Date Due: 15 November 2010 First Quarter Historical Investigation Each student must submit a paper based on Chapters 1-9 from The American Pageant (Kennedy et al, 2008) by the due date. This task is not an option. Topic questions below are your choices for the first quarter. Students are to select unique topics and no more than one student may do a single topic. See the bullets below for the method of producing your work task. More details can be found on the class homework site: http://amundsenhs.org (Classes/Homework Social Science IB MYP US History
All investigations require documented research using the Chicago/Turabian style of footnoting and bibliography entry
Papers must be typed using 12 point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and have one-inch margins on all sides
The following items must be submitted with your final paper:
An outline of the paper that has been used to organize this presentation
A bibliography including at least seven sources in addition to any internet sources and any textbooks
Verification you submitted the work via Turn It In for plagiarism and appropriate citation of sources
A peer-edited draft of your paper
Text work, i.e., the paper not including the cover sheet, outline, table of contents, footnotes, bibliography, headings, graphics, titles, page numbers, quotations, etc., must be at least 700 words, but not more than 1200 words in length
You must correct all spelling, grammar, and syntax of Standard English writing
1. Describe the impact of Europeans on Native American (Indian) cultures and the impact of native cultures on Europeans. Then explain why it was or was not a good thing that European culture prevailed.
2. Summarize the motives, expectations, problems, and rewards associated with the age of European expansion.
3. It is sometimes said that the Europeans who came to the Americas settled a “virgin land” that was unused and unspoiled. Write an essay demonstrating that this is or is not an accurate description of what happened.
4. Write your definition of culture. Then use your definition to compare the cultures of Native Americans and Europeans.
5. Write your definition of the concept of discovery. Then use this definition to demonstrate that Columbus was or was not the person who discovered America.
6. What was the nature of slavery in Africa before the arrival of the Spanish?
7. Are the conquistadores to be considered villains or heroes for their actions in the Americas?
8. Describe the Aztec civilization and the effect that European conquest had on it.
9. Assess the validity of the following statement, “The Great Ice Age shaped more than the geological history of North America. It also contributed to the origins of the continent's human history.”
10. Summarize the development and geographic evolution of North America.
11. Assess the validity of the following statement, “Columbus's sensational achievement obscures the fact that he was one of the most successful failures in history.”
12. Describe both the positive and negative benefits of the Columbian Exchange on the New and Old World.
13. Describe what is meant by the Spanish 'Black Legend.' What is your assessment of the Spanish impact on North American cultures – positive or negative? Why?
14. What lessons do you think English colonists learned from their early Jamestown experience? Focus on matters of fulfilling expectations, financial support, leadership skills, and relations with the Indians. What specific developments illustrate that the English living in the plantation colonies tried to apply these lessons?
15. In many ways, North Carolina was the least typical of the five plantation colonies. Describe the unique features of colonial North Carolina and explain why this colony was so unlike its southern neighbors.
16. Write your definition of progress. Then use this definition to demonstrate that the discovery of America did or did not lead to progress in human history.
17. Analyze the contribution to European expansion by TWO of the following developments.
18. Rank the items in the following list, starting with the one that you think had the most important consequences. Then justify your ranking. Finally, speculate as to what might have happened had these events not occurred.
a. The cultivation of tobacco in Virginia
b. The introduction of slavery into the plantation colonies
c. The “enclosing” of croplands in England
19. Compare and contrast the ways in which tobacco and sugar affected the social and economic development of colonial America.
20. Discuss English treatment of the Irish and its consequences.
21. Assess the validity of the following statement, by the end of the 16th century “Spain had overreached itself, sowing the seeds of its own decline.”
22. Compare and contrast the motives of their founders, religious and social orientation, economic pursuits, and political developments of TWO of the early colonial settlement areas.
23. Analyze the extent to which the government of Massachusetts Bay was simultaneously theocratic, democratic, oligarchic, and authoritarian?
24. Compare and contrast the Confederation of New England and the Dominion of New England. Be sure to cite the date of the founding, state the reasons for their creation, describe how they functioned and what they accomplished, and explain why they were ultimately abandoned.
25. To what extent were the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay religious fanatics?
26. State and explain your position on whether or not political authority should be used to enforce a particular view of morality. Then explain why you would or would not have been in favor of banishing Roger Williams and/or Anne Hutchinson from Massachusetts Bay.
27. Construct a definition of Puritanism using the concepts of predestination, calling, covenant, Protestant ethic, and conversion.
28. Which of the New England or middle colonies would you have preferred to live in? Explain your answer by discussing your selection's social, economic, political, religious, and ethnic characteristics.
29. In your opinion, which three of the twelve colonies founded in the seventeenth century made the most significant contributions to the perennial American values of democratic self-government, educational opportunity, religious toleration, social plurality, and economic materialism? Explain your choice.
30. Make a list of the motives of English people who migrated to America in the seventeenth century. Rank the items in the list from most important to least important. Then justify your ranking.
31. Write your interpretation of John Winthrop's comment that Massachusetts Bay was to be “as a city upon a hill” and “a beacon to mankind.” In your opinion, do Americans still hold this view of their nation's role in the world? Why or why not?
32. Some historians have argued that Puritanism was especially suited for life in the wilderness of seventeenth-century America. Do you agree? Why or why not?
33. To what extent should the colonization of America be understood as the extension of European civilization into the New World, or should it be understood as the gradual development of a uniquely American culture?
34. Assess the validity of the following statement, “Although colonists both north and south were bound together by a common language and a common allegiance to Mother England, they established different patterns of settlement, different economies, different political systems, and even different sets of values.”
35. In what ways was the Mayflower Compact a genuine step toward self-government?
36. What did John Winthrop mean when he said, “we shall be as a city upon a hill.” Did the Massachusetts Bay Colony reach this objective? Why or why not?
37. To what extent had the Massachusetts Bay colonists endorsed the idea of the 'separation of church and state.'
38. To what extent was the New England Confederation a first step toward colonial unity?
39. Compare and contrast the economies, geography and climate, mortality rates, sex ratios, and family relationships of New England and the southern colonies. In which of the two regions would you have preferred to live? Why?
40. Why did colonial masters first adopt the institution of indentured servitude rather than Indian or black slavery to meet their demands for labor? Why, then, did black slavery replace indentured servitude?
41. Assess the extent to which distinctions of wealth and status were widening or narrowing as the seventeenth century drew to a close? Why?
42. Write your definition of racism. Then use this definition to argue that the origin of slavery in colonial America was or was not primarily the result of English racism.
43. Write your definition of mass hysteria. Then use this definition to argue that the Salem witchcraft episode was or was not a simple case of mass hysteria.
44. Identify the main cause of Bacon's Rebellion: resentment felt by backcountry farmers, Governor Berkeley's Indian policies, or the pressure of the tobacco economy? Justify your choice.
45. Describe what you think town life contributed to the life-style of New Englanders; then consider the consequence of the absence of towns in the colonial South.
46. Argue either that an “American” way of life had emerged by the end of the seventeenth century or that two wholly distinct ways of life, one New England and the other southern, had emerged by the end of the seventeenth century.
47. Assess the validity of the following statement, “democracy in church government led logically to democracy in political government.”
48. Explain the complex social structure that developed in the South during the 17th and 18th centuries.
49. Assess the validity of the following statement, “slavery might have begun in America for economic reasons, but by the end of the seventeenth century, it was clear that racial discrimination also powerfully molded the American slave system.”
50. Compare and contrast the status of women in the South with that of New England.
51. To what extent is the following statement, by Thomas Jefferson, true; “the town meeting was the best school of political liberty the world ever saw.”
52. Explain the following statement, “the story of New England was largely written by rocks.”
53. Summarize the key features of the American population in the early eighteenth century. Consider its sources, size, location, diversity, and mobility.
54. Did differences in wealth and status in the colonies increase or diminish from 1700 to 1750? Explain.
55. Assess the extent to which the Great Awakening, an intensely religious movement, contributed to the development of the separation of church and state in America.
56. Write your definition of religious fundamentalism. Then use this definition to argue that the Great Awakening was or was not a movement of religious fundamentalists.
57. Write your definition of democracy. Then use this definition to argue that colonial politics had or had not become democratic by 1760.
58. Early America was not a world of equality and consensus, yet many immigrants poured in, seeing America as a land of opportunity. How could they draw such a conclusion?
59. What were the short term and long term consequences of the American colonists seeking foreign markets for their exports?
60. Compare and contrast the French colonies in North America with their British and Spanish counterparts. Consider, for example, location, timing, economy, political organization, and religious influences.
61. Why did the Ohio Valley become the arena of conflict between the French and British in America?
62. Write your definition of world war. Then use this definition to argue that the Seven Years' War was or was not a world war.
63. Write your definition of nationalism. Then use this definition to argue that the Seven Years' War was or was not a nationalizing experience for colonial Americans.
64. Identify which of the following contributed most to the British victory in the Seven Years' War: the leadership of William Pitt, the aid of American colonists, or the skill of the British regulars? Justify your choice.
65. The Seven Years' War has been called the “Great War for Empire.” Assess the validity of the claim.
66. To what extent did the Seven Years' War helped cause the American Revolutionary War?
67. Suppose that the French had won the Seven Years' War. What do you think would have been the consequences for the British colonies in America in both the short and long run?
68. What did Benjamin Franklin mean when he said, “all people agreed on the need for union, but their 'weak noodles' were 'perfectly distracted' when they attempted to agree on details.”
69. Compare and contrast the reasons for unity and the reasons for disunity in the American colonies before and after the Seven Years' War.
70. What was the Proclamation of 1763 – how was it viewed by America and how was it viewed by England? What caused this difference in perception?
71. Explain the relationship between mercantilism, the Navigation Laws, and British efforts to create an administrative structure for their empire after 1696.
72. Given that the Quebec Act did not apply to the thirteen seaboard colonies, why did the act create such a stir of protest among them?
73. Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of the British and the colonists, respectively, as the American Revolutionary War began? What would Britain have to do to win? What would the colonists have to do to win?
74. What does the phrase point of no return mean to you? Identify that point in colonial-British relations between 1760 and 1776 and explain why you picked that event/date.
75. Write your definition of conspiracy. Then use this definition to argue that the colonists were or were not victims of a British conspiracy to rob them of their liberties.
76. Both the British and the colonists were devoted to the principle of “No taxation without representation.” To what extent did both taxation and representation become major sources of controversy between the colonists and Parliament?
77. In what ways were the mercantilist policies of the British burdensome to the colonists? In what ways were they beneficial? From this comparison, draw a conclusion about the effects of mercantilism and the Navigation Laws on British-colonial relations up to 1763.
78. Which of the following do you think was most responsible for the conflict between Britain and its American colonies: the ineptness of parliamentary leadership, the colonists' behavior, the high-handedness of King George III, the British mercantilist system and Navigation Laws, or the actions of British officials in the colonies? Justify your choice.
79. List the following in order of their importance to colonial protest: pamphlets, boycotts, mob action, committees of correspondence. Justify your ranking.
80. It might be said that it was the British who were revolutionaries in 1763 and the colonists who were conservatives attempting to preserve the status quo. Explain.
81. Explain the following quote, “Insurrection of thought usually precedes insurrection of deed.” What does this mean? In what ways is this generalization an accurate description of the coming of the American Revolutionary War?
82. Create a scenario for the period 1763–1776 to demonstrate that the American Revolutionary War and colonial independence from Great Britain were not inevitable.
83. Explain the following quote, “In the American wilderness, they encountered a world that was theirs to make afresh.”
84. What qualities in George Washington made him a good choice for commanding the Revolutionary army? What were his most valuable contributions to independence?
85. The combat of the Revolutionary War began in spring 1775. Why did colonists wait until the summer of 1776 to declare independence?
86. Account for the widespread and enthusiastic colonial reception of Thomas Paine's Common Sense. 87. Colonists had debated with Parliament and protested its actions since 1763. Why, then, did the Declaration of Independence single out King George III as the tyrant threatening their liberties?
88. Write your definition of loyalty. Then explain why the Loyalists were held in such low regard and treated with abuse during the Revolutionary War.
89. List the three most important battles of the Revolutionary War. Justify your selections.
90. Many historians argue that without French aid the colonies could never have won their independence. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
91. Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner. Why, then, did he state in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal”?
92. Assess the validity of the following claim, “the British 'lost' the Revolutionary War more than the Americans 'won' it.”
93. Historians have argued for many years over why the Revolution occurred. In your opinion, what school of thought is the most convincing, and why?
94. Explain why the text's authors conclude that the Franco-American alliance was “not prompted by a love for America but by a realistic concern for the interests of France.” In what ways did the French contribute to colonial independence?
95. Why didn't the leaders of the American Revolution extend their spirit of equality to the abolition of slavery and giving women the right to vote?
96. Compare and contrast the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, especially in regard to the specific powers granted by each to the national government.
97. Write your definition of democracy. Then use this definition to evaluate the Constitution as it was penned in 1787. In what ways was it a democratic document, and in what ways did it guard against democracy?
98. To what extent was anti-colonialism established as a legacy of the American Revolution? How, then, did the United States establish a justification for its own future territorial expansion?
99. Historian Charles Beard described the Constitution as the “reactionary” phase of the Revolutionary era. What did he mean by this, and what could have led him to this conclusion?
100. Had you been a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, how would you have voted on such issues as representation, taxation, regulation of commerce, and the slave trade? Why?
101. Had you been a delegate to a state convention charged with considering ratification of the Constitution, which way would you have voted? Why?
102. List all the reasons why the Articles of Confederation needed to be replaced in order of importance, starting with the most important reason. Justify your selection and arrangement.
103. Thomas Jefferson observed that “173 despots would surely be as oppressive as one.” What was the context of his remark? What was Jefferson warning against?
104. According to the text's authors, “In some respects, the hated British Navigation Laws were more disagreeable after independence than before.” What is the basis for their conclusion?
105. Thomas Jefferson once said he believed that “all the good” of the new Constitution might have been accomplished by simply amending the Articles of Confederation. According to the text's authors, it is probably a good thing that the Founding Fathers did not merely amend the Articles of Confederation. With which position do you agree? Why?
106. Assume that the Constitution had not been ratified by the state conventions. What do you think would have been the short- and long-term consequences?
107. Compare and contrast the British notion of a “constitution” with that of the Americans.
Student List of Topic Commitment for Historical Investigation 1