U.S. History II

Learning Goal: I’m working on a history discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

Historical Background: Many people were inspired by the abolition of slavery to demand things that they had previously considered impossible. This meant that after the Civil War many new social movements emerged and there were some attempts to bring them together, but by 1870 those fighting for justice in different movements remained divided.

The fundamental question for these historical actors was: how can we achieve fuller equality for the people we are fighting for? You will see that the characters felt passionately about women and African Americans, but as you know, if you drill deeper, different interests emerge within each group. Each reformer had to decide: should I work for women’s rights, African Americans’ rights, or both? How does labor and class factor into my goals?

Setting: The year is 1872. You have just arrived at the home of a wealthy philanthropist. He supports many of the social movements that have coalesced in the years following the Civil War and has invited various people active in these movements to his home for a mixer. You may have met some of these people before, but most are strangers to you. You are eager to chat with these folks and learn about how their interests and goals overlap with yours – or don’t. Could some of these people become valued allies? Or will they see you as competing for resources and sympathy? Some might believe that your message and goals could hurt their own chances for success. At this mixer, you must present your own goals and ideas and learn about those of others. Again, there might be important allies at this event. Perhaps the host might even donate money to your cause! Therefore, you want to put your best foot forward and have your pitch ready.

Purpose: We are going to meet many of the people involved in these movements to understand not only what brought them together after the Civil War, but also the conflicts that ultimately kept them apart. You’ll build your awareness of these nuances, as well as practice your research and analysis skills by gleaning information from your primary source based on the example in the Using Primary Sources in Your Research page.

Tasks:

PART I: Find your Person, Analyze your Document, and Write Your Introduction

  1. FIND YOUR PERSON. (Susan B. Anthony) and to see their brief bio and a primary source associated with them to quote. Read this information closely in order to “play” them in the Discussion. Susan B. Anthony file:///C:/Users/court/AppData/Local/Temp/Temp1_An%20Introduction%20to%20Historical%20Primary%20Sources.html.zip/Revised%20Units/Unit%201/An%20Introduction%20to%20Historical%20Primary%20Sources.htm
  2. PRIMARY DOCUMENT STUDY. Analyze the primary source associated with your character in their bio to see what persuasive arguments, strategies, or quotes they may have used to further their movement – you’ll put these to use in your elevator pitch!
    • To do this: refer to the “Using Your Document for the Reconstruction Mixer outline” on the “Using Primary Sources in Your Research” page to help you glean helpful information and/or relevant quotations from your individual’s primary source.
    • Using the “An Example” part of this page as a model, answer each of these questions about your identified primary source.
    • Remember, your source may not be directly about your person, but it will be related to their cause. Write out your responses to these questions – they will help you write your introduction and pitch in the next step.
  3. WRITE YOUR INTRODUCTION AND YOUR PITCH FOR YOUR CAUSE. Write 2-3 paragraphs introducing yourself (as your character) and your cause at the mixer.
    • Your introduction should start by sharing about yourself (your character) in the first person, so readers will know who this is, like a quick bio or background (“My name is….and I worked for….in 1912 I ….etc.).
    • Next, still in the first person, comes your character’s “elevator pitch” for your cause to your potential benefactor. Briefly tell them why they should support your cause and give you money/help, using ONLY information you’ve gleaned from analyzing your primary source (not the textbook, introductory bio, or any other sources). Use your responses, especially to the “Try to Make Sense of it” and “Use it as Historical Evidence” parts, to make a better pitch for your cause.

The entirety of your written post should answer the following questions – please focus on post-Civil War advocacy activities/qualities, NOT pre-Civil War (i.e., don’t focus on their abolitionist history):

NAME DESCRIPTION CAUSE(S) AND AFFILIATIONS STUDENTS ASSIGNED
Susan B. Anthony With Stanton, the leading figure of 19thc women’s rights; white; middle-class Woman suffrage; abolition; labor. NWSA
  • What are you known for or what is your importance in the Reconstruction?
  • What movement(s) are you involved with, and what are their ideals and goals?
  • Why is this movement important at this particular time?
  • What one short quote(s) embodies your present ethos and goals?
  • What important dates, events, accomplishments/defeats are key to understanding your goals and ideas?
  • What strengths do you possess and/or difficulties do you face?
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