The American History

The text, America: A Narrative History, Volume 2, by David Emory Shi, is divided into Chapter 16, “The Era of Reconstruction, 1865-1877,” and then three major parts – Part Five / Growing Pains Part Six / Modern America Part Seven / The American Age The course theme revolves around the tendency in American history to centralize authority into one person, group, or entity, and a countervailing tendency to resist or decentralize that same authority through the efforts of opposing persons, groups, or entities.* Be clear! In the assignment, you may use only the three Parts of the course text, and you cannot use Chapter 16. Remain disinterested in your subject matter. Stay cold, rational, and analytical. Do not show your “feelings on the matter.” To help out, I would search back through readings in the text for historical episodes that resembled the course theme, and that appealed to me. So, having a fondness for the particular topic of intellectual history, I would start looking for such events and where they coincide with the course theme as well. Then, I would limit those incidents to three – one each from the three Parts in Shi – and do so chronologically. Finally, I would argue the points in the essay as requested in the fourth bullet point above.

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