JOHN ADAMS: A Burdensome and Unconstitutional Tax Sir, In all the calamities which have ever befallen this country, we have never felt so great a…

Read these excerpts from John Adams then answer the following question as a complete essay.

Adams Unconstitutional Tax

John Adams – one of the outspoken (and rude and obnoxious – according to his own writing) proponents of revolution wrote this article in response to the Stamp Act. Why does Adams find this tax to be unconstitutional? (Keep in mind that the U.S. Constitution is still 20 years in the future when this piece was written. HINT: It has something to do with the growing concept of “Social Contract.”) What is Adams’ concept of “private property” in relation to his vehement denouncement of British taxes?

Patrick Henry – “Give me liberty or give me death”

Read these excerpts from Patrick Henry then answer the following question as a complete essay.

Henry Give Me Liberty

Patrick Henry’s superb speech is a model of rhetoric and a call to arms. He convinced Virginia’s House of Burgesses that the war was already in progress and that they were only deluding themselves in thinking that they could make some reconciliation with Britain. What does Henry’s speech say in your own words? What does the biographer’s note at the end of the speech tell us about its effect on the Virginia legislature?

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