Like most history textbooks, HIST5 by Kevin M. Schultz gives students an excellent overall overview of different events in history. However, textbooks have to cover a lot of ground and, as a result, sometimes fail to go into much detail about specific topics. HIST5 is no different.
For this assignment, you will read the six primary sources I’ve provided at the end of this handout. (Note: “Primary sources” are old letters, diaries, government documents, etc., that provide historians with the information to write about the past.) All of these primary sources deal with the American West in the middle to late 1800s. After you finish reading them, compare the information you find in them with what is presented in Chapter 18 of the textbook.
The following are some questions you might want to ask yourself: what have you learned from reading the primary sources that you wouldn’t otherwise know today if you had read only the textbook? What advantages do you see primary sources providing students in their efforts to learn about the past? On the other hand, when it comes to studying the American West, is there also an advantage to reading a textbook, as opposed to reading only primary sources? If so, what is that advantage?
Be specific as you write your paper. You should use specific examples from all six primary sources and the textbook. Use direct quotes from both, but each quote should not be longer than four lines. Please be aware that I do not want to get a paper from you that is simply one quote after another. In your paper, you should not just throw the quotes into your paper without doing anything with them. Analyze the quotes. In other words, tell me what you think the authors meant when they wrote those words.
Paper length: Your paper should be at least 900 words long. This equates to about three pages, but word count, instead of page count, should be your guide for paper length. Note: There will be a points deduction if the 900-word minimum is not met! Whatever percentage of the 900 words is missing will be the percentage of the grade that will be deducted in points.
Paper format: Your paper should be double spaced in 12 point Times New Roman type with one inch margins. Do not insert extra lines between paragraphs. Your paper should have a header for your name and a footer for the page numbers. There will be a ten point deduction for incorrect formatting! Citations: You do not need a Works Cited page. You will be telling me where you got your information in the essay itself. [Example: In Chief Red Cloud’s Speech, Red Cloud states, “Our ponies were taken away from us under the promise that they would be replaced by oxen and large horses; it was long before we saw any, and then we got very few.”] When you quote from the textbook, please provide the page number at the end of the quote. [Example: According to Kevin M. Schultz in HIST5, “The second central institution of black life in the South of the late 1800s was the church” (342).] Plagiarism: Plagiarism on ANY written assignment (discussion questions, essays, etc.) is a very serious matter. It will result in a zero for the assignment grade and a referral to the Dean of Student Affairs for appropriate disciplinary action. Please consult the syllabus to learn what plagiarism entails, and watch the video below to learn how to avoid plagiarism. But please know you can always contact me if you have any further questions on the matter. Late Submissions: There will be a ten point deduction per day for late submissions!
Below is how I will be grading your paper:
Points Available Your Points Thesis statement—does the paper have a clearly stated main idea? (Example: “For anyone wishing to learn more about George Washington, there is much to be gained by reading a textbook like HIST5 by Kevin M. Schultz, but also by examining primary sources dating back to his presidency during the late 1700s.”) 15
Evidence—does the student back up his or her thesis statement with sufficient information? 30
Coherence—does the writing make sense? 25
Insight—does the paper provide interest points about the material, or does it just present the facts without any real thought? 20
Grammar and spelling, etc. 10
Points deducted for too short a paper, incorrect formatting, lateness, etc. See above for specifics
PRIMARY SOURCE # 1:
Red Cloud was chief of the Oglala Teton Sioux. He was an important leader who opposed white incursions into Native American lives and territory, although he openly advocated peace whenever possible and did not support the more violent actions of Crazy Horse and his followers. Red Cloud was noted as a warrior and a speaker. In the excerpt below, he explains the plight of his—and indeed all—Native American peoples in the last decades of the 1800s.
Chief Red Cloud’s Speech I will tell you the reason for the trouble. When we first made treaties with the Government, our old life and our old customs were about to end; the game on which we lived was disappearing; the whites were closing around us, and nothing remained for us but to adopt their ways,-the Government promised us all the means necessary to make our living out of the land, and to instruct us how to do it, and with abundant food to support us until we could take care of ourselves. We looked forward with hope to the time we could be as independent as the whites, and have a voice in the Government. The army officers could have helped better than anyone else but we were not left to them. An Indian Department was made with a large number of agents and other officials drawing large salaries-then came the beginning of trouble; these men took care of themselves but not of us. It was very hard to deal with the government through them-they could make more for themselves by keeping us back than by helping us forward. We did not get the means for working our lands; the few things they gave us did little good. Our rations began to be reduced; they said we were lazy. That is false. How does any man of sense suppose that so great a number of people could get work at once unless they were at once supplied with the means to work and instructors enough to teach them? Our ponies were taken away from us under the promise that they would be replaced by oxen and large horses; it was long before we saw any, and then we got very few. We tried with the means we had, but on one pretext or another, we were shifted from one place to another, or were told that such a transfer was coming. Great efforts were made to break up our customs, but nothing was done to introduce us to customs of the whites. Everything was done to break up the power of the real chiefs. Those old men really wished their people to improve, but little men, so-called chiefs, were made to act as disturbers and agitators. Spotted Tail wanted the ways of the whites, but an assassin was found to remove him. This was charged to the Indians because an Indian did it, but who set on the Indian? I was abused and slandered, to weaken my influence for good. This was done by men paid by the government to teach us the ways of the whites. I have visited many other tribes and found that the same things were done amongst them; all was done to discourage us and nothing to encourage us. I saw men paid by the government to help us, all very busy making money for themselves, but doing nothing for us. . . . The men who counted (census) told all around that we were feasting and wasting food. Where did he see it? How could we waste what we did not have? We felt we were mocked in our misery; we had no newspaper and no one to speak for us. Our rations were again reduced. You who eat three times a day and see your children well and happy around you cannot understand what a starving Indian feels! We were faint with hunger and maddened by despair. We held our dying children and felt their little bodies tremble as their soul went out and left only a dead weight in our hands. They were not very heavy but we were faint and the dead weighed us down. There was no hope on earth. God seemed to have forgotten. Some one had been talking of the Son of God and said He had come. The people did not know; they did not care; they snatched at hope; they screamed like crazy people to Him for mercy they caught at the promise they heard He had made. The white men were frightened and called for soldiers. We begged for life and the white men thought we wanted theirs; we heard the soldiers were coming. We did not fear. We hoped we could tell them our suffering and could get help. The white men told us the soldiers meant to kill us; we did not believe it but some were frightened and ran away to the Bad Lands. The soldiers came. They said: “don’t be afraid-we come to make peace, not war.” It was true; they brought us food. But the hunger-crazed who had taken fright at the soldiers’ coming and went to the Bad Lands could not be induced to return to the horrors of reservation life. They were called Hostiles and the Government sent the army to force them back to their reservation prison.
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