First position paper: 6–7 pages;
Supplemental reading: Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1967), 55–159.
Your paper will analyze the illegality and unconstitutionality of British actions, especially regarding the
imposition of taxes and placement of a standing army in peacetime within the colonies. You must imbue
your first paper with a thorough analysis of the threat posed to American liberties by these blatant expressions of British power. To draft your paper, you must read Chapter 3 (“Power and Liberty”) and Chapter 4
(“The Logic of Rebellion”) of Bailyn’s The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. You embody the fire of republican ideology, and you should summarize its key points in your own language but with a legalistic turn of phrase. Review pages 119–20 in particular for an example of the rhetoric style you should use after your legal indictment is concluded. Locke should be used where applicable to explain the necessity of impartial judges in the rule of law, how the British are not impartial, and how the legislative acts of Parliament exceed their constitutional authority and thus merit resistance. Your paper will probably be due at the second. And thus you should also read and rebut Delancey’s arguments as needed.
You can probably get by without getting Bailyn, but you are basically going to write up an indictment of British actions and policies in the 1760s and early 1770s arguing that they are unconstitutional. You should reference the reading in chapter 5 by John Locke, where he justifies the right to revolution when a government is acting unconstitutionally by violating individual rights. You can get some ideas about the different arguments a patriot would make by reading through the other documents in chapter 5 and the patriot vs. loyalist reading.
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