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History 8-2, Assignment Eight, Comparing Two Primary Sources

 

 

Assignment Eight
Evaluating Two Primary Sources

Deadline 5/1, 40 points

Click here to go back to the web site for History 8-2.

 

What arguments did Andrew Jackson use to support the Indian Removal Act? What techniques did he use to support them?

What criticisms did Brownson use against the Lowell system? How did the women respond?

 

Lowell Girls  Andrew Jackson

Description

During the time period we are discussing, about the only way to reach a large group of people with a single message was through printed matter. It was also a time of very rapid change in America. This meant the ability to persuade people, through written material was critical - if you wanted people to agree with your position.

We are going to look at two primary sources from this time and evaluate how the authors used their messages to sway public opinion.

Objectives

Students will identify and describe the persuasive techniques used in the documents that accompany this assignment.

Students will create methods for identifying similar types of arguments as we begin to evluate the issue of slavery.

Special instructions

You will create a T-Chart that identifies uses of the techniques listed below along with the support you found for your opinion from the primary sources. This assignment will be submitted in printed form.

Your chart should look something like this - the borders are not important.

Technique
List the type of technique from
those shown below.             
Support - Where and how was it used in the source?
   

 

Here are the techniques you can consider immediately. If you see others you want to use, that's fine. I listed these to help you identify the areas we discussed in class.

  1. Bias - What is the author's bias?
  2. Generalities - How is the author using generalities?
  3. Context - What is the context of their argument? What other contextual issues deserve consideration?
  4. Perceptions vs. Fact What perceptions does the author bring to the argument? Do their perceptions differ from the facts? How does one support the other?
  5. Setting - What is the larger setting?

Vocabulary

N/A
 

Rubric

This assignment is scored by completion only.

 

Source Material - Here is the copy from the Lowell Articles

Orestes Brownson, The Laboring Classes: An Article from the Boston Quarterly Review, Boston: Benjamin H. Greene, 1840.

The operatives are well dressed, and we are told, well paid. They are said to be healthy, contented, and happy. This is the fair side of the picture . . . There is a dark side, moral as well as physical. Of the common operatives, few, if any, by their wages, acquire a competence . . . the great mass wear out their health, spirits, and morals, without becoming one whit better off than when they commenced labor. The bills of mortality in these factory villages are not striking, we admit, for the poor girls when they can toil no longer go home to die. The average life, working life we mean, of the girls that come to Lowell, for instance, from Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, we have been assured, is only about three years. What becomes of them then? Few of them ever marry; fewer still ever return to their native places with reputations unimpaired. “She has worked in a Factory,” is almost enough to condemn to infamy the most worthy and virtuous girl. 


A Factory Girl, “Factory Girls,” Lowell Offering, December 1840

Whom has Mr. Brownson slandered? . . . girls who generally come from quiet country homes, where their minds and manners have been formed under the eyes of the worthy sons of the Pilgrims, and their virtuous partners, and who return again to become the wives of the free intelligent yeomanry of New England and the mothers of quite a proportion of our future republicans. Think, for a moment, how many of the next generation are to spring from mothers doomed to infamy! . . . It has been asserted that to put ourselves under the influence and restraints of corporate bodies, is contrary to the spirit of our institutions, and to that love of independence which we ought to cherish. . . . We are under restraints, but they are voluntarily assumed; and we are at liberty to withdraw from them, whenever they become galling or irksome. Neither have I ever discovered that any restraints were imposed upon us but those which were necessary for the peace and comfort of the whole, and for the promotion of the design for which we are collected, namely, to get money, as much of it and as fast as we can; and it is because our toil is so unremitting, that the wages of factory girls are higher than those of females engaged in most other occupations. It is these wages which, in spite of toil, restraint, discomfort, and prejudice, have drawn so many worthy, virtuous, intelligent, and well-educated girls to Lowell, and other factories; and it is the wages which are in great degree to decide the characters of the factory girls as a class. . . . Mr. Brownson may rail as much as he pleases against the real injustice of capitalists against operatives, and we will bid him God speed, if he will but keep truth and common sense upon his side. Still, the avails of factory labor are now greater than those of many domestics, seamstresses, and school-teachers; and strange would it be, if in money-loving New England, one of the most lucrative female employments should be rejected because it is toilsome, or because some people are prejudiced against it. Yankee girls have too much independence for that. . . . And now, if Mr. Brownson is a man, he will endeavor to retrieve the injury he has done; . . . though he will find error, ignorance, and folly among us, (and where would he find them not?) yet he would not see worthy and virtuous girls consigned to infamy, because they work in a factory.


 

Transcript of President Andrew Jackson’s Message to Congress ‘On Indian Removal’ (1830)

It gives me pleasure to announce to Congress that the benevolent policy of the Government, steadily pursued for nearly thirty years, in relation to the removal of the Indians beyond the white settlements is approaching to a happy consummation. Two important tribes have accepted the provision made for their removal at the last session of Congress, and it is believed that their example will induce the remaining tribes also to seek the same obvious advantages.
The consequences of a speedy removal will be important to the United States, to individual States, and to the Indians themselves. The pecuniary advantages which it promises to the Government are the least of its recommendations. It puts an end to all possible danger of collision between the authorities of the General and State Governments on account of the Indians. It will place a dense and civilized population in large tracts of country now occupied by a few savage hunters. By opening the whole territory between Tennessee on the north and Louisiana on the south to the settlement of the whites it will incalculably strengthen the southwestern frontier and render the adjacent States strong enough to repel future invasions without remote aid. It will relieve the whole State of Mississippi and the western part of Alabama of Indian occupancy, and enable those States to advance rapidly in population, wealth, and power. It will separate the Indians from immediate contact with settlements of whites; free them from the power of the States; enable them to pursue happiness in their own way and under their own rude institutions; will retard the progress of decay, which is lessening their numbers, and perhaps cause them gradually, under the protection of the Government and through the influence of good counsels, to cast off their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community.
What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive Republic, studded with cities, towns, and prosperous farms embellished with all the improvements which art can devise or industry execute, occupied by more than 12,000,000 happy people, and filled with all the blessings of liberty, civilization and religion?
The present policy of the Government is but a continuation of the same progressive change by a milder process. The tribes which occupied the countries now constituting the Eastern States were annihilated or have melted away to make room for the whites. The waves of population and civilization are rolling to the westward, and we now propose to acquire the countries occupied by the red men of the South and West by a fair exchange, and, at the expense of the United States, to send them to land where their existence may be prolonged and perhaps made perpetual. Doubtless it will be painful to leave the graves of their fathers; but what do they more than our ancestors did or than our children are now doing? To better their condition in an unknown land our forefathers left all that was dear in earthly objects. Our children by thousands yearly leave the land of their birth to seek new homes in distant regions. Does Humanity weep at these painful separations from everything, animate and inanimate, with which the young heart has become entwined? Far from it. It is rather a source of joy that our country affords scope where our young population may range unconstrained in body or in mind, developing the power and facilities of man in their highest perfection. These remove hundreds and almost thousands of miles at their own expense, purchase the lands they occupy, and support themselves at their new homes from the moment of their arrival. Can it be cruel in this Government when, by events which it can not control, the Indian is made discontented in his ancient home to purchase his lands, to give him a new and extensive territory, to pay the expense of his removal, and support him a year in his new abode? How many thousands of our own people would gladly embrace the opportunity of removing to the West on such conditions! If the offers made to the Indians were extended to them, they would be hailed with gratitude and joy.
And is it supposed that the wandering savage has a stronger attachment to his home than the settled, civilized Christian? Is it more afflicting to him to leave the graves of his fathers than it is to our brothers and children? Rightly considered, the policy of the General Government toward the red man is not only liberal, but generous. He is unwilling to submit to the laws of the States and mingle with their population. To save him from this alternative, or perhaps utter annihilation, the General Government kindly offers him a new home, and proposes to pay the whole expense of his removal and settlement.

 

 

 

Links

Printed files

The files needed for this assignment are on this page. 

Media files

N/A

Online files

Here is a link to the online textbook.

See the bottom of this page for the documents we used for this assignment.

 

 

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