This essay is a sprawling effort to capture the events and attitudes that led to undoing of the union. It was no small task to put together. It will be no small task to write. For me this is the culmination of a year spent with people I want happiness for and care deeply about. At the start of the year, my goal was to take the fog and mystique out of writing. The written word is a craft, a trade, something we can all do well with practice. Analyzing, criticizing, and making the complex clear is writing. Now do that.
This is a documentary that doesn’t get the love it deserves. It’s a look at slavery on the eve of the Civil War as told through the individual stories of slaves. And Morgan Freeman is doing the narration. It’s humanizing and heartbreaking. I want you to see it. The episode I want you to watch is part 3: seeds of destruction. It begins at about 1:49:00 and is a little less than an hour.
The questions are in the link. slavery making of America – episode 3
DUE Friday, 4/24
We need to have a quiz on the Jackson Era Mon/Tues. Granted, I should have mentioned this in the hour and half we spent together talking about this subject. Given the topic and time spent, I feel like it’s a quiz most of you would be fine with if I dropped it on you without warning.
Here is the setup: The quiz will be questions that pull in information from notes, video, webs posted below, and some documents. These are like rough drafts of essays. You don’t get to see the documents until the test. Prepare for all four. We will draw out a hat to decide which make it on the quiz. There will also be a bonus to help.
Below are two webs on things during this period non-Jackson.
Topics for responses
- Choose two of the following events from Jackson’s presidency and describe how his handling of these reflected his personality and taste for conflict: South Carolina nullification, veto and killing of Second Bank of U.S., Peggy Eaton affair.
- It’s from this period that much of modern politics and the president are born. With this as the starting point, support the idea that Jackson’s election and presidency introduced modern politics.
- Views of Jackson tend to run to the extremes. Those with man-crushes on Jackson see him as a heroic, straight-talking, brash, man-of-action. Others vilify him, seeing him as a slave-owning war criminal, who killed men in cold blood. The Truth? Well…it’s much more complex. Explain why our memory of Jackson is one that will always be debated.
- The U.S. of the Jacksonian period had begun to look less like the America of George Washington and more like the industrial America of post Civil War. Describe the social, political, and economic changes that were taking place.
I’m substituting a “figure it out for yourself with some guidance from me” assignment into what have termed the second block of our class. Immigration is a constant in American society. People keep coming for opportunity and people here keep getting angry at people for coming and trying to take their opportunity.
I’m giving you some information on the issue (don’t go wading around the internet because who knows what you will catch). I want you to make sense of it and present it in a way that doesn’t remind me of my son’s illustrated tales of Transformers.