by Thomas Jefferson
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
Excerpt from The Prince
- Niccoló Machiavelli
Niccoló Machiavelli (1469-1527) was an Italian Renaissance historian, politician, and writer based in Florence. His masterpiece, The Prince, published in 1532, advises new princes on how to get and retain power by any means necessary.Pair “Thomas Jefferson on Shay’s Rebellion” with “Excerpt from The Prince” and ask students to compare how each writer thinks about rebellion and power.
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Speech
- Patrick Henry
In this speech, Patrick Henry rouses colonist leaders to take up arms against the British tyranny. It is from this speech that the Declaration of Independence was born. This speech uses an emotional argument, and lays the foundation for fundamental American values of individual power.Pair “Thomas Jefferson on Shay’s Rebellion” with the “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech and ask students to compare these documents. How does each author treat the subject of rebellion? How does perspective and situation influence each of their views?
- William Butler Yeats
“Easter 1916” is a famous poem by William Butler Yeats that deals with themes of war and loss of innocence. Although Yeats was an Irish nationalist, in the poem he describes conflicting emotions about the Easter Rising, an armed rebellion against British rule in Ireland.Pair “Thomas Jefferson on Shay’s Rebellion” with “Easter 1916” and ask students to discuss rebellion. How does each author treat the subject of rebellion? How does each author view political idealism?
A Letter to Thomas Jefferson
- John Adams
Founding Fathers Adams and Jefferson shared a great friendship and exchanged many letters. This letter captures the famous debate between Jefferson and Adams about core democratic principles.Pair “Thomas Jefferson on Shay’s Rebellion” with “Excerpt from a Letter to Thomas Jefferson” and ask students to compare these documents. How does each author respond to rebellion or revolution? What ideals do the authors share, and where do they differ?
How Haiti Saved the United States
- David White
In the late 18th century, Toussaint L’Ouverture, a former Haitian slave, led a slave uprising that conquered the Haitians' French captors and helped America expand. This article explains how this remarkable event created lasting change not only in Haiti, but in other countries as well.Pair “Thomas Jefferson on Shay’s Rebellion” with “How Haiti Saved the United States” and ask students to discuss Jefferson’s views on rebellion in context of both Shay’s Rebellion and the Haitian Revolution. Does the fact that Jefferson’s administration provided aid, albeit minor, to suppress the Haitian Revolt complicate his views?
Articles of Confederation
- The Continental Congress
The Articles of Confederation are a historic governing document detailing the agreement between the original 13 states of the United States; it preceded the U.S. Constitution.Pair “Thomas Jefferson on Shay’s Rebellion” with “Articles of Confederation” and ask students to explain how Thomas Jefferson’s perspective on Shay’s Rebellion reflects the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. Jefferson believed that individuals should be able to “take arms” against their country if they were not being protected by it. Where are his beliefs in limited government evident in the Articles of Confederation, and what evidence does this letter on Shay’s Rebellion provide to support his belief in limited government?