Due Wednesday night (4/12), 10 p.m.
This film below, Sunshine and Shadow, is one we watched on Monday and took the quiz w/ our notes. We watched the first 37 minutes.
Top Six Reasons Why American Industry Exploded in late 19th Century – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sNwwfww4PzYU3i84UJIwfpcGwFCuBt-WQMj6npkadOw/edit?usp=sharing
Men Who Built America, part 1 – A New War Begins
Men Who Built America, part 2 – Oil Strike
Men Who Built America, part 3 – A Rivalry is Born
Men Who Built America, part 4 – Blood is Spilled
Here’s a link to the primary sources in a Google Doc – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w7CczbFV5_IUup2fSvQb_zC27AfjvTCodogtka6dMi8/edit?usp=sharing
Things / People / Events you need to know.
Know primary characteristics of the colonies / regions -17th / 18th Century John Winthrop
Atlantic slave trade Encomienda system Silent Majority
Great Society Containment in Asia Marshall Plan
Conservative movement in 1980s End of the Cold War – Gorbachev Persian Gulf War
National Debt in the 1980s Deregulation Ku Klux Klan
Women’s suffrage in 1870 Election of 1876 / Compromise of 1877 Brown v. Board of Ed., Kansas
13th , 14th, and 15th Amendments Gettysburg and Antietam Lincoln’s 10% plan
Carpetbaggers Kansas-Nebraska Act Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Waving the Bloody Shirt Radical Republican plan for Reconstruction Dred Scott
Johnson’s impeachment James K. Polk and his land grabs Mexican War
War Hawks like Henry Clay and Calhoun Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Republican motherhood Lowell mills Marbury v. Madison
3/5 Compromise Shays Rebellion Eli Whitney – interchangeable parts
Temperance Movement Seneca Falls Convention Red Scare / McCarthy / Rosenbergs
NSC -68 Olive Branch Petition First Continental Congress Salutary Neglect
Battle of Saratoga – turning point Emancipation Proclamation Common Sense
Gibbons v. Ogden William Lloyd Garrison / ACS
Review Sessions – Thursday (3/2 ) X-Block 7:40 – 8:15, Monday (3/6) after school, 2:55 – 3:20
You’re in an Advanced Placement U.S. History class that analyzes different approaches to history. As we have learned, history’s interpretation can change – use the formation of the Constitution’s interpretation as an example (Blog #93). History can also be used as a weapon to support or discredit opponents like the way Richard Nixon / Watergate, Frederick Douglass, and Japanese internment camps are being used to discredit President Trump. In the same way that history can be weaponized, the history of the Civil War has been discussed and fought over ever since General Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox Court House in April 1865. Using the article, “The Way We Weren’t,” author David Von Drehle dissects the way Americans have viewed the bloodiest conflict in our history.
People in 2011 were polled in the 11 states of the Confederacy, and they answered that the primary cause of the Civil War was states rights, or in this case, the primacy of the states over the federal government, despite what the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause said. However, as we have seen with the recent history we’ve studied, states rights was not just a Southern thing. Northern states and cities resisted the new Fugitive Slave Law (and the federal government) and tried to foil sending slaves to their original owners. Eminent Civil War historians like James McPherson and David Blight state that almost everything in the events leading up to the Civil War dovetail w/ slavery.
Confederate soldiers and citizens, the losers in the conflict, had to mentally hold onto their “due pride” after fighting so hard, so they invented the states rights cause. Many historians, novelists, and filmmakers were willing to go along with this denial and write narratives that supported the states rights cause. Confederate generals wrote their memoirs in the post-war world which distanced their sacrifice from slavery and attached it firmly to something more noble (in their minds) like states rights. Insidious inside the states rights cause was the Lost Cause, the belief that slavery was a benign institution and that Black people had it better under slavery than freedom. Freedom, as defined by the profit-hungry, industrial North, included working for tiny wages and ruthless competition. In Jefferson Davis’s book about the war, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, he portrays the South as hopelessly outgunned and outmanned (which it was) and compares the North to the serpent infiltrating the Garden of Eden (the South) where slave owners lived with their slaves in paradise.
However, this is not to blame the Civil War on just the South. Yes, they were treasonous. Yes, they killed hundreds of thousands of Northern soldiers, but EVERYONE was complicit in slavery. As mentioned in the article, many Northern states, including Wall Street, benefitted dramatically from it. Check out the New York Historical Society’s online exhibit, Slavery in New York. There should be little doubt that the war was a long time coming, exacted a horrific toll on the nation, and still leaves us with a legacy that we are dealing with as a nation.
Questions to answer:
Which of these is most persuasive as a cause and which is the least persuasive cause? Why?
3. The article focuses a lot on Bleeding Kansas as the pivotal point in which the Civil War seemed inevitable. Would you agree with this assertion? Why or why not?
4. What are some major arguments that poke holes in the Lost Cause? Think of movies like Birth of a Nation and Gone With the Wind and their portrayal of the South.
5. When and why did America finally start to break away from the Lost Cause mythology (a.k.a. The Dunning School of Post War America)?
This film, I am Not Your Negro, directed by Raoul Peck, is a testament to James Baldwin’s brilliance. It in one fell swoop places him within the context of the Civil Rights Movement and also as someone who was a latecomer to its activism (though he fought racism through his words while living in France). He was one of America’s leading intellectuals and social critics and found a way to cut through the baloney, the white ignorance of the time, the cluelessness, like a knife. At once, the film is a unique history of the CRM, of the past sixty years of race, and also it’s a warning for us today that we still have racial problems left festering.
The film’s narrative is loosely based upon Baldwin’s attempt to write a history of the CRM using his friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Dr. King, as touchstones. Apparently, Baldwin only got as far as 30 pages of notes before he gave up on the project in 1979. What shocked me (though I knew this fact in the back of my mind, being a history teacher) was the fact that all three men were killed before they hit the age of 40. As someone who is almost 50, I am both in awe and in shock of how much these three men had accomplished in such a short span.
The film begins with Baldwin’s appearance on The Dick Cavett Show in 1968 as the host earnestly implores Baldwin as to where there might be a glimmer of hope in race relations. Baldwin smiles that toothy grin and kind of shakes his head as if to say he doesn’t know. But he does. What Dick Cavett asked him is probably indicative of what other white people have asked themselves during and since the CRM – when will Black people be satisfied with the advances that their race has made? When Cavett brings an older, white professor of philosophy to come on, all he does is whitesplain the problem of race in America to Baldwin. Below is Baldwin’s response:
At an interview with Attorney General Robert Kennedy in 1963, James Baldwin and playwright Lorraine Hansberry (among others) were gathered together to discuss improving race relations, a “quiet, off-the-record, unpublicized get-together of prominent Negroes”. JFK was still thinking about 1964 and running again, so he couldn’t look like he was kowtowing to Black people for fear of losing the Southern vote, yet he still had to appear to be leader of ALL Americans. The meeting took place in late May, soon after the film footage of the Children’s Crusade was broadcast to the nation – blasting Black children with water from fire hoses and attacking protestors with dogs. This meeting, though just briefly mentioned in the film, seems like a typical Kennedy maneuver where the Kennedys do something on the surface but don’t seem to understand the deeper, underlying causes. The actors and activists at the meeting were told by Robert Kennedy that maybe in forty years there might be a Black president. Baldwin’s answer, two years later in a debate with William F. Buckley, conservative critic, is telling:
It reminds me of something that I had heard once that, when asked, how many more women did Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg feel need to be on the court in order to make women feel equal? Her answer was nine, with the rationale that the Supreme Court had been all male for 190 years, it’s time to make up some ground. In the same respect, maybe we need a string of minority presidents of women and people of color to help make America more equal.
There was a telling scene, a powerful scene, when Baldwin was talking about growing up in Harlem and watching his friends die way too early. Then, the film cuts to snapshots of modern young Black Americans, all cut down before their 18th birthday, like Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice, and ends with someone holding up a sign that says “We Live in a Police State” or something to that effect. There are shots of the Ferguson disturbances interspersed with shots of white police officers clubbing Black people on the streets of Oakland, California and Birmingham, Alabama, ramming home the message that though we whites might think this awful string of police brutality is relatively new in America, it’s not. Now, more things are just being caught on video than ever before.
Baldwin’s social critiques of the nation in the film are just as prescient as they were fifty years ago, maybe even more so. Because the film is so dense, with layers of meaning and visuals and voice overs going on all at the same time, I feel like I would need to see this film two or three more times to get the entire message. But one scene struck me, as Baldwin decries the vacuousness of American life, about how that once we discover how pointless life is with an accumulation of stuff, we’ll go crazy. As he says this (with narration by Samuel L. Jackson), there is some colorful movie with white people dancing all around, and then he cuts to a scene from Gus Van Zant’s 2003 film, Elephant, about a Columbine-like school shooting.
One of the things that Baldwin stresses the most, where I think he is most consistently portrayed in the film, is his undying belief that it is our humanity that ties us all together. Peck, the filmaker does an excellent job of contrasting how two different groups of people can see the same thing and view it differently, so I am certain that my film review would be markedly different than a Black film critic (I’m not calling myself a critic, I just love movies). And it is this underlying humanity and how we figure out who we are in America is what seems to fascinate Baldwin the most. This humanity is what ties us together, and because of it, we are inextricably woven as a fabric in one piece in American history. To separate the strands between white, black, brown, red, yellow, is to render the fabric useless.
For extra credit, see the film and answer three of the questions below (you must answer #2 as one of the three):
Also, please register for the APUSH exam. See info below.
Registration for AP Exams will be online this year.
Registration begins Wednesday, February, 1st and ends Monday February 27th
NO EXAMS CAN BE ORDERED AFTER FEB 27th
Cost for each exam is $ 95.00
Have your credit card or debit card available when you go to register.
Interactive Lesson Plan on Antebellum Cotton
What was done previously: Students have read notes from Ch. 16 of the textbook on the rise of the Cotton Kingdom. They have also read primary sources from James Hammond, “Cotton is King,” David Walker, “Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World,” an excerpt from William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator, John C. Calhoun, “Slavery as a Positive Good,” and are currently reading the short book, Autobiography of Frederick Douglass. In the last unit, the students have also read excerpts of Daniel Walker Howe’s book, What Hath God Wrought, in an essay entitled, “The Changes Wrought by Cotton, Transportation, and Communication” and answered questions about the essay (essay located in Major Problems in American History, Volume 1: To 1877, 3rd edition).
Overall plan: Students will have an immersion experience into the antebellum slave plantation life by cleaning a boll of cotton. They will have to pick the seeds out and save them for later, and clean the cotton so that it is free of stems and leaves. Cotton can be purchased at several locations on the internet, especially at http://cottonclassroom.com/, http://www.cottonman.com/cotton.html, and also on Amazon. While cleaning the cotton, a YouTube compilation of Negro spirituals will play (https://youtu.be/Uoj7A649gvs), and a Power Point w/ pictures of black Americans picking cotton will be on a loop on the screen projector. Afterwards, students will read segments of an interview with an ex-slave from the WPA interviews in 1937-41 found on the American Memory section of the Library of Congress’s website, and then they will listen to a short interview from another slave.
– Questions afterward:
“I learned that it was very time consuming to pick just one boll of cotton, and that if I had to clean 50 maybe 100 of those a day that I might really struggle.” Henry V.
“Listening to the interviews and doing the physical task of cleaning cotton personalized what slavery was like. Instead of reading about far off slaves who died a long time ago, and thinking “wow that really sucks for them” it sort of increases both sympathy and empathy for the situations that so many people had to deal with.” Camille W.
” We usually only talk about the politics and conflicts surrounding slavery, not the people whose lives were controlled by it. It was very interesting to “zoom in” on a few specific people and learn how their lives were shaped by slavery.” Ben I.
“Being able to actually touch and feel and experience the cotton picking, it gave me a greater respect for the work slaves had to do.” Davit T.
2. What is the benefit of learning history (or anything for that matter) in a format like this? Why?
“We were always taught that the Slaves were primarily used to pick cotton, we’ve always known that. We’ve always known that it was a difficult task and that it was back breaking. So while we may have understood, we never could relate. So being able to hold the cotton in our hands and do the task of taking a part the cotton, taking out all the seeds and leaves, it was so cool. We got to see first hand what the slaves had to do everyday from sunrise to sunset.” – Tania M.
Extra credit film, Oklahoma City for PBS – http://www.okcityfilm.com/
Extra credit film, Race Underground for PBS – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/race-underground/
Extra credit film, Ruby Ridge from PBS (available 2/14) – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/ruby-ridge/
All extra credit films are due 2 weeks after they’ve aired, so Race is due 2/14, OKCity is due 2/21, and Ruby is due 2/28. Minimum 1/2 page summary, minimum 1/2 page connection to APUSH.