Archive for the ‘Analysis’ Category

Handout from Friday. Read before next class.

I added a political cartoon. You can download the handouts here:Document Analysis PR

You need to read, and probably annotate things that you find important.

Questions over the Turner Thesis

For those of you who did not pick up the printed packets, you are going to want to get started on the questions, so here is a .pdf of the packet. You need to get started on these questions as soon as possible to determine ones you need to ask me about on Tuesday.

Click here to download the .pdf: Turner Essay with questions

Essay topic for Final for 2nd hour

This could be worth some extra credit on your final. You are welcome to research these online, but your words must be your own. If there is any suspicion that written responses have been plagiarized, they will be discarded. The more specifics you offer, the more points you may earn, as well as for the depth of your analysis.

Written responses

You may choose between:

A Explain and analyze the struggle to ensure that freedmen would receive the same civil rights as other citizens fr0m 1866 to 1872. Make sure you include all relevant specific terms and that you underline them or highlight them.

B. Explain and analyze the long-term impact of technological innovations of the Civil War era, both on the conduct of the war and in the post-war era.

Uses of introductory paragraphs as outlines in essays

Let’s imagine that we were given this statement to defend in an essay:

Defend this statement: “The Mexican War and its aftermath was the turning point that led the US inevitably to Civil War.”

To defend this statement and support it with facts, we could generate the following specific pieces of evidence and evaluate the significance of each one: Mexican War-Civil War outline

And then, we could take what we consider to be the most important facts and generate an introductory paragraph that actually also serves as an outline for our overall essay, such as this: Intro example- Mexican War

Here are some of the benefits of this approach:

1) You create a strong introduction that actually ANSWERS THE DARN QUESTION (ATDQ).

2) Many of you, under pressure of time, consider writing an outline as a waste of that valuable time, which is a pretty big mistake to make. This method allows you to USE the outline to perform a vital function– answering the darn question, specifically and fully, at the outset of your essay.

3) This will also help your organize your thoughts., which will actually help you use your time wisely. As you move from paragraph to paragraph, you have already created a roadmap for yourself.

4) Readers– especially AP Readers– are human. They will only spend 3-4 minutes reading your entire essay, and another minute or two evaluating it. A strong, specific introductory paragraph that demonstrates the depth of your knowledge will help establish that you actually know what you are talking about at the outset, and incline them more favorably to your overall essay, making it more likely that you will get a higher score. You will have given the reader a framework through which to understand what you know.

5) If you DO run out of time while writing your essay, you have already laid out your full argument, so the reader will still see what you would have written, had you had the time. This will minimize the damage.


Questions to model analysis –from

These were what we worked on in class on Friday to help you develop the social and economic analysis sections of your essay:

1. Analyze whether the existence of groups such as the Society of Cincinnati, Masons, etc., indicated difficulty with social unity in the post-Revolutionary War period.

2. Analyze whether the Whiskey Rebellion and other protest movements ultimately indicated that sufficient change had taken place economically during and immediately after the Revolution.


(I propose these questions because many of you not only seem to have discerned less information about these two areas, but also because you also need to consider utilizing the tactic of prolepsis in writing an essay that is fully developed and sophisticated. And if you don’t know what “prolepsis” is… LOOK IT UP!)

Manifest Destiny Reading 3: A Go-Ahead Nation

A Go-Ahead Nation
Robert W. Johanssen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

I don’t think that the war with Mexico can be properly understood without placing it in the context of the times, especially in terms of the attitude that Americans had toward themselves and toward the world. This was a period of American Romanticism and the war was extremely important as an expression of that romantic thought.

Romanticism is often times a very elusive concept. It was, of course, a very important period in European intellectual literary history and a lot of the European ideas and expressions came to the United States. For example, Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens, two very important figures in the romantic period in England, were extremely popular in the United States. Many of the volunteers who went to fight Mexico had been nurtured on the medieval romances of Sir Walter Scott and were reminded of those tales and settings in so many ways.

Q: How would you describe American Romanticism?

American Romanticism was an off-shoot of this broader intellectual or literary outlook. It was a very optimistic attitude that emphasized feeling and emotion and sentiment as opposed to reason. It was a reaction to the Age of Enlightenment that had gone before. The universe was not a static mechanism as people during the Age of Enlightenment thought, but rather an organic entity that was constantly changing. Change was a fact of life. It was based on the idea of progress and betterment. Perfection was one of the words that represented a common romantic notion.

Q: How did 19th-century Americans express this romantic attitude?

People in the United States had a reputation that they were in awe of nothing and nothing could stand in their way. The word was boundlessness — there were no bounds, no limits to what an individual, society, and the nation itself could achieve. There was a reform spirit involved in the spirit of the age. It was a period of tremendous, exciting change.
The 1830s and ’40s were really the kind of coming of age of the United States, for the American people and their institutions. There were drastic changes in political ways, economic development, and the growth in industrial establishment in this country with technological advances that made individual lives easier than they had ever been before.
One example is the application of steam power to transportation. The United States was often times referred to as a “go-ahead nation” — a “go-ahead people” with the locomotive almost as a symbol. The railroad became a metaphor for American ingenuity and development.
In printing, the rotary press in 1846 made possible the mass production of newspapers more cheaply than ever before, enabling newspapers to produce for and circulate in the national market rather than just regional or local markets.

Some of the things that were happening bordered on the miraculous, such as the magnetic telegraph in 1844. The very thought of sending words over wires — it just couldn’t be. It was a wonder of the world, even surpassing the application of steam power to transportation on land & sea.

Q: What were the drawbacks, if any, to these remarkable changes?

In many ways, this was also an age of paradox because there were anxieties and apprehensions. An erosion of values seemed to be threatened by the changes that took place. The changes were so vast, so important, so penetrating and so much a part of people’s lives, that individuals had a hard time adjusting to them. The kind of changes that were taking place during this period of time, in turn, bred a kind of anxiety, restlessness, concern, and apprehension on the part of individuals whose lives were changing. Immigration, of course, was a very important factor that also threatened, in the minds of many Americans, that disrupted the older patterns of the social order.

Q: What did this all mean to the majority of Americans?

Americans were trying to come to terms with these changes and sought some kind of role within the changes that were taking place.

Territorial expansion was but one element in their idea of progress. Journalist John L. O’Sullivan called it “Manifest Destiny.” The phrase first appears in print in July of 1845 in the “Democratic Review” in reference to the Texas issue. O’Sullivan was trying to defend the American claim to Texas and he mentioned that the United States had a Manifest Destiny to overspread the continent with its multiplying millions.

That’s one part of an effort to try to maintain and strengthen American republicanism – to extend the boundaries of the United States was to extend the area of freedom. This was a common feeling. The model republic had certain obligations. People over and over were talking about democracy as the best form of government — that it was adapted to the happiness of mankind and was God’s plan for mankind. The kind of republican government that United States had was providentially provided since we were the favored nation of God. So, with a spirit of reform, you don’t just stand still — you bring the blessing of self-government to as broad an area as possible, extending the area of freedom.

Those notions, Manifest Destiny, for example, were all part of an idea of progress and of the responsibilities and obligations of the model republic and its citizens.

Manifest Destiny today is interpreted largely in terms of territorial expansion, that was but one of the elements, in my belief. There was a popular feeling, that Ralph Waldo Emerson gives voice to when he talks about a destiny that guides individuals, states, and nations. It was a destiny that was providential, especially with respect to the model republic of the United States.

The idea of progress, of course, was involved in this and there was a strong faith in the idea of progress on a popular level in the United States.

So, Manifest Destiny was clear and unavoidable as far as Americans were concerned. It was a destiny that led the United States not only to expand the area of freedom, but was a concept that involved progress in a whole host of different ways. The United States had a destiny to become a world leader, in industrial development, in commercial activity, even in the arts and sciences and intellectual achievements.

This is all part of this idea of boundlessness of no limits. This was a romantic notion that through an act of will, Americans could achieve this greatness for themselves and for their nation. So, Manifest Destiny was an important element that involved so much more than simply extending boundaries.

Q: But why was the United States determined to expand its boundaries as part of its quest for a Manifest Destiny?

The boundaries followed the migrations. When James K. Polk took office as president of the United States, there were about 3,500-4,000 Americans living in the Oregon country, clamoring for a reunion with the United States. There were 800 or so Americans who moved into the interior valleys of California also clamoring for reunion with the United States.
Those who moved West and peopled the Oregon country were filtering to the interior valleys of California by the mid-1840s, undoubtedly seeking economic opportunities that they felt existed in those areas. There was a lot of talk about passage to India and about Asia’s teeming millions just waiting for a commercial enterprise and so forth. Oregon and California looked westward, across the Pacific to those two markets.

But at the same time, those individuals never forgot that they were American citizens and they wanted American laws to extend over them. They wanted to be reunited with the United States. They were obsessed with this notion of being kind of a vanguard for the nation while at the same time they were improving themselves.

So, we go back to the same idea of boundlessness with no limits on what people and nations can achieve.

You can’t take the Mexican War out of this period and expect to understand it without looking at it in terms of what’s going on in the United States. You have to look at the attitudes, of romanticism as well as the threat to a republic and purity and ideology and the idea of a destiny that’s guiding individuals and nations. The Mexican War was a part of that. You can’t wrench it out of its context and expect to make any sense out of it. The Mexican War was an example of this boundlessness and reform spirit — a quest for a better place for the nation, a test of the model republic and the ability of a democracy to respond to a crisis in the way that it responded to the Mexican War.

Manifest Destiny Reading 2: An Introduction

Manifest Destiny: An Introduction

No nation ever existed without some sense of national destiny or purpose.
Manifest Destiny — a phrase used by leaders and politicians in the 1840s to explain continental expansion by the United States — revitalized a sense of “mission” or national destiny for Americans.

The people of the United States felt it was their mission to extend the “boundaries of freedom” to others by imparting their idealism and belief in democratic institutions to those who were capable of self-government. It excluded those people who were perceived as being incapable of self-government, such as Native American people and those of non-European origin.

But there were other forces and political agendas at work as well. As the population of the original 13 Colonies grew and the U.S. economy developed, the desire and attempts to expand into new land increased. For many colonists, land represented potential income, wealth, self-sufficiency and freedom. Expansion into the western frontiers offered opportunities for self-advancement.

To understand Manifest Destiny, it’s important to understand the United States’ need and desire to expand. The following points illustrate some of the economic, social and political pressures promoting U.S. expansion:

(1) The United States was experiencing a periodic high birth rate and increases in population due to immigration. And because agriculture provided the primary economic structure, large families to work the farms were considered an asset. The U.S. population grew from more than five millon in 1800 to more than 23 million by mid-century. Thus, there was a need to expand into new territories to accommodate this rapid growth. It’s estimated that nearly 4,000,000 Americans moved to western territories between 1820 and 1850.

(2) The United States suffered two economic depressions — one in 1818 and a second in 1839. These crises drove some people to seek their living in frontier areas.

(3) Frontier land was inexpensive or, in some cases, free.

(4) Expansion into frontier areas opened opportunities for new commerce and individual self-advancement.

(4) Land ownership was associated with wealth and tied to self-sufficiency, political power and independent “self-rule.”

(5) Maritime merchants saw an opportunity to expand and promote new commerce by building West Coast ports leading to increased trade with countries in the Pacific.

Mexico’s Dream of New Spain
While the United States put into motion a quest for its Manifest Destiny, Mexico faced quite different circumstances as a newly independent country. Mexico achieved its independence from Spain in 1821, but the country suffered terribly from the struggle. The war caused severe economic burdens and recovery was difficult. The fledgling nation’s first attempts at creating a new government included placing the country under the rule of an emperor. In 1824, the monarchy was overthrown and a constitutional republic was formed. But internal struggles between the various political factions, such as the Centralist, Federalist, Monarchist and Republican parties, drained even more of the country’s energy and resources. These political factions were not united and new struggles broke out by the different sides as each tried to secure dominant rule.

Mexico won vast northern territories with its independence from Spain. These borderlands were underpopulated, so amid its internal political struggles and economic deficits, Mexico was also challenged to colonize these territories and guard its borders. Protecting and colonizing Mexico’s northern territories proved to be nearly impossible for the staggering country:

Due to Mexico’s economic system, there were fewer opportunities for individual self-advancement in the frontier regions and people were less motivated to relocate. Colonization was pushed primarily as part of the government’s political agenda. Constant warfare with Native Americans discouraged people from settling into the areas. The national military system was unable to provide support to guard the countries vast borders.

Both the Catholic Church and Mexico’s military, the main guardians of the nation’s traditions, were unable to exercise authority in the border areas. Frontier communities were poor, for the most part, and these poverty-stricken areas could not support the complex institutions that the central government tried to put in place. The communications necessary to unify the regions were slow and unreliable.

Frontier society was more informal, democratic, self-reliant and egalitarian than the core of Mexico’s society. Thus, frontier communities were often at odds with the central government, which imposed restrictions that affected the economy of these societies.

Overview of Transcendentalism

American Transcendentalism

Excerpted from: “Liquid Fire Within Me”: Language, Self and Society in Transcendentalism and early Evangelicalism, 1820-1860, M.A. Thesis in English by Ian Frederick Finseth, 1995.

THE EMERGENCE of the Transcendentalists as an identifiable movement took place during the late 1820s and 1830s, but the roots of their religious philosophy extended much farther back into American religious history. Transcendentalism and evangelical Protestantism followed separate evolutionary branches from American Puritanism, taking as their common ancestor the Calvinism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Transcendentalism cannot be properly understood outside the context of Unitarianism, the dominant religion in Boston during the early nineteenth century. Unitarianism had developed during the late eighteenth century as a branch of the liberal wing of Christianity, which had separated from Orthodox Christianity during the First Great Awakening of the 1740s. That Awakening, along with its successor, revolved around the questions of divine election and original sin, and saw a brief period of revivalism. The Liberals tended to reject both the persistent Orthodox belief in inherent depravity and the emotionalism of the revivalists; on one side stood dogma, on the other stood pernicious “enthusiasm.” The Liberals, in a kind of amalgamation of Enlightenment principles with American Christianity, began to stress the value of intellectual reason as the path to divine wisdom. The Unitarians descended as the Boston contingent of this tradition, while making their own unique theological contribution in rejecting the doctrine of divine trinity.

Unitarians placed a premium on stability, harmony, rational thought, progressive morality, classical learning, and other hallmarks of Enlightenment Christianity. Instead of the dogma of Calvinism intended to compel obedience, the Unitarians offered a philosophy stressing the importance of voluntary ethical conduct and the ability of the intellect to discern what constituted ethical conduct. Theirs was a “natural theology” in which the individual could, through empirical investigation or the exercise of reason, discover the ordered and benevolent nature of the universe and of God’s laws. Divine “revelation,” which took its highest form in the Bible, was an external event or process that would confirm the findings of reason. William Ellery Channing, in his landmark sermon “Unitarian Christianity” (1819) sounded the characteristic theme of optimistic rationality:

Our leading principle in interpreting Scripture is this, that the Bible is a book written for men, in the language of men, and that its meaning is to be sought in the same manner as that of other books…. With these views of the Bible, we feel it our bounden duty to exercise our reason upon it perpetually, to compare, to infer, to look beyond the letter to the spirit, to seek in the nature of the subject, and the aim of the writer, his true meaning; and, in general, to make use of what is known, for explaining what is difficult, and for discovering new truths.

The intellectual marrow of Unitarianism had its counterbalance in a strain of sentimentalism: while the rational mind could light the way, the emotions provided the drive to translate ethical knowledge into ethical conduct. Still, the Unitarians deplored the kind of excessive emotionalism that took place at revivals, regarding it as a temporary burst of religious feeling that would soon dissipate. Since they conceived of revelation as an external favor granted by God to assure the mind of its spiritual progress, they doubted that inner “revelation” without prior conscious effort really represented a spiritual transformation.

Nonetheless, even in New England Evangelical Protestants were making many converts through their revivalist activities, especially in the 1820s and 1830s. The accelerating diversification of Boston increased the number of denominations that could compete for the loyalties of the population, even as urbanization and industrialization pushed many Bostonians in a secular direction. In an effort to become more relevant, and to instill their values of sobriety and order in a modernizing city, the Unitarians themselves adopted certain evangelical techniques. Through founding and participating in missionary and benevolent societies, they sought both to spread the Unitarian message and to bind people together in an increasingly fragmented social climate. Ezra Stiles Gannett, for example, a minister at the Federal Street Church, supplemented his regular pastoral duties with membership in the Colonization, Peace and Temperance societies, while Henry Ware Jr. helped found the Boston Philanthropic Society. Simultaneously, Unitarians tried to appeal more to the heart in their sermons, a trend reflected in the new Harvard professorship of Pastoral Theology and Pulpit Eloquence. Such Unitarian preachers as Joseph Stevens Buckminster and Edward Everett “set the model for a minister who could be literate rather than pedantic, who could quote poetry rather than eschatology, who could be a stylist and scorn controversy.” But they came nowhere near the emotionalism of the rural Evangelical Protestants. Unitarianism was a religion for upright, respectable, wealthy Boston citizens, not for the rough jostle of the streets or the backwoods. The liberalism Unitarians displayed in their embrace of Enlightenment philosophy was stabilized by a solid conservatism they retained in matters of social conduct and status.

During the first decade of the nineteenth century, Unitarians effectively captured Harvard with the election of Rev. Henry Ware Sr. as Hollis Professor of Divinity in 1805 and of Rev. John Thorton Kirkland as President in 1810. It was at Harvard that most of the younger generation of Transcendentalists received their education, and it was here that their rebellion against Unitarianism began. It would be misleading, however, to say that Transcendentalism entailed a rejection of Unitarianism; rather, it evolved almost as an organic consequence of its parent religion. By opening the door wide to the exercise of the intellect and free conscience, and encouraging the individual in his quest for divine meaning, Unitarians had unwittingly sowed the seeds of the Transcendentalist “revolt.”

The Transcendentalists felt that something was lacking in Unitarianism. Sobriety, mildness and calm rationalism failed to satisfy that side of the Transcendentalists which yearned for a more intense spiritual experience. The source of the discontent that prompted Emerson to renounce the “corpse-cold Unitarianism of Brattle Street and Harvard College” is suggested by the bland job description that Harvard issued for the new Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy and Civil Polity. The professor’s duties were to demonstrate the existence of a Deity or first cause, to prove and illustrate his essential attributes, both natural and moral; to evince and explain his providence and government, together with the doctrine of a future state of rewards and punishments; also to deduce and enforce the obligations which man is under to his Maker …. together with the most important duties of social life, resulting from the several relations which men mutually bear to each other; …. interspersing the whole with remarks, showing the coincidence between the doctrines of revelation and the dictates of reason in these important points; and lastly, notwithstanding this coincidence, to state the absolute necessity and vast utility of a divine revelation.

Perry Miller has argued persuasively that the Transcendentalists still retained in their characters certain vestiges of New England Puritanism, and that in their reaction against the “pale negations” of Unitarianism, they tapped into the grittier pietistic side of Calvinism in which New England culture had been steeped. The Calvinists, after all, conceived of their religion in part as man’s quest to discover his place in the divine scheme and the possibility of spiritual regeneration, and though their view of humanity was pessimistic to a high degree, their pietism could give rise to such early, heretical expressions of inner spirituality as those of the Quakers and Anne Hutchinson. Miller saw that the Unitarians acted as crucial intermediaries between the Calvinists and the Transcendentalists by abandoning the notion of original sin and human imperfectability:

The ecstasy and the vision which Calvinists knew only in the moment of vocation, the passing of which left them agonizingly aware of depravity and sin, could become the permanent joy of those who had put aside the conception of depravity, and the moments between could be filled no longer with self-accusation but with praise and wonder.

For the Transcendentalists, then, the critical realization, or conviction, was that finding God depended on neither orthodox creedalism nor the Unitarians’ sensible exercise of virtue, but on one’s inner striving toward spiritual communion with the divine spirit. From this wellspring of belief would flow all the rest of their religious philosophy.

Transcendentalism was not a purely native movement, however. The Transcendentalists received inspiration from overseas in the form of English and German romanticism, particularly the literature of Coleridge, Wordsworth and Goethe, and in the post-Kantian idealism of Thomas Carlyle and Victor Cousin. Under the influence of these writers (which was not a determinative influence, but rather an introduction to the cutting edge of Continental philosophy), the Transcendentalists developed their ideas of human “Reason,” or what we today would call intuition. For the Transcendentalists, as for the Romantics, subjective intuition was at least as reliable a source of truth as empirical investigation, which underlay both deism and the natural theology of the Unitarians. Kant had written skeptically of the ability of scientific methods to discover the true nature of the universe; now the rebels at Harvard college (the very institution which had exposed them to such modern notions!) would turn the ammunition against their elders. In an 1833 article in The Christian Examiner entitled simply “Coleridge,” Frederic Henry Hedge, once professor of logic at Harvard and now minister in West Cambridge, explained and defended the Romantic/Kantian philosophy, positing a correspondence between internal human reality and external spiritual reality. He wrote:

The method [of Kantian philosophy] is synthetical, proceeding from a given point, the lowest that can be found in our consciousness, and deducing from that point ‘the whole world of intelligences, with the whole system of their representations’ …. The last step in the process, the keystone of the fabric, is the deduction of time, space, and variety, or, in other words (as time, space, and variety include the elements of all empiric knowledge), the establishing of a coincidence between the facts of ordinary experience and those which we have discovered within ourselves ….

Although written in a highly intellectual style, as many of the Transcendentalist tracts were, Hedge’s argument was typical of the movement’s philosophical emphasis on non-rational, intuitive feeling. The role of the Continental Romantics in this regard was to provide the sort of intellectual validation we may suppose a fledgling movement of comparative youngsters would want in their rebellion against the Harvard establishment.

For Transcendentalism was entering theological realms which struck the elder generation of Unitarians as heretical apostasy or, at the very least, as ingratitude. The immediate controversy surrounded the question of miracles, or whether God communicated his existence to humanity through miracles as performed by Jesus Christ. The Transcendentalists thought, and declared, that this position alienated humanity from divinity. Emerson leveled the charge forcefully in his scandalous Divinity School Address (1838), asserting that “the word Miracle, as pronounced by Christian churches, gives a false impression; it is Monster. It is not one with the blowing clover and the falling rain.” The same year, in a bold critique of Harvard professor Andrews Norton’s magnum opus The Evidence of the Genuineness of the Four Gospels, Orestes Brownson identified what he regarded as the odious implications of the Unitarian position: “there is no revelation made from God to the human soul; we can know nothing of religion but what is taught us from abroad, by an individual raised up and specially endowed with wisdom from on high to be our instructor.” For Brownson and the other Transcendentalists, God displayed his presence in every aspect of the natural world, not just at isolated times. In a sharp rhetorical move, Brownson proceeded to identify the spirituality of the Transcendentalists with liberty and democracy:

…truth lights her torch in the inner temple of every man’s soul, whether patrician or plebeian, a shepherd or a philosopher, a Croesus or a beggar. It is only on the reality of this inner light, and on the fact, that it is universal, in all men, and in every man, that you can found a democracy, which shall have a firm basis, and which shall be able to survive the storms of human passions.

To Norton, such a rejection of the existence of divine miracles, and the assertion of an intuitive communion with God, amounted to a rejection of Christianity itself. In his reply to the Transcendentalists, “A Discourse on the Latest Form of Infidelity,” Norton wrote that their position “strikes at root of faith in Christianity,” and he reiterated the “orthodox” Unitarian belief that inner revelation was inherently unreliable and a potential lure away from the truths of religion.

The religion of which they speak, therefore, exists merely, if it exists at all, in undefined and unintelligible feelings, having reference perhaps to certain imaginations, the result of impressions communicated in childhood, or produced by the visible signs of religious belief existing around us, or awakened by the beautiful and magnificent spectacles which nature presents.

Despite its dismissive intent and tone, Norton’s blast against Transcendentalism is an excellent recapitulation of their religious philosophy. The crucial difference consisted in the respect accorded to “undefined and unintelligible feelings.”

The miracles controversy revealed how far removed the Harvard rebels had grown from their theological upbringing. It opened a window onto the fundamental dispute between the Transcendentalists and the Unitarians, which centered around the relationship between God, nature and humanity. The heresy of the Transcendentalists (for which the early Puritans had hanged people) was to countenance mysticism and pantheism, or the beliefs in the potential of the human mind to commune with God and in a God who is present in all of nature, rather than unequivocally distinct from it. Nevertheless, the Transcendentalists continued to think of themselves as Christians and to articulate their philosophy within a Christian theological framework, although some eventually moved past Christianity (as Emerson did in evolving his idea of an “oversoul”) or abandoned organized religion altogether.

Transcendentalists believed in a monistic universe, or one in which God is immanent in nature. The creation is an emanation of the creator; although a distinct entity, God is permanently and directly present in all things. Spirit and matter are perfectly fused, or “interpenetrate,” and differ not in essence but in degree. In such a pantheistic world, the objects of nature, including people, are all equally divine (hence Transcendentalism’s preoccupation with the details of nature, which seemed to encapsulate divine glory in microcosmic form). In a pantheistic and mystical world, one can experience direct contact with the divinity, then, during a walk in the woods, for instance, or through introspective contemplation. Similarly, one does not need to attribute the events of the natural world to “removed” spiritual causes because there is no such separation; all events are both material and spiritual; a miracle is indeed “one with the blowing clover and the falling rain.”

Transcendentalists, who never claimed enough members to become a significant religious movement, bequeathed an invaluable legacy to American literature and philosophy. As a distinct movement, Transcendentalism had disintegrated by the dawn of civil war; twenty years later its shining lights had all faded: George Ripley and Jones Very died in 1880, Emerson in 1882, Orestes Brownson in 1876, Bronson Alcott in 1888. The torch passed to those writers and thinkers who wrestled with the philosophy of their Transcendentalist forebears, keeping it alive in the mind more than in the church. At his one-hundredth lecture before the Concord Lyceum in 1880, Emerson looked back at the heyday of Transcendentalism and described it thus:

It seemed a war between intellect and affection; a crack in Nature, which split every church in Christendom into Papal and Protestant; Calvinism into Old and New schools; Quakerism into Old and New; brought new divisions in politics; as the new conscience touching temperance and slavery. The key to the period appeared to be that the mind had become aware of itself. Men grew reflective and intellectual. There was a new consciousness …. The modern mind believed that the nation existed for the individual, for the guardianship and education of every man. This idea, roughly written in revolutions and national movements, in the mind of the philosopher had far more precision; the individual is the world.

The Transcendentalists had stood at the vanguard of the “new consciousness” Emerson recalled so fondly, and it is for their intellectual and moral fervor that we remember them now as much as for their religious philosophy; the light of Transcendentalism today burns strongest on the page and in the classroom, rather than from the pulpit.

Info on the Webster-Hayne Debate

…which for some reason your textbook omits.

Read the excerpts from this .pdf that was handed out in class and answer:

Webster-Hayne excerpts

Questions to discuss in class:
How does Hayne justify his stance on nullification historically?
Which sentence best explains the controversy between states’ rights and federalists?
What does “usurpation” mean?
How does his final point reference Revolutionary-era language?
How does Hayne basically view the Constitution? How is he mentioned in your textbook in Chapter 13?

Why does Webster emphasize the word “Union” so much in his speech? What is the word Union synonymous with, in his usage?
According to Webster, our Union performs what specific functions in paragraph 3?
What quote does Webster use to characterize the beliefs of the nullifiers?
What prescient belief does Webster have about the consequences if nullification is allowed to flourish?

Why is this argument between the two men significant?

Questions chapter 9

Questions- Chapter 9: The Confederation and the Constitution
Make sure you still know the definitions and significance of the terms. You can include them in your answers if you need to, however.

By the way, notice the boldfaced words in the questions below. They will be relevant to a DBQ handed out later.

1. What was the effect of the exodus of the Loyalists on American society after the war?
2. How exactly did Revolutionary rhetoric cause social upheaval?
3. What were the limits of Republican idealism when it came to disadvantaged social and demographic groups in American society?
4. What concept provided a counterweight or balance for the excesses of individualism in early American political thought?
5. How did the theory of “republican motherhood” affect women’s lives and expectations regarding their role in society?
6. What were the similar features of the many state constitutions? How did these influence the US Constitution as well as the debate over it?
7. How was “economic democracy” encouraged by specific actions of state governments in the early post-war years?
8. What economic benefits did America gain from independence?
9. Explain the economic disadvantages and dangers facing the new republic.
10. How did the economic situation (look at your answers to 7, 8, and 9) in 1786 influence the political situation as we attempted to establish a new government?
11. What was ironic about the use of the term “Union” (as on p. 180) to describe the American political system? (Look back on pages 179-180 and scan for mentions of unity or related concepts such as unanimity as well as the opposite concept of disunity as you consider your answer.) Consider HISTORICALLY the ability of the colonies to be unified.
12. Why were the executive and legislative branches so weak under the Articles of Confederation? Give specific reasons.
13. Explain the major weaknesses of the Articles, and what impact these weaknesses had. What is meant by calling the Articles “anemic” on p. 182?
14. What were the major achievements of the Confederation government?
15. What four foreign powers challenged American sovereignty the most in the post-war years? Why, and HOW?
16. What were the specific causes of Shays’ Rebellion? What effects did this uprising have politically? What was the significance?
17. What did Jefferson mean by the term “democratic despotism” on p. 185? What is the relation of this term to the term “mobocracy?”
18. Summarize the economic arguments of “paper moneyites” versus “sound money” proponents? What is the danger of paper currency? (You may need to research this)
19. Explain how economic instability and “unbridled republicanism” led to fears of “anarchy.” How did this influence the writing of the Constitution?
20. What were the common characteristics of those “demigods” who gathered eventually to “revise” the Articles? What were their three main goals?
21. How did enemies of America as an independent nation also ironically serve as “Founding Fathers,” according to p 187?
22. Explain each of the important political compromises that made up the Constitution.
23. What was the role of direct versus indirect voting in choosing government officials at the federal level?
24. What were the two great principles of the political theory of republicanism mentioned on p. 190?
25. Describe the differing political views between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists. What kinds of people tended to either camp?
26. In general, how did the most radical of the Revolutionary generation respond to the Constitution, and why?
27. Why, specifically, did four states in particular resist approving the new Constitution?
28. What was the purpose of the essays known as The Federalist?
29. Explain the statement on p. 195 that “[t]he minority had triumphed- twice.” In particular consider the statement elsewhere on that page that “[t]he majority had not spoken.”
30. Explain, specifically, how the Constitution attempted to balance the needs for liberty (personal freedom) and order (security and protection).