EAS Miscellany encourages educators to integrate articles from our journal into the classroom. As a part of our new series “Teaching EAS,” we invite you to use this lesson plan as a model for designing your curriculum and teaching Early American Studies articles. If you would like to create other lesson plans using EAS articles, please download our template here and share your plan with us.
Teaching EAS: “‘Liberty or Death’: Patrick Henry, Theatrical Song, and Transatlantic Patriot Politics” by Amy Dunagin
In 1775 at the Second Virginia Convention, Patrick Henry famously exclaimed, “Give me liberty or give me death!” Henry’s call inspired Patriots to rally for independence from Great Britain. Despite how well-known his speech is in American history, tracing the source of the “Liberty or Death” speech proves tricky. Historian Amy Dunagin “considers the source” in her Summer 2023 EAS article. Our lesson plan uses her article to encourage students to consider the political impacts of sources, describe differences and commonalities between British and American Patriots, and understand the use of political propaganda in early America.
This lesson plan serves to meet the following objectives:
- Students will:
- Understand the importance of considering sources and the political impacts of those sources.
- Describe differences and commonalities between British and American Patriots.
- Understand the use of political propaganda in early America.
Click “Download” below for a PDF of this free lesson plan:
Supplemental Images, Documents, and YouTube Videos:
- The London Magazine, or, Gentleman’s Monthly Intelligencer
- Monthly Miscellany Article
- The Election
- York March
- Whilst Happy in My Native Land – See Figure 3 in lesson plan
Amy Dunagin is Assistant Professor of history, specializing in the cultural and political history of Britain and its empire. Her research focuses on how Britons made sense of their shifting cultural identities during the transformative decades of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. She is currently completing a book manuscript entitled “The Land Without Music: English Identity and the Virtue of Unmusicality,” in which she explores why the English developed a reputation as an unmusical people in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, even as they aggressively asserted national superiority over Continental Europeans in a host of other spheres.