Essay Assignment #2
With an essay of 4-5 pages (double-spaced) please answer the following question:
How did American leaders envision their revolutionary movement, and in what ways did other groups challenge that vision? In other words, what arguments helped to justify the break with Great Britain, and what were the unintended consequences of those arguments? What difficulties arose in the process of actually putting a working government, a working country together after the 1780s? In what ways did different, marginal groups in American society fight for their inclusion or challenge the boundaries of a language of “natural” and “inalienable” rights?
Your essay must draw from at least three days of readings, selected from across the third, fourth, and fifth weeks of the course. The best essays will draw heavily from the available evidence and show an active engagement with that material, as well as a clear understanding of where each piece fits in the broader historical context. They will quote selectively and strategically. That is, they will identify the most important parts of their evidence and firmly embed them within their own writing, always making clear to the reader the relevance and significance of each piece.
Begin your essay with a brief description of the historical circumstance: the circumstance of the American colonies, and the most important forces that drove them to rebellion against the British Empire. Provide a clear thesis statement: a concise, argumentative statement that lays our your basic answer to the essay questions and that addresses briefly the components of your response (such as the basic arguments behind American independence, and then their unintended consequences in the hands of different classes, races, and genders). Each paragraph that follows should concern one (and only one) element of that response, and each should begin and end with a clear indication of its relation to your main argument.
Please cite each piece of evidence that you use with either footnotes or parentheses that identify document’s author (or title, if no author is listed) and a page number. Include a bibliography (a list of all of your documents) at the end of the essay.
Please format your essay along the following lines:
– Font – Times New Roman, 12 point
– Margins – 1in on all sides