American History Homework Two Answers - Student Eighteen

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1. (I wasn’t entirely sure what you were trying to convey by most important so I answered with the three I thought had the greatest influence with starting the war.) The three causes of the war that had the most influence were A) Colonies, if not the common man at least the founding fathers, felt strongly that taxation without representation was unjust. B) The colonists were used to a great deal of freedom and it didn’t go over well when all of a sudden the British were demanding for them to pay restrictive taxes. C) These taxes affected all of the colonists, no matter their situation or profession, and the burden was deeply felt by all of them.

2. It’s not very clear who first used the phrase, though the coining of the phrase was accredited to Reverend Jonathan Mayhew during one of his sermons. A politician called James Otis is famous for his phrase “taxation without representation is tyranny.” No matter who said it, the phrase essentially meant that England imposing taxes on the colonies without a colonist representative in Parliament was unjust.

3. The Boston Tea Party was an extreme reaction to taxation on tea imported to the colonies from England. Samuel Adams led a group of colonists on December 16, 1773, somewhat poorly disguised as Indians, onto the newly arrived tea ships and spent the entire night dumping every box of tea into the Boston Harbor. The tea destroyed in the salt water equals 1.87 million dollars of damage converted to the worth of money today.

4. I don’t believe anyone in particular was specifically ‘to blame’ for the Salem Witch Trials. It was an overreaction on the Puritans’ part, fueled by their extreme negative views of anything that could be even minutely considered not of God. Perhaps the girls were actually ill, since they all lived to close to one another and were a part of the same community. It also could have been just mass hysteria that caused all of the girls to have similar ‘symptoms’ and then all of the Puritans were so disturbed by what they thought was going on that they turned on one another and went pointing fingers will-nilly until the entire settlement was in utter chaos.

5. I think this was true, if only by using the two examples of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Rhode Island had perhaps the most religious freedom, and Massachusetts was founded by Puritans who didn’t believe in religious freedom, and while Rhode Island seemed to be mainly withdrawn in reference to the Revolutionary War. Massachusetts, however, is where much of the tension came to blows, some examples being the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party.

6. Do you think a jury should be able to ignore the law in order to find a defendant ‘not guilty?’ I believe they should. Because, even if there is a law against what the accused did and he is technically ‘guilty’ of breaking it, if the law in unconstitutional or ridiculous the man isn’t guilty of a crime and therefore shouldn’t be punished for a crime. He committed the action but it wasn’t an action that should be punishment, and therefore, in a court of law seeking to either withhold or distribute punishment he would not be a man guilty of crime.

7. The meaning of the political cartoon included in the homework is that the colonies, shown as eight pieces of a snake, would not be able to survive on their own, but must unite as one power or perish. A rough estimated date for this would be between the 1690s-1730s, because Georgia is not included in the cartoon as one of the colonies.

H2. England imposed high taxes on the colonies, unaffordable for most of the none-too-wealthy the colonies were made up of. It also taxed them on such things as tea and sugar. This was not right because there was no one representing the colonies who knew of their situation and was familiar with what farmers were capable of paying in addition to their regular expenses.

H4. Key difference between England and America was first and foremost, that America emphasized freedom and a new land, still wild and untamed. England was a centuries old monarchy that enforced a religion on the citizens. Another difference would be that America’s economy depending mainly on farming and the trade of their own goods while England mainly imported goods and then exported them again with increased prices for profit.

H5. What made George Washington great wasn’t any outstanding achievement, though he is accredited, justly or not, with winning the Revolutionary War and keeping this country together when it was still young by being our first president. What made Washington great was that he was a simple man, a farmer from Virginia, not brilliant in military strategy, or a great ambassador or even a very intelligent man like so many of the founding fathers. He was just an average person, like anyone else, who did as much as he was physically able in the cause of freedom and independence. He served his country to the best of his ability, though he didn’t particularly enjoy or even like the task. He was a true servant of the United States of America, and that’s what makes George Washington great.