Each question has to be six sentences long.
Required Text: Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! (Seagull – 6th Edition)Vol. 1. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2017. ISBN: 978-0-393-67914-4
1. Chapter 3&4: The New York Times’ recent “1619 Project” aims to “re-frame the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the United States’ national narrative.”
Recently, the White House held a “Conference on American History” in which President Trump called the New York Times’ 1619 project a “twisted web of lies.”
Based on what you learned in Chapters 3 and 4, do you think learning about slavery and its consequences in the New World is important to understanding the history of the founding of the United States of America? Why or why not?
2.Chapter 5: In the American Revolution, the American colonists won a war against the British Army, which was the greatest military power in the world at the time. How did they do it? Do you think the British could have won if they have changed their strategy? Is there anything the British could have done differently to change the outcome?
3. Chapter 6&7: Originally, the American Revolution was fought to change their government–to cast off the rule of the British Crown. But did it become something more than that? Did a revolution to change the government become a revolution to change society too? How so / how not? What was so “revolutionary” about the American Revolution? Did it change more than just the government? Be sure to defend your answers with concrete examples!
4. Chapter 8: Why was Hamilton’s financial plan so controversial? Why did his plan cause such passionate opposition? Looking at the United States today, do you think Hamilton’s ideas won out over Jefferson’s? How so/ not?
5. Chapter 9: The Market Revolution changed nearly aspect of American life, from labor / class conflict to transportation / technology and immigration and gender roles. How would you describe these changes and their consequences for Americans as a whole? Do you think these changes were mostly “good” or “bad?” Be sure to use concrete examples to defend your answers!
6. Chapter 10: In your textbook, the period 1810-1840 is referred to at one point as the “Triumph of Democracy.” Do you think this is an accurate characterization of the period? Why or why not? Be sure to show you understand both the ways democracy expanded AND the ways it was limited in this period.
Chapter 11: In some older historical scholarship, historians incorrectly concluded that slavery in the U.S. South was a harmless institution and that slaveholders treated slaves well. Historians a long time ago made this assumption since slaves in the U.S. South “did not resist or try to stop slavery.” Based on what you learned in this chapter and lecture, how would you respond to these historians who used to say this? Were slaves “treated well” in the U.S. South? Does that even matter? Why or why not? Also, did slaves “resist” their enslavement? In what way?
Chapter 12: In the 1840s, there was a major split in the abolitionist movement over the issue of women’s rights. If you were an abolitionist in the 1840s, would you be more likely to agree with the female abolitionists who argued that women’s equality should be one of the goals of the abolitionist movement, or would you be more likely to side with the abolitionists who argued that women’s equality and slavery were two separate issues and, therefore, the movement should focus only on abolishing slavery? Be sure to defend your answers!
Chapter 13: Many things happened in the 1840s and 50s that set the stage for the Civil War between the South and North. Is there a certain moment (examples: Mexican-American War, Compromise of 1850, “Bleeding Kansas,” Dred Scott decision, John Brown’s raid, election of Abraham Lincoln, etc.) at which you think the Civil War became “inevitable?” Was it ever “inevitable?” Why did the North and South decide there was no other choice but to go to war with each other? Be sure to defend your answers with examples!
W. W. Norton & Co., 2017.
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