Purpose: The goal of this assignment is for you to gain a more nuanced understanding of slavery in the United States through analysis of primary documents.
Directions: Each student should choose ONE of the primary source pairs listed in the module and use those two documents as the basis for their essay.
Students will then write at least 5 paragraphs (and at least 1,000 words) comparing and contrasting the perspectives of slavery expressed in these documents. What do these documents reveal about slavery in America?
Your short essay should have a thesis statement at the end of your first paragraph outlining your interpretation of the documents and their significance in argument form. Your paper must also provide specific examples from the text, and incorporate information from Building the American Republic and additional secondary sources that you choose through your own research. You should use at least two secondary sources in your essay, including Building the American Republic.
To support your thesis and analysis of the sources, you should provide relevant context, explain each document’s perspective, analyze what the documents are arguing, and how the documents relate/inform one another. And finally, you will need to discuss what these documents reveal about slavery in the early 19th century. You are not pretending to be the document’s author – you are using the document’s point of view as a window into this controversial past event.
When preparing to write this assignment, students should read everything in this Module, as well as previously assigned secondary reading about the Slavery. Also, please ensure that sources you identify through research are scholarly and reliable – wikipedia and equivalent sources are not acceptable . If you are struggling to identify suitable sources, please contact me and I will direct you do additional resources.
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