CLASS ASSIGNMENTS FOR HISTORY H151, AUTUMN 2004

For all classes:

Keep in mind that the schedule in the syllabus is merely a schedule for when particular topics and readings will be discussed in class.  It is not at all necessarily a reading or study schedule for you; that you need to plan according to your individual situation.  Tip:  if you only begin the readings the day before class, you are too late; always begin at least two days beforehand and in most cases you will want to allow more time.  You have five days from the first class meeting until the second class meeting so right now is the time to start an intelligent study schedule for yourself.

Note:  The daily assignments you see below are in addition to or supplemental to the assignments listed in the course syllabus.  Exercises from Learning American History will be collected on the day indicated on the syllabus schedule.  Be prepared to turn them in at every class meeting on which they are due.

For success in class participation, you need at minimum--for each class--to be prepared to listen carefully, raise questions, respond to questions, and discuss in an informed way (i.e., you've done the reading and thought about it!) the issues based on the readings for the particular day.  Also, you should come to class each day prepared to identify and explain the significance of the identification terms for that day. 

I do not expect that you will necessarily have precise, clear answers to all or even most of the various questions you see below.  I do expect that you will have thought about the questions and that you will be willing to offer answers for each of them. These questions are meant to be a guide for your study and for our discussion; they are not meant to limit or exclude the discussion of other issues.  Don’t hesitate to raise issues not comprised by the questions below.

Special instructions for studying the documents in Retrieving the American Past: 

You will be reading and studying one or more documents from Retrieving the American Past (RTAP) for most of the class meetings in History H151.  For each of these documents, consider the following points and be prepared to offer an explanation to the class for each of them:

 

1.  Name three potential historical topics for which the document would be a good source for research.   (Don’t hesitate to state obvious topics, but for at least one of them, try being more speculative, more imaginative, about a potential topic.)

 

2.  What does the document reveal.  Focus by picking a topic from readings or class presentations to which the document is closely related (e.g., the first document, by John Smith—the peopling of Early America) and analyze the document for the kind of information it contains pertaining to this topic. 

 

3.  Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the document as a primary source of evidence by considering the level of confidence you have in the information you garner from the document:

     --what information do you find in the document about which you are quite certain, such that you would consider it “knowledge” about the topic?

     --what information are you less certain about?  Why are you less certain? 

 

4. To better understand the document, to make it more useful to your research into a topic, what additional knowledge or skills would you like to have?

 

FOR CLASS ON:

SEPTEMBER 28, 2004

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

Prince Henry the Navigator        Protestant Reformation             Martin Waldseemuller                 

Mestizos and mulattos             Codex Mendoza       The Black Death   

Tenochtitlan            Tainos        New Spain            Juan de Onate

2.  Learning American History (LAH), ch. 1.  For question 3 of exercise B, you need not write a paragraph.  Instead, come to class prepared to present your answer orally.  Put your name at the top of pp. 8 and 11, and be prepared to tear those pages from your book to hand in.

3.  Discovering the American Past (DAP): FIRST ENCOUNTERS--THE CONFRONTATION                  BETWEEN CORTES AND MONTEZUMA

         Think about:

    The Historical Context

---What is it?  That is, what other historical events or issues do we need to connect to the encounter of Cortes and Montezuma to understand it well?

    The Historical Evidence

---What sources of evidence are presented to you in this chapter?   Select your two favorite sources of evidence and explain their strengths and limitations as sources of historical evidence.

    The Historical Event

---What happened in the confrontation?  What early images did Europeans have of Native Americans and Native Americans of Europeans?  How might these images have affected behavior?

    The Historical Legacy

--What has been the predominant popular perception of Indians in your grandparents time? In your parents time?  In your own time?  When you think of America as a “melting pot,” are Native Americans excluded?  If not, how are they supposed to fit in?

    The Human Issues

---thinking broadly about human interactions and relationships, does this particular historical event raise any general issues in your mind?

4.  For Your Consideration:  Think about the following issue regarding the population of native peoples in the Americas at the time of first contact with Europeans:  The estimates of population by scholars in the early 20th century are much lower than the estimates of scholars in the later 20th century.  Early estimates placed the population for both North and South America at from 8 to 14 million, with about 1.1 million in North America.  Later estimates place the population at from 57 to 112 million for both North and South America, with 5 to 10 million in North America.   What might be some reasons for this large discrepancy?

5. Retrieving the American Past (RTAP):  Captain John Smith, “First Encounters”

 

SEPTEMBER 30

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the items below.  In addition, pick any one of them and write a paragraph (typewritten) on it as though you were writing for an examination.  Note:  I would like volunteers to email me their paragraph the day before class so that I can use some examples (without name attached) in class.

Powhattan       the Virginia Company          indentured servants                                                                        

tobacco           Lord Baltimore                   Bacon's Rebellion                                                                  

Barbados         headrights                          

2.  Learning American History, ch. 2.  What is the lesson about history that exercise ‘A’ is attempting to teach?  Perhaps not you, but many people find exercise ‘B’ more difficult that they anticipated.  Why is that? Go back to p. 1, and be prepared to explain the quotation by Ambrose Bierce.

3.  RTAP:  “Nathaniel Bacon Justifies Rebellion on Behalf of ‘The People’”.

 

OCTOBER 5---QUIZ 1

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

the Protestant Reformation   Roger Williams   John Winthrop    Thomas Hooker      New Netherland  

the Halfway Covenant         Salem witchcraft trials, 1692        William Penn         Navigation Acts    

Pine Tree Shilling            the Dominion of New England

2.  Learning American History, ch. 3.   On p. 29, what is it that R.G. Collingwood is saying?   Read exercises A and B carefully; you need not prepare a written answer to them.  For exercise B, do identify what you think are the causal factors for one of the three given episodes.  Be prepared to explain your thinking to the class.

3.  Discovering the American Past: THE THREAT OF ANNE HUTCHINSON

I.  Basic task ---What can we learn about the Puritan society of the Massachusetts Bay colony from the evidence revealed in this one primary source:  the proceedings of the examination of Anne Hutchinson before the General Court?

II.  Assignment --- Make a list of statements concerning the knowledge you can extract about Puritan society from this primary source:  in one group, put the knowledge you have high confidence in; in another group, put the knowledge that is more speculative, in which you have less confidence. 

  [You need not be exhaustive, but let your mind think freely, with focus on both particulars and more general types of statements.  As much as possible, confine your list to the knowledge gained only from the trial transcript.

 

4.  RTAP:   Records of the First Church of Salem, “The Role of the Puritan Congregation.”

 

 

OCTOBER 7

 

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

New England merchants        “Pennsylvania Dutch”     “The Best Poor Man’s Country”     Middle Passage  Olaudah Equiano       the Stono Rebellion        the “Great Awakening”       Enlightenment thinking

2.  Learning American History, ch. 4.  Be prepared to explain the Arab proverb on p. 41.  In question 2 of Exercise B, no essay is necessary.  Just be prepared to discuss, citing specific passages from your main text, The American Promise.

3.  Discovering the American Past: RHYTHMS OF COLONIAL LIFE: THE STATISTICS OF COLONIAL MASSACHUSETTS BAY  

I.  Assignment:

For simplicity's sake, let's break down the sources into two groups--demographic and economic.  Then think about answers to the three general questions below.  (If you prefer, feel free to deal with the more specific questions in the "questions to consider" part of the text, pp. 71-73.)

    ---Demographic (population) Sources: 1-6, 14-19, 22-24, 27

                                   and,

   ---Economic Sources: 7-13, 20-21, 25-26. 

                1.  Generally, what trends do you see occurring with regard to population in colonial America?

          ---write down at least three trends.

     2.  Generally, what economic trends do these sources reveal regarding colonial America?

         ---write down at least three trends

     3.  In what ways can you connect ("link") the demographic and economic trends? 

II.  Some Questions to Consider:

  A.  What connection--if any--is there between the social and economic trends revealed by the            statistics you studied in this chapter and the American Revolution?

  B.  To what extent is history the study of forces over which people have little control?

  C.  Do we learn more about a society by studying its leaders and elites, or by studying the mass of  the people?

 4.  RTAP:  “George Whitefield Comes to Middletown”; “Who Could Vote in Colonial American Society”

 

OCTOBER 12

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

French and Indian War      Albany Congress      Pontiac       Stamp Act      Samuel Adams              Townshend Acts           Coercive Acts           First Continental Congress     Lord Dunmore

2.  Discovering the American Past: WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN THE BOSTON MASSACRE?  THE TRIAL OF CAPTAIN THOMAS PRESTON

      I.   The Big Picture Question: ---What importance did the Boston Massacre have regarding the American Revolution?  (To answer this question do the following: place the event in its historical context--consider what took place in the half dozen years or so before and after the Boston massacre; and, study the engraving by Paul Revere--source 6.)

     II.  The Main Event Question and the Evidence.  Imagine yourself a member of the jury hearing Preston’s case.  Would you have voted guilty or not guilty?  Why?  (Keep in mind the English legal tradition that the accused is innocent until proven guilty.)

  --It is best of course to study all of the evidence, but at the least do the following:

     1.  Read Preston’s deposition.    

     2.  Read the accounts of at least five of the prosecution witnesses.

     3.  Read the accounts of at least five  defense witnesses       

     4.  Read the closing arguments.

     III.  Questions to Consider:

---To what extent are people in a crowd under the control of the crowd or manipulated by others in the crowd?  Are individuals in a crowd responsible for their individual acts?  

---How able are governing authorities, in this case the British, to control events and demographic, economic, and political trends?

3.  Learning American History.  Note: you are returning to chapter 3 here for exercise C.  This is not an easy assignment; when you're not sure, go with your best educated assessment.

 

OCTOBER 14 -- QUIZ 2

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

Abigail Adams        Second Continental Congress       Common Sense    Continental Army                              

Battle of Saratoga     Loyalists         French Alliance of 1778

2.  Learning American History, ch. 6.  For exercise B, you need do only items 2,4,6 OR items 3,5,7.  For exercise C, no essay is required; instead, be prepared to discuss question 1 under the "For Discussion" section on p. 87.

3.  RTAP:  A Loyalist Perspective on the American Revolution.’

 

OCTOBER 19

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

Mercy Otis Warren    Articles of Confederation     Paul Cuffe     Land Ordinances of 1784, 1785, and 1787 

Shay's Rebellion        The Virginia Plan        Antifederalists       The Federalist Papers

2.  Retrieving the American Past:  Federalist #1; Federalist #2; “An Anti-Federalist Critique of the Constitution”; “The Republican Wife”; “Republican Mothers”

 

OCTOBER 21

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

the Bill of Rights        Hamilton’s Report on Public Credit          (First) Bank of the United States               Hamilton's  Report on Manufactures        Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation      Treaty of Greenville    XYZ Affair             Alien and Sedition Acts         Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions

2.  Discovering the American Past: THE FIRST AMERICAN PARTY SYSTEM: THE                    PHILADELPHIA CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION OF  1794

I.  Key Question---Why did Fitzsimons lose the election?

II.  The Evidence

  A.  What kind of people voted for each candidate?  Use sources #11 and #18 for help.   Is answering this question as easy as the editors seem to suggest?

  B.  Arrange the other sources of evidence according to the four main approaches to the study of elections:

--candidates                 --issues (e.g., excise tax, Whiskey Rebellion)

--campaign (not relevant here--why not?)   --voters (what impersonal forces of history are acting on voters in Philadelphia in 1793-1794?). 

Study this evidence, looking for connections.  Then answer the key question.

  C.  Which evidence provides the strongest support for your answer to the key question?

III.  To Consider

---In general, what do you think is (are) the major determinant(s) of voting behavior among Americans today?

 3.  RTAP:  “Letters from an American Farmer”

OCTOBER 26--QUIZ 3

Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

Lewis and Clark Expedition      the “Revolution of 1800”       Aaron Burr      Marbury v. Madison     

 Louisiana Purchase          Embargo Act           Tecumseh            War of 1812                                            

The Law of Baron and Feme              the Missouri Compromise

---RTAP:  “George Washington’s Farewell Address”

OCTOBER 28

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

election of 1828         the “Trail of Tears”        nullification crisis           the bank “war”

2.  Discovering the American Past: ASSESSING HISTORICAL ALTERNATIVES:  THE REMOVAL  REMOVAL OF THE CHEROKEES, 1838-39

I.  Key Questions:

  ---What does the evidence say about the attitudes Americans held toward Native Americans?

  ---What were some of the alternatives available to the actual removal policy?

  ---Most fundamentally, why do you think the Cherokee Removal took place?

II.  The Evidence:

---What arguments are being made in each of the six sources of evidence?

---Aside from the viewpoint on Indian removal, what attitudes are being expressed about Native American culture, about white culture?

III.  To Consider: 

---Should a cultural minority resist assimilation? Explain.

3.      RTAP:  “The Bank Veto”; “The Whig Response to Jackson

 

NOVEMBER 2—QUIZ 4

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

theWaltham system”                 transportation revolution               panic of 1819                                         

John Deere, Cyrus McCormick, and Elisha Root       “no Irish need apply”

2.  Discovering the American Past: AWAY FROM HOME: THE WORKING GIRLS OF LOWELL

I.  Key Questions:

            A.  What were some of the major changes taking place in the early 19th century American society and economy?

B.  What was the “cult of true womanhood.

C.  Why were people anxious and defensive about Lowell and the factory girls who worked there?  What did Americans fear?

II.  The Evidence:

A.  Keep the following questions in mind as you study the sources: 1) what message is being conveyed; 2) who is sending the message; 3) why is the message being sent; 4) for whom is the message intended.

            B.  It is preferable to read all of the evidence, but at the least do one of the following:

1.  Study sources 1 and 2.  What is the main point, do you think, of source 1?  What does source 2 tell us about the Lowell system?  Would you have wanted to work at Lowell?

                        2.  Study sources 1, 3, 4, 14 and 15  Do you see any conflict between sources 1, 3, 4 and sources 14 15 

                        3.  What images are being presented in sources 5-13? (Read also source 1.)

                        4.  Read sources 16-22,  views of individuals.  What messages are being conveyed?

 

NOVEMBER 4

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

the Second Great Awakening        William Lloyd Garrison      temperance movement      transcendentalists   

the Oneida community                   Seneca Falls convention, 1848           Harriet Tubman

2.  Learning American History, ch. 7.  Exercises A and B only.

3.  RTAP:  “Democracy in America”; “Excerpt from ‘Plan of the West Roxbury Community’”; “Sarah Grimke Challenges the Clergy”; “Woman in the Nineteenth Century”; “Birth of the Women’s Rights Movement”

 

NOVEMBER 9

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

Denmark Vesey          George Fitzhugh           the cotton gin          miscegenation          Nat Turner   

yeoman farmers                 poor whites

2.  Discovering the American Past: THE “PECULIAR INSTITUTION”: SLAVES TELL THEIR OWN STORY

I.  Key Questions:

  A.  What did slaves think about the institution of slavery?  (Consider the four “subquestions” listed on p.198.)

  B.  Why would slaves hide their thoughts and feelings from whites?   What would slaves show  to whites in place of those thoughts and feelings?

II.  The Evidence:

  A.  The sources of evidence in this chapter are reminiscences (oral history and folklore), songs, and two narratives by escaped slaves. 

  B.  It is preferable to read all of the evidence, but at the least do the following:

    1.  Read at least eight of the stories in sources 1-18. ---Look for hidden meanings.  Who or what do the animals in the stories represent?

    2.  Read all of the songs, sources 19-23.  ---What emotions do they display?

    3. Read at least one of the slave narratives.  ---What does it reveal about attitudes toward slavery?

III.  To Consider:

---Is there any group of people which leaves no historical record?

  1. RTAP:  “A Virginia State Official Explains Nat Turner’s Revolt”; “A Northern Editor Reacts to Nat Turner’s Revolt”;  “The American Anti-Slavery Society Declares its Sentiments”

 

 NOVEMBER 11 -- HOLIDAY

 

NOVEMBER 16--QUIZ 5

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

manifest destiny               the Mormons                 Alamo and Goliad                election of 1844    

“Mr. Polk’s War”             California Gold Rush

2.  Learning American History, ch. 8.  Exercise A only.

 

NOVEMBER 18--RESEARCH  PROJECT  DUE

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

Wilmot Proviso    Kansas-Nebraska Act        Know-Nothings           John Brown        Election of 1860    

Fugitive Slave Law          "Bleeding Kansas"        Dred Scott decision 

2.  Discovering the American Past:  Slavery and Territorial Expansion: The Wilmot Proviso Debate, February 1847

I.  Key Questions:

 

 ---Why was the Wilmot Proviso an important issue?

 

 

II.  The Evidence

 

  A.  BEFORE reading the documents starting on p. 213, carefully read the “Questions to Consider” section starting on p. 239.  Don’t feel you need to answer all of the questions in that section, but as you read the documents, organize your analysis using the six “central points” the editors list on p. 240.  This will be the basis of our discussion.

 

  B.  In the various arguments for and against the Wilmot Proviso, does the issue of the morality of slavery have much weight?

 

  C.  We know what happened in the years after the debate over the Wilmot Proviso.  Try to imagine that you do not know.  Focusing on just the documents in this chapter, does it seem that a war between North and South is inevitable?  Explain.

3.  Learning American History, ch. 9.  You need do only three of the seven items in exercise A.  The three you do is your choice.

4.  RTAP:  “The Lincoln-Douglas Debates”; “Northern Opinion on the Eve of Conflict”

 

NOVEMBER 23

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

George McClellan         Jefferson Davis           Ft. Sumter           Robert E. Lee

2.  Retrieving the American Past: WHY UNION SOLDIERS FOUGHT

From James McPherson, “The Best Government on God’s Footstool”:

  a.  What are the principal sources from which McPherson draws his evidence? 

  b.  Who is underrepresented or not represented in these sources?

  c.  According to this evidence, what are the main reasons Northern soldiers had for fighting the war?

  d.  McPherson mentions that Hemingway mocked sentiments similar to those many of the soldiers voiced and that we would do so today?   Do you agree? Why?

  e.  Do you think McPherson’s sample of the evidence is fairly representative of the opinion of            Northern soldiers?  Why?

  f.  Are regular people today as politically aware as these soldiers were?

  g.   Does the tone of the letters change as the war progresses?  Explain.

Retrieving the American Past: WHY CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS FOUGHT

    From Randall Jimerson, The Private Civil War:

      a. 

    From Reid Mitchell, Civil War Soldiers:

      a. 

 

NOVEMBER 30

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

Emancipation Proclamation        Land-Grant College Act       Homestead Act       Dorothea Dix              

Clement L. Vallandigham           New York draft riots            Vicksburg and Gettysburg   

2.  Discovering the American Past: THE PRICE FOR VICTORY: THE DECISION TO USE AFRICAN AMERICAN TROOPS

    I.  Key Questions:

    ---What arguments were made--by the North and by the South--for using Black soldiers?

    ---Why was there hesitation--in the North and in the South--in deciding to use Black soldiers?

    II.  The Evidence

    Read all of the evidence.  It doesn’t take as much time as it might appear.  Information to help you answer         the two key questions should be apparent.

    III.  To Consider:

    ---Was racial prejudice the real problem in America?  Did the Civil War address this problem?

3.  Learning American History, ch. 10.  You need do only exercise B.

 

DECEMBER 2

1.  Be able to identify and explain to the class the historical significance of the following:

Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, Dec. 1863              black codes                                           

Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments        Susan B. Anthony        Compromise of 1877      

2.  Discovering the American Past  GRANT, GREELEY, AND THE POPULAR PRESS:  THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1872