Assignment 2

Assignment #2 Chapters 9-16 here were several colorful celebrations held in different cities to honor the ratification of the Constitution. There were strengths and weaknesses of the first written constitution know as the Articles of Confederation. Recognizing that the Articles did not provide the power for a strong central government that was needed to ensure that the republic survived, states sent delegates to a Constitutional Convention to draw up a new constitution. The Federalists and Anti-Federalists believed strongly in their rights for pertaining to the Constitution, so much so, that a Bill of Rights had to be added. There were various groups that were clearly not included in the statement “We the people,” and the liberties and freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution were not extended to those groups. The political and social changes that took place within the American Revolution focused on how the concepts of liberty and freedom developed, as well as who gained and lost freedom as a result of the Revolution. The democratization of freedom via the public sphere is explored, looking at state constitutions and qualifications for voting. Issues involving religious liberty are examined through the numerous denominations that sprung up as well as from discussion about the separation of church and state. Those who remained loyal to the British found some of their liberties stripped away, but for the most part they were able to reintergrate into society. Native Americans lost much of their freedom as a result of the war. Slaves believed that the rhetoric of freedom and liberty cried out by the patriots meant that emancipation was also necessary, and they were amazed when they realized that the Americans did not mean liberty for slaves too. Some slaves issued petitions for freedom to New England courts. The war did result in some emancipation, but not in the complete elimination of slavery. Women and their role in the war as soldier and as “republican mother” were charged with the serious task of raising the next generation of republican leaders. After the War of 1812, there was a spread of market relations and there was a westward movement of the American population. Americans’ understandings of freedom were changing to include economic opportunity, physical mobility, and participation in the democratic system. The advancements made in transportation and communication, the growth of western cities, and the expansion of the Cotton Kingdom along with slavery were important occurrences. Commercial farmers were replacing the self-sufficient farmer. Factory workers, whose labor was divided replaced the skilled artisan. Labor organizations were established and the workers demanded more rights and liberties. The loss of the artisan is contrasted with the growth of the transcendentalist movement, which called for the triumph of the individual. Likewise, the materialism of the market revolution is contrasted with the religious ferment of the Second Great Awakening. Women and African Americans were excluded from the fruits of the market revolution. As liberty became increasingly identified with economic independence, free African Americans were left to the lowest jobs and working women were left with few opportunities. A cult of domesticity was created by middle-class women and for them, the ultimate badge of freedom was to be free from work. The War of 1812 created a rise of a vigorous political democracy. Democracy triumphed as the electorate enlarged with the abolishment of property requirements for suffrage. However, as with the market revolution, women and African Americans were excluded from political democracy. The War of 1812 put into motion the market revolution and national leaders understood that the federal government had a responsibility to ensure economic growth for America. “The American System” was a political program for economic growth and the this time period showcases the role of banks, transportation, and economic recessions. The 1820 Missouri Compromise is discussed by highlighting sectional divisions in the country. Increased American power in the Western Hemisphere is shown with the Monroe Doctrine and the nationalist agenda of John Quincy Adams. The emergence of political parties is explored, highlighting Martin Van Buren’s beliefs that party politics was an important component in ensuring liberty for the American people. Andrew Jackson guided the nation through a nullification crisis, oversaw the removal of Native Americans from the southeast, and a bank war. Jackson’s commitment to states’ rights was challenged. Once again sectionalism and the power of the South in Congress are seen with the nullification crisis. Jackson, and Whigs such as Daniel Webster, supported Union and liberty; while supporters of nullification cried that the federal government was overstepping its rights and infringing upon states’ liberty. Likewise, the South’s desire to expand the Cotton Kingdom forced the removal of “civilized” Native Americans who had adopted many American ways. Finally, the bank wars and Jackson’s veto to extend the life of the Second Bank of the United States ended his tenure. The Panic of 1837 and subsequent depression allowed the Whig William Henry Harrison to reach the White House in 1840, only to pass away a month after the inauguration. Instructions: Read Chapters 9-16. Please choose and answer 3 questions (in 1 essay) then submit the answers through TURNITIN. This essay must be at least 500 words and use at least 3 citations. Since this is an on-line course, credible internet sources are acceptable. You must cite all sources used in a short bibliography at the end of your essay. Question #1 Compare the strengths and weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution. Which document did a better job at protecting liberties? Which did a better job at running a government? Explain your answers with examples. Question #3 Explain how improvements in transportation and communication made possible the rise of the West as powerful, self-conscious region of the new nation. Describe the arguments that linked American freedom to westward expansion. Who or what were obstacles to freedom in the pursuit of expansion? How did Americans deal with those obstacles? Question #6 Use your textbook and this summary about Andrew Jackson (along with any other sources of your choice) to answer the following question: