Core 102History and the Modern World
Challenges of Democracy
Roger Williams University  GHH 108
Section 02 LLC T, TH   12:30 PM-1:50 PM
Spring Semester, 2017
Michael R. H. Swanson, Ph. D.
Office: GHH 215
Hours:  M, 12:00-1:00
T, Th,  9:30 - 10:20  Or By Appointment
Phone:  ext 3230
Challenges of Democracy
For Tuesday, March 28
For Thursday, March 30
Download, Annotate according to the Prompt below, the document  from Core Canon, and then upload into your Drop Box...
Last week, I showed videos both class periods, so you could focus your energy and attention on the mid-term examination.  This week, we begin to move ahead, looking at the two subjects which will occupy us most of the rest of the semester--the fights for equal rights for African-Americans and for Women.
Download, Annotate according to the Prompt below, the document(s) from Core Canon, and then upload into your Drop Box...

Taken together  the three documents are a little less than 20 pages long (quite a bit less if one considers that the Woolman document contains several fore pages before the actual document begins).  I don't think you should have too much trouble reading and annotating them by Tuesday

Considering Sewall

Being anti-slavery didn't mean that a person was pro African-American.  The phrase Caveat Emptor translates from Latin into "let the buyer beware"  So respond to the prompts below with markups and annotations:
  • Note that the first two paragraphs use many references from the Old Testament, particularly from the first five books. known as the Pentateuch.  Find at least two reasons why, in this section, Sewall considers slavery a bad thing.  Are the quotations powerful?  What do you think?
  • In the next section, however, he goes on to  make several strong statements about Africans, none of which are complimentary.  Interpret one or two of these into "modern" English -- for example what might he mean in the section beginning "And there is such a disparity in their Conditions, Color & Hair,"?
  • What reason does he give suggesting that the importation of slaves might decrease the number of English colonists?
  • As we've seen in other documents (such as those by Roger Williams and John Winthrop) he tries to think of objections to his arguments in the minds of his readers and to answer these in advance.  Which do you consider strongest and why? If there are any you don't understand, make sure to mark them for class discussion.

Considering Woolman

Do you think that Woolman's arguments are in some ways more "humane" than Sewall's are?  If they are, what might be the reason for this?  You might want to look up the religious society of friends. 
  • Woolman makes an argument that slavery is as harmful to Slave owners as it is to slaves themselves.  In what way does it harm them?
  • Starting on p. 5, Woolman makes arguments concerning "brotherhood" and how treating persons of one nation differently from those of another may lead to both prejudice and to a sense of inferiority, saying, for example Suppose then that our ancestors and we had been exposed to constant servitude, in the more servile and inferior employments of life ; that we had been destitute of the help of reading and good company; that amongst ourselves we had had but few wise and pious instructors; that the religious amongst our superiors seldom took notice of us ; that while others in ease had plentifully heaped up the fruit of our labour, we had received barely enough to relieve nature ; and being wholly at the command of others, had generally been treated as a contemptible, ignorant part of mankind.  should we, in that case, be less abject than they now are?  This somewhat like asking another person to "walk a mile in my shoes."  Is this a valid argument today as it was in Woolman's day?
  • Consider the Conclusion on p. 12.  Is Woolman right that paying too much attention to wealth is not the way to true happiness?  What amount of "wealth" does Woolman thing is sufficient.  Do you agree with him?  Why or why not?

Considering John and Abigail Adams

This shouldn't take very long.  Each letter is only a couple of paragraphs in length.  What I'd like to have you do think a bit about the video I showed in class on Thursday the 24th, and see if some of the things about which Abigail complained were still attitudes shown by men in the age of "women's liberation".  How about today?  Are men and women truly equal?  What do you think?  How about on campus?  We'll look at this question of equality several times in the rest of the semester
From the Core Cannon:  The Declaration of Independence (1776)
From the Core Cannon:  The Articles of Confederation (1777)
The Declaration of Independence may be the most famous American document (The Gettysburg Address might run a close second).  In times gone by it was common for children in schools to memorize  parts of it--typically the first two paragraphs.  Here, as in other documents we've studied, the shape of the document gives a clue to its organization.  In this case, note that there are two large paragraphs at the beginning, then a series of very small paragraphs, some not more than a sentence or two, followed by another fairly large paragraph.  Consider these as your do your analysis and prepare your document for marking up and dropping into your dropbox:
The Articles of Confederation, on the other hand, is one of the least well known documents in American History.  The American Revolution was fought under these articles, though Independence was declared earlier by nearly a year.  There are a number of discussions online analyzing the "strengths" and "weaknesses" of the Articles of Confederation.  Use one of the popular search engines, Google probably the best, search for Articles of Confederation using this phrase "articles of confederation strengths and weaknesses". Remember that there will be more than one page of links. If you can, find  something which discusses these article by article.  Then, to prepare your document for your drop box,