Instructor: Michelle Tackett

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Advanced Placement United States History/Dual Credit HIS 108/109

Summer Assignment


Instructor: Michelle Tackett

Contact Information:
In preparation for your upcoming Advanced Placement/Dual Credit course, you will be required to complete the following assignment.
Students and Parents please read the following information carefully:


It is essential that you do not copy this assignment from someone else. IF TWO OR MORE STUDENT ANSWER SHEETS HAVE IDENTICAL MATCHING ANSWERS, THESE ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE CONSIDERED COPIED/CHEATING (even if you are the student that did the work and allowed someone to copy it) NO CREDIT WILL BE GIVEN FOR COPIED/CHEATING WORK. PARENTS WILL BE NOTIFIED IMMEDIATELY.

This class is largely about reading, so if you are tempted to not read and get the information from someone else, I suggest that you do not take the class. This class is designed for the student who will take the time to read and complete the material. Class time will be used to discuss ideas and concepts that are in the readings and assignments. You need to be prepared to discuss in class by taking the time at home to read and complete assignments.
No credit will be given to assignment turned in past the due date. I do not give extra credit on an individual basis and do not allow for retakes on quizzes and exams.
Plagiarism as defined by Marriam-Webster means “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own: use (another’s production) without crediting the sources.”

If you copy from anyone, anywhere and do not cite the information you will get a zero on the assignment whether you knew it was plagiarizing or not.

Assignment: Required reading: FOUNDING BROTHERS, Joseph J. Ellis

This book can be purchased in paperback in most major bookstores and online (prices ranging from $12.00-15.00 new and $0.01-5 used) or checked out at the public library
Complete the following reading guide while reading Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis.

For each chapter, answer the following questions completely and cite specific, relevant evidence from the text (including page numbers).

Questions must be answered in complete sentences. I want to be able to check your answers without have the questions right in front of me. That means you need to restate the questions within your answer.
There will be a brief quiz on the book and the reading guide may be used to answer the quiz questions. This quiz will be on the first day of the 2015-2016 school year.
INTRODUCTION: The Generation

  1. Why were the major accomplishments of the Founding Brothers during the Revolution unprecedented? (3 reasons)

  2. What were the assets and liabilities of the United States in 1789? How did the liabilities make it difficult for the Founding Brothers to build a nation under the new Constitution?

  3. What distinguishes the American Revolution from most, if not all, subsequent revolutions? Explain.

  4. According to Ellis, why were the Founding Brothers successful? (He offers 4 reasons.)

  5. Why does Ellis refer to the individuals as Founding Brothers NOT Founding Fathers?

  6. According to Ellis, the creation of a separate American nation occurred suddenly rather than gradually. Explain this comment.

  7. What issue was discussed by the Constitutional Congress, but specifically excluded from the final document? What does the author say was a direct result of this excluded issue?

  8. How did critics of the Constitution see that document?

Chapter 1 “The Duel” July 11, 1804

  1. How did the characters and the duel represent political developments of the early republic?

  2. When Ellis refers to “the supercharged political culture of the early republic,” what does he mean?

  3. Why did the Burr-Hamilton duel become legendary?

  4. What position did Alexander Hamilton have in the U.S. Government? What position did Aaron Burr have in the U.S. Government?

  5. Why does Hamilton call Burr the “Catiline of America”? Provide examples that

support Hamilton’s view of Burr.

  1. According to the author, whose version of the duel has persevered through history?

  2. What does Ellis believe to be the main mystery about the duel?

  3. According to Ellis, why did Burr go to the duel?

Chapter 2 “The Dinner” June 20, 1790

  1. What political party was Hamilton considered a leader? What political party was Jefferson considered a leader?

  2. What was the main agenda item for the “dinner”?

  3. What role did Madison play? Hamilton? Jefferson?

  4. What was Hamilton’s plan for debt reconciliation? Why was Madison opposed to it?

  5. What was offered to Madison to get him to accept the new financial plan?

  6. How does the Compromise of 1790 illustrate the disagreement among the leaders of the revolutionary era?

Chapter 3 “The Silence” February 11, 1790

  1. What was the subject of petitions that were submitted to the House of Representatives on February 11, 1790? What was written in the Constitution that directly affected this petition?

  2. Describe in detail the arguments presented by James Jackson (GA) and William

Loughton Smith (SC) in support of slavery.

  1. Describe in detail the counterargument presented by John Laurance (NY) and Eldridge Gerry (MA) in response to Jackson and Smith’s justification of slavery.

  2. What were the proposals for gradual emancipation? According to Ellis, could gradual emancipation have been feasible?

  3. What was Benjamin Franklin’s role in the 1790 debate over slavery?

  4. What does Ellis mean when he says that “Madison’s position on slavery captured the essence of what might be called ‘the Virginia straddle’”?

CHAPTER 4: “The Farewell”

  1. How does Benjamin Franklin’s gift to George Washington symbolize how Washington was viewed by the nation? What evidence from Washington’s career supports this?

  2. Why did Washington decide to retire? Consider private, public, and political concerns.

  3. Regarding Washington’s Farewell, what was the purpose and main themes? Discuss the advice he gives to America’s future leaders and the three most important political issues of that time. Who do some people believe authored the Farewell letter?

  4. What was Washington’s attitude toward American involvement in European conflict?

  5. What were Washington’s purpose/message in the Circular Letter, Proclamation of Neutrality, and the Address to the Cherokees?

  6. Why is Jay’s Treaty considered a “landmark in the shaping of American foreign policy”? Explain the controversy/issues surrounding the treaty including the opinions of the parties, Jefferson, Madison, and the majority of Americans.

  7. A rift developed between Jefferson and Washington. What were the issues surrounding the rift? How does the rift reflect a greater rift amongst the revolutionary generation (especially between Republicans and Federalists)? What impact would this have on the nation?

CHAPTER 5: “The Collaborators”

  1. Who emerged as candidates for President upon Washington’s retirement?

  2. What were the strengths and weaknesses of John Adams as a presidential candidate?

  3. Why didn’t Jefferson join his friend Adams in bipartisan cooperation/

  4. How did Adams respond to the XYZ Affair?

  5. Why did Adams negotiate a diplomatic end to the Quasi-War with France, which he knew would alienate him from his own political party?

  6. What was the primary function of the collaboration between Jefferson and Madison? What was their response to the Alien and Sedition Acts?

Chapter 6: “The Friendship”

  1. What was the significance of the “midnight judges”?

  2. What were Jefferson’s misguided propositions about European affairs?

  3. What started the correspondence between Abigail Adams and Jefferson?

  4. What was Adams’ famous saying that allowed Adams and Jefferson to begin their correspondence and friendship again?

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