Over the next two plus weeks we will be studying the development of the United States Government, Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of the United States of America. As we have learned the colonies separated from Great Britain in 1776 (some argue earlier) and recognized by Great Britain in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris at the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War. We also plan to have a debate unit on various constitutional issues from free speech, gun control, religious freedom, rights of the accused and the proper role of government. This debate unit will be againist the other academic team on the eighth grade. Students will be evaluating research material, writing arguments, listening and formulating counter arguments and enhancing their speaking skills.
Starting next week we will begin our unit on the American Revolution. Sometimes it is important to start with the end in mind with students and teacher understanding. After our two plus week unit, students will need to exhibit evidence of their learning of the American Revolution. Roughly we will be examining the years from 1754-1783. Those years represent the time
period where the colonists start to move away from Great Britain and eventually attain independence from the "mother country". That does not mean we as a class will be "stuck" in that historical time period and will constantly make connections to modern revolutions like the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East. These are the essential questions we will be answering and wrestling with as a class:
*Were the colonists justified in resisting British policies after the French and Indian War?
*What impact did religion (Great Awakening) have on the American Revolution?
*Was the American War for Independence inevitable? *What role did Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" and the Declaration of Independence have in moving the American Colonists closer to revolution? *What impact did the institution of slavery have on the American Revolution? Did slaves fight for independence or was there any incentive to fight for the British side?