History 102.02 – Primary Source Assignment
Douglass, 1852 Fourth of July Speech (Optional – 10%?)
Before Class – Wednesday 18 November.
All policies on late assignments and extensions from the syllabus (pg. 8) apply.
You must type your paper and submit an electronic copy (.docx format preferred) to the appropriate dropbox on Blackboard accessible from the “Assignments & Assessments” main menu.
As before with Bacon’s Rebellion and the Lives of the Enslaved, you are to analyze the primary sources provided to make some kind of argument in a 2-3 page paper, in this case about Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” You should also build off the work you did in the group assignment on the Declaration of Independence and your understanding of the history we have studied already. Some things to consider as you read and analyze Douglass’ speech:
How does Douglass use the ideals about the Declaration of Independence and his mostly white audience’s understanding of their own history to argue that slavery is wrong? How effective do you think his argument was on his audience at the time? Use what you know of the Declaration and of the way people in the 1850s viewed the American Revolution (and how Douglass says they viewed it) and what you know of enslavement in the US (and how Douglass describes it) to help build your argument.
The sources you can use for this assignment are mostly Douglass’s speech, provided for you in Blackboard as both a link to the full text of the speech as a PDF and a youtube video of James Earl Jones reading an excerpt of it. The full speech is long, 20 pages, but the video is only about 5 minutes long and includes the highlights. Watch the video to get the good lines then use that to search the PDF for the lines to find the sections to read in more detail. You can also use any other information from your textbook and any notes from class you think appropriate.
Since you are not to use any outside sources whatsoever, you do not need to provide a bibliography or works cited page. You do need to provide in-text citations in whatever style you prefer. If you do not have a preferred style with which you are already familiar, I suggest short parentheticals as explained previously.
As before, your paper should be double-spaced in a standard word processing font. These are typically Time New Roman or Calibri fonts in 11pt or 12pt sizes. If your writing program defaults to something radically different than this, adjust as needed. Similarly, your margins should be default of approximately .75 to 1 inch on all sides.
Your paper should have a heading that includes your name, the course, the assignment and the date. This should be single spaced and should not take up more than 4 lines. You should also give your paper a title that is more interesting than simply “History Paper,” “Paper #3,” “Douglass Paper,” or something similar.
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