John Dickinson is more than just the guy who didn’t sign the Declaration of Independence! He played a vital role in the events leading up to the Revolutionary War and should be remembered for his patriotic contributions. Use this lesson while teaching the causes of the American Revolution, such as after learning about the Townshend Acts.
In a series of essays published in a Pennsylvania newspaper from 1767 to 1768, John Dickinson encouraged peaceful resistance to the oppressive acts of Parliament. His letters were widely popular and helped unite the colonies. In this adapted primary source, Dickinson reveals to citizens why governments are able to oppress their citizens. It was empowering then and has a message that resonates even today: Speak up when there’s trouble!
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Adapted primary source with glossary*
Assignment with text-dependent questions*
Sample answers and source info
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