In the decades leading up to the U.S. Civil War, opponents, as well as defenders of slavery,
invoked the ideas as well as the words of the Declaration of Independence and the United
States Constitution. Drawing upon the following list of primary sources located in the
American Yawp Reader, write a 4-6 page paper analyzing how critics and defenders of slavery drew upon these two foundational documents to make their respective cases.
The term paper provides you an opportunity to examine in more depth how the two most influential texts in American history–the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution–became embroiled in the most bitter and divisive controversy of the nineteenth century: the fight over slavery that eventually led to a bloody and cataclysmic Civil War. In this paper assignment, you will evaluate information and its sources critically and select specific information for inclusion into your paper (information literacy), assess the impact of these two seminal documents on the debate over slavery, and vice-versa (cultural and social understanding), assimilate, organize, develop, and present your own argument in formal writing (communication), and weigh evidence from both specific primary sources and the textbook and make assessments based on your reading of that evidence (critical thinking). The term paper is divided into parts, which you will complete in stages throughout the second half of the semester.
Part I: Primary Sources Summary (5 points)
Summaries should accurately capture the essence of the source.
Pro- or Anti-Slavery Stance of each source should be included, and be accurate.