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Unit Organizer
Unit 2— The American Revolution and Nation Building
Human Impact, Social Structure, Cultural Development, Dissent, Political Organization and
Identity, War
Essential Questions and Concepts:
While you read, listen, review, and think about this unit, keep these questions in mind. Knowing
the answers to these questions will prepare you for the major questions associated with this time
A. How and why did the colonies evolve into one united country?
1. Explain the social, economic, and political tensions between the colonists.
2. Explain mercantilism and its influence on colonial economic and political activity.
3. What were the causes and consequences of the Seven Years War on the American Colonies?
4. In what ways did the relationship between the colonists and the British government change
after the French and Indian War?
5. What were the critical events that led to the outbreak of armed conflict between the Americans
and the British?
6. What were the political, ideological, religious, and economic origins of the American
7. What was the purpose of the First and Second Continental Congresses? What did they
8. How did the Declaration of Independence express the ideas and ideals of the American
B. How were the Americans able win their Revolution?
1. What economic problems did the colonists face in the Revolution?
2. Why were the Americans able to win independence against a superior foe?
3. In what ways did relationships with France, and Spain assist the Americans in their
4. What were the consequences of the Treaty of Paris 1783?
C. What is the impact of the American Revolution on politics, economy, and society?
1. What was the influence of state constitutions on the development of government in the
revolutionary period?
2. What were the successes and failures of the Articles of Confederation?
3. What was the importance/impact of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787?
4. What were the factors that caused and resolved Shay’s Rebellion?
5. What were the reasons for many (White, African, Native American, etc…) to remain loyal to
the British?
D. Why was the Constitution necessary and what compromises led to its development?
1. What factors led to the call for a Constitutional Convention?
2. What were the competing plans considered at the Constitutional Convention and why did the
delegates compromise on many important issues?
3. In what manner does the Constitution distribute and check powers given to the government?
4. What were the arguments of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists in the debate over
5. What were the arguments concerning a Bill of Rights and why did Madison secure its
adoption in the First Congress?
6. What is the significance of the Bill of Rights and its specific guarantees?
E. What were the main achievements of the early government and what are their legacies?
1. What were Alexander Hamilton’s plans to secure prosperity and economic stability?
2. What conflicting views of Hamilton and Jefferson during the Washington Administration?
3. Why was Washington’s Farewell Address important?
4. What were the causes of and consequences to the “Quasi War” between the United States and
France during the Adams administration?
5. Why did Adams pass the Alien and Sedition Acts?
6. Explain the differences between the Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties. To whom
did these parties appeal?
7. In what ways did Jefferson’s ideals change once he was in office?
F. Why did the nation return to war in 1812?
1. Why did Madison go to war in 1812?
2. What were the consequences and impacts of the War of 1812?
Key People, Places, and Ideas:
While you read, listen, review, and think about this unit, keep these terms in mind. Knowing
what these terms mean will prepare you for the major concepts associated with this time period.
Albany Congress
Pontiac’s Rebellion
Proclamation of 1763
Stamp Act
Townshend Acts
Boston Tea Party
3/5 Compromise
Washington’s Farewell
Embargo Act
Hartford Convention
Salutary Neglect
Regulator Movement
Sons of Liberty
Virtual representation
Intolerable Acts
Republican Motherhood
Land Ordinance of 1785
Bill of Rights
Louisiana Purchase
War Hawks
Alien and Sedition Acts
Declaratory Act
Sugar Act
Battle of Saratoga
Northwest Ordinance
Great Compromise
Shay’s Rebellion
Whiskey Rebellion
Judiciary Act of 1801
Jay’s Treaty
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions