The Declaration of Independence questions

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Use these sites to identify additional reasons why the colonists wanted to break away from Great Britain.

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  • Watch the Stamp Act movies 1-3 to identify grievances in the early protest movements.
  • Read the summary in Reasons for the Revolution to identify grievances the colonists experienced in the years following the Stamp Act (1765-1776)
  • Answer 1- 4 questions according to these websites.

1- Why did the British want the colonists to pay a greater portion of the cost of imperial governing?

2- Why did the colonists object to this increased taxation?

3-What was the impact of the 1773 Boston Tea Party?

4- How did Thomas Paine’s 1776 Common Sense pamphlet help move the colonies toward revolution?

Open this link to read the Declaration of Independence (audio optional). Pay attention to the list of abuses the colonists are presenting and remember to think of it as a break-up letter

Now that you have read the Declaration of Independence once, review the list of twenty-seven abuses committed by Great Britain’s King George III against the colonies to determine which five accusations offer the strongest evidence to back up the colonists’ justification for independence.






Try some role play

Pretend that you are the colonies and have been in a long-term relationship with King George III. You feel mistreated and want to communicate that the relationship is no longer working for you.

The first thing to do is hold a committee meeting, right? Well that is how they did it in 1776.

This famous painting shows the Committee of Five (Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, and Robert Livingston of New York) presenting the Declaration to the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

Get ready to write

Practice writing your own declaration by composing a text message written in contemporary language that expresses the frustration relayed in each quotation below. Return to the Declaration of Independence text if you want to review the full context

1- “He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.”


2- “He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without Consent of our legislatures.”


3- “For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.”


4- “For cutting off our Trade with other parts of the world.”


5- “In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.”


Remember when you write your own

Be sure to also include the actions you (the colonies) have taken to improve the situation.

Provide evidence that you have tried to make this relationship work, but George is being impossible. Put some feeling in it!

1- In a series of text messages (or a more formal letter, if you prefer), complain about George III’s behavior and give specific examples of his most outrageous offenses (the ones you outlined in the chart you completed).

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