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Every scholar must develop the skill of interpreting primary source documents fa

by | Apr 28, 2022 | Political Science | 0 comments


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Every scholar must develop the skill of interpreting primary source documents fairly and persuasively. Scholars working on constitutional issues must get to know primary sources that help illuminate the origins of various constitutional clauses and provisions. This assignment will require you to examine carefully one of the most important primary source documents in American history, James Madison’s account of The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787. Madison’s Debates play an important role in current debates about the intentions of the Constitution’s framers. Recent scholarship on the intent of the framers has focused on their intent regarding slavery, with many scholars claiming that the Constitution was intended to be proslavery. You will write an essay in which you explore the role of slavery in the Constitutional Convention. You may consider one or more questions along the following lines: Was slavery the central issue at the Convention? What evidence is there that the Constitution was “intended” to be proslavery? Under what contexts did debate about slavery arise in the Convention? Were there antislavery arguments made during the Convention, or antislavery provisions established in the Constitution? How should we evaluate the work of the Convention today? However you approach this essay, you must clearly state your thesis, then support it through careful analysis and citation of Madison’s Debates. Every essay should begin with an introductory paragraph that clearly and concisely states the purpose and significance of the paper, and that introductory paragraph should end with a clear thesis sentence that encapsulates the paper’s argument. The body of the essay should support the argument summarized in the thesis sentence with sound logic, clear argumentation, and credible sources. The concluding paragraph should reiterate how the thesis has been argued and demonstrated. INSTRUCTIONS ? Assignment should be 6-8 pages in length, not counting Title Page or Works Cited. ? Assignment should be written in current Turabian format. ? Assignment should include no fewer than eight citations. ? Cite the version of Madison’s Debates available online using Explore: Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 as found in the Learn items for Module 4: Week 4, an abbreviated citation consisting of the date from which the passage was taken (i.e. “June 6”) is adequate. In addition, cite at least four other secondary sources, which could be academic, or could be arguments by historic actors (Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, etc).


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