Using primary texts uploaded, choose two pro-slavery and two anti-slavery documents and write a 750-word essay that demonstrates how the proponents and opponents of slavery used the analytical concepts that framed this course when making their arguments (Mobility, Democracy, Capitalism, and Difference). You should identify the authors’ main point, and utilizing two of the four analytical concepts, examine how they defended their position. Your paper should conclude by explaining why some contemporaries of slavery may have found certain arguments compelling, while others found them offensive (to conclude effectively, you will need to explain the historical context in which these texts were written, based on what you have read in the Keene text and learned in class discussion). NB: you are not expected to incorporate all of the sources listed, just those relevant to your approach to the paper prompt. Your paper must be submitted as a MS Word document, which can be attached and uploaded by clicking the red text, above.
Please note that the proslavery texts reflect the racism found in many quarters of nineteenth-century America. As historians, it is only right that we reject these views as we analyze how these writers constructed their defense of slavery. Other researchers have noted that the proslavery appeal to racism was intended to undermine the Abolitionist efforts to put forth “all men are created equal” as the core American value (see the antislavery texts). Please beware that the level of racism seen in these documents can be shocking and disturbing to modern readers.
No secondary sources, other than the Keene text, should be integrated into this paper’s analysis.
- Your paper should briefly introduce your paper’s topic or question and provide a thesis statement. In a paper of this size, your introduction and thesis statement should appear on the first page, in the paper’s first paragraph.
- Your paper should show that you reasoned through the evidence in a fair-minded way. In other words, you should state (paraphrase) what your evidence says and not what you wish it said or think it should say. You need to state the evidence fairly, even if you think it wrong or offensive.
- Your paper should use evidence to answer the historical question. You need to explain how the evidence answers the question. The easiest way to figure this is to think through your evidence and argument using one or more of the key concepts for this course.
- Your paper should briefly explain an implication or limitation of your analysis. For an implication, you might consider how your analysis sheds light on one of the course’s key terms. For a limitation, you might note which key concepts your analysis does not (or cannot) address.
- Your paper should develop and organize your thoughts clearly and logically. Outlining is a necessary, but not required, step in writing a well-organized paper.
- Your paper should draw a conclusion that addresses the paper’s chief topic or question and that states your answer to the question or your contribution to the topic.
Anti-Slavery Documents: Declaration of Sentiments, Frederic Douglass, Lincoln, Truth, Walker
Pro-Slavery Documents: Christy, Fitzhugh Sociology, Hammond, Stephens Corner, Taney