white americans ’ attitudes toward slavery change H u m a n i t i e s
This is a take-home exam assessing your mastery of the material covered in this
course. The questions are crafted to enable you to answer using only your
accumulated knowledge and the course materials. No other sources may be used.
To support your answer, you should draw upon both the course readings
(including unassigned sources from the document reader) and lecture notes that
relate to the question being answered. All references to quotations, arguments, or
specific information used in your paper must be clearly cited using footnotes.
*Given the extraordinary circumstances, I will grade footnote formatting leniently
so long as you clearly indicate which lecture, book, and document you are citing.
Answer one question from the list below, in an essay of 2.5 to 5 pages (double-
spaced, standard font and margins). Your answer should be long enough to
respond to the prompt in a comprehensive way.
Your response must use specific examples from material covered in lecture or the
sources examined in this course. A strong answer will include a clear thesis in
response to the prompt in the introductory paragraph and provide supporting
evidence from the course in the body of the essay to substantiate that argument.
You may wish to sketch out the main points of your essay before beginning to
write, as time spent outlining your answer and the most relevant sources will
improve its quality and save you time in the long run.
- How did expansion and the acquisition of new territories shape the course
of American history between the American Revolution and the Civil War?
Discuss with reference to the major turning points.
What accounts for the rise of sectionalism during the antebellum period and
how did it lead to the Civil War? Discuss the major turning points.
To what extent did white Americans’ attitudes toward slavery change
between the late colonial or revolutionary era and the antebellum era
(before the Civil War)? Why? Discuss the major turning points.
● Remember that there is no single “right” answer to the question prompt. You will
be graded on how persuasively you present your case by drawing on specific
evidence and examples.
● Your answer must be supported with ample evidence and references from the
sources. Be sure to cite all references from books or lectures using footnotes. Your
word processing software has a function that inserts these footnotes into the text
automatically. The Chicago Style citations used in historical writing follow this
format, and you should too:
1. John Winthrop, “A Model of Christian Charity (1630),” in Kevin B.
Sheets, ed., Sources for America’s History, Volume 1: To 1877
(Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2018), 24.
If you cite the same document later in the paper, you may abbreviate the footnote
2. Winthrop, 23.
If you cite another document or essay from a book you have already cited, you can
also abbreviate that footnote. For example:
3. Thomas Hariot, “A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of
Virginia (1588),” in Sources, 3-4.
To cite from a lecture, use this format: Gregory Wigmore, Lecture,
“Sectionalism,” Nov. 16, 2020.