School Improvement in Maryland

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 5.0 History

Topic C. Conflict between Ideas and Institutions

Indicator 1. Examine and explain the role of religious, social and political institutions in America at the end of the American Revolution

Objective c. Describe how unresolved social, economic, and political issues impacted disenfranchised groups

Although the Declaration of Independence famously states that “All men are created equal,” for many groups of Americans the American Revolution did not bring about political or social equality. To illustrate this for students, divide the class into groups with the following identities: white men with property, white men without property, enslaved African American men, free African American men, single white women, married white women, and Native Americans. Have each group research the rights of their assigned class of people around the year 1790. It may be helpful to provide students with specific rights to consider: the right to vote, the right to bring suit in court, the right to hold property, etc. After sharing findings with the entire class, you may choose to extend this lesson by exploring through primary source readings what the founding fathers meant by “equality.” A variety of writings by the founding fathers on this issue is available online. Conclude the lesson by having students write a brief essay addressing the following question: Did the American Revolution have “revolutionary” consequences for American society?

Resources for Objective 5.C.1.c:
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