Grade level: 8

Lesson Plan: Overview

South Carolina Responds

Grade Level: 8th

Articles of Association 1775

Academic Standards

Standard 8-2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the American Revolution—the beginnings of the new American nation and South Carolina’s part in the development of that nation.

8-2.1 Explain the interests and roles of South Carolinians in the events leading to the American Revolution, including the state’s reactions to the Stamp Act and the Tea Act; the role of Christopher Gadsden and the Sons of Liberty; and the role of the four South Carolina signers of the Declaration of Independence—Edward Rutledge, Henry Middleton, Thomas Lynch Jr., and Thomas Heyward Jr.
8-2.2 Compare the perspectives and roles of different South Carolinians during the American Revolution, including those of political leaders, soldiers, partisans, Patriots, Tories/Loyalists, women, African Americans, and Native Americans.
8-2.3 Summarize the course and key conflicts of the American Revolution in South Carolina and its effects on the state, including the attacks on Charleston; the Battle of Camden; the partisan warfare of Thomas Sumter, Andrew Pickens, and Francis Marion; the Battle of Cowpens; and the Battle of Kings Mountain.
Social Studies Literacy Elements
K. Use texts, photographs, and documents to observe and interpret social studies trends and relationships
L. Interpret calendars, time lines, maps, charts, tables, graphs, flow charts, diagrams, photographs, paintings, cartoons, architectural drawings, documents, letters, censuses, and other artifacts
O. Consider multiple perspectives of documents and stories

Historical Background Notes

The British needed to raise money to account for the financial difficulties of the country brought on by participation in the French and Indian War and the sustained protection of the American frontier by British forces (Divine, et. al., p. 148). As governments find the need to raise revenue, they usually turn to taxes. The British were no different. The British passed a series of acts with which the colonists in North America did not agree. The Proclamation Act of 1763 came soon after the Seven Years War, and the colonists, in effect, ignored this order to settle only east of the Appalachian Mountains. Of course, the British had no recourse to enforce this act, so it wasn't until after the Sugar and Stamp Acts were passed that the colonists were able to test the effectiveness of their protests. With the boycott of British goods and the organization of the Stamp Act Congress, the British repealed the Stamp Act. However, that did not dissuade Parliament from passing other acts that taxed the colonists.

The ruling class of the British would not entertain the idea of sharing power with provincial governments. The American colonists believed that representatives were elected by the people and did not see members of Parliament as representing colonial interests (Divine, et. al., p. 146). After the colonists appealed to the King with the"no taxation without representation" twist, the Declaratory Act was put into effect, which gave Parliament authority over the colonies. Subsequent legislation led to increased boycotts of British goods, smuggling and destruction of tea, formation of secret organizations such as the Sons of Liberty, harassing of British officials, and other actions protesting these taxes. One incident of harassment, however, led to death.

Boston was a hot-bed of colonial activity. Boston Harbor gave the seaport town access to imported goods as well as economic growth with exports. Boston was home to several Patriot leaders, such as Paul Revere and Samuel Adams. Boston was also the setting of one of the most historic conflicts in time of peace. In the evening of March 5, 1770, a lone British soldier was at his post when he became the object of jeers and comments from a crowd of Boston citizens. As the harassment continued, the soldier hit one of the citizens, which ignited the crowd. Seven British soldiers rushed to his defense, but were unable to get him away from the crowd. In the confusion that followed, shouts went up, snowballs and chunks of ice flew, and someone shouted,"Fire!" The soldiers' guns went off, and five in the Boston crowd were dead (Divine, et. al., p. 157). Most died immediately, but one died several days later. The British commander said he did not give the order to shoot (Peabody, p. 46-47).

Paul Revere, using a tactic of war called propaganda, created an engraving of the incident, showing the scene of the "Boston Massacre." The engraving depicts British soldiers in the middle of the street, lined in battle formation, guns aimed, the commander's sword drawn in a forward position, and bleeding Bostonians lying on the ground or being supported by their peers. A dog is even in the foreground, and no snow is on the ground. John Adams, the lawyer for the British soldiers at their trial, presented an account of the same incident that is not consistent with Revere's portrayal.

In the months that followed, Boston's port was closed, a new governor was appointed, and the legislature could only meet at the discretion of the royal governor. The colonists now thought of themselves as"Americans." They reacted as citizens of country being treated unfairly by another country. Five years after the"Boston Massacre" the British and Americans engaged in war when the"shots heard 'round the world" were fired April 18, 1775 in Lexington, Massachusetts and April 19, 1775, along the road to Concord (Divine, et. al., p. 164). However, Massachusetts was not in this alone. The other colonies sent representatives to the Stamp Act Congress and the First Continental Congress to discuss the situation with the British and the course of action the colonies must take to deal with Parliament's laws. South Carolina participated in both of the meetings, and the president of the First Continental Congress, Henry Middleton, was a member of South Carolina's delegation.

In South Carolina in 1775, the backcountry district east of the Wateree River met and devised a plan. Calling themselves the"South Carolina Revolutionary Association," they drafted a document that stated: due to the"actual commencement of Hostilities ... by the British troops in the bloody Scene on the 19th of April last, near Boston" the undersigned would"sacrifice our Lives and Fortunes to secure her Freedom and Safety" (SC Revolutionary Association, East of the Wateree, 1775). South Carolina had committed itself to the effort of the Patriots to gain independence from Great Britain.

Primary Sources
Signed Copy of the Articles of Association for the District East of the Wateree, 1775.  Provincial Congress. Articles of Association.  1775.  Constitutional and Organic Papers. S131008.  South Carolina Department of Archives and History.  Columbia, SC.
Revere, Paul. "The Boston Massacre." In J. B. Peabody, ed., John Adams: A Biography in His Own Words. New York: Harper Collins, 1973, p. 76.
Adams, John. "Account of the Boston Massacre." In J. B. Peabody, ed., John Adams: A Biography in His Own Words. New York: Harper Collins, 1973, p. 46-47.
"Famous American Trials, The Boston Massacre, 1770." ; Internet, Famous Trials by Doug Linder. Accessed 31 August 2004.
"The Battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775 Plate I, Sidney L. Smith (engraver), after Amos Doolittle (painter), Line engraving, 1775." Internet, Spy Letters of the American Revolution, From the Collections of the Clements Library. Accessed 31 August 2004.
Secondary Sources
Divine, Robert A., T. H. Breen, George Fredrickson, and R. Hall Williams. The American Story. New York: Longman, 2002.
"National Archives Document Analysis Worksheet." Available from; Internet, U.S. Nationa Archives and Records Administration, Education Staff. Accessed 31 August 2004.

Lesson Plans

American colonists were outraged over the taxes the British imposed on them. When colonists in Boston protested the taxes, the British sent more troops into Massachusetts. The shots fired at Lexington and Concord made it clear that the colonists and British were at war. South Carolina colonists prepared for the conflict with the British by creating a declaration of the colony's intentions towards the British. In this lesson students examine and analyze the South Carolina primary document, identifying and discussing reasons for the statement and the risks taken by the signers. This lesson should take approximately one class period of 90 minutes.
1. Review with the students the event of March 5, 1770 near Boston. Read John Adams' account of the incident. As the teacher reads, have students look at the overhead transparency of Paul Revere's engraving of the"massacre." Discuss inconsistencies between the Adams' account and Revere's engraving. See John Adams: A Biography in His Own Words or"Famous American Trials, The Boston Massacre, 1770" for John Adam's account and Paul Revere's engraving of the Boston Massacre.
2. Provide copies of Adams' account and Revere's engraving. Have students complete a constructed response to the question"Do you think the soldiers were right or wrong to shoot?" Present the method of the constructed response:

* circle all parts of the question,
* use the question to start your answer,
* quote directly or paraphrase the text to support constructed responses

Emphasize that constructed responses must be justified with historical evidence from primary sources. Students may either quote directly or paraphrase sources to support their constructed responses.
3. Hand out copies of the South Carolina Revolutionary Association document.
. Read aloud the document. Have students work in groups of 3 to interpret the document, using the document analysis worksheet. Bring the class back together. Have the groups discuss the document, using the document analysis questions. Emphasize the emerging union between the colonies (e.g. the South Carolina Revolutionary Association is formed in response to the shots fired at Lexington and Concord).
4. Have students speculate on the risks the signers took in participating in the association. What would happen to them if the British found out they signed? Have students look for familiar names and how these names relate to their knowledge thus far of South Carolina's history. Note the signers who made their mark, rather than signing their names. What does this indicate about the people of the Wateree region of South Carolina in 1775? (Refers back to the vocabulary term"illiterate." Does this mean they were not intelligent?) Discuss the position backcountry South Carolinians took in regards to the British in 1775.
5. Students will write a paragraph explaining whether or not they would sign such a document. They must justify their decision with facts.
6. See Amos Doolittle's engraving of the Battle of Lexington. Discuss the first shots at Lexington and Concord. Initiate a class discussion contrasting the attitudes of Bostonian colonists and the British at the time of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Discuss how attitudes changed between the Boston Massacre and the shots heard around the world.
7. In future lessons about the Declaration of Independence, have students compare and contrast the South Carolina Revolutionary document with the Declaration of Independence. Students will use a Venn diagram to complete this comparison. Facilitate a discussion of the similarities and differences of the two documents.

Teacher Reflections

The first part of this lesson worked well with eighth grade students. Students love to see inconsistencies in history and looking at the Revere engraving while listening to an account of the same event shows these inconsistencies. The students commented on how they have seen this picture before in their textbook and how they have never questioned what was happening in the picture. This exercise showed the students that they should not always believe what they see....Several students [noticed] that British soldiers are in a charging, proactive stance, while the colonists are leaning backward in a defensive mode. Some students immediately saw the use of propaganda as a persuasion tool....The comparisons between Revere's engraving and Adams' account led one inquisitive student to ask about the outcome of the trial. When presented with the challenge to research this question himself, this student read through the account in his textbook and discovered the British soldiers, except one, were found not guilty. This worked well to engage this student who prefers not to read the text. The engraving, account, and discussion of the Boston Massacre piqued this student's interest in the content.

With this lesson, I tried to teach South Carolinians' responses to events that were happening in Boston. It was important for the students to understand that colonists at this time did not think of themselves as a cohesive unit of"Americans," that what affects one town affects all. However, I also wanted students to get a sense that South Carolinians [responded to conflict in other colonies, and that the South Carolina Association document, written in response to the shots fired at Lexington and Concord, represents an emerging tendency towards unification much in the same spirit as when] South Carolina sent delegates to the Stamp Act Congress and the First Continental Congress.

I was pleased that students, under the guidance of the document analysis questions, were able to support their positions with primary source documentation.... Higher order thinking was required of the students to make inferences about the document's date, the audience for whom the document was written, the reasons for the document's existence, and the colonists' way of life at the time the document was written.

In this exercise, students heard from the participants of the South Carolina Revolutionary Association, East of the Wateree....Seeing the signatures, handwriting, and terminology of people who had previously lived in South Carolina and who took a stand against an enemy allowed students to realize that actual people go along with names in a textbook. We have a tendency, if we do not know someone personally, not to be affected by events involving others. However, through primary source documents, like the South Carolina document, students can glimpse into the personalities of the past through analysis of handwriting and writing style.

Student Assessments

Informal assessments include monitoring of:
* students' comparisons between John Adam's written account and Paul Revere's engraving of the Boston Massacre;
* students' discussions of the Revolutionary Association document's meaning and purpose, and the responses to the questions about the risks and characteristics of the South Carolina signers.

Formal assessment includes graded evaluations of the following:
* students' constructed responses to the Adams/ Revere Boston Massacre exercise;
* students' South Carolina Association paragraphs

Further, knowledge of the events in Massachusetts and South Carolina's reactions to British actions in the colonies will be formally assessed on the Road to the American Revolution test.

Examples of Students Work

  Written Document Analysis Worksheet 1 & 2
  Written Document Analysis Worksheet 3 & 4


Claudia Moose
White Knoll Middle School, South Carolina