Using supporting evidence drawn from the primary sources and the scholarly essays in your textbook, write a 3-page essay that responds to ONE of the following questions:


1) What were the limits to democracy in the Early Republic?  How were the freedoms protected by the Constitution restricted according to race, class and gender?  Why?

2) Explain what factors contributed to the rise of the first party system.  What were the most important issues of contention between the two parties?  How did the debate between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists foreshadow the rise of the first party system?

3) What was the Market Revolution?  What caused it?  How did it affect American society and culture?  How did it affect different regions–North vs. South, East vs. West, and urban vs. rural?

4) What were the costs and what were the benefits of western expansion in the Early National Period?  What forces drove western expansion?  How was it achieved?


Your essay should have a clearly articulated thesis about why a specific historical change occurred at a specific point in history.  Your thesis should reflect critical analysis of the major historical forces that shaped the time period in question.  Your thesis should be clearly stated in the introductory paragraph and supported throughout your paper with appropriate historical evidence.  You should not present your case as a matter of opinion (e.g., do not use phrases like “I feel/believe/think/etc.”, “it seems to me,” “in my opinion”).  Rather, develop a strong argument that makes a persuasive case using effective historical examples and references to scholarship.  The body of your paper should be logically organized, clearly written and grammatically correct.  Your paper should also have a concise conclusion that in some way restates or rephrases your thesis and demonstrates why your argument is compelling.


You are required to refer to at least THREE (3) scholarly essays and at least THREE (3) primary sources from Chapters 5-9 of our textbook.  Each time you refer to a source you must cite it by putting the author’s name and the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence (if there is no author given, provide the title of the source in quotation marks). Failure to properly cite your sources may be construed as plagiarism.  Any incidences of plagiarism–regardless of the author’s intent–will result in a failing grade and may lead to further disciplinary sanctions. You should not do any outside research, but only use sources found in your textbook.  You may also use Unfinished Nation for supplemental information.



Your paper should be typed in Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced with 1” margins, and page numbers.  You should provide a single-spaced heading for your paper on the first page consisting of your name, the course title, my name and the date.  You should also include an appropriate title for your paper, and it should appear underlined and centered before your first paragraph.


Grading Guidelines:

You your essay will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

1) the quality and originality of your argument,

2) your effective use of sources to support your thesis,

3) your ability to orient your argument using appropriate historical context,

4) the overall composition of your essay and the ability to organize material in a logical and coherent manner,

5) the accuracy of the information you present, and

6) your ability to use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.


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