Friday, December 7, 2007

'Tis the Season.....

....for final exams, and gifts. So catch the spirit of the season by listening to this "final" podcast--my gift to you.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Civil War and Reconstruction

Key Terms for Civil War/Reconstruction Quiz. Be able to define/describe/identify the following:

Northern/Southern advantages/disadvantages prior to Civil War
William T. Sherman
Dred Scott
Bull Run
Lincoln’s 10% Plan
John Brown
Merrimac v. Monitor
Charles Sumner
Preston Brooks
13th Amendment
14th Amendment
15th Amendment
Ft. Sumter
Freedmen’s Bureau
Compromise of 1850
Jefferson Davis
Military Reconstruction Act of 1867
Election of 1864
John Wilkes Booth
Radical Reconstruction
Hiram Revels

**In addition to this key terms list review chs. 20-22 as well as notes on Civil War and Reconstruction**

Friday, November 30, 2007

Making the Past Personal: Autobiography and the Civil War

You are to compose an autobiographical essay--taking the identity of someone during the Civil War period--fleshing out the context of the times (taken from reading, discussion, textbook, and Glory). Another option is to write historical fiction--create your own character for the time period, and use someone's life (found in a primary source) as the basis for your story.

Perhaps you wish to be a Civil War doctor working in a field hospital, or maybe a member of the 54th Massachusetts, or an ordinary citizen who witnessed (and survived) William T. Sherman's scorched earth campaign. The possibilities are limitless.

Whatever approach you decide to take--autobiographical essay or historical fiction--you must use, quote, and cite at least one primary source in your paper. Your essay must be 12-point font, Times New Roman, 1" margins, double spaced, and at least 1 page but no more than 2 pages. Cite your lone primary source (in MLA format) at the very end of your paper. In addition, your name goes on the first line of the first page, then double space and begin your essay.

The end of your textbook contains primary documents (in the DBQ sections), or you may wish to search around for primary documents here, here, here, here, here, here, or here. See tons of Civil War pictures here. And yes, you could even take on the identity of a Civil War photographer, with all of the relevant information about photography at the time.

I look forward to see who you are on Monday.....and remember you have a Civil War/Reconstruction quiz on Tuesday.....

[For more on the photo, click here and here.]

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Merry Chri$tma$ with Rev. Billy

If you've seen Super Size Me, then you will want to go see this documentary. It opens at the River Oaks theatre in Houston on Dec. 7. Check it out. Read some reviews of the film here.

[Photo credit here.]

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The "Reel" Civil War 1.0

As part of our study of the Civil War, we will view clips from the 1989 film Glory. It is about the 54th Massachusetts--the first all-black regiment of the Civil War. Read more about the 54th here, here, and here (this link takes you to a reenactor group from Boston).

Whereas the video worksheet I provide will allow you to follow along, the primary task before you is to compose an essay in response to the film. This is not a film review, but taking Glory as your que coupled with notes, thoughts, and ideas from reading and class discussion, this assignment is an analytical essay that will address the role of African Americans in the Civil War.

A film and American history project at Lehigh University provides us with some helpful reading points, and discussion questions. Click here for the movie's website. Stay a while to check it out.

For Tuesday

So, for Tuesday's discussion, I'd like you to respond to the questions relating to film and history. Click here and scroll down to the questions ("Specific Questions About Film and History").

The Assignment: Pick 2 of the questions you think are the most important, and respond in the comments section. Then, answer this question: what is the most powerful and important "historical" film you've seen? Why? (It doesn't necessarily have to be a film related to U.S. history.)

For Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
Prior to viewing clips from Glory, familiarize yourself with the film--specifically the filmography and synopsis, and most important the historical context. You may wish to check out the photo gallery as well. There may be another blog assignment for Friday. Stay tuned.

On Thursday or Friday we will talk in more detail about the specifics of the essay. The essay is due Monday, December 3.

[Photo credit here.]

Friday, November 23, 2007

In the News

Starting today, Houston priest and Archbishop Daniel DiNardo becomes a cardinal.

See a KHOU newstory here, his Houston-Galveston Archdiocese bio here, newstories from Pittsburgh, the priest's old stomping grounds (read here also).

Finally, Houston Chronicle religion reporter Tara Dooley blogs about DiNardo here, and writes about DiNardo here.

[Photo credit here.]

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sudan & Darfur

Read basic facts about Sudan here and here and here, focusing on geography, people, economy, and government. Click here for a map.

The British colonized Sudan in the 19th century, and the country achieved independence in 1956.
Civil war plagued the southern part of the country for many years after that, and in 2005 a Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed. Sadly, John Garang (listen to an interview with Garang here), the major southern figure who devoted his life to the cause, died in a helicopter crash in 2005. In 2003 serious conflict erupted in the Darfur region in the western part of the country. Compounded by environmental stresses like drought, government-backed militia wreaked havoc across Darfur--similar to the practices perpetuated in the south for so long. Read about the Janjaweed here, and read survivor stories here. China, among other countries, is heavily invested in Sudan, a rather complicated matter.

For the work of Sudanese artists, click here. For survivor stories from the South (sometimes called the "lost boys"), read here, and listen to a Sudanese rapper who survived civil war here. Survivor Francis Bok visited SBS three years ago. Read here and here also, and watch this.

Topics for Tuesday and Wednesday discussion:

1. history of Sudan

2. geography of Sudan

3. origins of southern conflict, Darfur conflict

4. realities of war

5. survivor stories

6. the future of Sudan

If this is a topic that interests you and you wish to read something further, read Jok Madut Jok's new book, Dave Eggers' book, or check out some of the latest offerings about Darfur. Check out the "Not On Our Watch" site also.

Bringing attention to Sudan is something I've spent some time doing, and once helped to bring some speakers to Houston. After clicking Houston click on "Search the archive...." and type in Imperative to Act. You will see links to two presentations; one with Mark Bixler and one with Jerry Fowler. I make a cameo appearance in the Bixler segment about 10 minutes in. Make sure you listen to the entire Bixler presentation, though, and make time to listen to Jerry Fowler's talk. He's been on the ground in Darfur.

The "Stop Genocide in Sudan" picture is the design of a t-shirt one of my former students had made a couple of years ago, whereas the other shot is a picture of Sudan along the Nile River.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Listening to Hear, Hearing to Listen

Students at Princeton have composed an entire symphony on computers. Listen here.

And related to recent class discussions: Wintley Phipps (read here, too) offers a history lesson on the spirituals, and sings Amazing Grace. It is unforgettable and just moving. Watch and listen here.

A Journey with History: The Road to the Civil War

Read the textbook pages associated with the following events, items, and developments, and in your own words discuss the significance of each and how each related to the Civil War.

Bring your answers to class on Monday, as I will collect this assignment.

Wilmont Proviso 1846 (pp. 388-91)

Election of 1848 (pp. 390-92)

Compromise of 1850 (pp. 397-401)

Fugitive Slave Law 1850 (pp. 395-96)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin 1852 (pp. 409-411)

Election of 1852 (p. 401)

Ostend Manifesto 1854 (pp. 403-04)

Kansas-Nebraska Act 1854 (pp. 406-07)

Election of 1856 (pp. 415-17)

Dred Scott v. Sanford 1857 (pp. 417-18)

Lincoln—Douglass debates (pp. 421-22)

John Brown’s Raid 1859 (pp. 422-24)

Election of 1860 (pp. 427-28)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Stirring Thoughts and Brewing Discussion

I feel these weekly posts are becoming the same old grind, so I thought I'd offer something refreshing......

This week's post features an absolutely amazing presentation by historian Bryant Simon. He discusses the cultural meaning of Starbucks, and the social meanings of coffee, consumption, and commodification. As something of a coffee addict, I find his thoughts stirring and provocative at the same time, as do I the musings of Anthony Wild, author of Coffee: A Dark History.

I must admit, however, that I'm quickly becoming a fan of Dunkin' Donuts coffee.

I am confident Simon's forthcoming book on Starbucks will stir up great discussion--conducted over a cup of coffee of course. In the meantime, I hope his thoughts elicit stirring responses on the class blog. (I promise to never again use a stir pun three times in one blogpost; it feels like this one is going around and around.)
Also, perhaps this article may open some discussion as well.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Podcasting the Past

Here's a link to Friday's podcast, and you can find the lecture outline below. Remember, it may take a minute for the podcast to download, and don't forget that your writing assignment is due Monday 11/12.

I. Review of 19th century
a. transatlantic slave trade
b. Periodization
c. European countries involved
d. Middle Passage
e. Americas destinations (Brazil, Caribbean, North America)
f. Slavery in 19th century U.S. tied to labor, capitalism, sugar, cotton, rice, tobacco

II. Setting the Context
a. Lincoln’s Second Inaugural

III. Christianity in Antebellum America
a. revival and reform
b. racial categories informed cultural understanding, customs, traditions
c. white Christianity
d. black Christianity

IV. How did white Christians understand Christianity, slavery, and the Bible, and how did black Christians understand Christianity, slavery, and the Bible? Compare and contrast.
a. biographies of Douglass, Walker, Dew
b. discussion of life experiences, documents, document analysis

[Photo credit here.]

Friday, November 2, 2007

Tocqueville 2.0

Another Tocqueville post for installment #4 this nine weeks.

One of your U.S. history classmates sent along this article about Tocqueville, which I think helpfully provides a way to extend the discussion we started this week. You may also want to listen to the first 4 or 5 minutes of this radio show from the great program Speaking of Faith. This show is titled "The Religious Roots of American Democracy."

So, just like the questions I posed for the previous extra credit Tocqueville essay, I ask them again here in light of this essay and radio program:

1. According to Tocqueville, is religion a necessary part of democratic society? Why or why not?

2. Do you think Tocqueville agreed or disagreed with the First Amendment? Why or why not?

And a third question:

3. If Tocqueville were around today what do you think he would say about the relationship between religion and democracy and America's future--particularly in an age of war, globalization, etc.?

I look forward to hearing what you have to say, especially after this week's discussion of Tocqueville.

[Photo credit here.]

Monday, October 29, 2007

Your Opinion Counts

First, it was a candidate quiz. Then it was all about A.J. Jacobs. Now, your task for week #3 in the nine weeks is to pick a reformer--because your opinion counts.

Here's what you do: after all of the reformer class presentations are done (we'll finish up on Tuesday or Wednesday), identify the reformer and his/her cause you think you would have devoted yourself to had you lived in 19th-century America, and explain why in the comments section. Oh, and one caveat: you CANNOT pick the reformer about whom you presented. It must be somebody new.

[Photo credit here.]

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Seeing is Believing?: Alexis de Tocqueville

Many foreign travelers visited the United States during the early 19th century, and apropos of class discussion, countless visitors attended the revivals of the Second Great Awakening and met some of the reformers we've been talking about. These visitors often published their observations and many of these make for interesting reading.

I've read a few of these books and essays over the years, and always learn something new. And I'm particularly interested in what the observers said about religion.

Achille Murat, for example, the son of one of Napoleon’s political appointees in Naples, Italy, traveled to the United States from Vienna in 1823, settling in Florida and acquiring a plantation. A lawyer by training, Murat kept a correspondence with European colleagues and published his observations about life in America in A Moral and Political Sketch of the United States of North America (1833). No doubt familiar with established churches in Europe, religious pluralism (this relates to disestablishment we talked about in class) in America made an impression on Murat: "From the pure doctrines of Unitarianism to the gross absurdities of Methodism all shades may be found here, and every opinion has its partisans, who live in perfect harmony together. Among the variety of religions, everybody may indulge his inclination, change it whenever he pleases, or remain neuter, and follow none. Yet, with all this liberty, there is no country in which people are so religious as in the United States" (from Milton B. Powell, The Voluntary Church: Religious Life, 1740-1860, Seen through the Eyes of European Visitors [New York: Macmillan, 1967], 50).

Murat was not the only visitor to note the religious vitality of the United States' spiritual marketplace. French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville, one of the most famous visitors during the early 1830s, offered interesting observations about religious life in nineteenth-century America and published his reflections in a must-read book: Democracy in America.

C-SPAN did a very interesting special on Tocqueville some years ago, and there is a ton of information available. Recently, French thinker Bernard-Henri Levy retraced Tocqueville's steps and wrote a kind of 21st-century version of Democracy in America. It is titled American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville, and it is a fascinating read. Read a review of the book here and here. You can take a virtual tour of Tocqueville's trip here. Read about Tocqueville's life here, get the context of his visit by reading this, and view his itinerary. Now you are ready to complete the assignment (type your answers and turn in a hard copy in class; do not simply copy and paste Tocqueville's words; summarize in your own words, analyze, and discuss).

Question #1: Pick 2 cities on this map and discuss Tocqueville's observations about each place. What do we learn about 19th-century America from Tocqueville's observations? How does it compare and/or contrast with what we've discussed in class relative to early 19th-century America?

Question #2: What did Tocqueville see and witness about ordinary American life? Read about it here. (Pick 1 topic and discuss it in your answer. You have 5 choices: work, fashion, domestic life, housing, and recreation.)

Question #3: What did Tocqueville think about religion in America? Check it out here, then click "Tocqueville and Religion." Read the two interviews (Interview #1, Interview #2) from Tocqueville that discuss the separation of church and state; one is with a Protestant, the other a Roman Catholic priest. What is one important thing you learn about American religion from each interview? Why?

**Want extra credit on this assignment? Read Tocqueville's observations about the relationship between religion and democracy here and answer these two question in a 2-3 paragraph essay (300-500 words; include word count at the end of the document; 12-point font; Times New Roman; 1" margins). Remember to back up your argument with evidence (i.e., quotes). This essay is worth a quiz grade. There are no "right" or "wrong" answers here. You will be graded on meeting the assignment's specifications, argument, and use of evidence.

1. According to Tocqueville, is religion a necessary part of democratic society? Why or why not?

2. Do you think Tocqueville agreed or disagreed with the First Amendment? Why or why not?

The 3 questions are due WEDNESDAY 10/31, and the essay is due FRIDAY 11/2

[Photo credit here.]

All Ears

To follow up with some of this week's discussion, here's a link to Audacity if you wish to download it and start experimenting with podcasting. Be sure to download the LAME encoder (yes, that's really what it's called) so you can save and mix the audio files. This should actually prevent your podcasts from being lame, too.

Let me know if you download it and start podcasting. I am all ears.

[Photo credit here.]

Friday, October 19, 2007

Are You In Step With History?

I always tell my students that to best understand history, it is imperative to attempt to walk in the shoes of those who preceded us; to better understand an unfamiliar place or culture, attempt to walk in the shoes of others. And history is not a science insofar as historians can recreate a context like a scientist can recreate conditions for an experiment. In many ways, history is highly educated guessing based on documentary evidence and the historian's imagination.

So, what does it look like if one walk's in the shoes of a historical figure--literally?

Meet A.J. Jacobs. (Check out his blog here.) He's a journalist, an author, and an innovator--I call him a journalistic sociologist. He applies himself to his craft in inventive, interesting ways.

His latest project involved him taking the moral imperatives and prescriptions for living from Bible literally. The result is a book titled The Year of Living Biblically. Read and listen to an excerpt here. Read a review of the book here.

As you listen and you read--and perhaps read the book itself--think about this experiment in terms of what you can learn about history from it.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: To what extent did Jacobs live in the shoes of those in the Bible who preceded him? What did he learn? What was most transformative, interesting, and/or challenging? Could you ever see yourself conducting this kind of experiment?

And so an application question for my students: If you could walk in the shoes of a historical figure in American history, whose shoes would you try on and why? What do you suppose you might learn? Why?

Use your imagination and answer in the comments section.

[Photo credit here.]

Monday, October 15, 2007

Staying on the Right Track in U.S. History

Here is tonight's homework (10/15). You may want to print a hard copy of this post in order to answer the questions.

Part I: Mapping the Track
1. Go to the Transcontinental Railroad documentary website by clicking here.
2. On the left menu click “Special Features.”
3. Click “Scouting the Route.”
4. From Scouting the Route map, visit all of the locations and read about them. From p. 531 in your textbook, identify each time zone.

Part II: Tracking the Route (Click “People & Events” to answer these questions.)

Central Pacific Railroad
1. From where did executives of the Central Pacific Railroad hire workers, so that by 1868, _______ % of its workers came from this country.
2. Discuss the role diet played in productivity of work crews.
3. The Central Pacific Railroad began its work in this state: __________________.
4. In 1862, ___________ ___________ became governor of California.

Grenville Dodge (1831-1916)
5. What did Grenville Dodge do before becoming involved in the transcontinental railroad?
6. What was Dodge’s job with Union Pacific? What sorts of jobs did he do?

Native Americans and the Transcontinental Railroad
7. List all the Native American tribes on whose lands the transcontinental railroad was built.
8. Discuss the events along the Bozeman Trail.

Chinese Workers’ Strike
9. Why did the Chinese workers strike?
10. How did the Chinese workers carry out their strike? non-violent tactics

The Impact of the Transcontinental Railroad
11. The last spike entered the ground at Promontory Point, Utah, on _________, 1869.
12. The transcontinental railroad replaced coast to coast travel via ship through the __________ __________.
13. What major water route opened in November 1869?
14. What product first shipped along the transcontinental railroad?
15. “The railroad was America’s first ____________ corridor.”
16. Discuss this observation: “The rails carried more than goods; they provided a conduit for ideas, a pathway for discourse.” (Hint: read the July 27 entry from Harper’s Weekly)
17. In what ways did the transcontinental railroad affect Native American land and culture? (Hint: read the June 22 and Nov. 16 entry from Harper’s Weekly)
18. In addition to Union Pacific and Central Pacific, what other major rail companies opened for business in the late nineteenth century?
19. Who created Northern Pacific? (click on Northern Pacific)
20. With what major business tycoon did the person enter into a business relationship?
[Photo credit here.]

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Presidents & Politics

A wise philosopher once said that politicians make political decisions. That same sage stated that voters make political decisions, too.

Since we've been discussing presidents, politics, and political parties in class, why not continue the conversation here?

Here's a link to a USA Today presidential candidate quiz that is designed, apparently, to help match you to a candidate that most corresponds to your political views--regarding the issues about which the quiz queries.

What questions, in your opinion, are missing from the quiz? What questions do you think the quiz should have asked? What questions are most important to you in terms of your choice of a Presidential candidate? Why?

Post your results in the comments section as you answer the above questions. We'll discuss all of this on Monday, in addition to your reading about the Industrial Revolution.

[Photo credit here.]

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Presidential Personalities: Who is Andrew Jackson?

Visit this page, and this page to increase your knowledge of Andrew Jackson's biography. Read Andrew Jackson's farewell speech here, housed (electronically) at the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the university started by Thomas Jefferson. (You will want to PRINT OUT a copy of Jackson's final address and bring it to class tomorrow.) Finally, read about The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's famous home here.

[Photo credit story here.]

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Traveling with Lewis & Clark

In preparation for Wednesday and Thursday's study of the Lewis and Clark expedition, peruse the companion website for the documentary Lewis & Clark: A Great Journey West here. The famous documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, whose most recent production is The War, also made a film on the Lewis and Clark story. Read more about it here, and listen here to Burns discuss his film.

View this interactive map to answer the questions from the class handout as you prepare for discussion on Thursday, September 27.

[Photo credit: here]

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Classroom Quest: Finding the Constitution

1. Independence Declared
__________Before the American colonists could form their own government, they needed to win their independence from Britain. In what year was American independence declared?

2. Declaration of Independence Written by A Young Patriot
__________Here’s a brief biography of Thomas Jefferson. Read all three (short) pages. How old was Jefferson when he wrote the Declaration of Independence? What were Thomas Jefferson’s occupations? How did Jefferson contribute to the Library of Congress? What school did Jefferson start?

3. Thomas Jefferson's Address
__________Jefferson is honored on the nickels you carry around every day. When was Jefferson placed on the back of the nickel? What was the name of Jefferson’s home?

4. Sign On The Dotted Line
__________Here’s a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Which Massachusetts patriot was the first to sign, with a signature so bold that King George wouldn’t miss it?

5. Name That Government
__________Once independence was declared, the colonies needed to form a new government. What was the name given to the plan of government they adopted on November 15, 1777? Be sure to answer the last question and explain why you answer the question as you do. (Read both pages)

6. Home of the 76ers
__________After the Revolutionary War, the Articles of Confederation needed to be improved. In what city did colonial delegates meet to plan a better form of government? Take the tour, and answer the following questions.
Where was the first Supreme Court?
What was once home of the U.S. Congress?
When did it meet here, and why?
Where is the U.S. Constitution currently held? When was it built?
Who is Richard Allen and why is he important?
Who is Betsy Ross? At the Betsy Ross homepage, click on the picture gallery for U.S. flags. Describe the flag in 1775, the "Betsy Ross" flag, and the "Grand Star" flag.
Who proposed the idea of having a national bank? Why?
What happened at Carpenter’s Hall?

7. The Hall of Documents
__________Here’s a map of old Philadelphia. Click on Independence Hall for some photographs. Besides the U.S. Constitution, what other important document was signed there?

8. Name That Delegate
__________ Scroll down to this famous painting of the Constitutional Convention. Hold your pointer over each delegate to identify him. Who is the tall figure standing on the platform? Find Rufus King. Where is he from?

9. Father of the Constitution
__________ Sometimes called "The Father of the Consitution," this influential delegate went on to become our fourth president. What was his name?

10. Ben Franklin Runs Away from Home
__________Here’s a brief story about Ben Franklin’s life as a kid in Boston. What caused him to run away to Philadelphia, where he later helped to create the Constitution? What did Franklin purchase in 1729?

11. A Duel Between Men
__________One of the most influential delegates to the Convention was Alexander Hamilton. In 1804, this brilliant man was killed in a duel. What was the name of the man who killed him?

12. Imagine The Constitutional Convention in Boston Today
__________Massachusetts sent 4 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787: Elbridge Gerry, Nathaniel Gorham, Caleb Strong, and _?_.

13. Three Small Words That Shaped A Nation
__________The Constitution begins with a “Preamble” and three words which are the foundation of our government and our democratic way of life. What are those three words? What do they mean?

14. Keeping It Legal
__________Delegates at the Constitutional Convention believed the legislative branch was the most important. Which article in the Constitution outlines the makeup of this branch? What is the structure of the legislative branch? What is the branch's job?

15. Which Plan to Choose?
__________Regarding representation in Congress, there were 2 main plans. The “Virginia Plan” called for ____?____. The “____?____ Plan” called for _______?_______.

16. A House Divided
__________In order to reach agreement about representation in Congress, the delegates made a “Great Compromise.” They created 2 legislative houses. There would be equal representation of big and small states in the _?_, but there would be representation by population size in the House.

17. The Texas Delegation
__________Like all states, Texas has two senators. Enter your zip code at the top of the page. Locate the 2 senators from Texas and name your representative(s).

18. The Executive Branch
__________Article II of the Constitution outlines the duties of the executive branch. According to Linda Monk, what is the main duty of the executive branch? What does this mean?

19. The Power of the Bench
__________Article III outlines the duties of the judicial branch. What is the term for the power the judiciary has to declare acts of the President or Congress unconstitutional?

20. You Have The Right......
__________The Constitution also gives the judiciary the power to interpret the laws. What was the name of the 1966 Supreme Court case which defended the rights of those being arrested? Discuss the events that led to this case.

21. Know Your Rights
__________Many delegates demanded that a “Bill of Rights” be added to the Constitution before they would sign it. Do you know your “Bill of Rights”? Test yourself with this match game!

22. All Those Opposed?
__________During the ratification process, two factions emerged. The ________ supported ratifying the Constitution. What was the name of the faction which opposed ratifying the Constitution?

23. Ninth in Line
__________(Scroll down to “The Order of Ratification”) Nine of the thirteen states had to ratify if the Constitution was to become the law. Which state was the ninth to ratify?

24. New From The Old
__________Article V outlines the amendment process. According to Linda Monk, how many amendments were ratified under the old Articles of Confederation?

25. Partners in Governing
__________ What is the term for the system by which the federal government and the state governments share power? This is a key feature of American government.

26. Free At Last
__________Not including the “Bill of Rights”, the Constitution has been amended only 17 times in its entire history! The 13th Amendment was added in 1865. What did it outlaw? What does the most recent Amendment address?

27. Women Get Their Rights
__________Another amendment to the Constitution gave women the right to vote. Alice Paul was a suffragette. Which amendment gave women the right to vote in 1920?

28. How many delegates actually signed the Constitution? _________________

29. How many words are in the Constitution? Which word is misspelled? Who once recited the entire Constitution by memory?

30. Who was the oldest and youngest to sign the Constitution?
Oldest: ________ Youngest: ___________

31. Who were the only two presidents to sign the Constitution?
________ and ________

32. Which 3 freedoms does the first amendment grant?

33. What does the preamble of the Constitution state?

**Search for answers and complete hard copy of e-scavenger hunt questions. Happy hunting.**

[These questions adopted and adapted from this on-line scavenger hunt, as well as this one. A special thanks to the educators whose work formed the basis of this investigative excercise. Photo from here.]

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Jonathan Edwards in American History

Assignment for Thursday, August 30: To complement our discussion of Puritanism on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, we will focus on the life of Jonathan Edwards, a notable minister from western Massachusetts (b. 1703, d. 1758). Edwards is the subject of considerable controversy, interest, and fascination. I've studied him since 1998 and have read most of what he wrote, including many of his sermons--even some in 18th century manuscript form.

While a mere day does not do justice to the complexity of Edwards, I'd like us to examine some of his accessible key works to prepare for discussion. You must complete a primary document analsyis form for each document (3 total).

By Wednesday evening if not before, introduce yourself to JE by reading a short biography of JE here.

Document 1: Read the first 5 pages or so of the Resolutions

Document 2: Read the first 5 or 6 pages of the Personal Narrative

Document 3: Juniors, read a few pages of Distinguising Marks (after reading the intro read of few sections of DM here), and sophomores read a few pages of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.

You have plenty of time to read before Thursday; come prepared with analysis forms complete.

[Thanks to the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale for providing JE resources.]

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Prayer in Schools

Writer and thinker W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963), pictured here late in life in Accra, Ghana, wrote prayers for his students while teaching at Altanta University during the early years of the twentieth century. His spiritual meditations, I hope, will offer inspiration for the coming academic year.

The prayers below comes from a slender volume titled Prayers for Dark People, a collection of Du Bois's spiritual petitions published in 1980 and edited by scholar Herbert Aptheker.

"Let us remember, O God, that our religion in life is expressed in our work, and therefore in this school [Atlanta University] it is shown in the way we conquer our studies—not entirely in our marks but in the honesty of our endeavour, the thoroughness of our accomplishment and the singleness and purity of our purpose. In school life there is but one unforgivable sin and that is to know how to study and to be able to study, and then to waste and throw away God’s time and opportunity. From this blasphemy deliver us all, O God. Amen” (p. 33).

"God bless all schools and forward the great work of education for which we stand. Arouse within us and within our land a deep realization of the seriousness of our problem of training children. On them rests the future work and throught and sentiment and goodness of the world. If here and elsewhere we train the lazy and shallow, the self-indulgent and the frivolous--if we destroy reason and religion and do not rebuild, help us, O God, to realize how heavy is our responsibility and how great the cost. The school of today is the world of tomorrow and today and tomorrow are Thine, O God. Amen (I Samuel 16:6-12)" (p. 53).

Best wishes for a productive and successful semester and year!

[Photo from UMass-Amherst Digital Archive.]

History On-line

English professor Thomas Benton discusses on-line primary source material in the Chronicle of Higher Education here, and has some interesting thoughts on teacher/professor learning. (HT: UH Library History Blog)

The Winds of Time

The pun in the title of this post is not meant to make light of storms and the destruction they sometimes havoc, but to draw attention to the historical study of Caribbean storms. I thought this might be of interest with all of the news about Hurricane Dean in the Gulf of Mexico.

While I'm sure I'm leaving important titles out, one of the most interesting studies is Matthew Mulcahy's interesting book Hurricanes and Society in the British Greater Caribbean, 1624-1783 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005). Read a review of the book here.

According to his website, Mulcahy is now working on a study of the 1692 earthquake in Jamaica. Much more was going on in the greater Atlantic world this year than witch hunts (perhaps not the one you are thinking of) and other assorted happenings. Should make for interesting discussion.

Other topics of discussion for storms and their impact are found here (Katrina and society), here (Katrina and religion), and here (Katrina and culture).

Friday, August 17, 2007

U.S. History in a Global Perspective

Prof. Thomas Bender's book A Nation Among Nations: The United States in World History intelligently and helpfully discusses U.S. history from a broad perspective. I got to hear Bender give one of the plenary addresses at the 2006 World History Association Conference in Long Beach. Bender's perspective is worthy of discussion and necessary in classroom application. Feel free to share opinions and ideas on his work.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book come from the Introduction.

1. "If historians want to educate students and the public as true citizens, they must think more profoundly about the way they frame national histories…in ways that reveal commonalities and interconnections..."

2. "If we begin to think about American history as a local instance of a general history, as one history among others, not only will historical knowledge be improved, but the cultural foundations of a needed cosmopolitanism will be enhanced.”