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Samuel Adams

Study Questions and Suggested Essay Topics

Section 10: America is Born

Quiz

Study Questions

What prompted the British government to begin aggressive taxation of the colonies?

Britain realized that supporting the colonies was getting expensive. British troops protected the colonies against attack, and the cost of the French and Indian War only mounted. The Crown decided that the colonies should begin to carry some of the burden of their defense.

Why did the British not understand the colonists' vehement objections to the Stamp Act?

The British government saw the Stamp Act as an exceedingly progressive form of taxation as it taxed colonies in proportion to their wealth. However, the government missed the larger issue, which was that the colonies did not want Britain to be able to take anything with their consent.

What did Adams mean when he said "No taxation without representation"?

Adams argued not that America should remain tax-free, but that the colonies should have a voice in the shaping of monetary policies that affected them. That way, they could at least be ensured that their arguments had been heard, even if the eventual outcome did not change.

Suggested Essay Topics

As Sam Adams asked in his master's degree studies: Is it "lawful to resist the supreme magistrate, if the commonwealth cannot be otherwise preserved?"

What came first: Britain's tyranny or Sam Adams' rebellious writings?

How much blame does Adams' bear for the Boston Massacre? Did he cross the line by provoking the crowd to such a point that the rally ended in bloodshed?

How did Adams more-or-less force the Boston Tea Party?

Does Adams deserve the title of "Father of America"?

Why did Adams reject the Constitution?

How did Adams' Puritan roots affect his political life? How is this reflected in Article III of the Massachusetts Constitution?

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