As I hope you’re picking up from the texts and subjects we are reading and studying in this class, history plays a significant role in shaping the values that drive this country. Of course, much of what history reveals to us is that the past is littered with much abuse of peoples, which might help explain why such treatment of “others” continues today. However, as bleak as that picture may seem, the country was founded on some ideals that, in spite of these “smudges” on our reputation, have powered through and helped the nation evolve to some degree. Women have the vote; equal rights have helped the once disenfranchised opportunities denied to their ancestors; peoples have acquired positions of power and influence – and invoked change – both through specific groups and in representative positions of both local and federal government. Obviously, recent events have shown that we are still debating what America values.
So, without having to dabble into that quagmire of said current events, look at an issue we’re exploring in this class that you find intriguing and dig a little deeper – or dig in a new direction entirely – into the history about it to see what else you can reveal about the matter. Consider yourself to be a humanitarian on the hunt for what has been revealed, or concealed, about what really happened to the colonists, Native Americans, African-Americans (slave or free), homesteaders, or cowboys. Focus on just one of these groups and a specific issue; the more specific you are, the more effective your argument will be.
Your paper will consist of two parts:
- The first part of your paper (about four to six pages) should be an exploration of the issue in depth; this exploration will include a minimum of four outside sources from the library databases. You may use one source from our course that fits the issue you’re writing about, but the other four must be of your own discovery.
- The second part of your paper will be your assessment of why all this happened, who or what is to blame (as well as deserve credit), and how this issue might be a factor in current perception today. Since your assessment should be about two or more pages, be sure and explain your rationale fully and point to specifics from your exploration to help validate what you are asserting
The Assignment that is due today:
- Submit your one page, one or two paragraph synopsis of what you propose to write about, and the direction (a tentative thesis; a main idea) you are thinking about taking with the paper, here.