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Imagine a chance encounter, in 1860, of the following characters:
- A Southern Democrat (called Bosley)
- An Abolitionist (Brand)
- A Republican (Cyrus)
- A Northern Democrat (Sudley)
For each character, describe what their answers would be to the following burning questions of their day, given below. These questions arose from the difficult realities that they faced at a critical moment in the history of the U.S. To infer the views of the participants, you will need not only to read this week’s Foner chapter, but cite it to support your claims and speculations. Speculations without evidence are…mere speculations. Go further. Historians base their speculations on facts, not mere opinion.
This is key: make an honest and sustained effort to truly inhabit their worlds and to understand their cultures and interests. All good history starts with this attempt to imaginatively see and feel the world as past actors saw and felt it. If you can sum up their reality in a single sentence, you have not done the past justice — or furthered your understanding of the Civil War and its causes. Do justice to these persons as you yourself hope for understanding and justice from those who might stand in judgement of you before the court of history. Life is more than a simple-minded morality tale. Be aware of what you are doing.
Here are the questions. Answer each question for each of our figures and provide evidence from the textbook and the Chambers excerpt to support your claims and informed guesses:
- What is the state of the nation in 1860? Is it sick, healthy, or somewhere in between. Provide dates, names, and events to justify each figures outlook in 1860. (note the year please)
- What divisions threaten to fracture the nation? List several for each character. What ones mattered more? Why?
- What principles and policies, specifically, should guide the nation’s future? Why? According to whom?
- What’s the best that the Black man can hope for in the future of the U.S.? Again, have each character answer this specifically
I will be attaching the chapter related to this assignment. Please cite within your answer like so: (Foner, pg. #).