Answers to Teen Track History Writing Contest Questions
Answers to the “10 Questions” in the July 4 post announcing our Teen Track historical fiction writing contest can be found below. Though no qualifying entries have been received, we’re posting answers and the sources used to find them. Teens: If you do not write historical fiction, what genres do you write? Short or long fiction? Poetry? Nonfiction?
Have you registered for the W2I Teen Track September 20-21? Do you know about our Bring-A-Friend discount ($5.00 off additional per person for two teens registering together?). Take a look at our Teen Track and general (open to teens) options [Go to 2019 Conference https://write2ignite.com/category/2019-conference-updates/page/2/, scroll down to “Teen Track”/”General track” section] in addition to keynotes, consult with parents/teachers/guardians, and save your spot today!
Questions & Answers:
- In what year was the Declaration of Independence written and signed? A: 1776
- Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? A: Thomas Jefferson, with edits by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, then submitted to the Continental Congress July 1 for final changes before publication.
- Was the original version of the Declaration the one that was signed? Not the famous copy we’ve often seen with John Hancock’s signature in the largest handwriting at the top. An “engrossed” copy made later by Timothy Matlack was the one signed, beginning on August 2, 1776. Not all signers were present to sign on that day. The version first approved by the Continental Congress and sent for printing and immediate distribution was signed only by John Hancock, the President of the Congress, and witnessed by the Secretary, Charles Thomson. “The Engrossed Declaration.” https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-history
- How many men signed the Declaration? A: 56
- What was the name of the group/meeting where the Declaration was discussed and signed? In what city did the meeting take place? A: The Second Continental Congress, in Philadelphia, PA
- Was this a publicly announced meeting? Why or why not? The colonies had very early established their own laws and representative counsels or other local governing bodies. By the time of the 1770s, it was customary for such groups to convene to discuss issues and laws, and to communicate with the English government when Parliament passed and enforced laws the colonists opposed. The colonists acting as a united group could meet to discuss such issues, but such meetings quickly became illegal once the Declaration of Independence was known by British authorities. Frothingham, Richard (1872). The Rise of the Republic of the United States. Boston, Massachusetts: Little, Brown, and Company. pp. 375–376. https://books.google.com/books?id=ntwoAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
- How many colonies were represented? 12 colonies. New York did not vote until later.
- What were their main reasons for wanting independence? What country had authority over the colonies at this time? What was the name of the king? England had imposed many taxes to increase revenue from the colonies, in addition to unpopular regulations and the presence of the British army, which took over colonial buildings and property for its officers and troops. Colonists complained about the fact that Parliament passed many laws regulating their business and other daily life, “without representation” or input by colonial citizens in the legislative process. England was the ruling country; King George III was the monarch.
- Name the first battle which preceded the Declaration and the war which resulted from the decision to declare independence. On April 19, 1775, the battle of Lexington and Concord between colonial Patriots and the British army was the first armed conflict of the Revolutionary War. “The Declaration of Independence: A History.” https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-history
- Was the Constitution of the United States, which was not completed and signed until September 17, 1787, the original document governing the newly established country? The Articles of Confederation, written in 1777 and ratified in 1781, was the first document to govern the U.S. However, problems with its provisions resulted in the later writing of a more effective system of governing, which we know at the present Constitution. “Continental Congress.” https://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/the-continental-congress