1. Describe the punitive measures implemented in the Coercive Acts. Why did the Americans consider these acts ‘intolerable’?
2. How did the appointment of General Thomas Gage as governor of Massachusetts contribute to a revolutionary situation there?
3. Though not one of the Coercive Acts, the Quebec Act (1774) also generated opposition in America. What were the terms of this act and why did the Americans oppose it?
4. Discuss the content of the Fairfax Resolves and Suffolk Resolves of 1774. What impact did these local resolutions have on the broader revolution?
5. What decisions or resolutions were made by the first Continental Congress in 1774? How did they shape the course of the revolution?
6. What attempts were made to reconcile the American colonies with Great Britain between mid-1774 and July 1776? Which people or groups favoured reconciliation?
7. Referring to specific people, groups and places, explain how the American colonies mobilised for war between mid-1774 and April 1775.
8. What ideas and arguments were advanced in Thomas Paine’s 1776 essay Common Sense? Discuss the impact of this document.
9. Describe the push for independence within the second Continental Congress. Which groups and people lobbied for a break with Britain?
10. Referring to specific phrases or passages, describe how the Declaration of Independence expressed or reflected Enlightenment values and ideas.
1. In its first months, the Continental Army was notorious for its lack of military organisation and poor discipline. How did George Washington and others turn the Continental Army into an effective military force?
2. How did American leaders convince ordinary people to enlist in the Continental Army or state militias and fight in the Revolutionary War?
3. Referring to primary and secondary sources, explain the challenges and problems faced by an ordinary foot soldier in the Continental Army.
4. What occurred at Trenton, New Jersey in late December 1776? Why is this seemingly minor event considered a turning point in the Revolutionary War?
5. Referring to at least two other nations, explain how the American revolutionaries sought the support of foreign nations during the Revolutionary War.
6. Evaluate the importance of the French alliance and support to America’s victory in the Revolutionary War.
7. How successful were the Continental Congress and state governments at supplying the war effort? What obstacles and difficulties did they face?
8. What was the Newburgh conspiracy and why did it threaten government in the new society?
9. What were Britain’s military objectives during the Revolutionary War? Why were British commanders unable to carry out and fulfil these objectives?
10. Investigate attitudes to the American Revolutionary War back in Britain. Did these attitudes change over time and did they have an effect on government policy?
1. Describe the national government created by the Articles of Confederation in 1781. What were the advantages and disadvantages of this form of government?
2. Why did the new United States find itself in an economic depression during the 1780s? Consider both internal and external factors.
3. How did the new United States government address the challenge of its newly acquired territories west of the Appalachians?
4. Outline the causes of unrest among Massachusetts farmers in 1786. What were their grievances and what action did they take to resolve them?
5. Explain and discuss at least three compromises that were reached during the drafting of the United States Constitution in 1787.
6. How was the issue of slavery addressed – or not addressed – in the United States Constitution?
7. Identify differences between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists in 1787-88. How did their visions for the new United States differ?
8. Focusing on three specific people, discuss the anti-Federalists and their main objections to the proposed Constitution.
9. How did the Federalist movement contribute to the successful ratification of the Constitution in 1787-88?
10. Describe the process that led to the passing of the Bill of Rights. Why was it considered necessary to incorporate these rights into the Constitution?
1. To what extent was the American Revolution complete by 1789? Did the revolution leave any ‘unfinished business’ or unresolved problems?
2. Why did the American Revolution lack the violence and high death tolls of more recent revolutions?
3. John Adams famously described Americans as being one third in favour of the revolution, one third against it and one-third indifferent. How accurate is this claim? How many Americans supported and opposed the revolution, and did this change over time?
4. The United States political system created in 1789 is often depicted as radically different from the British political system. Was this really the case? What British structures or concepts were reflected in American systems of government?
5. Some historians have referred to the United States Constitution as a ‘counter-revolution’. What is the basis for this claim?
6. Describe the global legacy of the American Revolution. How have the political ideology and values of the revolution influenced other governments and societies?
7. To what extent did the American Revolution transform American society?
8. Research and discuss the involvement of Native Americans and African-Americans in the American Revolution.
9. Women participated in the American Revolution as homemakers, protestors or supporters of the army. To what extent did the revolution change or improve the lives of women?
10. How has folklore and myth shaped or distorted our view of the American Revolution? What are the origins of these myths?