Posted: November 18th, 2016
The Book: “Of the People” History of the United States To 1877 Volume 1, Third Edition, James Oakes and Others Readings: Oakes, Chapter 14 I have to have parenthetical citations and quotations. I need to show quotations and citations. I need to have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Try to include a balance of your own thoughts combined with specific examples from your studies. Make sure to include several key quotes from the text in your essay. Write a paper on the topic that is provided, using the paper to show your knowledge of the readings. Try to include a balance of your own thoughts combined with specific examples from your studies. TAKE SEVERAL QUOTES FROM THE TEXT. The Union in Peril To understand the political crisis that led to the Civil War, it is important to understand the political values and goals of three general groups: white northerners, white southerners and African Americans. For whites, both northern and southern, the important issue was the future of the West. Although there was a strong abolitionist movement in the North, and the Republican Party represented this movement to a degree, most white northerners were less concerned with abolishing slavery and more concerned with not seeing it spread throughout the United States; particularly to the West. White southerners recognized that if the West was closed to slavery, then northerners would gradually surround slaveholders and the rest of traditional southern society, geographically and politically. This would make the South politically impotent at the national level and would leave it vulnerable to northern whims, including the possibility of the abolishment of slavery. For African Americans the issue was freedom. For those Americans who were enslaved this was of course a difficult matter. Major slave rebellions were few and their cost was high. A more common tactic would be to attempt to escape and blend into free black communities. Thousands of enslaved Americans attempted to run away through the Underground Railroad. Of course free blacks were critical to the success of the Underground Railroad. Free blacks identified with those who were enslaved, and pushed the issue of freedom whenever they could. When the Civil War starts to develop, it will be these Americans, both free and enslaved that are, perhaps at least legally, the most potentially powerless group in the nation, who will force the issue to be a decision on would slavery exist at all within the United States. When you read how the events of Chapter 14 unfold, try to think in terms of how Americans would react to these events. What message would be sent to a southerner when he reads about the Wilmot Proviso that tries to prohibit slavery in any lands acquired from the U.S.Mexican War? How would white and black northerners feel when they heard about the Fugitive Slave Act that comes out of the Compromise of 1850? How would the nation feel when it hears about the KansasNebraska Act, “Bleeding Kansas”, the Dred Scott decision and John Brown? It is no surprise that passions are high when the Election of 1860 arrives. The Lincoln Museum provides a nice interactive site that gives a feel for both the North and the South on the eve of the Civil War. The Valley of the Shadow is one of the best sites available for the serious student. At this site you can examine in detail two neighboring Virginia communities, one pronorthern and one prosouthern. Assignment Question Try to tie the various questions together rather than addressing them separately. 1) What were some of the aspirations of white southerners? 2) What was the “Crises of 1850”? How does it relate to the larger issues that divided Americans in the North and South? 3) What was “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and what was its effect? 4) How did the KansasNebraska Act further the divisions between Americans in the North and South? 5) What were the goals and values of the Republican Party and who tended to belong to it? 6) How did the Dred Scott case and John Brown further tensions between the North and South?
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