john adams film part one

Film Analysis Paper for “Part One: Join or Die” in HBO John Adams Series

The John Adams series is on amzon prime member . Based on the historical record, John Adams is a work of dramatized historical biography. Think about the Questions below, and take notes as you watch all the Part One in it’s entirety. You might be able to find the film online.

Write a response to the Questions. Support your answers with specific details and key quotations from the film. Watch the film, and do not use Wikipedia for your answers.


1) In your own words, describe the Boston Massacre. Why did the soldiers fire? Who was provoking them?

2) What was the principle and argument of John Adam’s defense of the soldiers? Why did the jurors, being colonists themselves, vote not guilty?

3) Describe Abigail Adams comments the night before John gives his closing argument the for the trial. Does he value her opinions and respond to her advice?

4) What were the colonists’ reactions to the ‘not guilty’ vote?

5) Why did they attack the Customs Officer for trying to do his job? Describe their actions to “tar and feather” him and “burn in effigy”?

6) Why did the colonists take their actions in the Boston Tea Party? Describe the Boston Tea Party.

7) How did the British respond to the “Boston Tea Party”?

8) Look at the scene where the British proclamations were read to the colonists. There is a specific “act or law” being enforced when the Redcoats were throwing the people out of their house. What is that act called? You Referred to your book or the lists of “acts” that I put up on Canvas.

9) John gives a speech in the church. What actions and reasons did he give to move into “political action” and go the First Continental Congress?

“Join or Die” Part ONE of John Adams, directed by Tom Hooper, written by Kirk Ellis (2008)

***This is a Primary Source of Samuel Adam’s Reaction to the Boston Massacre Trial. Answer the questions at the end to complete the assignment.

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