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HUM 111 Midterm Exam

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Axia College Material
Appendix A
Midterm Exam
Access the Week Four Electronic Reserve Readings located under the materials section of
your student website.
Read, watch, and listen to the media presented on the Boston Tea Party.
Write a paragraph of approximately 100 words for each section listed below.
1. Using the critical thinking skills you have gained so far and referring to the materials
provided for this assignment, identify two possible strategies that Thomas Hutchinson or
Samuel Adams likely used to develop and improve their thinking as those historical
events unfolded prior to taking a stand and acting according to their beliefs.
The first strategy Samuel Adams used to develop his thinking was curiosity. He started by
looking for the imperfections in things. As the situation gradually became worse due to
taxation laws, the Adams began to think about things that could be improved to better the
situation. He began to see that others shared his discontent and along with them, he was
able to recognize the opportunity in the controversy. The second strategy could have
simply been observation. He was able to see each event as it happened which allowed
him to avoid the hearsay of others and get a first-hand opinion of what was happening.
2. Explain the importance of building a foundation for critical and creative thinking when
evaluating historical events such as the Boston Tea Party.
Building a foundation for critical thinking is important in a number of ways. The first
reason is to help a person understand their free will. This enables them to recognize how
influence affects each decision. Another reason is it shows the importance of truth by
acknowledging different ways of interpreting it along with the idea that people do not
create truth. Building a foundation also allows people to realize the difference in knowing
something and thinking they know it. Building a foundation essentially covers the basics
of critical thinking to ease the challenge of not only changing, but developing thinking
skills.
3. Explain the basis of the moral judgments made by Samuel Adams and Thomas
Hutchinson.
The basis of moral judgment made by Thomas Hutchinson came from the idea that he
was trying to make everyone happy so to speak and felt like it was his duty to uphold the
law. The colonists were able to buy inexpensive tea, the East India Company was making
money which avoided bankruptcy, and the government was still getting money from
taxes. The moral judgment for Samuel Adams on the other hand, was based on the idea
that Parliament was trying to demonstrate its taxing power through the Tea Act. Other
concerns included the loss of profit from not being able to smuggle tea as well as
parliament creating other monopolies.
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4. What steps do you believe Samuel Adams and Thomas Hutchinson took toward
becoming individuals and which steps ultimately made them such important historical
figures?
Thomas Hutchinson most likely acknowledged the influences that had shaped his
thinking and used that to his advantage. Before his time as a Governor, Hutchinson was
very influential on others but he was also influenced by those same people. Samuel
Adams seemed to try to sort out his ideas and follow through with them. He was an active
protestor, led organizations, and was a leader of the extremists. What made them both
important historical figure was their refusal to give in. Whether it was to keep from looking
bad or the strong desire to get what they wanted, each used any means necessary to
follow through with what they thought was right.
5. In this class, we have discussed common habits that hinder critical thinking. Which of
these habits may have been a factor in how Samuel Adams and Thomas Hutchinson
viewed the issues that led to the Boston Tea Party? How could they have overcome those
habits?
For Samuel Adams, the habits that were most likely factors were resistance to change,
stereotyping, and self-deception. With Thomas Hutchinson, the habits that influenced
how he viewed the issues were probably face saving, conformity, and self-deception also.
The easiest way to overcome all of these habits would have been to be objective and
open to all ideas. For face saving, Hutchinson could have recognized that his ego was
influencing his decisions allowing him to make better ones. The resistance to change and
stereotyping habits could have been avoided by taking a step back and realizing the big
picture.
6. What is one important distinction you could not overlook making when critically evaluating
the information provided in these materials about the Boston Tea Party? Clarify the
importance of that distinction.
The main distinction I could not overlook was the distinction between the person and the
idea. Throughout school in almost every History class, the Boston Tea Party and the
Boston Massacre are covered. Having prior knowledge on the topics created an opinion
of who I wanted to side with before I even read the material. I realize, however, the
importance of the distinction because accepting or rejecting ideas based on the person
who expressed them can deprive people of information and cloud their judgment.
7. What strategies of critical reading, listening, and viewing did you utilize when evaluating
the provided materials?
Some strategies I used for critical listening were to set aside preconceptions, focus on
the message, and express my judgment. I knew going into it that I already had an opinion
on the topic before I had even started. I had to make a conscious effort to set it all aside
in order to understand everything and focus on the message. For critical reading, I
skimmed the work, read the work, reflected on my views, and expressed judgment. There
wasn’t anything that I saw that could be viewed but if I had viewed something, I would
have tried to stay objective to it and know that it’s still open to errors.
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8. Considering what you have learned about the Boston Tea Party, Samuel Adams, and
Thomas Hutchinson, apply your creativity to describe what could have been done
proactively to avoid the incident.
Instead of holding the ship at the dock, Thomas Hutchinson could have taken some time
to look at the entire situation objectively. He could have also put his own ambitions and
ego aside in order to make more clear and informed decisions instead of using his power
as Governor to do what he thought was best. Samuel Adams should have first tried to
look at all aspects of the situation. Had he done that, he might have been able to look
past the taxes and see that it was still beneficial to them. If he still saw a problem, getting
a petition of some sort and trying to talk to Hutchinson should have been next. Thinking of
different scenarios and their outcomes could have been helpful to both parties.
9. What techniques could you use to regain a level of curiosity about history or other
subjects you learned previously in school?
Probably the first technique I could use to regain some curiosity is to look for the
imperfections in things. That would, in a way, give me something to look forward to when
reviewing a subject and create a sense of motivation to look for those imperfections. The
next would be to search for the causes. In science and other subjects, looking for the
cause of something can be just as exciting as waiting for the result. Another is to
recognize the opportunity in controversy. That’s how some of our greatest discoveries are
made as well as changing what is accepted. It requires people to actually think about a
topic and possibly think of different ways to solve the problem.
10. Explain at least two key elements for producing ideas that you believe led the American
colonists to the Boston Tea Party and the eventual American Revolution.
The first element that helped produce ideas was to stimulate the imagination. The very
first step to this is to force uncommon responses. Given the number of people that were
involved, the number of ideas that were produced could have easily influenced the
Boston Tea Party. This element requires the person to think outside the box which is
exactly what happened. Another method that helped produce ideas is aiming for
originality. The thought behind this was probably to the degree that nothing has works so
far so something new and original must be tried in order to get their attention.
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Anonymous
Excellent resource! Really helped me get the gist of things.

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