Textbook Readings

Read twelve selections in Charles Errico and Stephen B. Oates, Portrait of America, Volume One, Tenth Edition, Cengage Publishers, 2011. Write a paragraph or two on the following from each of the selections. You will need to create a Word document and start this assignment early in the semester as you read through the book.

Pages 1-15, “The American Holocaust: Columbus and the Conquest of the New World”: This is not the Columbus who you studied in high school. Describe the European world he came from and defend or condemn his treatment of the Native Americans he encountered. Why were Native Americans not able to follow the requerimiento and what was the likely disease that killed so many when Columbus returned on his second voyage?
Pages 16-31, “Love and Hate in the Jamestown Colony”: Describe the roles of John Smith, John Rolfe, and Pocahontas. Why was Rolfe hesitant to marry the beautiful and intelligent Indian princess Pocahontas? Do you think Pocahontas was impressed with King James and “civilized” England?
Pages 57-71, “’The Empire of My Heart’: The Marriage of William Byrd II and Lucy Parke Byrd”: Why was marriage the most important decision that a young woman in colonial America made in life? Why did Lucy not want a husband who was like her father? Describe the problems in the marriage of Lucy and William. Do you think William was happier with his second wife?
Pages 72-85, “Citizen Ben: A Worldly American’s Seven Great Virtues”: What made Franklin one of the more unique of the founding fathers in background and his views on slavery? What role did he play in convincing France to support the American Revolution? Describe his opinions on women, religion, and the obligations of newspaper editors.
Pages 86-99, “John Adams and the Coming of the Revolution”: How did the views of John Adams differ from those of his cousin Sam? How did the Paul Revere print of the Boston Massacre inaccurately display what accurately happened? What role did John Adams play in the trial of the British soldiers?
Pages 128-139, “The Greatness of George Washington”: This author maintains that what made Washington great was that he did not want power. Describe the significance when he presented his sword to the Continental Congress at the end of the American Revolution and decided not to run for a third term as president. Why did Washington dislike the formation of political parties?
Pages 159-176, “’I’m Almost Worn Out in the Cause’: Motherhood and Childbearing in the Old South”: Why did most pregnant women prefer a midwife over a physician? What were the reasons that infant mortality was higher in the slave quarters? For African American women, why was childbirth a “mixed blessing”?
Pages 177-192, “The Duel”: In what ways were Alexander Hamilton and Aron Burr alike and different? Did Hamilton intend to kill Burr and did Burr know of his intentions? Why did they fight a dual and what was the result of that dual for both men?
Pages 228-241, “Andrew Jackson: Flamboyant Hero of the Common Man”: Describe Andrew Jackson’s background and why it was different from all previous presidents. Why was his marriage controversial? Were you surprised that he adopted an Indian child?
Pages 305-317, “Runaways from a Hellish System”: Describe the horrors of the slave trade and why it resulted in the division of families. Who was James Knox and what were “Negro dogs”? Why did runaway slaves damage the image of slavery that southern whites presented to the outside world?
Pages 318-328, “Bound for Canaan: Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and the Underground Railroad”: What were the contribution of Harriet Tubman and Harriet Beecher Stowe toward the struggle to end slavery? Describe the backgrounds of these two women, one black and the other white, who were drawn to the anti-slavery crusade.
Pages 329-340, “The Father of American Terrorism”: Describe John Brown’s actions and motivation in the Kansas Territory and at Harper’s Ferry. Was he a successful man most of his life? Do you admire him or condemn his violence? Was violence necessary to end the evils of slavery?

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