What If? Q4 History Benchmark

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My point of divergence is during Paul Revere's midnight ride. There is a point in which he came across a couple of British officers on horseback and had to evade them. He really had managed to, but I changed it so they had actually caught him. As a result of this, the future I envisioned is the United States remaining a British territory and potentially being called British America. This came to be because Paul Revere was making the ride to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British were coming to arrest them due to their involvement in a potential rebellion. Since Paul Revere never reached his destination, I made it so Adams and Hancock got arrested. Adams was an avid leader when it came to the rebellion and Hancock was an rich and influential man (who was going to be elected to be President of the Continental Congress the month after he escaped arrest), so I made it so that when people heard about them being arrested (due to being exposed by a British spy, who had reported to British General Thomas Gage) they began to get suspicious of everyone and could not organize themselves enough to start a full-on rebellion.

I liked that this project called for a little bit of story-telling and gives a view as to how a butterfly effect can happen. I think the most challenging was making the story believable; there could be many loopholes of what could have happened instead of what you want to happen and you have to be sure to cover everything. The most interesting fact I uncovered was that Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Paul Revere (among others) were all a part of a group called the Mechanics who organized rebellions and plans to achieve freedom from the British and that there were really spies in their midst. In fact, the only reason why Adams and Hancock were to be arrested is because a spy discovered that they were powerful leaders who lead rebellious attacks and were a danger to British rule. The spy reported to General Thomas Gage, and he organized their arrest. 

The actions of individuals impact the historical record because a lot of history deals with a group of people and a leader or numerous leaders. Whether or not the people follow a leader affects the course of history and the side the people are on also affects history. If a leader didn't step forward to guide people, then the majority would probably be afraid to step forth and make a change. Systemic changes impact the historical record because systemic changes is what usually leads to a change in the people, in general. For example, one of the reasons colonists began to retaliate against the British is because they were being taxed quite obscenely and though they were being taxed, they weren't being represented properly. They didn't want the high taxes or want the Acts the British tried to pass that taxed them, though not directly (as the Stamp Act had), and so they started to fight against their rule and the colonies started to establish their own mini-governments. One decision could change everything in history, especially if the choices are worlds apart. One decision could impact how things are handled and what happens to certain people. The decision hold even more power if it is from a very influential person who is high on the social ladder. 

I think the project could be improved by giving us a set presentation style. I feel like I didn't really know where to go when it came to presenting the project and I wasn't entirely sure as to how long it should be or if I was adding things that weren't needed. If I had to do it over, I would read the history around the revolution (and that time period in general) because though I knew a lot about it, I wanted to go back and check everything and in the end, I actually had to alter my point of divergence and explain a lot of history that I didn't expect to explain.

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