These are informal writing assignments. The purpose of these essays is not to improve your writing skills but to
stimulate thinking about issues, questions, and problems raised by your study of American history from colonial
times to the Civil War. The goal is for you to discover, develop, and clarify your own ideas. You should do the
appropriate reading and reflecting; then write in response to the question for 30-35 minutes. You will not be
judged on things like spelling, organization, and grammar. But we will be looking for evidence that you are
thinking seriously about history. Your essays should show that you are wrestling with concepts explained in the
reading, in lectures and films shown in class, and that you have done your reading and reflection before
attempting your essays. For the most part, you will be rewarded for the process of thinking rather than the act of
Assume that you have the heavy if unhappy responsibility to be King George III’s political advisor. The colonists
have sent along documents including the Resolution for Independence, an excerpt from Paine’s Common Sense,
and a copy of the Declaration of Independence found posted in a PDF file on the course Blackboard site and sent to
you as an email attachment. Your responsibility is to draft a two-page rebuttal to the general points made in those
documents. King George will incorporate your arguments into a speech to Parliament in which he will declare his
thirteen colonies in revolt and call on the House of Commons and House of Lords to support a military effort to put
down the rebellion. If he fails because your rebuttal is not persuasive, you will find yourself chained up in the
Tower of London among the rats, waiting to be broken on the rack and trying in vain to make your peace with your
Sources: Lectures, Give Me Liberty! (pages 192-194) and For the Record (pages 101-123)

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