Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Comments closed for grading, and other matters

It is time to total everything up in preparation for final grades, so comments are going to be shut down by midnight tonight at the latest.

There have been a few anonymous posts lately, which you may remember are not allowed. The person who decided it was a good idea to start calling us names had their post deleted, per the rules outlined in the syllabus. Almost everyone else was able to follow the rules and has our thanks.

I fully endorse Sarah's comment below on the matter of interim grades. We are not allowed to mass post your grades in any form, even anonymously, so the best we can do is the same thing you can do yourselves, get a rough average of your previous tests and papers. There simply is not time to individually email 200 people in the end of semester rush, and there would be little purpose in doing so. Your job as a student is to do the best you can every time out. That is especially true if the problem is, as suggested in the deleted post, that students don't actually know their own previous grades because they threw their earlier tests and papers away. I sincerely hope that is not the case.

I will offer a piece of advice: take some pride in your work, and hold on to all your graded assignments until you graduate, beyond if you plan any sort of public career. Certainly keep them through the end of the courses you are taking. You never know when you might need a letter of recommendation, want to refer back to something you learned, or find yourself in some sort of academic problem or dispute.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Terms to study for 3rd test/final (Fall 2007)

As the syllabus says, the third test will be held during the regularly scheduled final exam period on Thursday, Dec. 13, in a lecture room, Jesse Wrench Auditorium. We will only need an hour, so the test will given 9-10AM. You may come earlier if you like, I will not distribute any tests until 8:45 at the earliest. The test will not cumulative, and will be in exactly the same format as the other two. That means, yes, you will need a blue book.

A term sheet to study has been posted here as a pdf instead of as a blog post -- it should print out a lot better. Please ask any questions as comments here, but please no open-ended "repeat-the-lecture" questions.

The papers will be returned at the final.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Megan's Last Discussion Question

For this last blog, I would like you to think about the connection between Jefferson's vision of the United States and sentimentality. Look over Jefferson's First Inaugural Address, how does Jefferson envision the republic will function? How does emotion play into his perspective? Does his experiment succeed? How does this tie to the coming of the Civil War and Lincoln?

Remember that papers are due on Thursday in class. The writing lab is a great resource to help polish your papers. The website is:

Sarah Haskins' Discussion Questions 12/4-127

Reminder--Papers are due in lecture Thurs and there are no sections this week. Also, for those writing papers on the sentimental novels, you need to compare and contrast two of the novels (not just Charlotte Temple).

For the final blog discussion I want you to read Jefferson's First Inaugural Address in the online reader. How does this address reflect Jefferson's view of the future of the new republic, especially in comparison with the defeated Federalists? Connect his view with the lectures at the beginning of the course referring to sectionalism and the Civil War. Was his experiment a success or a failure and why? Was Jefferson even being realistic considering the tensions and conflicts already dividing Americans?

Jonathan's Last Questions

For this week's participation credit, please read the selections from Jefferson's First Inaugural Address from the online reader. From these selections, how would you characterize Jefferson's vision for the nation? In this speech, Jefferson famously said "We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists." What does he mean by this?

Note: Remember that your paper will be due in lecture on Thursday!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Upcoming paper -- a student email & my response

Dear [name deleted]:

I am not sure what you have been hearing, but you have the assignment right. The links to the two available topic sets are on the front page of the web site. You can write on Clotel or the sentimental novels (Charlotte Temple, The Power of Sympathy, etc.)

Jeff Pasley

UPDATE: As mentioned in the comments, I did say in class, and it is true, that you also have the option of doing an Enlightenment paper if you did not choose that option earlier.

At 12:56 PM 12/2/2007, you wrote:
I was concerned about the paper because many people [from the class I am in] have been telling me it was over different topics. But on your website it says over Clotel or the others. I just want to make for certain that I have the right subject so I don't make a huge mistake. If you could clear up what the paper is on that would be wonderful.

Thanks for your help,
[name deleted]

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Office hours rescheduled Friday 11/30

I have a family commitment Friday afternoon, so office hours that day will be 10:30AM-12:30PM instead of the usual 2-5PM.

Megan's Discussion Questions

For this week please read Charlotte Temple and remember to bring the novel to class!! I would like you to think about the impact of this book on early American culture, particularly young readers. Why was this book and other sentimental novels so popular? Do these novels have more than entertainment value? How are these sources revealing for historians?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Honors section discussion question for 11/29/07

As you were warned this morning, we will be discussing the sentimental novels on Thursday. Please have Charlotte Temple and one of the others read or at least looked at by then. What I would like you to consider is the value of novels like this as historical sources.
Why were books like this (especially Charlotte Temple) such a hot sellers in the Early American Republic? In what ways did the novels' themes seem to resonate with the social experience of young American readers in this period? Could such novels have actually influenced people's thinking, as some historians have suggested? How?

You don't have to answer every question above, but please answer some of them as substantively as you can.

Jonathan's Discussion Questions for Nov. 29/30

This week we will be discussing the sentimental novels and Charlotte Temple in particular. Here are a few things to ponder before our meeting and to respond to on this blog. Who was the author's intended audience? Does the novel have a purpose beyond entertainment? What does the novel tell us about the history of early America? And is a novel a valid historical source?

Sarah Haskins' Discussion Question 11/27-11/30

Remember to have read Charlotte Temple for this week's discussion. There will be a quiz over the book and be sure to bring questions about the next paper to class as well.

Compare the experiences of Charlotte Temple and the purpose of the author Susanna Rowson with the captivity narrative of Mary Rowlandson we read earlier this semester. What are their similarities and differences and how can you account for these? Some themes to think about might be: experiences of women in early America (account for different time periods), role of religion or "morality," theme of women in danger, "moral" of the narrative, etc. Be creative with this--I'm not necessarily looking for a specific answer. I just want you to think about how the American experience had (or had not) changed from King Philip's War to Revolutionary America.

Order of last lectures

I am having to prioritize these last lectures, a process that includes changing the order a bit. On Thursday, Nov. 29, we will skip ahead to the lecture (and readings) labeled "Sentimental Journey: Economic Change and the New Middle Class." This will be good background for those writing papers on Charlotte Temple and the other novels. Next Tuesday, Dec. 4, we will double back to "The Jeffersonian Experiment" and "The Cotton Kingdom" in an abbreviated form, then do as much of the other lectures as we have time for on the last lecture day, Dec. 6. I will issue a term sheet for the final next Friday (Dec. 7) once I see how far we get.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Fathers of Their Country" lecture outline

As I have said in class a couple of times, the remaining lectures are going to leave out quite a lot. In this next section, for instance, we will be leaving out a lot of the details of Thomas Jefferson's and Alexander Hamilton's differences with each other. That and a lot more can be found in the reading, of course, but also in the full "Fathers of Their Country" presentation from last semester. Use that until I get the shorter outline for this year up, which I may not able to do for a few days.

Now playing:
Frightened Rabbit - Yawns
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Megan Boccardi's Discussion Questions

Please continue reading Charlotte Temple and the other novels over the break. We will discuss these texts after the break. For this week please take a look at the Constitution, the debate over the Bank of the US by Jefferson and Hamiliton, the Alien and Sedition Acts and the Virginia and Kentucky Resolves.

After reading these documents, please think about the Constitution and its impact on post-Revolutionary America. What role did the document play in shaping the relationship between the government and the people? How do debates over the national bank and the Alien and Sedition Acts continue the debate over the future of the nation? What role does intepretation play in these debates? Can we still see these debates in today’s society?

Honors section discussion question for 11/15: Part 1

The week after Thanksgiving we will be discussing Charlotte Temple and the other sentimental novels, so be warned. This week let's think about the Constitution. I know that kids today can't enough of the Constitution. Given the accidental free week off you guys got last week, I am going to ask two questions (in two posts), and I would like you to answer both online.

Question 1: What relationship does the Constitution have to the ideals of the Revolution as embodied in such documents as Common Sense, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776: fulfillment, advance, or regression/counterrevolution? In other words, did the Constitution try to take the Revolution back?

Honors section discussion question for 11/15: Part 2

Question 2: Check the textbook for background on Alexander Hamilton's financial system and then read Thomas Jefferson's attack on the constitutionality of the Bank of the United States and Alexander Hamilton's defense of the constitutionality of the B.U.S. Explaining the two positions in your own words, who do you think had the better of the argument?

Sarah Haskins' Discussion Questions for 11/13-11/16

NOTE: We will be discussing and having a quiz over Charlotte Temple the section after Thanksgiving. For this week, we will discuss primary source documents from the online reader, including the debate over the Bank of the US (Jefferson and Hamilton's responses), the Alien Act, the Sedition Act, and the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions. That makes quite a few documents, but they are all fairly brief.

Discussion Prompt: What exactly is at the root of the debate over the Alien and Sedition Acts and the National Bank? What are the positions of the debate and how can you best describe the nature of the conflict? Finally, in what ways are these political ideas and conflicts over the role and function of government still present today? You may wish to read in the text for background information on the political divisions and conflicts of this period to help in your analysis of the primary documents.

Jonathan's Discussion Questions for Nov. 15/16

Please keep reading Charlotte Temple and the other novels as you have time. We will discuss those works after Thanksgiving break. For this week, please read the U.S. Constitution, which can be found on the online reader or at the end of the textbook. Also take a look at Jefferson's Attack on the Constitutionality of the Bank of the United States and Alexander Hamilton's Defense of the Constitutionality of the B.U.S. also to be found on the online reader. After reading the Constitution, do you think it an affirmation of the principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence or a step away from them? How do Jefferson's and Hamilton's approach to Constitutional interpretation differ? Does it matter how you interpret the Constitution in determining whether it is a revolutionary or counter-revolutionary document?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Megan Boccardi's Discussion Sections

For this week please read the Declaration of Independence and Thomas Paine's Common Sense from the on-line reader. Consider the purpose of these documents. How do they expand the rights of the individual? Why do these documents move beyond their purpose? How do these documents assess the relationship between the colonies and Britain?

Sarah Haskins' Discussion Questions 11/6-11/9

For this week's discussion have at least the Declaration of Independence and T. Paine's Common Sense read from the online reader. Even if you have read either before this course, please read them again in light of the themes and topics of this course.

Prompt: Relate the Declaration and Common Sense to John Locke's theories of government (social contract, right of revolution, natural rights, etc.). How are they similar and how do they differ? Why do you think Jefferson and Paine set up their arguments in the way that they did? Did they accurately reflect the conditions of colonial America at the time or were there other reasons for their arguments?

Paper questions on William Wells Brown, "Clotel; or the President's Daughter"

Here are some paper questions relating to William Wells Brown's Clotel or The President's Daughter, or in some cases, the appended comments. By the way, your reading of the novel will be greatly facilitated and enriched by first reading up on the Sally Hemings-Thomas Jefferson controversy, which is best done on the Monticello web site:
  • What liberties did Williams Wells Brown take in fictionalizing the story of Thomas Jefferson and the Hemings family? What elements seem to come from Brown's own life and from the political purposes of the book?
  • Clotel is generally considered the first known novel by an African American. Review and analyze it in that context. How did Brown's book reflect the experience and concerns of his generation of African Americans?
  • Compare and contrast Clotel with another more popular early American novel: Susanna Rowson's Charlotte Temple or Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.
  • Analyze Clotel as a contribution to the abolitionists' political campaign against slavery. What particular abolitionist themes, arguments, and tactics does the book embrace, and which ones does it reject?
  • Drawing on the rest of the course materials and the documents included with Clotel, give your own reasoned and well-documented view of Thomas Jefferson's place in American history. Does Jefferson deserve his reputation as a hero in the cause of liberty, was he a fraud who should be removed from our national pedestal, or somewhere in between?
  • Taking Frederick Douglass's speech "What to a Slave is the Fourth of July?" (beginning on page 253 of "Clotel") as your starting point, think about how you would explain early U.S. history (1774-1860) to an African American child. Was Douglass's approach the best and most accurate way for African Americans to think of this period? Why or why not? What alternatives would you suggest?
Please note: each bullet point is meant as a separate alternative paper topic.

Jonathan's Discussion Questions Nov. 8/9

Please re-read the Declaration of Independence, which can be found on the online reader or in the Enlightenment reader or in the back of the textbook. If the purpose of this document was to simply state the reasons for American separation from Britain, why did Jefferson feel the need to use language referring to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"? Also read Thomas Paine's Common Sense, to be found on the online reader. Was his assessment of the situation between the colonies and Britain accurate? Why or why not?

Paper question on Sentimental Novels (Rowson & Brown/Foster)

The second round of papers are due one month from today, so it is time to get a new round of topics out. Here is the assignment if you choose to write on the sentimental novels. Another set of questions on slavery (using Clotel and the included documents) will follow soon:

Read Susannah Rowson's Charlotte Temple (the sequel Lucy Temple, is optional) and either The Power of Sympathy by William Hill Brown or The Coquette by Hannah Foster. Compare and contrast Charlotte Temple and the other novel. Then answer the following questions:
  • Why were books like this (especially Charlotte Temple) such a hot sellers in the Early American Republic? In what ways did the novels' themes seem to resonate with the social experience of young American readers in this period? AND/OR
  • We will be discussing the greatly elevated moral and cultural standing American women enjoyed in the wake of the Revolution, along with much greater access to basic education. Susanna Rowson was a great beneficiary participant in these trends. Do sentimental novels reflect that in any way? Can it reasonably be given any sort of feminist or pro-female reading, despite the fact that the heroines of these novels almost always die?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Terms to study for Second Test (2007)

The readings will covered through the Oct. 16-18 line of the syllabus, "Family Feud: The Coming of the American Revolution." Pages 158-159 of the Henretta textbook will also be helpful.
  • Pilgrims
  • Puritans
  • English Civil War
  • Cromwell, Oliver
  • Protestant Reformation: Calvinism, "priesthood of all believers," "sola scriptura"
  • Massachusetts Bay Colony: Winthrop, John; "city on a hill"; relationship between religion and government
  • Hutchinson, Anne
  • Williams, Roger
  • French Empire: patterns of colonization, Indian relations ("Onontio")
  • Champlain, Samuel de
  • Hurons
  • fur trade
  • Jesuits
  • Beaver Wars
  • captivity narratives
  • Restoration
  • Dominion of New England
  • Bacon's Rebellion
  • Glorious Revolution
  • Salem witchcraft crisis
  • proprietary colonies: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York
  • Quakers: religious beliefs, persecution of, style of worship ("meeting"), social peculiarities, family patterns ("companionate marriage")
  • Penn, William (father and son)
  • "inner light"
  • "holy conversation"
  • Delaware Indians
  • slavery, rise of as southern labor system
  • "salutary neglect"
  • "Walking Purchase"
  • Enlightenment: science, Bacon, Newton, Kant, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Hutcheson, Adam Smith, progress
  • Locke, John: liberalism, tabula rasa, right of revolution, sensationalism, Thoughts Concerning Education
  • moral sense
  • political differences between Great Britain and America: sovereignty, location and nature of; separation of powers; virtual vs. actual representation
  • colonial elites
  • British Constitution
  • rights of Englishmen
  • French and Indian War/Seven Years War: William Pitt, Battle of Quebec
  • Pontiac's Rebellion
  • Proclamation of 1763
  • colonial elites
  • long hunters (Daniel Boone)
  • land shortages
  • British imperial reforms: Stamp Act, Sugar Act (1764), Quartering Act
  • Hutchinson, Thomas
  • Stamp Act crisis: Sons of Liberty, riots, nonimportation, Declaratory Act
  • Townshend Acts
  • Boston Massacre
  • Boston Tea Party
  • Coercive Acts
  • Founders: know generally their backgrounds, the roles they played (including the major offices they may have held & the party they were associated with) in the various political events we have touched on, what their views were on important issues
    • Hancock, John
    • Franklin, Benjamin
    • Adams, Samuel
    • Adams, John
    • Washington, George

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Discussion question for Honors section, 10/25/07

We will be discussing the Enlightenment a bit more, particularly the different views of human nature that Enlightenment thinkers expressed, but here let's think about the coming of the American Revolution. Here's your question:

Based on the reading, what is the best argument you can make (or could have made) AGAINST American independence from Great Britain? Why do you think that this argument did not carry the day back in the 1770s?

Sarah Haskins' Sections Questions for 10/23-10/26

For this week's discussion blog and class, be sure to have read Locke's "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding" (185-187), the selections from the Education and Childhood section of Part 4 (Locke, Rousseau, and Priestley, 222-242), and Locke's "The Second Treatise of Civil Government" (395-404).

Discussion Prompt: How does Enlightenment thought about childhood and education relate to what the Puritans or the Quakers believed? How do they relate to modern understandings of the role of childhood and education? How can you relate this change in education to Locke's ideas of government in his "Second Treatise"?

Discussion Questions for Megan Boccardi's Sections

For this week, please read all of the required readings, however pay particular attention to Thomas Jefferson's, A Summary View of the Rights of British America, from the online reader and the selections from Locke's Some Thoughts Concerning Education and the Second Treatise of Civil Government in the Enlightenment Reader.
Consider the influence of Locke on Jefferson and the American Revolution. How did Locke impact the path of British colonies towards war? What role does Locke play in today's society?

Also consider both the American and British position in the years leading up the Revolution. What are the strengths and weaknesses of both sides?

Jonathan's Discussion Questions for Oct. 25/26

For this week, please read the selections from Locke's Some Thoughts Concerning Education and the Second Treatise of Civil Government in the Enlightenment Reader (p. 222 and p. 395). Also read the Declaration of Independence (online reader unit 6). In what ways was the enlightenment, as evidenced by the work of Locke, optimistic? How did Locke's work influence the American revolutionaries?

Also be sure to read the portions of the textbook that deal with the coming of the revolution. What were some of the arguments for and against separation from Britain?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sarah Haskins' Discussion Questions for 10/16-10/19

***Be sure to note Dr. Pasley's clarification on the Enlightenment reader assignment posted on the blog.***

For this week's blog discussion I want you to focus on the introduction in the reader (ix-xxiii)and Voltaire's "Reflections on Religion" (pg. 115-131). What are the important themes/messages in Voltaire's piece? How does he compare to other Enlightenment thinkers as described in the introduction? with the Puritans of New England? the Quakers? What are the noticeable differences and similarities?

Revised reading assignment in Kramnick, "Portable Enlightenment Reader"

I made a bit of a mistake in the way I parceled out the selections in Kramnick, ed., The Portable Enlightenment Reader.

Instead of what the syllabus says, let me try to give a more specific assignment here that will both fit the lectures better and also be less reading. This week, start with Kramnick's introduction and the first selection in the book, Kant's "What is Enlightenment?" (pp. 1-7). Then move on to the following selections: Condorcet in Part One (pp. 26-38); Bacon, Newton, Voltaire, Condorcet, and Franklin in Part Two (pp. 39-48, 51-60, 64-69, 73-74); Bayle, Locke, and d'Holbach in Part Three (pp. 75-90, 140-150); Descartes, Locke, and Voltaire in the "Mind and Ideas" section of Part Four (pp. 181-188, 190-195); all of the selections under "Education and Childhood" in Part Four (pp. 222-242), the Hutcheson and Smith selections under "Manners and Morals" (pp. 275-287); the selections by Turgot, Smith, Priestley, and Condorcet under "Progress and History" in Part Five (pp. 361-363, 378-380, 382-395); the selections from Locke and Montesquieu under "Politics and the State" in Part Five (pp. 395-416); and finally, the selections by Montesquieu, Beccaria, and Voltaire under "Crime and Punishment" in Part Five (pp. 515-535).

In terms of page numbers, that translates to: ix-xxv, 1-7, 26-48, 51-60, 64-69, 73-90, 140-150, 181-188, 190-195, 222-242, 275-287, 361-363, 378-380, 382-416, 515-535. This supersedes the syllabus, but not any additional assignment your TA may have given you in conjunction with the discussion.

While something like a 1/4th of the whole book, some of you may still find that a lot. Among this assigned material, focus on introduction, Kant, and Locke most of all. A sort of guide to some of the ideas you should be getting out of Locke can be found in some old discussion questions I wrote. Hutcheson, Montesquieu, Smith, and Beccaria will also be directly addressed in the lectures, so keep them on your short list as well.

Next week and the week after there will be a very few other selections assigned from this book, mostly the American stuff directly related to the Revolution.

Jonathan's Discussion Questions for Oct. 18/19

For this week, please read Immanuel Kant's essay "What is Enlightenment?" on page 1 of Kramnick's Enlightenment Reader. Kant uses the term sapere aude - dare to know. What does he mean by this? Why would this idea be considered exciting by some people and dangerous by others? To what extent is the Enlightenment relevent today? Please bring your copy of the Reader to class. It will be helpful.

Megan Boccardi's Discussion Questions for Oct. 18/19

This week in section, I am going to bring the pain, Thomas Paine that is. Please read Paine’s “The Age of Reason,” (p.174-180) and Voltaire’s “Reflection on Religion (p115-117 and 125-131.) What position does Paine take on religion? How is it different or similar to Voltaire’s position? Why were these ideas disliked by colonists? How would the different colonies (Puritans, Quakers, Jamestown) respond to their philosophy? What role does Enlightenment thinking play in our society today? Remember to bring your Enlightenment Reader to class!!

Discussion question for Honors section, 10/18

In class, we will chiefly be discussing what class members argued in their papers (due this week) and what evidence they used to substantiate their arguments. However, you should also be reading about the Enlightenment, starting with Isaac Kramnick's introduction and Kant's "What is Enlightenment?" Then answer this question in this space: The Enlightenment used to be considered as the beginning of modern thought and its principles the foundation on which modern society (especially the university) is built. Does this still seem true from the perspective of 2007? Do Enlightenment principles still hold sway, or are we living in a post-Enlightenment world? Examples drawn from the Internet will be welcome as evidence for your answer.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Assignment -- Audio clip for end of Pennsylvania lectures

At the end of the lectures on Pennsylvania and the Middle Colonies, I normally use a public radio clip discuss a 1737 incident known as the "Walking Purchase" to show how Pennsylvania's relations with the Indians went sour after the death of William Penn. Given our time constraints, and the uncertain nature of the sound in Jesse Wrench Auditorium recently, I thought it might best to let students inform themselves on this one. Check out the Delaware Indians' web page linked above, then go to the NPR page on Pennsylvania history and listen to the 5-minute clip. Consider this a (really easy) assignment.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Megan's Discussion Questions Oct. 11/12

Please read as much of John A. Moretta's William Penn and the Quaker Legacy as you can before Thursday. William Penn played an important role in shaping the future of the United States. What exactly was the legacy of Penn and the Quakers? What were Penn’s strengths and weaknesses as a leader? Why is Penn often times forgotten when “founding fathers” are discussed? Remember to back up your discussion with evidence from the text.

Bonus question for all: Mary Rowlandson, Action Hero?

Anyone can write on this question for extra participation credit, and we will also talk about in the honors section, when people are ready.

Let's test the assertion I made in lecture last week, following many other scholars, that Mary Rowlandson's captivity narrative forms the beginning of American popular culture, in particular the genre of violent adventure story that later developed into the western and more recently into what we tend to call the thriller or the action movie. Compare and contrast Rowlandson's narrative with any other American adventure story you know well. A movie or a novel will do nicely, especially one that involves captivity and/or a woman in danger and/or a violent struggle for survival in some sort of "wilderness" setting, which might be the actual wilderness or some other inhospitable, forbidding place (like a dangerous city neighborhood).

I will leave this question open until the end of October, so take your time and submit a creative, thoughtful answer if you would like some extra credit.

Sarah Haskins' Sections Question for 10/9-10/12

Remember for discussion this week we will talk about the William Penn biography and have a quiz over it, so be sure to read carefully. For this week's blog, here is your prompt: Which colonial leader would you rather follow: John Smith, John Winthrop, or William Penn? What would the pros and cons of this decision be? Take into account your own demographic background (age, sex, race, class, etc.) in making your choice. Use specific examples to support your argument.

EDIT: Food for thought for those of you who want to choose William Penn. Think back on the Penn biography. Was Penn well liked by other colonists in Pennsylvania? Why or why not? Try to think about what colonial leader you'd rather follow, not just what colony you'd like to live in. Also, think about what life as a Quaker would really mean as opposed to life as a Puritan colonist or Virginia colonist.

Jonathan's Discussion Questions for Oct. 11/12

Please read as much as you can of Moretta's William Penn and the Quaker Legacy. (Hint: Pay close attention to the author's preface and the epilogue, these often give you the most succinct statement of the author's argument.) Also look at Penn's "Frame of Government of Pennsylvania." What were some of Penn's strengths and weaknesses? What did he do right? What were some of his mistakes? Also, what's different about the founding of Pennsylvania as compared to Massachusetts?

Please make sure to bring the Moretta book and a copy of the Frame of Government to class. It will be important for our discussion. Thanks.

Honors section discussion question for 10/11/2007: William Penn, American Hero?

Please read as much of John A. Moretta's William Penn and the Quaker Legacy as you can before Thursday. I only recently read this book myself, and I must say that William Penn is now one of my heroes, a "Founding Father" we should look back to as much as Washington or Jefferson and probably more than lots of others who are better known, like Ben Franklin or Alexander Hamilton or John Smith or John Winthrop. Am I getting carried away? What are Penn's good and bad points as an historical figure and "role model"? Or, to be a bit simpler about it, what was most striking to you about Penn's life and beliefs after reading this book, or some of it?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Megan's Discussion Questions

For this week, I would like you to pay particular attention to Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative. How does Rowlandson’s narrative compare to those narratives previously read in class? What is the larger purpose of Rowlandson’s tale? How does it help us better understand the nature of Puritan society? Its goals? Its beliefs?
See you in class!

Paper instructions

The first paper due date is coming up in a couple of weeks. Students are to write 4-6 pages on one or more of the supplemental readings, using topics that will be posted here. Time to start posting.

Papers should be double-spaced, with one-inch margins, printed in 12 pt. Times New Roman or a similar proportional font. Since the book(s) or documents you are writing on should be your only source (unless otherwise specified), the basis for your assertions and the sources of your examples and quotations may be cited by simply listing the author and page numbers in parentheses, for example (Rowson, pp. 23-24). If there is a specific document or section within the book (as in the various chapters of Kramnick or Calloway), that should be mentioned in the text.

This is not a research paper. The idea here is not to pack in as much information as you can, but instead to present a thoughtful and clearly-written analysis. The best essays will thoroughly answer the question and make a clear, well-defined argument, supporting the author's point of view with specific factual or textual evidence. For your information, rely on the book you are analyzing and other materials used in this course (textbooks, lectures, and online readings). You may use sections of the course books that were not assigned to the whole class, but you MAY NOT bring in any outside secondary works without permission of Prof. Pasley or one of the TAs.

Papers focusing on the Calloway (Indians) or Kramnick (Enlightenment) or the Moretta book on William Penn are due in your section meeting the week of October 18-19. The Enlightenment topic will also be available for the second round of papers for those who don't do it this time.

The topics will be presented in the separate posts linked above. As always, ask any questions by commenting on this post.

Sarah Haskins' Discussion Questions for Oct. 2-5

How does Mary Rowlandson's captivity narrative compare with the excerpt of Mary Jemison's narrative we read earlier in Calloway? With the Axtell article on white Indians? What similarities and differences do you find and how can you account for those differences? Be sure to read each other's posts so that you do not replicate comments!

My Father-in-Law, Friend of the Cow

Please excuse a little personal note here. As most of you, my wife's father died a couple of weeks ago. The funeral and everything else happened soon after, but just today the Minneapolis Star Tribune published a "news obituary," separate from the one that the family provides and has to pay for with the basic information. Anyway, it was so nice, and amusing in a way my father-in-law would have appreciated, that I just had to share it.

I sometimes have to ask students for documentation when they ask to miss tests or get extensions because of deaths in the family -- grandparents and uncles really seem drop like flies right around mid-terms some years -- so consider this some documentation for the day of class I missed.

Veterinarian Al Kunkel, friend of the cow

He was an early proponent of organic dairy farming, believing more exercise and less stress meant more milk.

Last update: October 01, 2007 – 9:51 PM

Dr. Alphonse Kunkel was a proponent of organic dairy farming long before it was a part of the modern agricultural landscape.

Kunkel, a veterinarian, died of lung cancer at his Cold Spring home on Sept. 17. The longtime St. Michael resident was 79.

Kunkel grew up on his family's farm on Pearl Lake in Stearns County. A few years after graduating from the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine in 1952, he established a practice in St. Michael.

"He was organic before there were people talking organic," said his longtime veterinary partner, Dr. Tom Hagerty of St. Michael, who joined Kunkel's practice in 1959.

In the 1970s and '80s, Kunkel's position was a "little bit revolutionary," said Hagerty. "He was a true missionary. He argued his point with many noted nutritionists in the region."

Kunkel believed that more exercise and roughage and less corn made for a healthier herd. Over the life of the cow, it would produce more milk, avoiding stress and metabolic diseases, he said.

Hagerty said that Kunkel, an Army veteran, was an excellent veterinarian and teacher.

"He was the type of person who saw all the best in people, and the best in livestock," he said. "The welfare of the animal was of utmost importance."

In the early 1980s, Kunkel left veterinary practice to serve as a nutritional consultant for dairy farmers. His work took him to Guyana, Poland and Russia, said his daughter Katherine Lefebvre of St. Michael.

"He was a maverick," said his daughter. "He connected with vets around the world."

In 1976, Kunkel served as president of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association. He is the author of the book "Profitable Dairying." He also served on the St. Michael City Council from 1966 to 1979.

He sang choral music and through his church, St. Boniface Catholic Church of Cold Spring, helped immigrants in their new lives in America.

His wife, Joan, died in 1994.

In addition to his daughter Katherine, he is survived by his second wife, Joyce of Cold Spring; two other daughters, Mary of Apache Junction, Ariz., and Karen Pasley of Columbia, Mo.; a son, John of Pine River, Minn.; three sisters, Lorraine Jones of Tacoma, Wash., Donna Grams of Mesa, Ariz., and Sylvia Winkleman of Brooklyn Center; three brothers, Andrew of Pearl Lake, Richard of Fairfax, Va., and Jack of Burlington, Vt., eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Services have been held.

Ben Cohen •

© 2007 Star Tribune. All rights reserved

Paper questions for Calloway, "World Turned Upside Down"

For Colin G. Calloway, ed., The World Turned Upside Down: Indian Voices From Early America, we are going to draw our paper topics from the "Questions for Consideration" section on pp. 194-195 of the book. You may write on questions 2, 3, 4, 6, OR 10 -- ONE of them -- following the paper instructions. Be sure to include details from the readings and give your paper a clear argument or thesis. This a paper, not an exam question. In addition to Calloway's book, you are welcome to use anything from the Online Reader and other course readings, as long as you draw most heavily on Calloway.

Check back for another question or two on this topic later.

Paper Topics on Kramnick, "Portable Enlightenment Reader," Fall 2007

Topics focusing on Isaac Kramnick, ed., The Portable Enlightenment Reader

Choose from one of the questions below:
  1. The Enlightenment was once seen in an unreservedly positive light, as the beginnings of modern thought and the origin point for modern notions of science, freedom, and justice. In recent times, however, philosophers and historians have often been severely critical of what they call the "Enlightenment project," seeing it the origins of many modern social problems and despicable attitudes. Choose an Enlightenment thinker or two (or one of the topic areas listed in the next question) and write a critique detailing the limitations, errors, and dangers of the Enlightenment as you see them.
  2. Following the procedure above, write a defense of the "Enlightenment project" despite its limitations, errors, and dangers.
  3. Describe and analyze the essential elements of Enlightenment thought on ONE or TWO of the the following topics:
    • the nature of truth
    • the role of women in society
    • the political rights of women
    • crime (and punishment)
    • slavery
    • Africans
    • American Indians
    • war
    • progress
    • history
    • art
    • mind
    • the existence of God
    • organized religion
    • the human mind
    • human nature
    • the scientific method
    • morality
    • manners
    • role of the state in the economy
    • luxury goods and other form of consumption
    • the natural world
You will almost certainly need to read well beyond the sections of the book that your TA may direct you to prepare for discussion or that may be mentioned in class. Be sure to read the introduction as well. Email Professor Pasley if you have another idea for a specific aspect of Enlightenment thought to write about.

Paper questions for Moretta, "William Penn and the Quaker Legacy"

Write on one of the following questions, using the paper instructions. In addition to John A. Moretta's William Penn and the Quaker Legacy and the "Middle Colonies" section of the Online Reader, you are welcome to use any of the William Penn writings available online. For questions that involve comparison or contrast, other course readings are OK, too.
  1. With details from the reading, answer question #1 under "Epilogue and Legacy" (p. 255) in the "Study and Discussion Questions" section in the back of the Moretta book.
  2. How did the beliefs and goals of William Penn and his fellow Quakers differ from those of other groups that established colonies in the present United States? Which of the colonies most clearly or accurately presaged the future direction of American society?
  3. What do you imagine William Penn would think about the present-day United States (society, politics, and/or culture)? Would he be happy with what developed partly from his colony? What would his criticisms be? [Be sure that your paper focuses on William Penn's values and beliefs rather than your own.]

Jonathan's Discussion Questions for Oct. 4/5

Please read John Winthrop's "A Modell of Christian Charity" for this week's discussion. Also take a look at Winthrop's "On Liberty," which can be found here - (A link to this document can also be found in Prof. Pasley's posting for the Honor's section.)

Using evidence from these documents, why did the Puritans decide to migrate to North America? What were the purposes of the Massachusetts colony? What role did the desire for religious liberty play in the Puritans' decision-making process?
See you in class.

Honors section discussion questions for 10/4/07

Colonial Massachusetts is undoubtedly the most commonly-cited example of the patriotic belief that the founders of American society came to escape the oppressions of Europe and establish a land of freedom, religious and political freedom in particular. In what senses is this true, if any?

The classic statement of Puritan intentions and aspirations for the Massachusetts Bay Colony -- the original American "mission statement" -- is "A Modell of Christian Charity" (1630) , by the first governor, John Winthrop. The key passages appear near the end of the document. [Before assuming that the Puritans migrated for religious freedom, read Winthrop's views on how much and what kind of liberty he would allow in Massachusetts Bay.]

Over the years, scholars and commentators debated whether Winthrop's mission statement and the Puritan "errand into the wilderness" that it defined was a call to community and social responsibility or a justification for chauvinistic imperial conquest. In other words, as a source for beliefs of Christian social reformers like the radical abolitionists and Martin Luther King, or, to use the most modern example available, the foreign policy "mission" of Dick Cheney and the neo-conservatives who have promoted war against Iraq and Iran. What do you think?