In Defense of Liberty: The Magna Carta in the American Revolution

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Sources, Lessons & Activities
Date Posted: 9/29/2008

In this lesson, students will carefully examine an authentic Massachusetts thirty-shilling note (1775) from the Museum's collection and hypothesize the meaning of its visual elements. Students will use primary and secondary sources to refine the hypothesis and in the process, discover the role the Magna Carta played in the colonists' defense of their rights as Englishmen. The lesson provides insight into the causes of the American Revolution and builds students' ability to read and interpret objects as primary sources. 

Resources used in the lesson plan can be accessed through the links below: 

Articles of Association


Data Analysis Sheet

Data Retrieval Sheet

Massachusetts Thirty Shilling Note (jpg)

Necessity of Taking Up Arms

Response to King George III

In Defense of Liberty (pps)

In Defense of Liberty (ppt)