Collinwood midterm part 1: Tom Paine

One of the problems with reading documents from the Revolutionary Period is the effort writers took to sound “informed” and “reasoned” and “educated” and “literate.” The modern world doesn’t have time for such luxuries. Information has to be concise, questionable accurate, simplistic and inflammatory. This is why we have Twitter. And Snapchat. Just a picture of yourself and four or five vapid, useless words. Let’s give the revolutionary debate a dose of modernity.

I have given you two documents: Common Sense and criticism of the pamphlet. I want you turn the information in the documents into something more 2016. Choose two sections from each excerpt (probably about a paragraph) and accurately summarize into a good, modern hot take.  #Paine. #Liberty!  #Loyality.

common sense excerpt

Crack-brained zealot

This is a chapter from a Gordon Woods’ book “Revolutionary Characters.” Not to overstate his importance but most of how this period is viewed and taught comes from his work. Thomas Paine is the because his legacy is unique to that of any other figure. There are no monuments of him, no images on our money, no days out of school. Maybe that what he wrote is still relevant after almost 250 years is monument enough.

Here is the excerpt thomas paine rev. characters

Using the following questions as a guide (meaning some, all, or none of them have to be addressed in your response) create a 400-500 word response that touches on Paine’s believes, place among the notables of the time, and what made him different from other Founding Fathers.

  1. How would you describe the place of Thomas Paine in relation to the other revolutionary leaders?
  2. Describe his origins. How do you think it shaped him and his writing?
  3. Paine is the definition of a liberal for his day. VERY different from today. What does this mean?
  4. What do we learn about Paine’s view from the ‘The Rights of Man’?

Collinwood DUAL: Revolutionary Characters-Alexander Hamilton

Below are the questions for the reading on Alexander Hamilton. We will be talking more about him in the coming week. He is interesting for a number of reasons. The most notable of which is that he was born to nothing in the Caribbean and grew up to be an elitist who probably wished the U.S. to have become some version of a monarchy. Also interesting: Thomas Jefferson the exact opposite. Little surprise they didn’t get on well. Hamilton is also the one whose ideas about the country’s future were most realized.

Rev. Characters Alexander Hamilton

1. The worst thing about history is when people in today’s society try use the Founding Fathers for their own politics. You can’t trot the founders out on Fox News or stick an iPhone in their hands and bring them into our world. What does Wood write about Republican efforts to own Hamilton and FDR’s New Deal love of Jefferson?

2. Hamilton is an Horatio Alger story. How does he end up in NY and what all had he done by the time most young men today have moved back home and logged a couple of dog years playing Xbox and eating pizza rolls?

3. Hamilton has more sway with Washington than anyone else of the period. My opinion for why: it’s the product of the war and Hamilton’s unique understanding of complicated money stuff. Convince me this right or wrong.

4 Pg. 133 – 136 is the brunt of what is taught about Hamilton (I also like to note that he got caught up in a messy/slightly creepy scandal. Google Hamilton-Reynolds Affair if you’re interested). Tell me what you understand better after reading this.

5. Hamilton had big plans — not Jeffersonian in any way— for the US. What did he want both foreign and domestic.

6. It’s worth noting that despite being the only brilliant, self-made Founder who was always antislavery, he is not remembered like a Jefferson or Washington. What do you think made Hamilton such a polarizing figure?

7. Wood has always written that Hamilton is the only Founder who would admire the modern U.S. Why does he believe Hamilton would love it while others like Jefferson and Madison would be appalled at the size and power of our government?

Collinwood Midterm Question 2 & 3

In approximately 300–400 words respond to the following statement: The Articles of Confederation was a purposefully weak government that proved incapable of running a new country. What role Shay’s Rebellion play in convincing many of the need for a stronger government.

In approximately 300-400 words respond to the following statement: The Constitutional Convention was more about creating stability than expanding rights and putting the Declaration of Independence into practice.

Collinwood: Salem Reading Assignment

Approximately 1pg. (400-500 words typed)

Roughly the first 2/3 of the assignment should be sumarizing what you had to read about Salem. Focus on the causes of the hysteria, the accused and accusers, etc. The last 1/3 of the assignment needs to be a reflection on these questions.

  1. What are the lessons that we take away from the Salem trials?
  2. Does this fear and desire to punish exist in any form today? Is this still a part of our makeup?