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Violence in America

You will complete an 10-page paper based on your analysis of a topic of your choice as long as it relates to violence in the United States, with an emphasis on the late 19th century and the 20th century. The objective is to use primary and secondary historical resources to investigate patterns in unique U.S. communities (domestic, political, and ideological) and how the legal system and social mores react to better identify and help stem future events. Theories of conflict and its causes provide a framework for discussing political violence, both past and present. Topics can also include violence and organized crime, domestic terrorism, violent crimes, student protest, and labor violence. The paper will follow the Chicago Manual of Style and reflect sound historical methodology. Any illustration, table, chart, map, or other graphic will not count as a page or portion thereof but could enhance your grade. Citations are required; footnotes are preferred. Parenthetical citations also known as textual notes are not acceptable and will not be credited as meeting this requirement.
Make sure your name is on your work. The preferred type is Times New Roman, font size 12. The paper should be double-spaced, except for the citations and bibliography. You do need a cover pagebut this will not count toward the total page count.
Rubrics and Rewards: This paper is worth 35% of your course grade and will be graded on a one-hundred point scale as follows:
34% quality of research (use of academically acceptable resources such as but not limited to .edu and .nps resources. This means Wikipedia, Ask.com, and other sources where anybody can write and post anything they want to will not be counted towards meeting this requirement.
34% quality of interpretation (what your subject means for the history of the Roman Republic and why we should care about it.
32% adherence to proper style and format as defined above.
Your paper will reward you with practice in skills that will help you succeed far beyond the end of this course. Exactly which of these skills and in what proportion you will gain proficiency in will depend on your topic. But it would not surprise me if elements of at least two of these will emerge from your work. This is, of course, in addition to your growth in the tools of information literacy.
PLAGIARISM WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. Be sure you understand what constitutes plagiarism. You will find links and policy discussions on this topic under Additional Information on the class website. This is a 400-level course; your familiarity with the subject is assumed.
Advice: Make sure your name is on your work. The preferred type is Times New Roman, font size 12. The paper should be double-spaced except for citations and bibliography. The paper should use standard page margins, and include page numbers, and a cover page which will not count toward the page total
American Civil War
            The American civil war lasted from 1861 to 1865 and led to death of hundreds of thousands of Americans.  Its origin can be traced from the conflicts that took place early in the American’s history. The conflict started when the American population increased significantly and the people started migrating and forming new territories. The issue of whether to adopt slavery or to oppose it was one of the greatest factors that caused tension amongst the states. The highest court in the United States (the Supreme Court) made a ruling in 1857 that Africans (blacks) had no rights, could not become U.S citizens, and that Congress had no powers to abolish slavery. The aftermath of the ruling saw the United States suffer one of the bloodiest wars in world history – the Civil War. In less than ten years since the ruling was made, Congress together with the Northern states addressed the biases in the ruling. The biases were addressed through the amendment of the constitution and the civil rights statute. Through the 13th Amendment, slavery was abolished in all parts of the United States. The 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1866 guaranteed citizenship for all qualified, natural-born, and naturalized Americans, inclusive of former slaves and free blacks. The civil rights statute, in addition, authorized the transfer of cases from state to federal courts in cases where citizens’ rights could not be enforced through state systems of justice. The 14th Amendment also prohibited states from infringing the rights enjoyed by American citizens, as well as, ensuring every citizen had the right to due process and equal protection of the law (Kaczorowski, 1987, p. 45).
The Congressional Republicans held the view that the14th Amendment and Civil Rights Act of 1886 provided a good ground for revolutionary change in the constitution of the United States. In observance of the 19th century concept of federalism, there was a need for Congress to legislate for the protection of civil rights. Had the status and fundamental rights of citizenship been the rights enjoyed by individuals owing to their state citizenship, the Congress would have had no authority to ensure for their protection. The fundamental rights would have been out of the jurisdiction of the states. The Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Statute that conferred citizenship on all Americans, and expanded its federally enforceable guarantees to include civil rights protection was surely a revolutionary twist in American federalism.[1]
Twain called on American leaders to settle down domestic issues and create a society that others could emulate instead of seizing or otherwise taking on new territories. He was particularly outraged by the occupation and ongoing war against the forces of liberation in the Philippines, reporting from Manila and comparing the nationalist leader Emiliano Aguinaldo to Joan of Arc and George Washington. Twain was also quite vitriolic about missionaries who justified imperialism as an extension of the religious duty. [2] Mark Twain did not subscribe to stereotypical attitude regarding the civil war. In his literature, Twain expresses that, traditionally, the southerners were thought to be very spirited towards fighting the Yankees and enslaving them, while the northerners were out to oppress the rebels while granting slaves their freedom. By then, slavery was still regarded as legal, a notion that he strongly opposed.[3]Following outlawing of slavery by the government, Twain still held the view that racism against the black was still evident in the society. He particularly viewed civil war as evil which ought to be eliminated from the society. [4]
The radical change in constitutionalism saw the congressional Republicans developed a legal framework delegating Congress the authority to protect the status and civil rights of American citizens.  The Republicans maintained that the national government was sovereign. Thus, the national government would work with state governments in protecting the status and rights of American citizens – whites and blacks. They emphasized on U.S citizenship rather than state citizenship. Following the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, the constitutional revolution on citizenship and civil rights was completed. [5]
            At the time when the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, which forced many Americans to migrate to the west, was taking place; the Anglo-American settlement was limited to the Eastern seaboard in the 18th century.  By this time, the majority population of the North America was concentrated along the major inland waterways or on the coast.  By 1790, the United States population was growing very fast.  By 1820, the American population had grown very high with a good proportion of the people pouring across Appalachians new states that had been created (Divine 199).[6]
            Essentially, the western migration had become the order of the day whereby a very huge number of American families migrated every single decade. However, Cincinnati’s most critical trade was situated on the great port of New Orleans along Mississippi Rivers and Ohio.  The route along the waterways remained the most important for marketing while access to the New Orleans remained critical for growth of the western economy as well as its settlement. [7]A great deal of the conflict resulted from this geographical expansion and rapid growth of the population.  The indigenous Americans, who lived in the west, strongly resisted intrusion into their territory and hence their resistance reinvigorated conflicts in the early 19th century.
            In addition, the opening out of the plantation slavery past the coastal southwest occasioned violent migration of the huge number of slaves to the new territories. Although this conflict had caused enormous loss of human life, the vast majority of white Americans considered the western expansion as their major boost, since to them, access to the western territories granted them an opportunity of acquiring independence and affluence so long as they were willing to face the suffering of the frontier life. Also, the clash between slave and non-slave state supporters was a major cause of the American civil war.
            Starting with Louisiana Purchase, which marked the beginning of the America’s expanded mission, and then the Mexican War among many others, the question of whether new territories supported slavery or not was a major factor that defines the conflicts between states. The purchase of Lousiana happened in 1803, when Talleyrand, a French minister offered to sell the entire territory to Thomas Jefferson for $15 million. The purchase of this territory led to an unprecedented expansion of United States territory. The purchase of this territory later sparked fresh rounds of tension that caused substantial bloodshed. For instance, Missouri Compromise of 1820 banned slavery in states that were created to form the former Louisiana Purchase (Divine 310). During the Mexican war, the burning issue was what would be done with the new territories that were expected to be acquired if the war was to be won. In 1846, David Wilmot proposed the Wilmot Proviso, whose aim was to prohibit slavery in the new territories, however, this culminated in a more heightened conflict.
            Henry Clay alongside other leaders saw the creation, [8] of the Compromise of 1850, which was meant to address the issues of the balance between the territories that supported slavery and those that opposed it as well as the interest of northern and the southern. [9]In this deal, the Fugitive Slave Act was proposed. All these issues, in addition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, increased the tension, which culminated in civil war. [10]This was an informal bargain that was struck when Republican leaders opened secret talks with the southern Democrats, trying to woo  them to dump filibuster if the home rule was restored and the last troops withdrawn – the aim of this was to ensure that Haye’s  was elected. Following these negotiation, a deal was struck and Hayes became the president while the blacks from the south were dumped. Essentially, this compromise did not only led to election of Haye’s as the president but also occasioned the fall of the last radical governments and led to the end of the military intervention in the south……………………………………………………………………….
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[1] Kaczorowski, R. J,  “To Begin the Nation Anew: Congress, Citizenship, and Civil Rights after the Civil War” The American Historical Review,  92.1 (1982), 45-68.
[2] Pettit, Arthur, Mark Twain and the South Author (New York: University Press of            Kentucky 2004)
Mullet, Michael, Martin Luther (New York: Rutledge, 2004), 125
[3] Ibid, 125
[4] Pettit, Arthur, Mark Twain and the South Author (New York: University Press of            Kentucky, 2004), 23
[5] Kaczorowski, R.J, 47
[6] Divine, Robert et al.  The American Story (New York: Pearson, 2005), 199.
[7] ibid
[8] Ibid, 444
[9] Ibid, 446
[10] Ibid, 460

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