Smithsonian

Questions


Document A

This sugar cone and tong, used to sweeten tea and other drinks, belonged to Hezekiah Alexander, a middle-class resident of Mecklenburg, North Carolina. The tong was manufactured sometime between 1740 and 1770.

1. Do you think the sugar tong was made in America or Great Britain?

2. How do these items show a connection between America and England?

Document B

This advertisement from the Pennsylvania Weekly Advertiser, October 31, 1765, describes colonial opinion of, and reaction to, the Stamp Act.

1. What do the various drawings and symbols tell you about colonists’ views of the Stamp Act?

2. Why did the colonists think that the times were "dreadful” in 1765?

Document C

This cartoon, published in a British newspaper, shows a tea tax collector being assaulted by a group of colonial rebels.

1. How were some colonists protesting the tea tax in 1774?

2. What does this cartoon tell you about England’s opinion of the colonists and their behavior?

Document D

In this letter, Boston merchant John Andrews makes reference to the Coercive Acts of 1774 (called the Intolerable Acts in the colonies). These acts punished the entire colony of Massachusetts for the Boston Tea Party in 1773.

According to Andrews, what did the colonists think the British were trying to do to them in 1774?

2. How were the colonists going to fight back against the British?

Document E

This engraving shows the New York “Sons of Freedom” pulling down a statue of George III at the time of the Declaration of Independence in July 1776.

1. Make a list of behaviors and actions the colonists are demonstrating in this engraving.

2. What kinds of reactions from the crowd do you see in this engraving?

3. What does the engraving tell you about colonial views of independence in 1776?

Document F

In this 1781 letter, Hector St. John, a revolutionary-era writer, examines the qualities of the “new Americans” after the Revolution.

1. According to St. John, what were the Americans’ distinct characteristics?

2. How were Americans different from Europeans?