American History I

Response sheet 9, for class, Tuesday

You have the first writing assignment due today.  We will therefore examine today’s documents IN-CLASS, to let you concentrate on the writing assignment.

1.  In 1751 Benjamin Franklin described his expectations for the growth of the British empire and its North American colonies.  What did he expect would happen to the size of the colonies with respect to England?  What would then be the role of the colonies in the empire?  Would this ever change?

2.  A former schoolteacher and small-time lawyer, John Adams cut his political teeth on the protest movement sparked by the Stamp Act in 1765.  In this document, Adams was trying to explain why there had been so much tyranny and so little liberty in human history.  What was the key factor in either curtailing or cultivating liberty in society?  Who should be involved in cultivating liberty?  Who was to blame for the lack of liberty in the world — was it tyrants?

3.  What is your own assessment of the paper you are submitting today?  How did it feel to write an analytical paper with your own argument instead of an “answer”?  How did it feel to have too much evidence than could fit into a short paper?  And how did it feel to present your interpretation from multiple angles, to reflect the complexity of history?