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Cornerstone Speech

Read the selection from Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephensâ âCornerstone Speechâ of March 21, 1861, and then study the Thomas Nast editorial cartoon, âThe Presidentâs Inaugural,â of March 23, 1861.

Based on these two documents, and what you have learned in your HIST 1301 class (particularly from chapters 14 and 15, and video lessons 19-21), consider these questions:

  1. According to Stephens, what is the âcornerstoneâ of the confederacy?
  2. Paraphrase Stephensâ main argument. What are Stephensâ fundamental assumptions about blacks and whites?
  3. Demonstrate how Stephens supports his argument. To what âauthorityâ does he appeal?
  4. How does Stephens summarize the arguments of those who have a differing view?
  5. What does Nastâs cartoon say about how Lincoln is viewed in the South?
  6. What populations within the newly-formed Confederate States of America would be most hostile toward Abraham Lincoln, and why?
  7. To what extent did Stephens and Nast in particular, and most Southerners and Northerners in general in 1861, exhibit sensitivity and tolerance in dealing toward women and African Americans?

Having considered these questions, write an essay of at least 800 words that:

  1. Makes an original argument that can be supported with the specific historical evidence of these two primary documents, as well as lecture notes and the textbook assigned to your class;
  2. Analyzes the historical significance of these two primary documents;
  3. Analyzes the nature of cultural/racial/gender relations during the 1860s;
  4. Connects the choices and actions of Confederate leaders to their decisions to secede and make war against the United States government;
  5. Is written in standard English, with all sources and quotes properly cited using MLA format;
  6. Is written in your own words, not copied and pasted from other sources or web sites;
  7. Is submitted through eCampus by clicking the CORE OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT link above.
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