartering Act of 1765 and was part of the group of acts of Parliament known as the Intolerable Acts.

Quebec Act

The act enlarged the boundaries of the Province of Quebec and instituted reforms generally favorable to the French Catholic inhabitants of the region, although denying them an elected legislative assembly.

Royal Proclamation of 1763

From Wikipedia: The purpose of the proclamation was to organize Great Britain's new North American empire after the French and Indian War and to stabilize relations with the Native Americans through regulation of trade, settlement, and land purchases on the western frontier.

Stamp Act of 1765

From Wikipedia: The Stamp Act of 1765 was a tax imposed by the British Parliament on the American colonists requiring that many printed materials in the colonies carry a tax stamp in order to help pay for troops stationed in North America following the Seven Years' War.

The Administration of Justice Act

This act of Parliament allowed the trials of royal officials to be moved to other colonies or back to Britain if it was thought that the official could not receive a fair trial in the original jurisdiction.

Thomas Paine--Common Sense, 1776

Common Sense is a pamphlet, written anonymously by Thomas Paine, giving arguments for American independence from Britain.

Virginia Declaration of Rights

From Wikipedia: The Virginia Declaration of Rights is a document drafted in 1776 stating what the writers saw as the inherent natural rights of men, including the right to rebel against "inadequate" government. It influenced a number of later documents, including the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.

Lesson 6      Why Did American Colonists Want to Free Themselves from Great Britain?
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