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Project Assignments for United States History I

Mr. Epstein

Stuyvesant High School



Were the American colonists justified in rebelling against England?


Prepare for mock-trial of King George III based on Jefferson's accusations in the Declaration of Independence that, "The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states". To what extent was this true? (Trial to be performed in class on Wednesday, October 2.)


Roles: Extra-Credit Roles-

1. King George III (1 student)

2. Team of Lawyer for the colonists (5 students)

3. Team of Lawyers for the King (5 students)

4. Witness for the prosecution: "average colonist" (1 student)

5. Loyalist witness for the defense (1 student)


Non-extra credit roles:

6. Judges- rest of the class


Format of the trial:

Opening statement for the prosecution (1.5 minutes)

Opening statement for the defense (1.5 minutes)

Prosecution brings up first witness- average colonist (1 minute)

Witness cross examined by defense (1 minute)

Defense brings up Loyalist colonist (1 minute)

Loyalist cross-examined by prosecution (1 minute)

Prosecution brings King to stand by (1 minute)

Defense questions the King (1 minute)

Closing statements by prosecution (1.5 minute)

Closing statement by defense (1.5 minutes)


Deliberations- In small groups students will discuss the accusation made against the King, deliver a verdict, and a sentence (7 minutes)


All students (Judges) are expected to have read the following documents and the textbook, and to have prepared background information, either in bullet points or outline form, from which to make an inform decision on the issue at hand.


What role players need to do to get the extra-credit points (15 points on quiz):


Lawyers will be expected to perform one of the speaking parts, and hand in at least one page of a pre-prepared speech or question sheet, depending on the particular job of the lawyer.

Witness will be expected to hand in a one page description of their character and their basic view toward the Revolution. The witnesses can be real people, but the description sheets must be written by the student.

The King will be expected to hand in one page detailing his views toward the revolution, and to the trial in general.




Primary Documents:

Daniel Dulany-


Soame Jenkins- British Parliament


Stamp Act Congress-


William Pitts Response-


Account of Boston Massacre-


First Continental Congress-


Thomas Paine's Common Sense-


The Declaration of Independence in your textbook







#2 Assessment and review- How revolutionary was the American Revolution?


You have already been given a packet of documents and an introductory essay on the topic. Your job is use these documents, and at least two outside sources, to write a position paper of at least two pages (12 font, double-spaced). Be sure to use at least half of the documents in your paper, and also use at least two outside sources (I said that already!). Please cite your sources, including the in-class handouts, using internal citations. Include a bibliography at the end of your paper. For help with citing sources, and such, use the "term paper" link on the US1 homepage or speak to a school librarian.


#14- Should the Constitution be ratified? Town Hall Meeting- read text pages 137-141, in-class hand outs, and the instructions for the meeting

Things We Lost in the Fire

Using specific examples from each of these topics: 1. The Delegated, Implied, Reserved and Concurrent powers in Article I, 2. The Method of electing the president and the the powers granted to the President in Article II, 3. The role of the judicial branch and the method of selecting supreme court justices in Article III, 4. The Rights of the citizen in Article 4, 5. The procedure for Amending the constitution Art 5, and 6. the Supremcy Clause Article 6,- answer this question-

How did the framers try to create a government that prevented tyranny of the majority and the minority?

Week # 7- Monday October 21-Friday October 25

Mon- Oct 21 -What were the Federalist and Anti-Federalist positions in the ratification debates? pgs. 137-141 (focus on- How was the Constitution to be ratified?, What were the basic positions of Federalists and Anti-Federalists?, What are the Federalist Papers? Why were they written and who wrote them? Why did the Federalists win? Whose arguments were more valid?

Wednesday Oct 23- Review the class handouts on the positions of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists

Thursday, Oct 24-Why are the ratification debates important today?

Choose a newspaper or magazine article that relates to one (or more) of the seven topics regarding ratification that we discussed in class. Cut out or make a copy of the article to bring into class. Briefly summarize the article and explain how it relates to the ratifcation debates. Whose position does it support, the Federalist or Anti-Federalist?

Be prepared to share your findings with the rest of the class!

Week # 8- Monday October 28-Friday November 1

Monday, October 28 The Constitution Today- Should the electoral college be abolished?

Read Electoral College, . Remember the Nazi's

and, after thinking about it, take a position and write one paragraph defending it. Be prepared to defend your position in class.

Tuesday, Oct 29 Is it wise for Congress to give the President the power to go to war with Iraq? Read War Powers and Iraq, and write a short letter to a Congressperson answering this question

Wednesday,Oct 30 Read the Bill of Rights (the 1st ten amendments in the constitution). Memorize the 1st amendment and re-write all 10 in your own words.

Week # 9- Monday November 4-Friday November 8

Week # 10- Tuesday November 12-Friday November 15

Wednesday, Nov 13 HOW REVOLUTIONARY WAS THE "REVOLUTION OF 1800"? Read and outline pages 184-188.

Week # 11- Monday,November 18-Friday November 22

Week # 12- Monday,November 25-Wednesday November 27

Week of December 9- December 13