Archive for October, 2006

Homework for B/C day

Please print off the 7th of March speech and bring it with you to the next class.

Homework assignments for October 31 and November 1!

A. Answer the following questions utilizing the Manifest Destiny Readings filed under Chapter 18. This is due October 31!

1. Why does O’Sullivan say that “America is destined for better deeds” than Europe?
2. How did economic depression help fuel support for Manifest Destiny?
3. Why was Mexico vulnerable along its northern border in the mid-19th century?
4. How did the changes in the US during the 1830s-1850 create both optimism and anxiety? What was another term for this optimism? How is this attitude still influential today?
5. What racial attitudes toward Mexico influenced Manifest Destiny (and perhaps even American attitudes today)? Be specific.

B. Answer the questions regarding Fugitive Slave poster 1 and Fugitive Slave poster 2. This is due November 1.

BTW- Your outlines are due Oct. 31, and you have a terms check on Ch 19! Trick… or treat?

Semester 1 Reading schedule

Reading Schedule APUSH
Semester 1
Fall 2006

This is your list of quiz and due dates for chapters in American Pageant. On due dates, chapters are to be read and terms explained by the beginning of class–reading check quizzes over terms and questions from study guides may be given.

Week 1- 3 days, AAA: Colonization
August 16 (Wednesday)- Summer reading assignment over Chapters 1-4 due

Week 2- 5 days, AABCA: English Dominance and the French & Indian War
August 22 (Tuesday)- Quiz, Chapters 1-4
August 23/24 (Wednesday/Thursday) Chapter 5 due
August 25 (Friday)- Chapter 6 due

Week 3- 4 days, AABC: Road to Revolution
August 29 (Tuesday)- Chapter 7 due
August 30/31 (Wednesday/Thursday)

Week 4- 4 days, ABCA: Revolution
September 5 (Tuesday)- Quiz, Chapters 5-7
September 6/7 (Wednesday/Thursday) Chapter 8 due

Week 5- 5 days, AABCA: Confederation & Constitution
September 11 (Monday)- Chapter 9 due

Week 6- 5 days, AABCA: Early Republic
September 18 (Monday)- Chapter 10 due
September 22 (Friday)- Quiz, Chapters 8-10

Week 7- 5 days, AABCA: Jefferson and War of 1812
September 25 (Monday)- Chapter 11 due
September 26 (Tuesday)- Chapter 12 due
October 2 (Monday)- Quiz, Chapters 11-12

Week 8- 4 days, AABC: Era of Jackson
October 3 (Tuesday)- Chapter 13 due
October 4/5 (Wednesday/Thursday)- Chapter 14 due

Week 9- 5 days, AABCA
October 9 (Monday)- Quiz, Chapters 13-14
October 10 (Tuesday)- Chapter 15-16 due: Nat’l Economy & Reform
October 16 (Monday)- Quiz, Chapters 15-16

Week 10- 5 days, AABCA: South & Slavery
October 17 (Tuesday)- Chapter 17 due
October 20 (Friday)- Midterm EXAM- Chapters 1-17

Week 11- 5 days, AABCA: Manifest Destiny
October 23 (Monday)- Chapter 18 due

Week 12- 5 days, AABCA: Sectionalism & Slavery
October 30 (Monday)- Chapter 19 due
November 3 (Friday)- Quiz, Chapter 17-19

Week 13- 4 days, AABC: Disunion
November 6 (Monday)- Chapter 20 due
November 10 (Friday)- Quiz, Chapter 20

Week 14- 5 days, AABCA: Civil War
November 13 (Monday)- Chapter 21 due
November 15-16 (Wed/Thu)- Chapter 22 due

Week 15- 2 days, AA: Civil War
November 21 (Tuesday)- Quiz, Chapters 21-22

Week 16- 5 days, AABCA: Reconstruction
November 27 (Monday)- Chapter 23 due
December 1 (Friday)- Quiz, Chapter 23

Week 17- 5 days, AABCA: Gilded Age and Industrialization
December 4 (Monday)- Chapter 24 due
December 5 (Tuesday)- Chapter 25 due
December 7-8 (Thu/Fri)- Quiz, Chapters 24-25

Week 18- 5 days, AABCA: Urbanization
December 11 (Monday)- Chapter 26 due
December 13 (Wednesday) Quiz, Chapter 26 (Bday)
December 14 (Thursday) Quiz, Chapter 26 (Cday)
December 15 (Friday)- Final Review

Week 19- 4 days, A + 3 final schedule
December 18 (Monday)- Final Review
December 19-21- FINALS

TABASCO assignment DUE Friday, October 27

Do a Tabasco analysis on the document by General Cass on the Wilmot Proviso posted below. You are encouraged to de research to find out more about opposition to the Proviso, or whatever else you need.

Opposition to the Wilmot Proviso


Lewis Cass was a general and Democratic politician (ambassador, senator) who was very popular during the mid-19th century. He voiced conservative views on slavery– so much so that some accused him of too much sympathy for slaveholders.

He was the Democratic candidate for president in 1848 but lost to Zachary Taylor. He was considered as a strong candidate for the Democratic nomination in 1844 and 1852 as well.
The position of General Cass on the slavery question, as upon all other questions which have come before the country, is consistent, well-defined, and in accordance with the doctrines of the constitution.

While General Taylor is quoted at the north as in favor of the “Wilmot Proviso,” and at the south as the champion of the slaveholding interest, General Cass, regarding the question in the light of the constitution, is disposed to leave the institution of slavery where that instrument has left it, in the hands of the people who are affected by it, to regulate it among themselves upon their own responsibility, and in their own manner.

The following pages will show the course pursued by General Cass on this question.

On the 1st day of March, 1847, the “Wilmot Proviso” was introduced into the Senate by a federal member from New England, as an amendment to the three-million bill. In the course of an eloquent speech, deprecating the introduction of the proviso, end giving his reasons for voting against it, General Cass said:

All the apprehensions expressed here will pass away, leaving us and our institutions unscathed. I have an abiding confidence in the rectitude and energy of public opinion in this country, as well as of its mighty effects. It has spoken many a time in my day, and spoken in tones that were feared and obeyed; ay, and it will so speak many a time to come. Thank God, we are not the people; we are but their temporary servants. There is a power above us, and beyond us, which says, thus far may you go, but no farther; and there we stop. We introduce subjects here, and discuss them, and discuss them, till mutual contact excites us; and we fancy that everybody is everywhere just as much excited as we are, and that the end of all things, at least all political things–union, government, liberty–is approaching, if not upon us. And all this, while the bounties of Heaven, both physical and moral, are descending upon us, not like the silent dew, but in one unbroken stream of unmerited kindness. Our country is without want; our government without oppression; our people without fear, and without danger; and yet, we are everlastingly talking about a crisis, as though we had nothing to do but to raise one, and to discuss it. We may have one, sir; but it may come in a way and in an hour we know not of. It may be a crisis, not of our making or seeking, but of God’s wrath for our ingratitude. As to a political crisis, all will come right, Mr. President. That word has got to be quite a common one in our national vocabulary. It frightened me once; but I have seen it so often, that its face has become quite familiar, and does not inspire the least dread. I recognise it as an old acquaintance, changing from time to time its drapery, but still preserving its identity. Our constituents, the American people, will take care of us, and of the crisis, too, as they took care of the crisis of independence, of the confederation, of the revolutionary war, of the constitution, of the non-intercourse, of the embargo, of the bank, of the deposites, of the tariff, and of the late war, and as they are taking into their own mighty keeping the present war; and they will still take care of their Union, and guard it from any unholy touch, as the ark of God was guarded of old by God’s holy people.

I shall vote against this proviso, because:

1st. The present is no proper time for the introduction into the country, and into Congress, of an exciting topic, tending to divide us, when our united exertions are necessary to prosecute the existing war.

2d. It will be quite in season to provide for the government of territory not yet acquired from foreign countries, after we shall have obtained it.

3d. The proviso can only apply to the British and Mexican territories, as there are no others coterminous to us. Its phraseology would reach either, though its application is pointed to Mexico. It seems to me that to express so much confidence in the successful result of this war, as to legislate at this time, if not over this anticipated acquisition, at least for it, and to lay down a partial basis for its government, would do us no good in the eyes of the world, and would irritate still more the Mexican people.

4th. Legislation now would be wholly inoperative, because no territory hereafter to be acquired can be governed without an act of Congress, providing for its government. And such an act, on its passage, would open the whole subject, and would leave the Congress, called upon to pass it, free to exercise its own discretion, entirely uncontrolled by any declaration found on the statute book.

5th. There is great reason to think that the adoption of this proviso would, in all probability, bring the war to an untimely issue, by the effect it would have on future operations.

6th. Its passage would certainly prevent the acquisition of one foot of territory; thus defeating a measure called for by a vast majority of the American people, and defeating it, too, by the very act purporting to establish a partial basis for its government.

The progress of public opinion upon the question of the adoption of this proviso, as the circumstances of the country have become more and more difficult, seems to me to indicate very clearly, that since its introduction at the past session of Congress, the conviction has been gaining ground that the present is no time for the agitation of this subject; and as the foreign war becomes more embarrassing, in a greater degree, than many anticipated, it is best to avoid a domestic dispute, which would raise bitter questions at home, and add confidence to the motives for resistance abroad. And certainly the fact now ascertained, that the war would be put to hazard, and the acquisition of territory defeated, by the adoption of this proviso, renders it impossible for me to vote for it, connected, as I deem both of these objects, with the dearest rights and honor of the country.

TABASCO- A Method of Analyzing Documents

As you read a document, you need to analyze it to extract as much meaning from the document as possible. This way of analyzing a document also helps you generate the outside information that is so importasnt for a good score on a DBQ.

Use this strategy as one method to quickly assess and analyze the important information. I created this method in place of the SOAPS or SOAPSTone method from the College Board because I think it makes you do a deeper analysis of the document.

Topic: (What is the document about? NOT the Title!) – 10 points

Author: (Information about the author which is relevant to the document; who he is, what she did, groups to which he belonged, etc) – 15 points

Bias: (Is the information presented here unbiased? Does info about the author suggest any mindset present?) – 10 points

Audience: (When was the document written, and who was the intended audience? There can be a primary and secondary audience.) – 15 points

Summary: (What are the main arguments or points the author makes? What conclusions can be drawn from this? What is the historical significance of the document?) – 50 points

COntext: (What is the context? What is going on at the time of the document that relates to it or influences it)

The Wilmot Proviso

The Wilmot Proviso, 1846

As you read, consider the following questions:
1. To what did the Wilmot Proviso specifically apply?
2. What reaction probably greeted this idea when presented in the House and Senate?

Provided, territory from That, as an express and fundamental condition to the acquisition of any the Republic of Mexico by the United States, by virtue of any treaty which may be negotiated between them, and to the use by the Executive of the moneys herein appropriated, neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of said territory, except for crime, whereof the party shall first be duly convicted.

[Passed by the U.S.House of Representatives, 1846 and 1847, never passed by the U.S.Senate]

Manifest Destiny Reading 5: A Mexican perspective

The Power of an Idea
by Miguel Ángel González Quiroga

1996 marked the 150th anniversary of the start of the war between the United States and Mexico. This is the proper time to recall an event which had lasting consequences for our two countries but which has now been mostly forgotten.

It is said that wars usually begin many years before the first shot is fired. I believe this to be so, and most especially in the case of this war. But how far back do we go? Ten years to the separation of Texas? Twenty-five years to the founding of the Mexican State? I would agree with those who hold that the die was cast when the United States was born as a nation and began its slow but inexorable expansion to the West.

The westward movement is one of several factors attributed to this war. You’ve heard them all: the slave interests of the South, the commercial interests of the Northeast, the land hunger of the West, Manifest Destiny, the Warhawks, James K. Polk. For those who blame Mexico: her internal divisions, her inability to colonize and govern the Northern lands, her rampant militarism, her unbounded arrogance.

American expansion, or growth, to use a less belligerent term, was, in my estimation, the principal cause of this great conflict. Without it, the war is simply incomprehensible. We could almost say the expansion was an irreducible brute fact.

Within the overall concept of expansion stands the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, which has an immense fascination for many of us in Mexico. Without pretending to add anything new to what has been said of old, I wish to include a few words on the concept of Manifest Destiny.
It is dangerous to underestimate the power of an idea. Especially one which captures the imagination of a people. Manifest Destiny was such an idea. To extend American democracy to the rest of the continent was to place a mantle of legitimacy on what was essentially an insatiable ambition for land. Some have argued that it was villainy clad in the armor of a righteous cause, to use an expression by Lippman. It is difficult to argue against democracy and its extension to the farthest reaches of the continent although historians have pointed out that, at least in this case, extending the area of freedom also signified extending the area of slavery.

The assertion of the superiority of the American race and the concomitant denigration of Mexico is another element of Manifest Destiny. It was Walt Whitman who stated: “What has miserable, inefficient Mexico–with her superstition, her burlesque upon freedom, her actual tyranny by the few over the many–what has she to do with the great mission of peopling the new world with a noble race? Be it ours, to achieve that mission!”

Those of us who admire Whitman as the greatest of American poets cannot but be disappointed at this stand on the war. Can this be the same poet who glorified equality and the respect for others when he said, “For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you?” Or when he wrote, “Whoever degrades another degrades me, and whatever is done or said returns again to me?”

How can we reconcile this contradiction? The poet of the body and of the soul himself explained it when he wrote, “I am vast, I contain multitudes.”

It is a painful exercise to look in the mirror of our past and discover that we are found wanting. It is sobering to read that we were beaten because we were a backward and decaying people. I cannot think that Mariano Otero and Carlos Maria Bustamante were the products of a decayed race. But we in Mexico cannot and do not ignore the weakness and the underdevelopment which was our lot in the 19th century. Nor do we ignore that underdevelopment was also the product of long and complex historical forces.

Manifest Destiny was a graceful way to justify something unjustifiable. It has not escaped our attention that Ulysses S. Grant, one of the most prominent of American military men, and himself a participant in the war, wrote in his memoirs, “I do not think there ever was a more wicked war than that waged by the United States in Mexico. I thought so at the time, when I was a youngster, only I had not moral courage enough to resign.”

But as a historian I do not wish to judge or to censure. Let me state my own views on the matter: expansion was a historical process that, like a westward wind, swept all before it. Not Mexico, not any force on this continent or any continent could have prevented it. This is not a question of good demographics. European immigration led to an explosive growth of the population of the United States and this inevitably led to expansion. Expansion led to war.

Midterm Exam Review: MIDTERM FRIDAY OCT 20!

These are excerpts taken from some of the questions on the midterm exam. Find the answers to them, and you’ve pretty much got the exam covered.

WHOA! You missed it! The questions have been taken down so I don’t have to completely redo my exam. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you did well on your midterm. If you didn’t get here in time to see the questions, let me remind you:


The Scoop


Quotes from Henry David Thoreau

Quotes from Henry David Thoreau

It is never too late to give up your prejudices. Walden

Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Walden

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. Walden

Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.

Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. Walden

Things do not change; we change. Journal

In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and the future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.

We do not enjoy poetry unless we know it to be poetry.

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.

So behave that the odor of your actions may enhance the general sweetness of the atmosphere, that when we behold or scent a flower, we may not be reminded how inconsistent your deeds are with it; for all odor is but one form of advertisement of a moral quality, and if fair actions had not been performed, the lily would not smell sweet. The foul slime stands for the sloth and vice of man, the decay of humanity; the fragrant flower that springs from it, for the purity and courage which are immortal.

For more than five years I maintained myself thus solely by the labour of my hands, and I found, that by working about six weeks in a year, I could meet all the expenses of living.

On tops of mountains, as everywhere to hopeful souls, it is always morning.

All this worldly wisdom was once the amiable heresy of some wise man. Journal

I heartily accept the motto, “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Civil Disobedience

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison. Civil Disobedience