The Age of Reform and abolitionism
Paper details You will submit a 750-1000 word (about 3-4 pages double-spaced) interpretive essay of either Frederick Douglass’s speech “What to a Slave is the Fourth of July?” or Angelina Grimké’s “Appeal to the Christian Women of the South” and “Appeal to the Women of the Nominally Free States.” See below for attachments to these documents.
Your essay should explicitly address the following points (the assignment is worth 100 points, with grammar and spelling worth 20 points):
1-In your introduction, describe the document that you chose. Think about its significance — why does it matter and what does it tell us about the author? What was the purpose or intent of the document? This can include a brief summary of the document and offer some impressions. Remember to include a thesis statement (20 points).
2-In the body, explain the document’s significance. Here you are going deeper — or, as historians say, “unpacking” — the document beyond its surface impressions. In relation to the lectures and readings, why do you suppose this document is relevant? What are the effects for both the author and their audience? Does the document’s content affect anyone besides the author and audience? — explore the larger significance of the document for the Age of Reform (20 points).
3-In the body, comment on socioeconomics, gender, race, religion, and/or location. Analyze each theme consistently by providing a specific example from the document as well as other course materials to support your inference. You might not find every theme as being present. This is fine, just explain three (3) of the above themes (20 points).
Here are some questions that will help you think about how you might approach the third question:
How is socioeconomics addressed in the document? What bearing might the author’s (or the audience’s) status in society or in wealth have on the message being conveyed? What assumptions or conclusions might they have made, based on their expectations within their class?
How is gender addressed in the document? Does the document tell you something about how men and/or women were expected to act during this time and place? Are either of the genders challenging its socially accepted gender norms?
How is race addressed in the document? What does it tell you about race relations in this time and place?
How is religion addressed in the document. As a part of the Age of Reform, how did religion play an integral role in changing people’s minds about the social issues discussed in the document? What role did religion play as regards morality and values?
How is region or location important? If, for instance, a document is written by a White female abolitionist in the South, how might that be different than if the document had been written by a White female abolitionist in the North?
4-In your conclusion, place the document in the broader context of what happened in U.S. history after the document was published or circulated. Based on this, why might the document be considered timely? What about the document might be considered a voice of the era, especially the Age of Reform? Also, what are your thoughts on the document? Be concise (20 points).
The essay should be a minimum of four (4) paragraphs.
1-No outside sources are allowed.
2-Format citations in Chicago or MLA style.
3-Do not cite in-text; use footnotes.
4-This should go without saying: DO NOT PLAGIARIZE.
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