T H E D E B A T E O V E R S L A V E R Y
Ann Hagedorn, Beyond the River.
The debate over slavery in the nineteenth century sharply divided Americans. It was an argument about race, about religious duties, about political principles, and about economic opportunity. In short, it was a debate about the nature of the United States itself. Nowhere was the argument more intense than along the Ohio River, where North and South met. There, ideas were deeply felt. There, words often gave way to violence. It is this region that Hagedorn writes about. In your essay, focus on the abolitionist side of this debate: identify and discuss the ideas/world views of the abolitionists—what motivated them, what inspired them, how did they justify their actions? What kind of United States did they envision? You should pay particular attention to their attitudes toward the Revolution’s principles and the demands of religious faith. In your conclusion, discuss (briefly) this question: How are these 19th century debates and activities echoed in our own times?
This essay should be approximately five pages long. The arguments you make should be supported by quotations from Hagedorn, Shi, and Binder. New material may only be introduced in your conclusion. This essay should be prepared according to the format specified by the MLA (citations, page numbers, line spacing, etc.).
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