Archive for October, 2009

Chapter 18 questions

Due on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Chapter 18 Questions

1. Why did the Mexican Cession throw national politics into turmoil, and how did this turmoil weaken national unity? Describe the range of opinion regarding the extension/expansion of slavery in the wake of the Mexican War.

2. Why was the concept of popular sovereignty described as a “panacea?” Who was the “father” of this doctrine?

3. Why did Zachary Taylor receive the Whig nomination in 1848?

4. Explain the birth of the Free Soil Party and its specific reasons for attracting anti-slavery supporters. How did it act as a spoiler in 1848 and 1852?

5. Why did California avoid territorial status which was usually required before applying for statehood? Why was the admission of California potentially damaging to the interests of the South?

6. Pro-slavery Southerners had largely supported the Mexican War, and yet what was the irony regarding the probable status of most of the Cession once it was carved into states?

7. What were the problems with the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793, in Southerners’ eyes? Why did Southerners want a more stringent fugitive slave law by the 1840s, and how did they propose making the law stronger in terms of methods allowed in the pursuit of runaways?

8.  What catastrophe faced Congress in 1850? Who were the “immortal trio,” and how did they attempt to deal with this crisis?

9. Explain the main points of Daniel Webster’s “Seventh of March Speech.” (An excerpt is on the blog.)

10. What was the difference between the “Old Guard” and the “New Guard” regarding the nature of the Union and compromise to preserve it?

11. What was meant by the statement that Taylor threatened to “Jacksonize” the Texas hotheads who threatened to seize Santa Fe? (Hint: see pp. 264-5)

12. How did Taylor’s death help break the impasse?

13. What were the main provisions of the Compromise of 1850? Did anyone win?

14.  How was the new Fugitive Slave Law tipped against fairness? How did the new law backfire in the court of public opinion? Explain.

15. How many times does the word “spit show up on pp. 400-401, and what does this indicate? What were some ridiculous aspects of the election of 1852?

16. Why was the election of 1852 effectively the end of the Whig party?

17. How did Manifest Destiny cause the US to take interest in the isthmus between North  America and South America, and what other country maneuvered against US interests in the region?

18. Why did proponents of slavery turn their eye toward American expansion in the Caribbean and Central America? What were filibusters like William Walker trying to do? How was Cuba involved, in particular?

19. Compare and contrast the Treaty of Wanghia and the Treaty of Kanagawa.

20. Why was the Gadsden Purchase so important to maintain peace between North and South?

21.  How did the Kansas-Nebraska Act contradict the Missouri Compromise, and why was Stephen Douglas in favor of it?

22. How did the Kansas Nebraska Act wreck the Compromise of 1850 as well, and what were the political consequences?

The story of Santa Anna’s leg…

I swear, you can’t make this stuff up!

First, read this:

and then read this:

Finally, read this:

This is why I love history!

Questions for Chapter 17

These are due on your class’s long day– Wednesday for 5th period and Thursday for 4th and 6th.

1. How did Tyler become “the accidental president?” What effects did his ascension to the presidency have?

2. Describe the main policies of the Whig party.  Why was the Whig party frustrated in its attempts to pass much of its platform?

3. Review previous chapters to determine why Clay was called “the Great Compromiser.”  Why did he and his supporters have to continue in this trend?

4. Outline the main reasons for continued American antipathy for Britain.

5. What was the Aroostook War?

6. Describe the controversy over the Maine boundary and the terms of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.

7. Why did Britain want Texas to remain independent?

8. Why did the US refrain from immediately annexing Texas in 1836?  What caused the US to finally seal the deal nine years later?

9. Compare the painting on p. 376 with the map on p. 325.  Was St. Louis really the “Gateway to the West?”

10. What were the main issues of the election of 1844?

11. What is a “dark horse” candidate?

12. Why did the Whigs condemn Clay as a “corrupt bargainer?”

13. How was Clay like George W. Bush?

14.  Why did the Walker Tariff increase imports?

15. What caused Britain to seek to settle the Oregon question? What do you think the phrase “54’40 or Fight!” meant?

16. Why did the US get into a war with Mexico?  Was war necessary? Justify your answer.

17. What was the Bear Flag Republic? How did it come into existence, and why was it called that?

18. Who was “Old Rough and Ready?” Who was the “Hero of Buena Vista?” Who was “Old Fuss and Feathers?”

19. What were the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo?  What were the consequences of this treaty?

20. Who were the “Mexican Whigs” or “Conscience Whigs?”  Why were they called this?

21. Why did the US pay for the land in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo when they had already won the war?

22. Why does the author call the Mexican War a“blood-splattered schoolroom for the Civil War?”

23. What was the Wilmot amendment (aka Wilmot proviso)?

24. Explain the term “Santa Anna’s revenge.”


You have no doubt seen the quotes on the ceiling of the classroom and in the hallway.

I would like you to choose one quote of your own from the writers covered in Chapter 15, and illuminate it on a separate piece of paper. Try to avoid quotes which have already been posted. You may use other American writers of the period who were not covered in the text. This will be worth extra credit.

Illuminate each quote on an 8×11 piece of paper. Preference will be given to quotes which are illuminated by hand rather than on computer. Let your artistic side out! Bring these to class by Tuesday. I will give no credit for simply scrawling a saying on a piece of notebook paper. These are supposed to be well-designed as well asthought-provoking

Don’t know what “Illuminated” means? Look it up. Think “scriptorium.”

Make-up work due Monday; tests by Wednesday

All make-up work from absences (assignments) is due on Monday. If you are absent, you need to email it to me.

All quizzes and tests must be made up either before or after school by next Wednesday. No exceptions unless hospitalized.

practice MC 2 from class Friday

1.  Sexual differences were strongly emphasized in 19th century America because

A. frontier life necessitated these distinctions.

B. men were regarded as morally superior beings.

C. it was the duty of men to teach the young to be good, productive citizens.

D. the market economy increasingly separated men and women into distinct economic roles.

E. women believed this emphasis brought them greater respect.

(notes, 331)

2. Women became especially active in the social reforms stimulated by the 2nd Great awakening because

A. religious social reform legitimized their activity outside the home.

B. they refused to accept the idea that there was a special female role in society.

C. they were looking to obtain as much power as possible at the expense of men.

D. many of the leading preachers and evangelists were women.

E. they saw churches as the first institutions that needed to be reformed.

(322, 328)

3. Perhaps the slave’s greatest psychological horror, and the theme of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was

A. slaveowners’ frequent use of the whip.

B. the enforced separation of slave families through sale.

C. the breeding of slaves.

D. having to do the most dangerous work on the plantation.

E. forcible sexual assault by slaveowners.


4. Slaves fought the system of slavery in all of the following ways EXCEPT

A. slowing down the work pace.

B. sabotaging expensive equipment.

C. stealing goods their labor had produced.

D. running away if possible.

E. refusing to get an education.

(questions, 362)

5. Most white southerners were

A. industrialists.                        D. small farmers with a few slaves.

B. mountain whites.                        E. subsistence farmers

C. plantation owners.


6. In the case of Commonwealth vs. Hunt, the supreme court of Massachusetts ruled that

A. corporations were unconstitutional.

B. labor strikes were illegal by violating the Fair Labor Act.

C.  labor unions were not illegal conspiracies.

D. the Boston Associates employment of young women was inhumane.

E. the state could regulate factory wages and working conditions.


7. In the 1790s a major transportation project linking the East to the trans-Allegheny West was the

A. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

B. National (Cumberland Road)

C. Erie Canal.

D. St Lawrence Seaway.

E. Lancaster Turnpike.

(notes, 310)

8. In the new national economy of the early 19th century, each region specialized in a particular economic activity: the South ____ for export; the West grew grains and livestock to feed __; and the East _________ for the other two regions.

A. raised grain, southern slaves, processed meat

B. grew cotton, immigrants, made furniture and merchant ships

C. grew cotton, eastern factory workers, made machines and textiles

D. raised grain, eastern factory workers, made furniture and tools

E. processed meat, southern slaves, raised grain


9. When the “famine Irish” came to America, they

A. moved to the West.

B. mostly became farmers.

C. moved up the economic ladder quickly.

D. mostly remained in the port cities of the Northeast.

E. formed alliances with free blacks against German immigrants.

(notes, 292)

10. The American work force in the early 19th century was characterized by

A. substantial employment of women and children in factories.

B. strikes by workers that were few in number but usually effective.

C. a general lengthening of the workday from ten to fourteen hours.

D. extensive political activity among workers.

E. reliance on the system of apprentices and masters.

(notes, 304)

5th period, please bring your books tomorrow

I may need to take a sick day, and I want to be prepared just in case. So please bring your textbooks to class, and spread the word.