All Hands on Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard Old Ironsides
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Victory in the News
Reading an historical, secondary source

What did Americans in 1812 think about the country’s involvement in the war? The article below was published in the “News of the Week” section of The Yankee, a Boston newspaper, just after Constitution’s victory over Guerriere. Interpret the article by answering the questions below.

*Note: Before assigning the activities below, you might need to explain that “John Bull,” mentioned in the newspaper article, was a popular name for England. Also, you may want to identify new vocabulary in the eyewitness account for students to define. Squared away means the sails were squared, or perpendicular, to the wind.


(a) What is this writer’s opinion of the battle? answers may vary, but very favorable
(b) List some of the adjectives used to express the writer’s opinion. splendid and eloquent.
2. According to the article and the lesson, what did the English do to deserve such a battering? kidnapped our sailors and intercepted American merchant ships
3. Before Constitution’s victories, many people were opposed to the war. What do you think changed people’s minds? Possible answer: It is easy to support a winner, answers vary

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