Final Essay

For our Final Essay of the class, I am going to try something new. One challenge of an online class is to see how well students comprehend the material throughout the semester and relate it all together. In a face-to-face class this can be achieved through lecture, but it is difficult in an online environment that focuses so much on textbook learning. Just FYI, I rarely use the textbook in my face-to-face classes. Here though, most of the history is via Open Stax. That is okay; it’s just a different way to learn. It is certainly easier for your individual schedules! With this in mind though, I had to change my Final Essay.

The Final Essay for this class is a two-part essay. You are going to pick two of the questions listed below and answer them separately. You must pick one essay from each group. In other words, you are writing two separate essays in one submission but you may only answer one question from Prompt Group #1 and one question from Prompt Group #2. All of the factual material for the essays has to come from the textbook and you have to directly cite the pages in the textbook you used to write the essay. I cannot stress this enough!! Since the learning material was textbook and not lecture, and, since the objective of the essay is to ascertain how well you understood the material, I need to have the requirement that all historical information comes from Open Stax and it must be cited. Please do not use any online sources or try to Google these. It will ultimately hurt your grade. The textbook has more than enough material to answer these questions. Plus, the point of these essays is to see how well you can take the textbook info and critically create an essay. Yes, that is a lot of bold print. Sorry, but I want to make this clear :).

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Please double space (11 or 12pt font- Times New Roman or Arial), both essays and combine them together into one submission. The two essays you choose should be separated, but put them in the same word document or pdf.

Each essay should be two pages minimum. There is no maximum.

Title each essay by writing the prompt in bold. It needs to be clear to which prompt you are responding. Yes, I should be able to tell through your essay, but… let’s be on the safe side.

Clearly cite your information in the paper. Do not just list the textbook at the end. Since the only source you may use is the textbook, this is easily done by chapter.section and parentheses. For example, *really pertinent, factual, super information you got from the textbook that completely answers the topic* (12.1).

Here is the list of the Final Essay prompts. Remember, you are choosing one, and only one, from each group.

Prompt Group #1

1. Was race identified with slavery before the era of European exploration? Why or why not? How did slavery’s association with race change the institution’s character?

2. What is meant by the Columbian Exchange? Who was affected the most by the exchange?

3. How did chattel slavery differ from indentured servitude? How did the former system come to replace the latter? What were the results of this shift?

4. How did the ideas of the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening offer opposing outlooks to British Americans? What similarities were there between the two schools of thought?

5. History is filled with unintended consequences. How do the British government’s attempts to control and regulate the colonies from 1763 – 1774 provide a case in point? How did the aims of the British measure up against the results of their actions?

6. Describe the ideology of republicanism. As a political philosophy, how did republicanism compare to the system that prevailed in Great Britain?

7. How did the process of creating and ratifying the Constitution, and the language of the Constitution itself, confirm the positions of African Americans, women, and Indians in the new republic? How did these roles compare to the stated goals of the republic?

8. Describe Alexander Hamilton’s plans to address the nation’s financial woes. Which aspects proved most controversial, and why? What elements of the foundation Hamilton laid can still be found in the system today?

9. Early industrialization in the Northeast produced great benefits and also major problems. What were they? Who benefited and who suffered? Did the benefits outweigh the problems, or vice versa?

10. Does Alexis de Tocqueville’s argument about the tyranny of the majority reflect American democracy today? Provide examples to support your answer.

11. Consider the annexation of Texas and the Mexican-American War from a Mexican perspective. What would you find objectionable about American actions, foreign policy, and attitudes in the 1840s?

Prompt Group #2

1. Does the history of the cotton kingdom support or undermine the Jeffersonian vision of white farmers on self-sufficient farms? Explain your answer.

2. In what ways were antebellum feminists radical? In what ways were they traditional?

3. Based on the text of the Lincoln-Douglas debates (Section 14.3 and you should also use the Click & Explore link), what was the position of the Republican Party in 1858? Was the Republican Party an abolitionist party? Why or why not?

4. Could the differences between the North and South have been worked out in late 1860 and 1861? Could war have been avoided? Provide evidence to support your answer.

5. Consider social, political, and economic equality. In what ways did Radical Reconstruction address and secure these forms of equality? Where did it fall short?

Each essay is worth 100 points for a total of 200 points.

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