Sunday, September 30, 2012

Who is "destined?"

Manifest destiny is a fascinating concept, particularly due to ownership.  The idea of destiny certainly has a religious connotation, but the American concept of manifest destiny went far beyond that.  Is there a common thread in these articles in terms of ownership?  How do the authors of the pro-manifest destiny pieces justify their right to expand westward?  Additionally, how do the critical pieces (i.e. British cartoons), argue against these principles?

Finally, why was Mexico so crucial?  How does it connect to our conversations about slavery?

I know this was a long reading assignment...thanks for bearing with me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What causes a crisis?

Historians usually refer to the period before the American Civil War as a crisis in some way.  The crises took many forms, however--sectional, social, and they even transcended directly into the polical arena (i.e. the caning of Charles Sumner).  After reading the introductory piece on the war's causes, what stands out to you the most as a cause of crisis?  Defend your position--as we all know, there were myriad causes to this war.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Garrison--Pioneer or Safer Option?

This piece says quite a bit about Garrison's background as an original gradualist and colonizer, and his shift towards preaching for immediate abolition.  Why do you think Garrison was the "founder" of the American abolition movement if there were others before him (especially Quakers) who did not receive much of a spotlight?  What was it about Garrison's personality, background, and evening timing that put him into the limelight for the abolition movement?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Language of Abolition

Clearly, these are two drastically different articles.  One is written by a man who is about to die for his crimes.  Another is a legal document that provides a loophole to the fugitive slave law.

Yes, unfortunately, most legal documents are written in this obscure and difficult style--but why is that?  Why is it so difficult to read them?

What strikes you about John Brown's speech?  Would you have said anything different if you were in his shoes?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Worker psychology

Again, sorry this is late!  I want to expand on our comments today about the psychology of the workplace.  Is there value to the argument that a slave perpetually in fear will work harder than the free worker who loves his/her job?  How do tonight's articles (as well as our articles from the past) elaborate on this?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pro-Slavery Arguments in the South

First off--apologies that this blog is delinquent (ask Abdoulaye about my cat attack, and you'll understand why...)

Anyway, here are tonight's questions:

Consider both the strengths and weaknesses of all the defenses of slavery.  Were any of the documents particularly convincing/not convincing to you?  Why?

Specific examples are always helpful here :)

Also, at the end of your post, tell us what you plan to follow as your political hotbed topic.  If there are overlaps, I'll try to divvy them up so that we don't have too much repetition but that you still have a topic that interests you.  Prepare to share some recent news about your topic next time we have an hour period (Tuesday).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Resistance movements

After reading about the exposure of slavery and cohabitation in the cabins, discuss some of the different forms of resistance they exemplify.  Connect specific examples from the articles to at least two of the themes we have already discussed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The article "This Cargo of Human Flesh" reiterates many of the themes we discussed in class today.  Choose two of the themes/questions below and elaborate about how "This Cargo of Human Flesh" exemplifies them:

  • Henry Clay's statement at the beginning of the article: "There is no such thing as a kind slaveowner."  -- to what extent is this true?  Does Reverend Lovejoy disprove this?

  • The term "Soul-Driver" implies that slaves are owned in more than just a corporeal sense.  Do slave owners possess a portion of their slaves' souls as well as their bodies?

  • What does the article reveal about kinship networks (family ties)?  What does William Wells Brown's relationship with his biological family tell us about this?

  • Is there such a thing as true freedom if slavery exists?  Are slaves only free in death?  Consider examples of slaves choosing death in the article.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Conditions of Enslavement and Resistance Movements

After reading both "A Slave Tells of His Sale at Auction" and "A Slave Girl Tells of her Life," briefly comment on how the theme assigned to you is exemplified in the readings.  You will have more time to discuss your theme at length in class.

Corporeality (of the flesh) of slavery/Value of the human being vs. value of the flesh -- Andy, Abdoulaye, Emma, Hannah

Mind-control of slavery/importance of withholding information from slaves -- Mikey, Mitch, Ashley, Sophie, Robert

Master/Mistress-slave relationship/Sexuality of slavery -- Jack, Alice, Nicki, David, Trent

Friday, September 7, 2012

Links to Wordles

Hello all,

In case you wanted to see them again, here are the links to today's wordles:


Thanks for another great discussion,

Ms. Sutton

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cotton economy and slavery, conditions of enslavement, resistance movements

Post your brief (roughly one paragraph) comments here about how your topic could be considered both a preventer and an agitator of war.

Group A: Cotton Gin -- Robert, Nikki, Abdoulaye
Group B: Haitian Revolution -- David, Alice, Mikey, Emma
Group C: William Lloyd Garrison/The Liberator -- Sophie, Mitch, Andy, Hannah
Group D: Frederick Douglass/The North Star -- Trent, Ashley, Jack