Overview: History is the study of the past, and primary resources are windows into the past as they describe events at the time of their occurrences. The United States in 1850 was at a crossroads and seemed at times to be on the verge of falling apart due to the ongoing controversy over sectionalism. By using primary sources, students can look at how Americans viewed the sectional crisis facing their country in the 1850s
Instructions: From the perspective of a literate and informed American (Southern planter, New England abolitionist, Texan rancher, Midwestern farmer, Northern shopkeeper, European immigrant, Free Black, etc) describe the situation of the United States in the 1850s. What is holding the country together? What is threatening to tear the United States apart? How serious is the South’s threat to leave the Union? Is the Compromise of 1850 a victory for sectionalism or nationalism? Will the Union survive?
Special Notes: You are not limited to the above personas when you write your essay, but you should write from the perspective of a typical person from the region you pick. For instance, if you choose to write as a wealthy Southern planter, it would be as inappropriate to take an antislavery stance just as it would be for a New Englander to actively support slavery. Use common sense based on what you have been taught in class. You are writing from the perspective of an American living in 1850. You do NOT know what will happen over the next fifteen years. Also note that moral standards were different in the mid-19th century than they are in the early 21st century – your essay should reflect the standards at the time.
• Font – Use either Times New Roman (12pt), Calibri (11pt), or Arial (11pt).
• Margins – 1 inch margins all around
• Page numbers starting with 1 at the bottom and centered on each page after the cover sheet.
• Double-space, do not include extra spacing between paragraphs.
• Reviews should be at least three full pages. There is no maximum length. The cover sheet and works cited do not count towards the three page minimum.
• Name, “Primary Resource Assignment” followed by your persona, course information (class and section number), and date should be single spaced, center aligned, and placed in middle of the cover sheet. Example: Jack D. Andersen Primary Resource Assignment: Southern Farmer HIST 1301-21300 October 28, 2018
• The essay should be organized into multiple paragraphs including an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
• All citations, including the works cited page, should be in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition. MLA, APA, or any other format is not acceptable.
• Please refer to the Writing Guide handout for advice on style
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