Sid Lapidus Collection: Liberty and the American Revolution


This teaching strategy offers particular insights into the American and British perspectives on taxation during the decades leading up to the American Revolution.

Guiding Questions

  • What is liberty?
  • Were Americans justified in their criticisms of British colonial policy during the 1750s and 1760s?


After completing the lessons in this unit, students will be able to use the following documents to analyze the reactions of both the colonists and the British to British colonial policies in the 1750s.


Prior to reading the documents, students should be asked to define the term “liberty.”

Lesson Activities

The lesson can take on a number of different formats. The class can be divided in half to debate the two very different perspectives. Students can also divided into smaller groups of four or five, with each student taking a different document and sharing it with the other members of the group (jigsaw format). All students should be responsible for doing a complete analysis of the document and sharing their findings in written form.

Documents for Group A

Documents for Group B

Questions for Discussion

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