• REVIEW QUESTIONS –Declaration of Independence Unit

    1.      What was the Great Awakening?

    In the 1730s and 1740s an unorganized but widespread movement in the colonies in which

    the colonists experienced an “awakening” in their religious lives due to widespread evangelical Christian revivals.  This movement helped to change the religious, social, and political life in the colonies.


    2.      Describe Jonathan Edwards’ famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”

    The sermon described God as angry at the people’s sinfulness


    3.      What did the preachers preach that caused the colonists to believe that everyone is equal regardless of social status?

    That everyone, regardless of social status, were born sinners and had an equal chance to be saved.


    4.      How did the Great Awakening help to foster communication between the colonies?

    Preachers from different colonies started to communicate with each other.


    5.      Name some of the different groups of people that the Great Awakening helped to bring together who normally would not relate to each other.

    Poor, Rich, African-Americans, Women


    6.      What kind of issues might be discussed at the large outdoor meetings of the Great Awakening?

    Politics and Social Issues


    7.      What is the Declaration of Independence?

    A document that declared the colonies’ independence from Great Britain. 


    8.      Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

    Thomas Jefferson


    9.      Who else was on the committee that helped to edit the Declaration of Independence?

    John Adams, Ben Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston


    10.  What is the date that our nation celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence?

    July 4th, 1776


    11.  Describe the four sections of the Declaration of Independence.

    Section 1—Explains the purpose of the document

    Section 2—Explains the purpose of government and what rights the people should expect

    Section 3—A list of complaints against the British king

    Section 4—A declaration of independence from Great Britain


    12.  According to the Declaration of Independence what is the purpose of government?

    To secure the people’s natural rights


    13.  What truths are self evident according to the Declaration of Independence?

    That all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their creator with certain

    unalienable rights


    14.  From whom does the government get its power to govern?

    From the people (From the consent of the governed)

             15.  List those three rights.

    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness


    16. Which country did the 13 colonies declare their independence from?

    Great Britain


    17. What European country helped the colonies the most in their war for independence?



    18.  What was ironic about France helping the colonies throw off a monarchial government to form a constitutional                Democracy?

    France’s government was a monarchy like Great Britain


    19. What did the French people do on July 14th, 1789.

                     They revolted against their king by storming the Bastille (A prison that held political prisoners)


    20. What kind of government did the French people replace their monarchy with?

    A Republic


    21.  Why did the people of the U.S. support the French Revolution?

               Americans believed the French were establishing a Republic based on the ideals of the Enlightenment


    22.  Why were some of America’s founding fathers concerned that the French Revolution was going too far?

                         Violent riots, attacks on all traditional forms of authority, and the beheading of King Louis XVI


    23.  Why would historians credit the American Revolution for inspiring the French Revolution?

    The French were very interested in American heroes such as Benjamin Franklin and

    the Marquis de Lafayette, and Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” and the U.S. Declaration of Independence was read widely in France.  The French revolution took place just a few years after the American revolution.


    24.  List and describe the three major tenants of classical republicanism.

        Classical Republicanism  is a theory that says that the best kind of society is one that promotes the common good.  The ancient Romans believed this was only possible if the government and society contained the following characteristics:  Civic Virtue; Moral Education; and Small, Uniform Communities


    25. According to the natural rights philosophy what are the individuals three main rights?

                            Life, Liberty, and Property (In the Declaration of Independence Property was changed to the               Pursuit of Happiness)


    26.  Some of the colonies legislative assemblies were based on whose parliament?

    The British Parliament


     27.  Describe the Proclamation of 1763 and the colonists’ reaction to it.

    It said that the colonists may not go west of the Appalachian mountains to buy land or to live, because that land would belong to the Indians.  The colonists were angry because they believed they had won the right to that land in the French and Indian War.


     28.  Describe the Quartering Act of 1765 and the colonists’ reaction to it.

    Great Britain wanted colonists to pay for soldiers stationed in the colonies.  Some colonists even had to keep the soldiers in their homes.  The colonists refused at first, but when they were threatened with the cancellation of their local governments they gave in.


      29.  Describe the Stamp Act of 1765 and the colonists reaction to it.

    It was a tax that the British government levied on many written items, such as deeds, licenses, etc.; because of the costs of the French and Indian War.  The “Sons of Liberty” began riots and boycotts.  Their motto was “No taxation without representation.”


    30.  Describe the Boston Massacre in 1770 and the Colonists reaction to it.

    British soldiers shot and killed 5 colonist in a confrontation.  Boston’s citizens called a town meeting to demand removal of British troops and a trial for the soldiers.  The British agreed.


       31.  Describe the Boston Tea Party in 1773 and the British reaction to it.

    The British parliament passed the “Tea Act” giving the British East India Company a monopoly on the American tea business.  The colonists were angry that they had no input in this decision.  “Sons of Liberty” dressed up as Indians and raided 3 British ships in Boston Harbor—dumping 340 chests of tea in the harbor.


     32.  Describe what Thomas Paine said in his pamphlet “Common Sense” and say how it affected the          colonists’desire for Independence. 

           That the colonies should break away from Great Britain, because monarchy was wrong.  He said that countries should be ruled by laws made by the people.  Hundreds of thousands copies were sold, because he wrote in a style that the average person could understand.  He helped to make the idea of independence popular with the average person.


      33.  Describe the first battle of the Revolutionary War—the Battle of Lexington and Concord (1775)

    British General Gage decided to try and seize the American militia’s weapons in Concord.  American “Minutemen” met him and his troops in Lexington where “the shot heard round the world” began the fighting between the British and the Minutemen.  The British won at Lexington but were turned back at Concord and eventually suffered over 250 causalities as the Minutemen harassed them all the way back to Boston.


      34.  Describe the Battle of Bunker Hill.

    The American Minutemen took control of Bunker Hill and Breed’s Hill which overlooked British controlled Boston.  The British made a frontal assault up Breed’s Hill.  After several tries the British finally took control of the hill, because the Minutemen ran out of ammunition.  The British suffered 1000 casualties, while the Americans only suffered about 400.


       35.  Who did the Continental Congress put in charge of the American army?

    George Washington


       36.  Describe the Battle of Trenton.

    On Christmas night, 1776, General Washington led 2,400 of his troops across the ice choked Delaware River and then on an all night march to Trenton, New Jersey where, on the morning of December 26th, the Patriots surprised and captured over 900 Hessian troops who were on the side of the British. 


        37.  Describe the American Army’s winter at Valley Forge.

    During the winter of 1777/78 Washington settled his troops in at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.  Due to an especially cold winter and a lack of food and supplies, over one-fourth of the troops died due to disease and malnutrition.  In February Baron Von Stuben, a former Prussian army officer, helped Washington turn his army into a finely tuned fighting force.





    38.  Describe the Battle of Yorktown

    General Washington’s troops and French troops surrounded the British army, led by General Cornwalis, at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781.  The French navy stopped Cornwalis from getting any more British troops to help.  Cornwalis finally surrendered on October 19, 1781.  This was the final major battle of the Revolutionary War.


    39.  What did George Washington do when the war was over?

    He resigned his commission as General and went back to his home in Virginia, Mt. Vernon.


    40. How many states made up the original United States of America?





    1.  Did Jefferson believe that the “Creator” wanted people to live under a tyrannical government or a democratic government? 

    (Source—the beginning of the 2nd section of the Declaration of Independence—textbook pg. 86)



    2.  Explain how the religious movement, “The Great Awakening,” had the unintended consequence of spreading democratic ideals in the American colonies.

    (Source—“Great Awakening” textbook pages 58 – 59)