Join the Debate and Bring History Alive!

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Calling all 5th graders!
Put yourself in the shoes of the character you researched and created in Voki. Imagine you were living in colonial times in the 1770’s, with all the events we are studying in class unfolding around you.

The British government declares its right to tax the colonies. All around you people are discussing the news. Do you agree or disagree? Do you have strong feelings about the issue?

Write a comment in character stating your position and giving evidence to support your point of view. Sign your comment with your colonial character’s name. If you prefer, just be yourself!

Have fun with this! Make it dramatic! I’m looking forward to seeing your comments!
Mrs Kynigou

19 thoughts on “Join the Debate and Bring History Alive!

  1. I strongly disagree that the British could tax the colonies because I thought it wasn’t fair to tax them just for tea. Nick disagrees also. Nick got convinced by Maggie, Thisseas, and Thanasis. I still strongly disagree,because I thought it wasn’t fair to tax them, so I stayed with my opinion.
    Margarita

  2. I strongly disagree with the British because why would we, the colonists have to be taxed if we haven’t voted for parliament? Also I’m just going to put it out there, every time we protest a law parliament repeals it. So I, personally don’t want to be taxed by people who give up just like that. And anyways we can be self-sufficient and provide stuff like tea for ourselves and show the British who are in charge.
    -Charlotte Smith

  3. … So which side am I on? Slaves never really are allowed to have an opinion on anything, especially on taxes. Can I afford to drink British tea? Can I buy British products? Why should I care, then? The only thing that bothers me is the Stamp Act. Once a year, I get the slightest opportunity to write one, only one precious letter to send to my family all the way to Georgia. This year, I won’t. It’s all about that unfair Stamp Tax, making everything’s written price higher… The taxes are real trouble for my master, Sir Clithrow though; And everything that troubles my master is hell for me. I’m just saying that when he is furious about the new taxes, he beats us with no particular reason, and gives us work until 2 a.m. He often claims that he is a patriot and that the taxes are insulting him and his wife. Yesterday, he came home with a bloody forehead from the Boston Massacre! Not that I cared, but I was forced to run and bring anything that could help. Madam was hopelessly dabbing his head with a soft cloth soaked in salt water. I had an injury myself, because I had to accompany them and scream on the top of my lungs against the taxation; but did they care? Nope. I was crying, shouting, “Stop the taxes!” to convince them. On the squeezed up bed on the loft above the kitchen, Martha and Sesha were comforting me, and told me to hope the British would be continuing raising taxes, so that the colonists would turn even angrier, and we could escape, when things got out of control! Taxation is therefore not a real issue for me, except the Stamp Act and I will support who ever promises to free me. As for now, NO TAXATION, WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!!!!

    Phoebe Smith (aka: Anna B.)

  4. I disagree with the British having the right to tax the colonists because the colonists didn’t vote. If they had voted they would pay taxes. I do not think it is fair at all. If I was in the place of the British a) I would have left the colonists to vote b) I wouldn’t force them to pay taxes, but if I didn’t do those things I would be ashamed of what I am doing. The colonists are right by saying ” NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
    Betsy Ross(Anna K.)

  5. Taxes? Personally, I shouldn’t care! It”s not 1775 anymore, people! It’s 2015! But, think again. It’s not against the law. I can care. And I do! I care! I care about the colonists! About Parliament! I STRONGLY AGREE in fact! Go Loyalists! Just to prove my point, let’s picture a little scenario here!

    Colonists: “Look, Britain! We don’t support your religion anymore, so we’ll go live somewhere else. We will NEVER need your help again. NEVER EVER! Goodbye!

    Britain: Fine by me. Bye bye.

    Some years later:

    Colonists: “Britain, help! Come on! We are two against one: us against the French and the Indians. Come sacrifice your men to a bloodbath! We know we said we’d never ever need your help anymore. But who cares? Also, by the way, this will cost you TONS and TONS of money. And we will give you absolutely NOTHING AT ALL in repayment. Now come help!

    British: ” Okay, we’ve fought hard and have won the battle. Now, Parliament has decided to pass some taxes, to help repay that HUGE amount of money you made us lose.

    Colonists: “Oh. WAIT, WHAT? . . ! . . ! How could you do that to us poor innocent colonists? We didn’t to anything.”

    British: “Yeah, right! We sacrificed SO MUCH!”

    Colonists: “But, but . . . we didn’t get a vote in Parliament!”

    British: “But you should vote, if not decide to help us, because we just helped you SO MUCH! I mean, come on! #%@? :(”

    THE END

    Anyways, see what I mean? The British kind of HAVE to tax the colonists. They don’t need the colonists votes because all that that’s going to do is mess up the government! They should repay them. I thought that the colonists DIDN’T need Britain’s help any longer. Or am I mistaken?

    . . . So, Yep! That rests my case! I am glad that America is an independent country, but guess what? In my world, this is how the whole event should have gone:

    British: “Hey, sup dudes! Can you give us some money to repay that whole amount of money you made us lose?”

    Colonists: “Okay!”

    British: “Thanks a lot!”

    Colonists: “Your welcome. By the way, could we become independent, but friendly countries? After all, we have different beliefs. And, we’re self-sufficient!”

    British: “Okay! Just sign this contract.

    THE END

    Sincerely,
    Maggie Daly (STRONGLY AGREED!!!) 😀

  6. Also, if anyone, (Including Ms. Kynigou and the teachers) wants to challenge me to a debate, tell me, please! 🙂

    Maggie 😀 (STRONGLY AGREED)

  7. Dear Colonists,
    I disagree that we should pay taxes. We are just some innocent people that were self governed for years, and then Parliament comes in and makes us tax them. First the Stamp Act and then the Townshend Acts, and now what?! Oh, and let’s not forget that the British soldiers ‘accidentally’ shot bullets into the crowd in the Boston Massacre. I almost lost my job because I had to pay so many taxes. Colonists (including ME) were so annoyed that we helped the Sons of Liberty dump tea in Boston Harbor. On the other hand, the British have to get some money to help the colonies and England thrive. But I could swear I heard a British soldier say that the British had money and they just were using the colonists to have a good profit without working during our epic battle that started the American Revolution. I knew it! We are going to rebel! WE will repeal the Intolerable Acts and survive this tragedy! We won’t give up until we die for our country and become free, independent people! Who’s with me? No taxation without representation!!
    – William Martin (merchant K5)

  8. I strongly agree that the British should tax the colonies. The colonists separated from Britain and then asked, no begged, for help when the French and Indians attacked them. Then the British wasted money, lives, and firepower on protecting those measly colonists. When the British won the war, they needed money so they taxed the colonists. Maybe they didn’t have a member in the Parliament but they basically asked for protection and gave nothing in return, making a revolution!

  9. I disagree with the British. If we have no representation why should we be taxed? I mean, after my dad’s death, all those taxations are getting worse and how dare they bring soldiers here! Not only do they tax us, but we need to feed them! Isn’t it just nonsense? We threw the tea because they thought they ruled us. In order to be powerful they did some astounding things: they killed our men and closed our port, leaving my mom and other people with no jobs. Now how can we get money? Of course it is really dangerous. I have to bring new clothes to the soldiers and clean their room. Imagine living next to someone that might want to kill you! But what sadness, even though we are minutemen we still are afraid if this mean war. That means people will be killed. Well, I don’t think it will end happily. I’ve got to admit that the British helped protect us against the French and Indians but the rest is just unfair. With no vote, no taxation without representation, I will fight for this land if I have to.
    George Washington.

  10. I strongly agree with this British taxing the colonies because the colonists went away from Britain hating them. After, they send a message to Britain whimpering and pleading please help us in a war that will cost a lot of money. Then Britain rite fully taxed them to repay that money. The colonists say its unfair to get taxed but I disagree.

    Gideon A. Williams

  11. “I strongly disagree with the fact that the British are taxing us. Since I haven’t voted for Parliament I won’t pay the taxes. By the way the British stopped the tax on wool and paper but not the tax on tea. They think if they keep on selling tea to us we will buy it. But no, we are boycotting it! The British think that they are in charge.”
    Charles Tanner (Francesca)

    1. Dear everyone who strongly disagrees,

      I know that many people strongly disagree and think that it isn’t fair to tax the colonists because they didn’t have a vote in Parliament, but here’s the thing:

      Britain HELPED you! You should be paying them taxes whether you have a vote or not, because you basically said, “Hey, come and spend A LOT of money! We won’t give you anything AT ALL in return!

      ~ Maggie Daly 😀

  12. I strongly disagree. The British were a little right because they needed money to protect the colonies. But they were also wrong because at the beginning they taxed a lot of things. The colonists were forced to buy tea from only one company, without having the choice to pick from where they wanted their tea. Like Maggie said they should of asked for independence. Every country should try by themselves and if they want help for something they should ask for help kindl. However show the British that they are not charge. Every colony should be in charge of themselves .
    Hope I helped,
    Simon Williams the apothecary from the Southern Plantations

  13. As a wheelwright’s apprentice I am very affected by the taxes. The Stamp Act bothers me a lot. My dream is to become a surveyor or mapmaker when I grow up so I buy paper often to make maps of the forest near my town. Now that I have to pay tax for the paper I buy, I can’t afford to get any! This angers me because without practice, I have no chance of making maps when I grow up.

    The Townshed Acts are a major problem for my family. Even though all the wood and iron I need to make wheels can be found in the colonies, there is no medicine and it must be imported from Britain. My mother is ill with fever and my father is trying to buy a cure, but the medicine he finds is too expensive now that we have to pay tax for it. Even the apothecary in New Jersey, Ajax Jefferson who is my father’s friend can’t charge less for medicine. If my mother doesn’t receive a cure soon, she could die.

    The Tea Act is the only tax that doesn’t concern me. I once had an opportunity to taste tea and I didn’t really like it, so I don’t care that I have to pay a tax on tea because I never buy it. This tax concerns my father because tea is his favorite drink (after beer) so even though he can still afford to buy tea, a three-penny tax makes tea too expensive to buy often.
    On the other hand, I believe that the colonists should pay a tax to Britain, but not these particular taxes. Britain could tax the colonies on the land they bought because a piece of land in America costs much less than the same piece of land in Britain.

    I do not agree with the Sons of Liberty either. They are like heroes to the almost all the colonists but they are actually villains to me and some others. They burned the houses, beat up and terrorized people they have lived with since they came to the colonies just because they were hired by Britain to sell stamps. How would they like it if their house was burned down and they were hated by their own neighbors? They should protest, ok, but really, stealing and dumping tea worth a lot of money into their harbor and polluting it? The only outcome of this was to anger Britain and they passed the Intolerable Acts. Colonists may say “No taxation without representation” but, whom are the Sons of Liberty representing? They were not voted for like Britain’s Parliament and they do not represent the views of the colonists.

    All the countries of the world pay taxes so why are the Colonies an exception? Taxes will never be permanently repealed in the entire world. Many colonists say that because King George the II and King Charles the III gave away pieces of land to landowners, they no longer owned them and neither did Britain. This is not true! The kings gave away pieces of land to landowners but the land is still British land. The landowners can’t give their land to the French or Indians because they want to or burn it because they feel like it.

    The colonies must pay tax to England but not the Stamp Act, Tea Act and Townshend Acts. The colonists also should get representation in the British Parliament otherwise we might as well become independent, pay our own taxes and improve our communities with the money!

    From,
    Silas Archer AKA Daphne

    P.S. In the debate I am in the Agree group!

  14. “I strongly disagree that the British are taxing us. We are grateful for the protection, but I barely have enough money to buy food for my family. This is nonsense. All my friends are losing their jobs.”
    Sincerely,
    The Brickmaker from Mrs.Kynigou’s class

  15. I strongly disagree with the British because I don’t think it’s fair to tax us just because they need money. I mean go get your own money from somewhere else like take a trip to Spain and tax them! I mean why us? My husband hates the taxes and especially on tea, and then guess who has to heat the oven while he’s up in the attic screaming! Get a life, British!
    Sincerely,
    Cornelia Tanner

  16. Honestly, I STRONGLY DISAGREE that Britain had NO right to tax the colonists. They didn’t vote for the Parliament and they had the right to be free. Just because the British helped them in the war it doesn’t mean they can tax them, AND the colonists didn’t even ask for their help so if Britain wanted to invest tons of money and get thousands of men killed it’s their problem.

    The colonists left England because they faced religious persecution and they didn’t want to be part of England anymore so it isn’t fair that suddenly England can tax them.
    Also King George lll had abused his power as king.

    Catarina

  17. Taxes? I don’t think so! The British were not allowed to tax the colonies!
    I can show you reasons for that for every colony! In Pennsylvania King Charles the second gave away large sections of land! That’s it! He gave it to William Penn for money and it’s over!
    The same happened in North and South Carolina,Maryland,Delaware,Georgia,and New Jersey.In Virginia and New York, people risked their lives for England, exploring and settling, but the English Parliament didn’t let them vote. The people of New England fled and were wishing not to be English anymore!

    No taxation without representation!!!

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