||The Rise of the Cotton Kingdom: Evolution of a Slave Society
Divine, pages 12(on Portuguese involvement in the slave trade), 73-79(skip
tan pages) and 374-384
How does the southern economy change after 1793? How does the economic change brought about by the Cotton Gin alter southern society?
Video: Excerpt of Amistad
2. Why did the expanding black population cause lawmakers to draw up strict slave codes?
3. How did the economies of the Upper and Lower South differ? How did the slave experience of the Upper and Lower South differ?
4. Why did short staple cotton prove to be the ideal plantation crop? Why was it especially advantageous for slave labor? Why did cotton production allow the South to remain relatively undiversified economically?
5. What impact did the cotton gin and the rise of cotton have on slavery in the U.S.?
6. Was slavery profitable? What conflicting arguments exist concerning the profitability of slavery in the South? Which do you think is most convincing? Why?
7. Describe the social structure of the white South. Why did non-slaveholding white Southerners tolerate and support slavery? Why could we classify the antebellum South as an underdeveloped region?
8. Why do historians label the antebellum South as a "slave society?" What are the implications of this term?
||Constructing a Picture of Slave Society in the Ante-Bellum South
Be prepared to Discuss The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass
||The Question of Agency: Revolt, Resistance, Runaways and Religion
Divine, pp. 390-398
Be prepared to Discuss The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass
To what degree and in what ways did slaves in the antebellum South have control over their lives? Did they have "agency?"
2. Why was the typical fugitive a young, unmarried male?
3. Why might the presence of "free Negroes" have threatened the institution of slavery? How did the North and the South seek to control this population?
4. How might religion have served as a means of resistance? In what sense was it a vehicle for strengthening the "slave community?"
5. How did slaves create a culture that permited them to survive the institution of slavery? In what ways did slaves develop a culture independent of their masters?
||Abolitionism and the Southern Defense of Slavery
Divine, pages 384-90
Why did slaveholders begin to ardently defend the institution of slavery in the 1830s? How did Southerners defend the institution of slavery against the abolitionist critique ? Why did non-slaveholding white people of the South defend slavery?
2. What steps did Southerners take in the 1840s and 50s to prevent anti-slavery ideas from being expressed in the South?
3. Why is Uncle Tom's Cabin considered an abolitionist text? How does Stowe appeal to the sentiments of her northern readership?
4. You are a plantation owner and your northern friend, a factory owner is visiting. How might you defend your labor system to him? In what ways is your slave system superior to his free labor system?
||Manifest Destiny and the Mexican
In what sense is Manifest Destiny an extension of ideals long held by
Americans? In what sense is it a departure? How did the Mexican
War reflect ideas of Manifest Destiny? How did it aggravate sectional
2. What attracted American settlers to Texas during the 1820s? What was the relationship between the settlers of Texas and the Mexican government?
3. What were the causes of the Texas Revolution? What is the significance of the battle of the Alamo?
4. Why did many citizens of the Texas Republic expect the United States to annex Texas after the War for Texas Independence? Why didn’t the United States annex Texas immediately?
5. According to John O’Sullivan what is the United States’ destiny? What does this indicate about the way Americans of the 1840s see themselves and their role in the world?
6. Why did the U.S. almost go to war with Britain over Oregon during the 1840s? How did the U.S. avoid war? What were the terms of the settlement?
7. What were the causes of the U.S. war with Mexico? What were the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo? What did the U.S. gain from the war? Why didn’t the U.S. annex all of Mexico?
8. Why did some Americans (especially Whigs) oppose war with Mexico?
||Expansion and the Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Western Territories
Divine, pages 280 (on Missouri Compromise) and 402-413
How did the acquisition of new territories in the 1840’s bring the issue of slavery to the forefront of the American consciousness?
2. What does the caning of Senator Sumner by Preston Brooks and the American reaction to it indicate about sectional relations in 1856?
3. Why does the debate over slavery in the 1850’s largely center around the status of slavery in the territories? How the results of the Mexican War aggravate this debate?
4. What was the Wilmot Proviso? In what sense did it uphold the principles of the Free-Soil Movement? What impact did the Wilmot Proviso have on the structure of the second party system? What was the fate of the Wilmot Proviso? What might this tell us about the nature of the debate over slavery at that time?
5. What is “popular (squatter) sovereignty”? Why would some Democrats
6. What were the provisions of the Compromise of 1850 as devised by Henry Clay? Was it truly a compromise? What impact did the Compromise have on sectional relations?
7. What were Stephen Douglas’ reasons for wanting to organize the Kansas-Nebraska territories in 1854?
8. What was the Kansas-Nebraska Act? What was the Northern response
to it? Why?
9. What led to the emergence of the Know-Nothing party in the 1850s? What led to its popularity? Why did the Know-Nothings fail to become a permanent, national party?
|Day Seven||Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Rise of the
What was the ideological basis of the new Republican Party?
2. What was its stance on slavery?
3. How was the Republican Party viewed in the North? In the South?
4. What is Douglas' depiction of Lincolnís stance on slavery in the Lincoln-Douglas debates? To what degree is it accurate?
5. What is Lincoln's stance on slavery as articulated in the Lincoln-Douglas debates? What arguments does he use to defend his position? What is Lincolnís critique of Douglas and Douglasí stance on slavery?
6. What impact do these debates have on Lincolnís stature as a politician? What impact did it have on the stature of the Republican Party?
||Slaveholder Conspiracy: the Dred Scott Case and
Divine, pages 413-414 (on Kansas), 416-417 (bottom) and 418-419
2. What are the essential facts of the Dred Scott case (be brief)? What were the main conclusions of the Supreme Courtís decision?
3. How was the decision interpreted by Republicans and other Northerners? Why? What impact did the decision have on sectional relations?
4. What led to the controversy over the Lecompton Constitution in Kansas? Why did it provoke such an uproar in the U.S. Congress?
5. What impact did the Lecompton controversy have on sectional relations? On the Democratic Party? On the Republican Party?
||The House Divided: The Election of 1860 and Secession
Divine, 421-28 and 439-41
Why did the victory of Republican Abraham Lincoln in the Election of 1860 result in the secession of South Carolina and, subsequently the states of the Deep South?
2. Why did the Presidential election of 1860 result in the secession of the states of the Deep South?
3. To what extent was the crisis between North and South one dominated by the issue of Southern slavery. In what sense was the crisis a clash between two cultures? Why did the conflict come to the forefront during the 1850s? Was the conflict inevitable? Was it irreconcilable?
4. What was the constitutional theory behind secession? How did South Carolina and the states of the Deep South justify secession in 1860-61?
5. In what sense was secession a conservative revolution?
Fieldston News Network- NEWS ALERT: The Impending Crisis
The period before the Civil War was one of the most crucial and colorful in American history. Through "The Year in Review", one of the most popular television programs on FNN (the Fieldston News Network), we are going to relive that era. For your next project, I am going to divide you into news teams and have each group produce one episode (about 6-8 minutes) on a given year. On TUESDAY, JANUARY 13 and WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14 your group will have the chance to coordinate and rehearse your program. The next day your group will present the story, so that the other teams can view your efforts and you can view theirs.
Team One: 1845-1847. Major Events: Texas annexed, Oregon,
Mexican War, Wilmot Proviso, Congressional elections.
Team Two: 1849-1852. Major Events: Gold Rush, Compromise
of 1850, Congressional elections, Uncle Tom's Cabin
Team Three: 1854-1856. Major Events: Kansas-Nebraska Act,
Brooks-Sumner incident, "Bleeding Kansas."
Team Four: 1856-1857. Major Events: the Presidential
Election, Dred Scott case, Lecompton Controversy
Team Five: 1858-1860. Major Events: Lincoln-Douglas debates,
Harpers Ferry, Pres. Election, Crittendon Plan
1 Thanks to Mr. Michael Flamm for the concept for this simulation.
The title refers to an outstanding book on the 1850s by David Potter.
I recommend you use it, along with the other books on reserve in the library.
1. The anchor will introduce the year and provide an overview of the major events of the year. (1 minute)
2. He/she will then switch to the reporter, who will provide a feature story on one of the major events,including an interview with an important historical figure who is "on the scene." (2-3 minutes)
3. The reporter will send the program back to the anchor, who will switch to the commentator for some commentary (analysis, opinions, etc.) on one of the year's major stories. (2 minutes)
4. When the commentator finishes, the anchor will retake control, wrap up the program with an item or two (humorous? tragic?), and then sign off. (1 minute)
NOTE: THE TIMES ARE APPROXIMATE AND YOU MAY USE NOTECARDS DURING
1. Each student must submit their "story", including dialogue, in writing on the date assigned (no last-minute ad-libbing please).
2. Each story must include some proof of research. You should use at least one serious source other than the textbook or encyclopedias.
3. Be prepared to present your material clearly and convincingly
4. Remember to save your notes to study from for the Unit Test/Midterm
I am looking for accuracy, creativity, wit, and style in these presentations. Anything that you use (props, costumes, graphics, visuals, etc.) to enhance your presentations will be held in your favor. Here are some sources you might use:
Graebner, Norm. Empire on the Pacific
There are many more, so please see the librarian or me if you need assistance.
There are many books on reserve.
THE YEAR IN REVIEW EVALUATION SHEET2
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1 2 3
1 2 3
2The evaluation sheet was designed by Ms. Rebecca Reimers.