This Is It

Topics: Thirteen Colonies, British Empire, American Revolution Pages: 6 (1253 words) Published: November 18, 2013

The American Revolution, 1750–1776

Directions: In this DBQ, you must compose an essay that uses both your interpretation of Documents A–I and your own outside knowledge of the period mentioned in this question.

To what extent was the conflict between Great Britain and her North American colonies economic in origin rather than rooted in political and social controversies and differences?

Use these documents and your knowledge of the period from 1750 to 1776 to compose your answer.

Document A: James Otis, Speech on Writs of
Assistance, 24 February 1761
Source: Henry Commager, ed., Documents of
American History, 9th ed., 45–47.

[The] writ . . . being general, is illegal. It is a power
that places the liberty of every man in the hands of
every petty officer...I admit that special writs of
assistance, to search special places, may be granted
to certain persons on oath; but I deny that the [general]
writ . . . can be granted, for I beg leave to make
some observations on the [general] writ itself. In the
fi rst place, the writ is universal . . . so that it is directed to every subject in the King’s dominions. Every one
with this writ may be a tyrant. . . . In the next place, it
is perpetual. . . . A man is accountable to no person
for his doings. . . . Writs in their nature are temporary
things. When the purposes for which they are issued
are answered, they exist no more; but these live forever;
no one can be called to account. [R]eason and
the constitution are both against this [general] writ.

Document B: Stamp Act Resolutions, 1765,
issued by the Stamp Act Congress
Source: Enduring Voices document sets to accompany
the Boyer, et al. Enduring Vision, 40–41.

II. That His majesty’s liege [loyal] subjects in these
colonies are intitled [sic] to all of the inherent rights
and liberties of his natural born subjects within the
kingdom of Great Britain.
III. That it is inseparably essential to the
freedom of a people, and the undoubted right of
Englishmen, that no taxes be imposed on them but
with their own consent, given personally or by their
representatives. . . .
IX. That the duties imposed by several late Acts of
Parliament, from the peculiar circumstances of these
colonies, will be extremely burthensome and grievous;
and from the scarcity of specie, the payment of
them absolutely impracticable. . . .
XI. That the restrictions imposed by several late
Acts of Parliament on the trade of these colonies will
render them unable to purchase the manufactures of
Great Britain.

Document C: Charleston, South Carolina, Sons
of Liberty, 1766
Source: Enduring Voices document sets to accompany
Boyer, et al. Enduring Vision, 48.

1. Christopher Gadsden, merchant.
2. William Johnson, blacksmith.
3. Joseph Veree, carpenter . . .
7. George Flagg, painter and glazier [works on
windows] . . .
9. John Hall, coachmaker . . .
11. Robert Jones, sadler . . .
19. William Trusler, butcher . . .
21. Alexander Alexander, schoolmaster
22. Edward Weyman, clerk of St. Philip’s Church, and
glass grinder

Document D: Gottfreid Achenwall, “The Pattern
of Colonial Commerce,” interview with Benjamin
Franklin, July 1766, in Gottingen, Germany
Source: American Spirit, 11th ed., 94–96.

The colonies are generally restricted in all their foreign
trade, and even more in their shipping in all
sorts of ways. Nevertheless the continental colonies
particularly maintain a considerable shipping trade
of their own. . . . Many products, particularly those for
shipbuilding and raw materials for manufactures:
mast trees, ship timber, iron, copper, . . . , cotton,
indigo, tobacco, skins and furs, they may not export.
These are reserved for the British realm, must be
brought by British merchants, and carried by British
ships and sailors. In areas where an English company
has the exclusive trade, they may not trade, for example,
with the East Indies. . . . Trade with...
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