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Your first historical investigation centers around the events leading up to the American
Revolution. The colonists claimed that Great Britain was violating their rights as Englishmen
and therefore, they were justified in their rebellion for independence. Based on your
historical investigation, your going to have to make the determination as to whether or
not that claim is true. Were the colonists justified in their rebellion against Great
You began your search for the rights of Englishmen by traveling back in time to 1215 and studying
the conflict between King John of England and his nobles. The nobles felt that King
John was being a tyrant with his demands for taxes and soldiers for war. To get King John
to recognize their rights, the nobles forced him to sign the Magna Carta.
The Magna Carta contains 63 clauses pertaining to the rights of nobles. In your notebook,
you translated the meaning of some of these clauses into your own words. Take a moment
now and see how well your primary source translations compare to the ones here on your screen.
How did you do? When you think of the events that lead to the American Revolution, are
there any clauses here that could be used to argue the fact that Great Britain was violating
the colonist's rights as Englishmen? If so, place a star by those clauses.
Now, let's fast forward from 1215 to 1689 and the rule of James the II of England.
James II came into conflict when he tried to promote the Roman Catholic cause and rule
without the authority of Parliament.
James II would later be forced out of the throne and before his replacements William
and Mary could take the throne, they first had to agree to respect the laws and liberties
of the kingdom proclaimed in the English Bill of Rights.
In your notebook, you once again translated the meaning of some of the clauses found within
the English Bill of Rights into your own words. Take a moment now and see how well your primary
source translations compare to the ones on the screen.
How did you do on this one? Once again, think about the events that lead to the American
Revolution. Are there any clauses in the English Bill of Rights that could be used to argue
the fact that Great Britain was violating the colonist's rights as Englishmen? If so,
place a star by those clauses.
Now that you have identified some of the basic rights acquired by Englishmen throughout history,
you can better examine the events that lead to the American Revolution and determine whether
or not Great Britain's actions really did violate the colonist's rights as Englishmen.
Take a few moments now to examine the following historical events prior to the American. Revolution.
What historical evidence can you find from these events to support the colonists, claim
that Great Britain violated their rights as Englishmen?
Make sure to keep track of all of your arguments and your research in support of those arguments
neatly organized in your History notebook.
Next we're going to examine the British perspective and their side of the story.