American History Homework Six Answers - Model

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Lecture - Questions - Student Answers

1. Was the main goal of the newly elected President Lincoln to end slavery, or save the Union?

President Lincoln’s main goal was to save the Union because he wanted to keep the South and the North together. Abraham Lincoln was not very spiritual, but in his second term God touched his heart and he became more concerned about slavery. (Veronika F.)
Lincoln’s main goal was preserving the Union, so much so that he would even actively preserve the institution of slavery as a means of preserving the Union. Still, Lincoln disliked slavery and ultimately issued the Emancipation Proclamation which freed all slaves in "rebellious" or Confederate states. (Addison DM)
The main goal was to keep the Union together, ending, or keeping slavery was a direct function of that. I disagree with Lincoln, he tried to appease both sides .... In the end you have to do the right thing. However sometimes the right thing and the hard thing are the same thing. (Jonathan L.)

2. Explain the purposes of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution.

The 13th Amendment's sole purpose was to ban slavery. It was ratified quickly. The 14th Amendment protected the rights of citizens against interference by any State. It also protected Congress by giving it more power, and it protected former slaves. But lately it has been expanded to include repulsive and extraneous acts of power like that of abortion. The 15th Amendment was created to protect the former slaves’ right to vote .... (Jonathan R.)

3. Who was your favorite military figure from the Civil War, and why?

My favorite military figure of the Civil War is General Robert E. Lee. This is because first, he wasn’t on the side instigating the aggression. Second, he was strategic and was good at what he did. Third, he surrendered finally to Grant so that more lives wouldn’t have to be lost after so many had already been taken. This shows that he had at least some respect for human life. (Katie B.)
My favorite person during the Civil War is George McClellan, namely for his battle strategies. I don't like how he acted with Lincoln, but in my opinion sometimes defensive positions were better then the offensive. There are many times when offensive is better since it would hurt your opponent and allow your side to recover, but McClellan might have been a little too protective of his armies to do that. Regardless, I think McClellan's initial sense to protect his armies is very noteworthy. (Kara H.)
One of the finest American admirals in the Civil War was Commander David Farragut. He was the Union commander at the Battle of Mobile Bay and captured New Orleans. He was famous for his tenacity; at the Battle of Mobile Bay, when his flagship, the Hartford (which was the second ship in his battle line entering the Bay) was forced to stop by the ship ahead because of supposed mines. His vessel was halted right near the Confederate forts, and the Southerners concentrated their fire on the Hartford. Instead of retreating, he led his fleet through the mines (which turned out to be shell cases) and into the bay, destroying the small Confederate fleet there. (Duncan B.)
General William Tecumseh Sherman. He was a skillful general, consistent throughout the war and he saw war for what it was. My two favorite quotes of his are "War is the remedy our enemies have chosen and I say let us give them what they want," and "War is hell." (Michelle F.)
I greatly admire Stonewall Jackson. Although he was a general for the Confederacy and I do not agree with what he stood for, he was an outstanding fighter, leader and general. Moreover, I respect him for his determination. He is famous for being like a “stonewall” and never backing down. (Rachel N.)
I know you will not consider her a military figure, however, I will plead my cause. She endured just as much war 'gore' as anyone else. She served on the front line, was almost killed to times - the bullets went through her clothing, and by serving on the front line was considered a man not a woman by 'proper society'. Therefore, Clara gave her good name and reputation to help in the Civil War; she deserve as much credit, if not more, than any other 'military figure'. Now that I've justified myself...My favorite figure from the Civil War was Clara Barton. She was a nurse during the war and aided many soldiers in need. Clara stood on the front line, catching soldiers as they fell, and bringing them back to the hospital tent. She endured the hardships and she improved many of them. Food, for example. Clara put an ad in newspapers begging for food for the soldiers. It worked and she soon found herself organizing a distributing company for the large amounts of food she received. When she did the same for necessities, the public again sent large amounts of blankets, socks, shirts and other things. She was loved by all she nursed and was called the Angel of the Battlefield by all soldiers. After a long struggle, Clara was able to begin an American Red Cross thirteen years later to aid anyone targeted by disaster. She was its president for the next 23 three years. Clara was - and is - a true Civil War heroine. (Bethany S.)
The brave soldiers because they left their home and family to give their lives to fight for their freedom, and now our freedom. (Mallory C.)

4. How would you have handled Reconstruction differently?

I would not have used so much military force. Andrew Johnson sent too many soldiers into the South to keep control. Although some military enforcement was needed, I believe that Johnson overdid it. Everyone was sick of war. Soldiers were ready to go home and families had been broken in pieces for way too long. (Jenna N.)
I wouldn't do anything differently. I think they did what was needed. They reorganized and rebuilt the South, they abolished slavery, and they made laws that protected the rights of the freed slaves. They passed the Force Act which banned using force and intimidation while blacks were voting. (Steven H.)
First I wouldn't have been so hard on the South. The southern states had already seceded once so no telling if they would have done so again, and also i think that it would have made a difference on how the two got along. I also would have tried harder to stop the KKK, because what they were doing was terrible and it needed to be stopped for good. (Amanda S.)
... I would have tried harder to limit inflation during this time period. ... (Kevin F.)
... I would not have passed the Military Reconstruction Act. ... I also would have immediately called for elections in the South for all state representatives. ... (Cole N.)

5. Abraham Lincoln was homeschooled. Do you see any characteristics in him that might have reflected his homeschooling, such as his independent thinking?

I think maybe his ability to be open minded could reflect some homeschooling traits. Also, maybe his sense of humor as well. ... (Jessie H.)
I think that many characteristics carried over, such as his thirst for knowledge, and also his honesty, which earned him the nickname honest Abe. (Joseph M.)
I think that him not caring about what people thought about him could’ve been brought about by him being homeschooled. (Danielle R.)
... probably Abraham Lincoln was helped by self-schooling because it allowed him to concentrate on the things which helped him most. (Duncan B.)
Since Lincoln was homeschooled he probably had better control over himself then someone from a public school. (Nathanael H.)
Lincoln being home schooled meant that he was an independent thinker and that he was modest. (Isaac Z.)
Lincoln was never judged by other people when he was homeschooled. That gave him confidence to go past what people thought of him. (Steven H.)
I see that the only trait that was acquired as a result of home schooling was his ability to be self motivated. This trait encompasses many others, as Mr. Lincoln was a true man, not afraid to do the dirty work, and this trait allowed him to persevere through even the hardest of his times. ... (Jonathan L.)
Abraham Lincoln was independent in his thinking, and didn't submit to peer pressure. he thought outside the box, and knew how to get supporters. ... In the negatives, however, he didn't have great one-on-one people skills." (Anna M.)
... [O]nly a homeschooler could be that informative and open minded about something without being worried about what others say, or being worried about being shut down by a fellow student. (Matt N.)
Lincoln was not afraid to do what he believed was right even if it made him unpopular. During his presidency he was often thought of a failure; it was not until afterwards that people began to appreciate him. Yet he did not let this bother him. Homeschool students spend their early years at home learning their morals from their parents, while public school students spend their early years at school, where they are constantly exposed to peer pressure. Lincoln had clearly learned from his homeschool experience that doing what is right is more important than doing what is pleasing to others. (Rachel N.)
Absolutely! When someone is taken out of the little box of thinking called public school, or was lucky enough to never be in it, and put into the home, there is immense freedom in the thoughts and beliefs the person is allowed to practice. In the public school, it is almost impossible (not only because the teachers and people in charge may look down on you, but also because it is probably extremely intimidating for a lot of kids) to speak up against something. ... Homeschoolers ... can have the freedom (like Abraham Lincoln had) of thinking whatever thoughts they wanted and being able to speak them without the fear of a disapproving, belittling teacher. (Deborah B.)
Being homeschooled taught Abraham Lincoln to take initiative. He did not always have someone telling him what and when to study, so he had to motivate himself. This was reflected later in his life when he became a lawyer with very little official schooling. However, one of the downsides to him being homeschooled was that he was not very good at public speaking. He only had one really good speech (the Gettysburg Address) in his entire presidency. Perhaps if he had been public schooled, he would have had more practice with public speaking when he was young which would have helped him as an adult. (Ruth L.)
... By figuring things out on his own, Lincoln had a better understanding and his own understanding of them. (Cole N.)
Abraham Lincoln is known for his love for reading. As a homeschooled child, he would walk miles to get books to read. His love for learning is a characteristic seen more often in homeschoolers than in public schoolers. Most homeschoolers will take it upon themselves to learn about topics they are interested in, while most public schooled children only research what they have to. (Nick D.)
Abraham's Dream.jpg

6. Please interpret the cartoon about the dream to the right. Its title is "Abraham's dream!--'Coming events cast their shadows before.'" Lincoln is fleeing to left while wearing a Scotsman's plaid cap and a cape. He declares, "This don't remind me of any joke!"

This cartoon portrays President Lincoln tormented by nightmares of defeat in the election of 1864. It was probably made by someone who was in support of McClellan, who is shown in uniform, ascending the steps to the White House, while Lincoln is running after being kicked out by Columbia. The cap and cloak allude to an incident in 1861 before Lincoln's first inauguration. On being informed that an attempt would be made to assassinate him on his way to Washington, Lincoln took a night train and disguised himself. The cartoon mocks his fear, giving the view that Lincoln was not good for presidency and that McClellan would win. (Natalie D.)
The words "This don't remind me of any joke!" refer to Lincoln’s famous sense of humor. (Duncan B.)

7. Please interpret the cartoon with Columbia below. The caption is, "The Chinese Question." Columbia says, "Hands off, gentlemen. America means fair play for all men."

It defends Chinese immigrants against the fierce prejudice and discrimination, which they faced in late-nineteenth-century America. (Benjamin H.)
... In the 1860's, immigration from China was unrestricted. The Chinese were hard workers who would work for less money than the American union workers. This caused much resentment towards the Chinese. (Nick D.)

Honors Questions

These questions require answers that are a bit longer than the answers above. Answer three out of the following questions (in addition to the questions above):

H1. Which do you prefer, inflation or deflation? In your answer explain whether deflation or inflation is encouraged more by "hard money" (a gold standard for money).

If I had to choose, I would choose deflation over inflation, because with deflation your money is worth more. Personally, I’d like for currency to be the same all the time, but unfortunately, that’s just not possible in the world we live in. “Hard money”, or a gold standard for money, encourages deflation more than inflation. When Grant switched to a gold standard, inflation stopped and deflation occurred. (Sarah W.)
Since most Americans no longer rely on agriculture, and we are such a consumerist society, I would choose deflation over inflation. However, both are necessary and even unavoidable in a free-market economy, so we all have to deal with both. Hard money or gold/silver encouraged deflation and paper money inflation, which is why farmers preferred greenbacks over gold. (Addison DM)
I prefer deflation because it gives less power to the government and it causes everything to be cheaper. Deflation is encouraged by hard money because money becomes scarcer. (Olivia F.)

H2. Free enterprise after the Civil War: a good or bad thing?

The definition of free enterprise is "an economic system in which private business operates in competition and largely free of state control." I think that free enterprise is always a good thing. ... (Mark D.)

H3. Write about any issue or debate from the time period of 1860-1876.

Topic: Was President Lincoln right to stand up to the South in an effort to keep the Union together? I believe that President Lincoln was right .... [H]ad the South been allowed to break away from the United States, it would set a precedent in which any group of states could secede when a conflict between different regions of the United States existed. ... (Kevin F.)

H4. Andrew Johnson: misunderstood or incompetent?

Andrew Johnson was not incompetent, but merely had a great deal of hard, aggressive opposition. (Daniel N.)

H5. Your view of Abraham Lincoln, please.

I believe that at the beginning of his term as president, Abraham Lincoln was too worried about what people thought of him to really make a difference; he would never take a firm stand, and always walked the middle ground. However, for his second inauguration, Lincoln had a clear direction of what he was fighting for and where he wanted the country to be. He overcame the hatred of, at times, both of the political parties to become one of the greatest presidents in one of the most trying times for our nation. (Olivia F.)
I think he was not as extraordinary as historians say he is. He wasn’t a strong leader, he attempted compromise and reconciliation when it was futile, and, earlier in his presidency, relied very little on God. He wasn’t bad because of what he did, but rather, what he didn’t do. He also wasn’t a very good military strategist, which would have been a useful skill. (Michelle F.)