Writing Assignment #1 – Taxation, Representation, and the Road to Revolution From 1763 to 1775, between the end of the French and Indian War and the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord, the colonies and the mother country debated parliament’s right to legislate for the colonies. The British claimed that Parliament held this right without question, while the colonies insisted that only a legislature that they actually elected could tax them. The British also espoused the commonly-held notion that Parliament represented all British possessions virtually. However, the colonists, drawing on their experiences with their colonial legislatures, maintained that the only true representation was actual representation. For this assignment, you will write an essay examining whether or not the American colonists had just cause to revolt against the British government based on several primary sources from the 1760s and 1770s. Readings History in the Making, Chapter 7.3 and 7.4 British Sources Parliament of Great Britain, The Declaratory Act (1766): http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/declaratory_act_1766.asp Parliament of Great Britain, The Quartering Act (1774): http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/quartering_act_1774.asp Soam Jenyns, “The Objections to the Taxation Consider’d,” (1765): http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1751-1775/soame-jenyns-the-objections-to-the-taxation-considerd-1765.php American Sources John Dickenson, "Second Letter from a Pennsylvania Farmer: (1768): http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1751-1775/john-dickensons-letter-2-from-letters-from-a-farmer-1767-1768.php Samuel Adams, “The Rights of the Colonists” (1772): http://history.hanover.edu/texts/adamss.html Patrick Henry, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” (1775): http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/patrick.asp Focus Question After reading the material, you should compose a thesis-driven essay addressing the following question: Did the colonists have just cause to revolt against Great Britain or did they hold unrealistic expectations about the relationship between the mother country and its colonies? You must look at the viewpoints of the British government and the American colonists when answering the question. You should try to address this question intellectually not emotionally—in other words, try to assess what the documents say rather than express how you personally feel about American independence. The following questions should help you develop your argument (i.e., answer to the central question above): What rights did the mother country have over the colonies according to the Parliamentary Acts and Soam Jenyns? What specifically do the British sources say about the right to tax? Did the British see the colonists as having any political rights? What did Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams say about the right of taxation? What political rights did the Americans believe belonged exclusively to the colonies? What powers, if any, did they think should be shared by the colonial legislatures and Parliament? Formatting Information Your completed essay addressing the question listed above should be between 650 and 800 words (approximately three to four pages of text not including your citations and bibliography). Your Name, Hist 2111, Essay #1, and the Word Count should appear in the top-left hand corner of the paper. Center the title of your paper before you begin the body of the paper, which should be double-spaced in Times New Roman or similar font. Your essay should have an introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, you should set the context of the debate and indicate your response to the central question. In the supporting paragraphs, you should include specific examples to support your position (quotations or paraphrases) from the primary sources for this assignment. If you use a quotation, be sure to identify the speaker in the text; you should not have any floating quotations dropped into the essay. DO NOT USE OUTSIDE SOURCES FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT. If you feel as though you need additional resources, I must approve those sources before you turn in your paper. In the conclusion, you should summarize your findings; you should not introduce new ideas into the essay. Style: When writing an interpretive essay, there are three important stylistic issues to keep in mind. (1) Since the events you describe occurred in the past, you must describe the events in the past tense. In other words, “George Washington was the first president” NOT “George Washington is the first president.” (2) To make your description more interesting for the reader, you should use the active voice not the passive voice. In other words, “James Madison wrote the Bill of Rights” NOT “The Bill of Rights was written by James Madison.” (3) You should not use the personal form (I, me, my). In other words, avoid “I think” and other similar statements in your paper. The essay should be about what the historical figures thought not what you think. Furthermore, you should follow the all other conventions of grammar and style covered in a freshman level composition course. You should proofread your work carefully because spell and grammar check do not catch all errors. Citations: You must also properly cite your sources for this paper in MLA or Chicago format. If you looked up information in a source (whether you quote or paraphrase), then you must include an in-text reference to that source. You must also include a works cited page (MLA) or bibliography (Chicago) for your all sources consulted whether you cited them in the body of the paper or not. Failure to do so is a violation of the Dalton State Student Code of Conduct. Under Resources on GeorgiaVIEW, you can find the Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism, which provides a more in-depth explanation of the importance of citations. You can also find Sample Citations, which shows you how to use both MLA and Chicago citations properly in a paper.