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The Big Question

Should the colony of Georgia take sides in the impending fight to separate from Great Britain? If the answer is yes, which side should the colony take? Should Georgians side with the Liberty Boys who want a complete separation from Great Britain or should they join the Loyalists who support British rule? That was the big question. As the youngest and poorest colony with a popular royal governor, these were not easy decisions to make. Laws passed by Parliament such as the Stamp Act taxing printed papers and documents, the Quartering Act requiring colonists to house British soldiers, the Townshend Act taxing products used by the colonists, and all the intolerable acts that closed the Boston harbor and punished citizens in Massachusetts were topics for spirited discussions. Using Stately Oaks mansion in Jonesboro as a setting, a group of men and women re-create a typical after-dinner discussion when a British merchant comes to call.

Teacher tip: After watching and hearing the discussion, try to identify the position of each of the dinner guests. Who would remain loyal to the king, and who would fight for freedom and a new country? Ask students to record the reasons each person gives that are clues to his or her position.