Link to Chapters/ Book coverage
You will be writing an essay from the perspective of a loyalist to the British Empire who lives in the Americas. You will present evidence to support the argument that the thirteen rebelling British colonies should remain part of the British Empire. Take on the persona of a Loyalist when you write your paper, and remember – evidence is key.
Prior to completing this assignment, you should have:
- Read Chapters 4 and 5 of your textbook, The American Yawp, Volume I.
- Read the 1776 Declaration of Independence
- Watch Lecture 4: Empires Fighting Over North America
- Watch Lecture 5: The American Revolution
This assignment teaches how to look upon a historic event from an unfamiliar perspective. United States students, especially in their youth, are often taught to look upon the Declaration of Independence and the Patriots in American Revolution with a degree of reverence. The discipline of History requires a more flexible position, which includes examining events from multiple viewpoints. Approximately one-third of whites in the thirteen rebelling colonies wished to stay loyal to British rule, many of them from the upper classes. Indeed, a majority of Britain’s thirty or so colonies did not entertain the idea of separation. The Founding Fathers themselves were so aware of their own fragile coalition that they used names like “Continental Army,” “Continental Congress,” and “United States” to give the false impression of a unified front.
Simultaneously, this assignment teaches empathy. Conflicts are part of human history, but they might be reduced in their frequency and intensity if humans learned how their assumed opponents feel. Though people have differences, they often have more in common than they may realize or are told to believe. Thus, greater understanding and common ground is within the realm of possibilities.
Learning Outcomes Addressed
- Analyze historical facts and interpretations.
- Analyze and compare political, geographic, economic, social, cultural, religious, and intellectual institutions, structures, and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures
- Recognize and articulate the diversity of human experience across a range of historical periods and the complexities of a global culture and society
- Recognize the impact of geography, environment, and the natural world on the course of history and how choices are often limited by physical factors beyond the control of human beings
- Grasp the capacity of human beings to make a difference in history, and recognize the complexities of cause and effect and of intended and unintended consequences
Step 1: Gather evidence from the textbook readings, lectures, and the Declaration of Independence. Take notes on the statistics, events, and examples that you see to be most significant concerning the bitter divisions that existed between the rebels and loyalists.
Step 2: Analyze that evidence and see what it is telling you. Explore the evidence from the viewpoint of a person who would want to remain under the protection and power of the British Empire, the largest and most powerful empire on earth at the time. Also consider the costs of yet another international war. Remember that the Declaration of Independence came near the start of the Revolution, not at the end. Win or lose, people were going to suffer.
Step 3: Communicate your findings honestly to yourself and others, although in this case, look through the eyes of a loyalist. A good way to achieve this goal is to examine the types of people who tended to be loyalists, and adopt the persona of one of those people. Write a three or more page paper from the viewpoint of that person, and show the passages in the Declaration of Independence, and events in the Revolutionary War that they would find objectionable and way.
Criteria for success high score:
- Gathering evidence: A successful exploration will show ten or more statistics, events, and/or examples, being a combination of passages in the Declaration of Independence and events in the Revolution, that a loyalist would find objectionable.
- Analyzing the evidence: A successful examination will include detailed evidence (statistics, events and examples) why a loyalist would find the above-mentioned passages and events objectionable.
- Communicating honestly to yourself and others: Successful communication will include four or more pages with detailed evidence and analysis, with major topics organized into paragraphs, with correct grammar and spelling.