1. Argue for the importance of geography in the history of European colonization in the Americas, the expansion of the United States as an “Empire of Liberty,” and the sectional conflict that characterized the Civil War and Reconstruction. Consider both the east-west as well as north-south axis of expansion and territorial conflict. Devote at least a paragraph each to the following geographic elements of this history: the ways in which Native Americans viewed European arrivals and encroachments in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; colonial conflicts between the British, Spanish, French, Dutch, and other European powers; the meanings of the “frontiers” in encounters between Europeans and Native Americans and Native Americans from the colonial era to the earliest years of the United States; the territorial expansion of the United States following the Louisiana Purchase and the War of 1812; and the emergence of Manifest Destiny during the era of the Mexican-American War; the conflict over the spread of slavery into the territories; and the sectional conflicts that characterized the Civil War and Reconstruction. You must consider the roles of Native Americans, the significance of slavery and race, and the importance of European immigration and immigrants.
2. Explain how gender and sexually were central to European colonization of the Americans, the development of the slave trade, and the establishment of social order and hierarchy in the British colonies of North America and the in the United States. Explain how gender and the sexuality have been overlooked in American history and the way in which gender and sexuality have shaped daily life in the United States. Focus on three distinct periods: 1) the early colonial period and the way in which Native American, African, and European gender roles differed from one another and were sometimes the source of conflict as well as the way in which sexuality cemented relations among these different groups; 2) the prerevolutionary period and the ways in which gender shaped Euro-American society in the colonies, and focus especially on gender in Puritan society (think about the readings on Salem) as well as the development of white supremacy the dynamics of political and 3) the early Republican period/the early nineteenth century and the ways in which gender and sexuality shaped the dynamics of political and social activism (especially abolitionism) among women and men, and especially the revival, spread, and practice of slavery in the United States before the Civil War.
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