1. As British administrators sought to increase colonial revenues and tighten administrative control, what might have led them to pursue a less confrontational course with the colonies? What factors do you think are most important in explaining the failure of compromise?
2. What kinds of provocation caused colonists to riot or otherwise act directly, even violently, in defense of their interests? How did common law, Enlightenment, and republican ideas shape their thinking as they took action?
3.What compromises were proposed in the colonies as alternatives to independence? Why did Patriots reject them?
4.THEMATIC UNDERSTANDING Consider the events listed under “Work, Exchange, and Technology” and “Politics and Power” for the period 1763–1776 on the thematic timeline. How important were the linkages between economic developments and political ones in these years?
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5.ACROSS TIME AND PLACE Chapter 4 presented a turbulent era, marked by social and cultural conflict and imperial warfare, during which the regions of British North America were disparate and without unity. Yet by 1776 — only thirteen years after the Treaty of Paris ending the Great War for Empire — thirteen of Britain’s mainland colonies were prepared to unite in a Declaration of Independence. What happened in that intervening time to strengthen and deepen colonists’ sense of common cause? As they drew together to resist imperial authority, what political and cultural resources did they have in common?
6.VISUAL EVIDENCE Return to the Paul Revere engraving of the Boston Massacre. This image was an instrument of political propaganda. What features of the image are most important to its political purpose? Consider his depiction of both the soldiers and the townspeople. Look, too, at the buildings surrounding the crowd, especially the Custom House on the right. List the ways in which Revere invokes the idea of tyranny in this image.
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7.KEY TURNING POINTS: The Boston Tea Party (1773), the Coercive Acts (1774), and the first Continental Congress (1774). What did Parliament hope to achieve with the Coercive Acts? How did the decision to convene a continent-wide congress demonstrate the failure of Parliament’s efforts?