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Causes of Conflict

American Revolution

Directions     Essential Questions     Keywords     Primary Sources     Video Streaming     Links for Students     Dewey Numbers     Non-Fiction     Fiction     EALRS     Handouts

Directions to Students:

    In a cohesive paper or presentation, you will:

    Describes the background of the conflict including all of the following:

    • who was involved in the conflict,
    • what the conflict was,
    • when the conflict took place, and
    • where the conflict took place.
    Demonstrates an understanding of the causes of the conflict by explaining relevant ideas from each of the four social studies perspectives:
    • history,
    • geography,
    • civics, and
    • economics
    Identifies on a timeline of events related to the causes of the conflict using ideas from each of the four social studies perspectives:
    • history,
    • geography,
    • civics, and
    • economics
    Lists three sources including the title, author, type of source, and date of each source.

    Possible Essential Questions: Choose One

    • What were the geographic, economic, civic and historic causes that led to the Revolutionary War?
    • What were the geogragraphic, economic, civic and historic causes that led to the Boston Tea Party?


    Do you need additional information? Use these words and phrases to search Nettrekker, Proquest Magazine Index, E-Library, an online library catalog,  print encyclopedias or the World Wide Web:

    • American Revolution
    • Revolutionary War
    • War of Independence
    • Thirteen Colonies
    • Boston Tea Party
    • Valley Forge
    • Battle of Lexington
    • Battle of Concord
    • George Washington, Paul Revere, or names of other important people of the time
    • Declaration of Independence
    • Stamp Act
    • Townshend Act

    Primary Sources:

    1. American Memory
      The Rochambeau Map Collection contains maps used by Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur (1725-1807), when he was commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780-82) during the American Revolution. The maps show Revolutionary-era military actions and early state maps from the 1790s.The collection consists of 40 manuscript and 26 printed maps, and a manuscript atlas, the originals of which are in the Library of Congress' Geography and Map Division.

    2. Liberty! the American Revolution
      This PBS website contains information on key events, timelines, and links to primary sources. Designed to complement the popular PBS series by the same name, users do not need to see the series to find this site useful.

    3. National Archives
      This site includes primary and secondary sources including images and documents. The above image comes from this site. Note: The address given is for images. Click here to go to the home page and search for additional documents including the Declaration of Independence.

    Student Links:

    Video Streaming:

    1. American History: Road to Revolution
      Follow the route of revolutionaries as Assignment Discovery explores the conditions and causes of the American Revolution. Exploring events from the Boston Massacre to Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, students will gain a deep understanding of the struggle to gain independence and the values of American democracy.
      Grade 9 - 12 ©2006 Discovery Channel School

    2. Countdown to Independence: Causes of the American Revolution
      Taxation without representation emerged as the central issue of conflict between the colonies and Great Britain. Full motion footage accompanied by stills of historical events and dramatized narration shows how this issue led to actual conflict. The Boston Tea Party, the Quartering Acts, the Boston Massacre and the Intolerable Acts contributed to the American Revolution, a revolution that signaled the birth of the first new nation in modern history, and became a sign of hope for our country and for people throughout the world seeking freedom. Grade 6 - 8 ©1993 Rainbow Educational Media
      [This video can be edited.]

    3. Events Leading Up to War, The: The Revolutionary War Series
      What were the key events that brought a divided people together to stand and fight as one? In this engaging production your students will learn about the French and Indian War, Stamp Act, Intolerable Acts, Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, and battles at Lexington and Concord. They will come to know the important actions of men like Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Paul Revere. Your students will gain a firm understanding of why America went to war with Great Britain and what motivated the Patriots to form their own country.
      Grade 6 - 8 ©2004 100% Educational Videos

    4. Seeds of Liberty: Causes of the American Revolution
      Full motion footage accompanied by stills of historical events combined with dramatized narration explain the growing unrest between America and Great Britain in the pre-revolutionary period. America comprised a great diversity of people working to build a successful nation. England began to impose more and more of its trade policies and high taxes. Led by strong outspoken leaders, the people of the colonies began to show their resentment toward Britain's interference. This conflict would be the basis for the battle that ensued. Grade 6 - 8 ©1993 Rainbow Educational Media
      [This video can be edited.] [This title is Closed Captioned.]

    Dewey Numbers 

    If you want to browse the shelves in the library to locate information about the American Revolution, look for these numbers:

    • 973.3 - American Revolution and confederation 1775 -1789
    • 974 - Northeastern United States
    • 921 - Individual Biography


    1. Anderson, Dale. Causes of the American Revolution. 2006. Presents the causes of the American Revolution using quotes and biographical focus boxes. 

    2. Beller, Susan Provost. Yankee Doodle and the Redcoats : Soldiering in the Revolutionary War. 2003. Using excerpts from diaries, letters, newspaper articles, and other primary sources, tells of the everyday lives of the soldiers who fought the Revolutionary War, for both the British and for the colonies.

    3. Bober, Natalie. Countdown to independence: a revolution of ideas in England and her American colonies, 1760-1776. 2001. Examines the people and events both in the American colonies and in Great Britain between 1760 and 1776 that led to the American Revolution.

    4. Erdosh, George.  Food and recipes of the Revolutionary War. 1997. Describes the kinds of foods commonly consumed by colonists, including soldiers, during the time of the American Revolutionary War. Includes recipes. Lexile: 780    

    5. Fradin, Dennis B.  Let it begin here! : Lexington & Concord: first battles of the American Revolution. 2005. Presents a short history of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and describes how the rebel leaders were warned of the approaching British and the standoff between seventy Lexington militiamen and two hundred fifty British regulars.

    6. Fritz, Jean.  Can't you make them behave, King George? 1977. A biography of George the Third, King of Great Britain at the time of the American Revolution. Lexile: 800      

    7. Fritz, Jean. Traitor, the case of Benedict Arnold. 1997. A study of the life and character of the brilliant Revolutionary War general who deserted to the British for money. Lexile: 1020     

    8. George, Lynn. A time line of the American Revolution. 2003. A discussion of the American Revolution which takes a chronological approach, focusing on the development and use of a time line.

    9. Kroll, Steven. The Boston Tea Party. 1998. Describes the events preceding, during, and following the event which helped precipitate the American Revolutionary War. Lexile: 810      

    10. Moore, Kim. If you lived at the time of the American Revolution. Discusses the different aspects of the American Revolution; includes information about what started the Revolution, who fought in it, what a Loyalist was, and other related topics. Lexile: 860

    11. Penner, Lucille. Liberty! How the Revolutionary War Began. 2002. Originally published as: The liberty tree : the beginning of the American Revolution, 1998.;Includes index. Color illustrations fill this history of the events leading to the Revolutionary War, which describes such aspects as the Stamp Act, the Boston Massacre, and the "shot heard 'round the world." Lexile 780

    12. Stein, R. Conrad. The Boston Tea Party. 1996. Describes the events preceding, during, and following this noted event, which helped precipitate the American Revolutionary War. Lexile: 910 


    1. Avi. The fighting ground. 1984. Thirteen-year-old Jonathan goes off to fight in the Revolutionary War and discovers the real war is being fought within himself. Lexile: 580

    2. Borden, Louise. Sleds on Boston Common : a story from the American Revolution. Henry complains to the royal governor, General Gage, after his plan to sled down the steep hill at Boston Common is thwarted by the masses of British troops camped there. Lexile: 640

    3. Denenberg, Barry. The Journal of William Thomas Emerson A Revolutionary War Patriot. 1998. William, a twelve-year-old orphan, writes of his experiences in pre-Revolutionary War Boston where he joins the cause of the patriots who are opposed to the British rule. Lexile: 950

    4. Forbes, Esther. Johnny Tremain : a novel for old & young. 1943. After injuring his hand, a silversmith's apprentice in Boston becomes a messenger for the Sons of Liberty in the days before the American Revolution. Lexile: 840

    5. Gregory, Kristiana. Five smooth stones. 2001. In her diary, a young girl writes about her life and the events surrounding the beginning of the American Revolution in Philadelphia in 1776. Lexile: 640

    6. Gregory, Kristiana. The winter of red snow : the Revolutionary War diary of Abigail Jane Stewart. 1996. Eleven-year-old Abigail presents a diary account of life in Valley Forge from December 1777 to July 1778 as General Washington prepares his troops to fight the British. Lexile: 870

    7. O'Dell, Scott. Sarah Bishop. 1980. Left alone after the deaths of her father and brother who took opposite sides in the War for Independence, and fleeing from the British who seek to arrest her, Sarah struggles to shape a new life for herself in the wilderness. Lexile: 760

    8. Reit, Seymour. Guns for General Washington : a story of the American Revolution. 2001. In the bitter winter of 1775-76, Colonel Henry Knox and his younger brother Will, both of the Continental Army, become frustrated with the British blockade of Boston and decide to attempt to move 183 cannons from Fort Ticonderoga, over 300 miles of mountainous wilderness, to defend the besieged city. Lexile: 900

    9. Roop, Peter. An eye for an eye. 2000. At the dawn of the Revolutionary War, Samantha Byrd must decide whether or not to seek revenge and join the troops in fighting.


    Graphic Organizer

    TImelines (Facts on file) 1750-65    1765-74    1775-76     1777-83   


    4.3.2. Analyzes the multiple causes of change and conflict in US History. (EALR 4.3. Understands that there are multiple perspectives and interpretations of historical events.)

    5.4.1. Researches multiple perspectives to take a position on a public or historical issue in a paper or presentation. (EALR 5.4. Creates a product…)

    4.1.1. Understands and creates timelines to show how historical events are caused by other important events. (5th Grade) (EALR 4.1 Understands historical chronology.)

    5.4.2. Prepares a list of resources including the title, author, type of source, date published, and publisher for each source and arranges the sources alphabetically. (5th Grade) (EALR 5.4. Creates a product…)


    Page prepared by Trish Henry


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