Gunston Hall Plantation Discover George Mason Title
Introduction and Indexes Biography Lessons Plantation Community Lessons Colony into Commonwealth Lessons
Making a Nation Lessons
Colony into Commonwealth
Lesson Two



It is the year 2067. You are members of the colony Virginius located on a planet far from Earth. The colony was first settled about 150 years ago by pioneers from another planet, called G.B. The Space-Age Assembly, composed of citizens of Virginius, makes the laws. The Assembly is ruled by a royal governor, appointed by the king of G.B.

Virginius is located on land that is good for rock farming. (Rock farming is very popular in the 21st century.) Soon after the colony was discovered, citizens found out that they were able to produce a rare type of rock needed by G.B. to build houses. Virginius grew wealthy by selling this rock to G.B.

Trouble has been brewing between Virginius and G.B. for the last 10 years. G.B. fought an expensive war with another planet and now it needs money. Also, the King of G.B. thinks that Virginius is becoming too independent. He wants to control Virginius more. For both these reasons, the mother planet starts putting taxes on many items (like rocket cars and solar-grown foods) that it exports to Virginius.

Several nearby colonies, also ruled by G.B., have been suffering from some of the same hardships. When one colony in the north protests, G.B. dismisses its Space-Age Assembly. Virginius and the fellow colonies become angry.

What is Virginius? What is G.B.? What is taking place between them?

(in small groups)

Situation: Pretend you are citizens in Virginius in the year 2067. It is time for you to decide what to do. In spite of the problems, you are loyal to G.B. You wish to remain a colony of the mother planet. You are not sure if you should discuss your problems with the other colonies.

Question: Come up with a plan to say how you will respond to the actions of G.B. What can you do to make G.B. treat you more fairly? After fifteen minutes of discussion, the groups share their plans.

(same groups)

Situation: Another nine years have passed. It is now 2076. The situation between your colony and G.B. has grown worse. Two years ago, G.B. dissolved your Space-Age Assembly. The citizens have no say in making laws.

You make a bold move. You decide to declare your independence from G.B. As the first step, a group of citizens get together to write a document which states the rights of men and women.

Question: As a group, write a declaration of rights for Virginius. After 20-25 minutes, groups share their ideas.

(as a class)

Prepare a declaration of rights for your class. Include the rights of both the students and teacher. Take a vote. The document must be approved by the majority of the class.

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