Please choose one of these three essay topics for the essay.
Essay Option 1
In his Gettysburg address of 1863, President Abraham Lincoln spoke of government “of the people, by the people, for the people” and of “a new birth of freedom.” From your Voices reader, review the writings of Mary Livermore, Frederick Douglass, the Black Residents of Nashville, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. How did one of these authors (your choice) hope that this new birth would manifest itself during or after the American Civil War? Do you think that it did? Why or why not? Be sure to cite evidence from your Foner textbook in your answer.
Essay Option 2
In his speech to the Democratic National Convention of 1936 (Voices, 172) President Franklin Roosevelt linked political equality to economic equality. “If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place,” Roosevelt declared, “he must have equal opportunity in the market place.” What did Roosevelt mean by this? Do you think that the New Deal provided Americans with that equal opportunity? Draw evidence and quotes from Roosevelt’s speech and your Voices of Liberty textbook in explaining your position.
Essay Option 3
Volume 2 of your Voices reader includes speeches by Lyndon Johnson (284) and Ronald Reagan (329). Both presidents said that the purpose of government is to provide “opportunity” to Americans. Yet they obviously differed in their approach to this problem.
First, explain the essence of their difference, and how this played out in how each, respectively, governed the United States of America. Draw from your Give Me Liberty! text for examples.
Second, do you think that these approaches are mutually exclusive of one another? Does America really have to pick one or the other? Or is there a place for both philosophies? Explain why or why not.
Strong essays will begin with you stating your position on the second question, then using the first question to provide background for your perspective.
Your five assignment essays will offer you an opportunity to make sense of the readings from your Voices of Freedom document books. Each assignment will ask you questions about a specific reading, such as: How does the author support his or her claim? Based on the information that you’ve read in your Foner textbook, do you agree with the author’s arguments?
Your responses should be approximately 500 words. Strive to make a clear and decisive argument in each essay by dividing it into three parts:
- Exposition. Your first paragraph should describe the reading, and briefly explain what you have decided about the questions posed.
- Development. The middle of your essay should explain your answer. It should offer details about the main arguments and content of the reading to support your claims. It should also offer background from Give Me Liberty!
- Conclusion. Your last paragraph should recapitulate your argument, and add some final point that you think bolsters your perspective.
You can use phases like “in this essay I argue . . . ” or “I think that . . . ” or “in conclusion, I believe that . . . “
Quote a little from the readings when you find some passage that illustrates your points. Use your Give Me Liberty! textbook to provide background, or to add additional quotes. When you quote, reference your quote at the end of the sentence like this:
(Give Me Liberty!, 375) or (Voices, 96).
But don’t over-quote. Use your own words. And don’t just copy passages verbatim as if they were your own. That’s plagiarism (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
Your teaching assistants will grade your papers from 100 to zero. Here is the rubric:
High grades (90+) will go to focused papers that emphasize a strong argument backed by clear references and that pay attention to spelling and grammar.
Medium grades (80-89) will go to competent papers that touch on the questions, but with less focus, organization, or reference backing.
Lower grades will go to all other submissions.
Your papers are due when the assignment says they’re due. You can hand them in late, but you’ll lose ten points on the paper. After about seven days, the window to submit the assignment closes and your chance to do the work and get credit for it ends.