Empire of Liberty by Gordon S. Wood – Chapter 19: A World Within Themselves and Bibliographical Essay

Thought Questions

  • How did the war of 1812 effect the economic development of the United States in general?
  • Why was economic development different in the North and South? 
  • Describe the statehood and territorial development of the United States in the Old Northwest and Old Southwest? 
  • How did the experiences and perspectives of first generation Americans differ from the experience of the British founding generation? 
  • How did the development of internal and external trade reinforce developing social and political differences in the North and South?
  • Why did the Democrats begin to emerge from Jeffersonian Republicans? 
  • In what ways did science contribute the the changing attitudes of Americans? 
  • Who were Oliver Evans, Thomas Blanchard, Robert Fulton and Eli Whitney and how did they build on each other to effect the development in the United States? 
  • How did the development of a substantial and wide spread middle class occur in the United States and how did this effect American culture? 
  • What reading appears interesting in the Bibliographical Essay? 

Articles

American Literature Focus Reading

 

Empire of Liberty by Gordon S. Wood – Chapter 18: The War of 1812 

Thought Questions

  • Why does the author say the War of 1812 was the “strangest” war in American history? 
  • Compare the War of 1812 with the French and Indian war
  • In what ways was the War of 1812 the end of the American Revolution? In what ways was it a second American Revolution?
  • In what ways was the War of 1812 a “civil war”?
  • How did James Madison succeed Thomas Jefferson and how did he continue Thomas Jefferson? 
  • How were Native Americans involved in the war of 1812? 
  • Describe the role James Madison and Congress played in the War of 1812? 
  • How did the American invasion of British Canada unfold?
  • How did the War of 1812 unfold at sea?
  • How did the Battle of New Orleans unfold? 
  • What was Andrew Jackson’s claim to fame and what need did it fill in the American mind? 

Primary Sources

American Literature Focus Reading

 

Empire of Liberty by Gordon S. Wood – Chapter 17: Republican Diplomacy 

Thought Questions

  • How did Federalist and Republican foreign policy views differ? 
  • What events were taking place in Europe during the Early Republic Era and how did this impact the opinions of Americans? 
  • How was the shipping industry involved in the period before the War of 1812? 
  • In what ways did American positions on naval blockades change between the War of 1912 and the naval blockade of American southern ports in the Civil War? 
  • What was the British view of American shipping leading up to the war of 1812? 
  • What was the “re-export” trade? 
  • Who was Robert Fulton? 
  • How did Americans react to the Barbary Pirates? 
  • What was the Republican view of the role trade and commerce should play in the United States? 
  • In what ways did Jefferson’s foreign policy effect the American economy? 
  • How did the Jay Treaty effect the American reaction to events in Europe? 

Primary Sources

American Literature Focus Reading

 

Empire of Liberty by Gordon S. Wood – Chapter 16: Republican Religion 

Thought Questions

  • What does the author mean by “Republican Religion”?
  • Describe the process of separation of church from state that occurred in the Early Republic?
  • How did religious affiliation effect political opinions? 
  • What was the Second Great Awakening, how was it different from the First Great Awakening?
  • How was the American experience of the Enlightenment Era different from Europeans? 
  • How did Washington, Adams, Madison and Jefferson view religion and how did they hope to capture religious enthusiasm for republican values? 
  • What middle ground existed on religion between individuals like Ethan Allen, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine and others more connected to religion or tradition? 
  • How did Republicanism facilitate the rise of lawyers and the decline of clergy? 
  • How did faith come to transform and supersede formal religion and how was Bible reading and prayer symbolic of this transformation? 
  • What aspects of religion did the founders believe were essential to Republican society? 
  • How did religious tests in the Early Republic era effect Jews that came to the United States? 
  • Describe the effect Baptists and Methodists had on the early Republic? 
  • Who was Isaac Backus and how did he symbolize the struggle between faith communities and established religion? 
  • How did Catholics experience factor into the debate over religious liberty? 
  • In what ways did the ideas of democracy effect churches and religious establishments? 
  • How was the religious revival movement intensified by religious toleration and freedom? 
  • In what ways did Republican Religion effect the institution of slavery?
  • How did slaves use religion to create an oral tradition? 

Primary Sources

Articles

American Literature Focus Reading

 

Empire of Liberty by Gordon S. Wood – Chapter 15: The Rising Glory of America 

Thought Questions

  • How does the author address verbal writings such as Sermons and Speeches in the artistic development in the United States?
  • What is the idea of a “Republic of Letters” intended to convey? 
  • What role did Newspapers, Magazines and educational societies effect the development of American culture?
  • What is a “Rising Glory of America” poem and what effect did it have on Americans?
  • What is “Noe-Classisism” and how did it effect art and culture in early America?
  • Why did Early Americans see themselves as heirs of a Greeco-Roman ideals?
  • Describe the development of formal and informal education in the early Republic
  • What is a “natural” aristocracy how does it contrast with a “merit” aristocracy and how did early Americans envision this within American society? 
  • How did the theater evolve in the United States and how was it influenced by Europe?

Articles

Primary Sources

American Literature Focus Reading

 

Empire of Liberty by Gordon S. Wood – Chapter 14: Between Slavery and Freedom

Thought Questions

  • How did slavery evolve into a different type of institution in the early Republic era?
  • How did the institution of slavery evolve in the minds of white Americans?
  • Describe the economic systems and labor relationships in the Upper and Lower South and how they were different and similar
  • How were the opinions and conclusions of George Washington about slavery similar to other late 18th century Americans? 
  • How were the opinions and conclusions of Thomas Jefferson about slavery similar to other early 19th century Americans? 
  • How did the “Puritan Work Ethic” or “Yankee Work Ethic” reflect a capitalist mentality towards the value of labor? 
  • How did the Southern image of the “gentle man of Leisure” who does not have to work reflect a reaction against the Northern view of labor? 
  • Who was Samuel Cooke of Massachusetts and How did the different views about the “dignity of labor” effect opinions about slavery? 
  • How did the values of the American Revolution coexist with and conflict with the values of slave labor?
  • How did the French revolution in Europe and the Caribbean effect the system of slave labor in the United States and the attitudes of slaves and masters? 
  • Who was Oliver Ellsworth and how did his attitudes towards the institution of slavery represent the policy of “gradual emancipation”?
  • How and why was “Yankee Thrift” responsible for the early spread of support for “gradual emancipation”? 
  • Describe the development of the cotton based economy in the South and how it changed the nature of slavery and the concept of “gradual emancipation”?
  • Who was Eli Whitney and what was the cotton gin? What is the meaning of the term “gin” in this context?
  • What was the 3/5ths clause of the United States Constitution? 
  • What was the Fugitive Slave Clause of the United States Constitution? 
  • What was “Gabriel’s Rebellion” and who was “Gabriel”? How did this effect the course of slavery in the United States?
  • How did the institution of slavery change in the United States as a result of “Gabriel’s Rebellion”? 
  • From the viewpoint of slave holders Describe the process that transformed the institution of slavery from a “necessary evil” to a “positive good” (in the perspective of slave holders).
  • How did slavery effect religious institutions in the early Republic? 

Articles

Primary Sources

American Literature Focus Reading

 

Empire of Liberty by Gordon S. Wood – Chapter 13: Republican Reforms 

Thought Questions

  • How did early 19th century America view the future? What reasons did different Americans have for hope in the future, specifically small freeholders, women and slaves? 
  • How did the reasons for hope in the future by non-Native Americans effect the situation and outlook of Native Americans? 
  • How were Republicans reforms an attempt at “Americanization” social engineering? 
  • What was the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and what were the different provisions it contained?
  • What do the provisions of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 reveal about the thoughts and intentions of the founding generation in regards to reform?
  • What is and how did the “Three Tiered” system of education develop and effect Americans?
  • How did Republican Reforms effect the development of American education? 
  • Who was Benjamin Rush and what role did he play in Republican Reforms?
  • Who was Noah Webster and what role did he play in Republican Reforms?
  • How did education spread from being a private institution into a civic function?
  • In what ways did Literacy and the spread of informal educational societies effect the development of Republican Reforms? 
  • Describe the development of the American postal system and the effect it had on developing American cultures and sectional differences? 
  • Describe the events, motives and achievements in early 19th century American communication and transportation 
  • How did communication and transportation changes effect the development of early 19th century Americas?
  • How did religious organizations develop and effect Republican Reforms? 
  • Describe the contrast between the 18th century paternalistic gentry based benevolent societies and the development of civic Republican benevolent societies in the 19th century.
  • How did Republicans reforms in the United States have an international impact and how did international reform movements impact the United States? 
  • How did Republican reforms effect the nature of justice, punishment and correctional reform in America?
  • How did gender and the family structure effect Republican Reforms?
  • How did gender roles begin to become more Republican and what were the unanticipated effects of this changing situation? 

Primary Sources

Articles

American Literature Focus Reading

 

Empire of Liberty by Gordon S. Wood – Chapter 11: Law and an Independent Judiciary 

“The raw afternoon is rawest, and the dense fog is densest, and the muddy streets are muddiest near that leaden-headed old obstruction, appropriate ornament for the threshold of a leaden-headed old corporation, Temple Bar. And hard by Temple Bar, in Lincoln’s Inn Hall, at the very heart of the fog, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery.” Charles Dickens, Bleak House, Chapter 1 

Thought Questions

  • How did the courts before the American Revolution differ from the Judicial branch that developed in the United States? 
  • What functions that we normally consider Judicial were handled by Executive officials?
  • What functions that we normally consider Executive were handled by Judicial officials?
  • How were Executive and Judicial functions related and interdependent in the early era of the Republic? 
  • Why were courts viewed as “un-Republican” by Jeffersonians? 
  • What were the reasons for having an independent Judiciary? 
  • In what ways was the debate over the Judicial branch related to the creation of a Bill of Rights?
  • How did Federalists view the Judiciary differently from Anti-Federalists? 
  • How did unanswered questions and ambiguous language in the Constitution contributed to the debate over the form and functionof the Judicial Branch? 
  • In what ways does Charles Dickens reflect American fears about courts in Bleak House chapter 1? 
  • What are the provisions of each of the three sections in Article 3 of the United States Constitution? 
  • What are the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th amendments to the Constitution in the Bill of Rights?
  • What are the provisions of the Judiciary Act and what structure did it give to the federal courts?
  • How is the Bill of Rights designed to primarily but not exclusivelyimpact the powers of the Legislative Branch (1st and 2nd), the Executive Branch (2nd, 3rd and 4th), the Judicial Branch (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th) and the states (9th and 10th)?
  • What is “concurrent cognizance”? 
  • How did political experience effect the appointment of judges? In early American justice, how could political skill be beneficial to society? (Think about the expressions “might makes right” and “possession is 9/10ths of the law” in the context of rural America).
  • How did the Colonial American experience effect the development of the American Judiciary?
  • Who was John Jay and what precedent did he set for American Judicial leader taking part in international law (Wood mentions one, the Nuremberg trials are another). 
  • How were issues of British-American debts a foreign policy issue that the courts were involved with?
  • What is the 11th amendment to the Constitution and how is it related to the case of Chiholm v. Georgia in 1793? 
  • What were the issues surrounding the concept of an “American Common Law”?
  • What actions did Federalists take regarding the Judiciary at the end of the Adams administration? 
  • Describe the issues and events surround the impeachment of Federalist judges?
  • How was federal power to enforce slavery in the United States through Judicial power foreshadowed in the Federalist Jeffersonian divide (Fugitive Slave Law, Dred Scott, et al)? 
  • Describe the motives and concerns of the Federalists in this period
  • Describe the motives and concerns of the Jeffersonians in this period.

Primary Sources

Articles

  1. Chisholm v. Georgia (1793)
  2. Judiciary Act of 1801 
  3. Samuel Chase Impeached 
  4. Senate Prepares for Impeachment Trial (1804)

American Literature Focus Reading

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