Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Historical Simulations for Students

As part of its Civic Education Program, FPRI occasionally holds educational simulations on the founding and the cornerstones of American liberty based upon the key events and debates in early American History. These historical simulations are held with our partners at the Museum of the American Revolution where students from all over Philadelphia played the roles of actual delegates to America’s founding conventions. More information on those simulations can be found below.

Simulations are currently being planned for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019; For information about future simulations or how FPRI can bring these simulations into your classroom, please contact Eli Gilman at [email protected].

Debating Independence: A Historical Simulation for Students

In this historical simulation, students took on the roles of actual colonial delegates to the Second Continental Congress in order to experience first-hand the debates that led America to declare independence from Great Britain.

It’s July 1776. The American Colonies are in open rebellion against the government of King George III, and have been fighting a war for more than a year, since the first skirmishes at Lexington and Concord in April 1775. In the midst of this growing conflict, representatives of the thirteen colonies have gathered in Philadelphia to determine the ultimate goal of the war, and to draft a declaration of their principles that will explain their cause to the King, to their own people, and to the wider world. Do they want to be given greater representation as loyal subjects within the British Empire, or do they want to separate themselves from Britain altogether? This decision will have heavy political implications for those currently fighting and for the rest of the population as it decides which side it is on. Each member of the Second Continental Congress will have to decide as well, and their decision will make history.

Agenda: 

Welcoming Remarks and Introduction– 9:00 – 9:15 a.m.

Adrienne Whaley, Manager of School Programs & Partnerships, Museum of the American Revolution

Ron Granieri, Executive Director, FPRI Center for the Study of America & the West

Colony Caucuses– 9:15 – 9:45 a.m.

Break– 9:45 – 10:15 a.m.

Plenary Session– 10:15 – 10:30 a.m.

  • Statements by each State
  • General Debate

Final Caucuses– 10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

  • Meet and match with other states

Open Discussion and Final Vote– 11:00 – 11:30 a.m.

De-brief and Wrap-up– 11:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Ron Granieri, Executive Director, FPRI Center for the Study of America & the West

Lunch with Keynote Speaker– 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Phillip Mead, Chief Historian, Museum of the American Revolution

Guided Tour of Museum– 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Forming a More Perfect Union: A Historical Simulation for Students

In this historical simulation, students took on the roles of actual delegates to the Constitutional Convention in order to experience first-hand the debates that led to the Connecticut Compromise, the establishment of our system of government, and the creation of the U.S. Constitution.

It’s the summer of 1787. The United States of America, having secured their independence from Britain, is experiencing severe growing pains. The form of government initially created for the USA, the Articles of Confederation, has not proven strong enough to manage relations among thirteen very different states spread across the Atlantic Seaboard, let alone to manage the possibilities of westward expansion. As a result, a group of fifty-five representatives of twelve states (Rhode Island chose to stay away) gathered to draft and debate a new constitution. They arrived with different visions of the future, and the document they produced was the product of intense debate and compromise. How would you have voted that summer in Philadelphia?