Posted: January 20th, 2023
In the 1820s, 1830, and 1840s, the Second Great Awakening helped to inspire a reformist impulse across the nation. One of those movements centered on an effort to abolish slavery in the United States; of course, the desire to eliminate slavery did not go unchallenged. In this activity, you will examine the views of antislavery (abolitionist) and proslavery writers in the antebellum years. This essay will help you better understand a controversy that permeated American life in the years leading up to the Civil War.
Consider these questions as you read through the above sources (ALL of these questions need to be addressed in your essay):
1. How do these authors justify slavery?
2. According to these authors, what place do slaves have in society?
3. What derisive stereotypes of African Americans are found in these proslavery documents?
1. Why do they believe slavery needs to be abolished?
2. What specific criticisms do they have about American society?
3. How do these authors view African Americans (in contrast to the stereotypes offered by proslavery authors)? How do the authors view African Americans place in society?
Your essay should be a minimum of 2 pages, and you should spend AT LEAST one page discussing EACH position (one page discussing the proslavery perspective and one page discussing the abolitionist perspective). Remember, two pages is the minimum, and minimum essays normally score a C. If you want a higher grade, plan to be comprehensive in your coverage of the readings (there is no maximum page limit). Your answer should reflect the main points from each assigned reading.
Rubric for Research Paper
Outstanding – 20pts
Good – 15pts
Fair – 10pts
Unacceptable – 5pts
Excellent section headings, indicative of a steady “flow” to the overall paper. Topics and subtopics clearly indicated.
Good section headings, indicative to a steady “flow” to the overall paper. Topics clearly indicated, could use more subtopics.
Fair section headings, indicative that the paper has “flow”. Topics and subtopics not clearly indicated. Unclear organization of thoughts.
Relevant topics missing or incorrect, paper has no indicative “flow”.
Highly informative, complete and easy to understand. Appropriate vocabulary is used.
Abstract makes you want to read the paper.
Informative, complete and understandable. Appropriate vocabulary is used.
Somewhat informative and understandable.
Not very informative or understandable.
Thesis is clear, easy to find, and appropriate to the assignment.
Thesis is supported by the rest of the paper.
Paper contains a “roadmap” for the reader.
There is a logical “flow” to the topics/arguments. Conclusion follows clearly from the arguments presented.
Thesis is clear and appropriate. Thesis fairly well supported.
Paper is fairly well organized.
Conclusion follows from the rest of the paper.
Thesis is fairly clear.
Inconsistent support for thesis. Paper weakly organized. Conclusion is acceptable.
Thesis unclear and/or inappropriate.
Thesis not supported.
Paper is not organized. Conclusion doesn’t follow from the rest of the paper.
The evidence comes from a wide variety of valid sources. The bibliography is complete and reflects appropriate sources.
The evidence comes from the minimum valid sources. The bibliography is complete.
Valid sources are inconsistently used. The bibliography contains minor formatting errors.
Multiple sources cited incorrectly.
Arguments are pertinent to the topic.
Arguments are logical, supported with evidence. The key arguments have been made – no major points have been left out.
pertinent to the topic. Arguments are fairly logical and reasonably supported.
Most key arguments have been made.
Arguments are not consistently pertinent, logical, or supported. Few key arguments have been made.
Arguments not pertinent. Arguments rarely, if at
all, logical and supported.
Almost no key arguments have been made.
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