For the past few weeks, we have been talking about early America, the years when what we today call the United States was first establishing itself. This week, we’re going to jump back in time again and take a look at the United States during the years while it was still governed by England and deciding to break free.
Monday: What was the deal with England?
From 1607-1783, England was busy taking land from native people and setting up that land as its own colonies. This land became what we know of as the Thirteen Colonies. The Thirteen Colonies were like the children of England. England sent people and money and soldiers and governors across the sea to the colonies, and those colonies were supposed to live according to the British rules. In this system, the people living in the colonies were protected and cared for by England, and England made a bunch of money. As we talked about a couple weeks ago, the native people didn’t get a whole lot out of this deal, other than being lied to and forcibly removed from their land.
The white colonists (people living in the colonies) were pretty much okay with this situation, until they started to feel like England was being unfair. The colonists didn’t like some of the rules that were put in place, and many people started to believe that they should become their own country. This was much like parents putting unfair rules in place for their children.
STOP AND JOT: Write down the most unfair rules that parents create for kids. Be creative! Write down as many as you can think of.
This is pretty much like what the colonists thought England was doing to them. Today, we are going to learn about those specific rules and events that the colonists thought were really unfair. Practice these Quizlet cards for about ten minutes, and then read the following Newsela article. Respond to the annotations as you’re reading, and submit the quiz when you finish.
Tuesday: Patriots and Loyalists
While many people felt like the rules being created were unfair, not everyone did. There was a wide array of perspectives about declaring independence from England. Read this Newsela article about Patriots, Loyalists, and “Fence-Sitters,” three different perspectives on independence. Annotate and submit the quiz.
Wednesday: The Declaration of Independence
Yesterday we learned about three different perspectives on independence. In the end, the patriots won the debate, and the colonial government decided to declare independence from England. To declare their independence, they wrote a letter. Any ideas what this letter is called? … yes, the Declaration Independence. This document was like a giant break up letter. They said: Hey England! You’e the worst and we’re through!
Today, read this Newsela article about the Declaration, annotate it, and submit the quiz.
Thursday: Indigenous Perspectives
Tuesday we read about patriots and loyalists, who were both largely groups of white colonists. Other groups of people, specifically indigenous people and enslaved people, had very different perspectives. This war wasn’t really for them- they were treated terribly either way! For many enslaved and indigenous people, it was all about choosing the side that was likely to treat them better. Enslaved people wanted freedom, and indigenous people wanted their land. For the most part, those were the only two things that mattered, and many were willing to fight for whichever side was most likely to give them these things.
Today, read this Newsela article about indigenous peoples during the Revolutionary War, and make sure you join me on Zoom today at 1:00pm for our read aloud! During read aloud today, we are going to continue talking about the perspectives of enslaved and indigenous peoples during this time period.
Friday: The Revolutionary War and the Founding of a New Country
To wrap up our study this week, watch the American Revolution Flocabulary video and complete the activities that have been assigned to you.