What does it mean to see the American Civil War as a revolutionary struggle?
You are asked to answer three (3) of the following eight (8) questions. You should provide an analysis that does more than summarize, and you should aim for an original view of how the material combines—or doesn’t—as you see fit. You are free to use parenthetical citations (ie, Takaki, 4; Caldwell, 8). Please draw from the A-V material (videos, films,) and please be sure that bulk quotes do not take the place of your own analysis. You can just cite the film with a general citation (ie, “Cachoiera” ) and you need not cite lecture material. You need not cite lecture materials specifically, although you are of course welcome to use material from class.
Ideal responses will be original, insightful, and comprehensive, with a clear statement (thesis) that lays out your argument. But we will bear in mind that you are working with a limited word count. Each answer should be between 500 and 800 words. Your total submission is likely to be around 10 pages, in a regular (ie, Times New Roman) font and 12-point size. The cumulative word count should therefore be somewhere between 2000 and 3200 words. You may write more on some questions, and less on others. In each case, you should still have a thesis and an argument that is supported from citations from the texts.
Again, please answer three (3) of the following eight (8) questions.
THE RELATED MATERIAL TO BE CITED:
1. The main reading:
Ron Takaki, A Different Mirror: A history of multicultural America (ONLY CH 2,3,4,5,6,7,8)
2. Desmond, “In Order to Understand”
3. Caldwell, “The Negroization of the Chinese”
4. Wolf, “Europe and the Peoples”
I have attached it.
PLEASE DO NOT USE OTHER MATERIAL
1 The system of slavery that developed in colonial British American and expanded after American independence was based, obviously, upon race and ideas of racial difference. Yet Takaki speaks of “hidden” origins of slavery that he contends were rooted in class. What does he mean? What evidence can be found for his argument? What evidence counters his view, and the views of others who agree with him. What do you think, and why?
2 How did ideas about “civilization” and “savagery” play a role in the colonial period and during the early history of the United States?
3 America was once described as a nation built “by stolen bodies on stolen land.” This idea hints at the connection between indigenous people/Native Americans and Africans/African-Americans. To what extent are Native American and African American histories interconnected? To what extent do both histories extend to the history of American relations with Mexico?
4 Slavery is often thought of something that was limited to the American South. How/Why is this point of view erroneous?
5 What does it mean to speak of a “racialized” class consciousness on the part of White Americans? How did ideas around race and class come together within the white/European population during the colonial and antebellum period?
6 Why is it important to recognize and understand different African ethnicities when trying to understand the history of African Americans?
7 How does the struggle to abolish slavery help us to understand the concepts of base and superstructure? What other examples from the colonial period and antebellum (pre-Civil War) period are helpful for grasping this concept?
8 In many ways, the Civil War is the central event in America’s history. While the American revolution (1776-1783) created the United States, the Civil War (1861-1865) determined what kind of nation it might be. To this extent, the great African American historian W.E.B. DuBois spoke of the Civil War as the “true American Revolution.” What does it mean to see the American Civil War as a revolutionary struggle? What perspective(s) does this view allow? What connections does it make possible?
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