Write a paper discussing whether the American and foreign societies acknowledge/respect the marriages of slaves, and the family ties between slave parents and their children?

RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT FOR UNCLE TOM’S CABIN — DUE: Nov 4, 2023. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote this novel in reaction to Congress’ passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. Using information that she got from her own visit to Kentucky, from accounts of run-away slaves on the Underground Railroad and from Southern publications, she created a fictional story about slaves and their owners that was based on fact. Her intent was to awaken her fellow Americans to the realities of slavery and its innate immorality. The novel was regarded as the book that started the Civil War, though it was only one of many factors that led to America’s greatest crisis in the 19th century. Yet, it was a controversial work in that it intensified the pre-existing tensions over the perpetuation of human bondage in the “land of the free” – tensions that went as far back as the drafting of the 1776 Declaration of Independence. Instructions: In a typewritten response regarding American slavery, answer the following questions, and base your answers upon Stowe’s novel and non-fictional sources. What you will do is to determine how accurately Stowe portrayed the conditions and problems of slavery. Pretend that you are an investigative journalist, who will use different sources to analyze America’s “peculiar institution” of slavery in “the land of the free”. (BTW: “Peculiar” means “unique” or “distinctive”, as well as “odd”.) Those for whom English is a second language, note that Stowe’s novel has been widely translated into many languages; check online to see if you can find an edition in your native language which will help you get through this long novel; but your references to the novel should be from an English language edition. ***THIS IS A BIG ASSIGNMENT, WHICH SHOULD BE STARTED EARLY (i.e. this month). UTC is a long novel which takes time to read; and you also have research to do which takes even more time, as does the writing of the paper. The assignment cannot be done in the weekend before, or even 2 weeks before the due date. If you try to do this paper at the last minute, you won’t get the work done. And if you don’t do the research, then you haven’t done the assignment and will get a low or failing grade. This is NOT a reaction or an opinion paper; nor is it a literary critique or book report. As for resources which you can use, start with your textbook: (a) Look at the Table of Contents for the chapters on Slavery and read them. You can also look at the Index at the back of the textbook for information about various subjects or to zero-in on a particular topic. (FYI: An index is a pre-Internet search engine which is limited only to the information in the book that it is part of.) Pay attention to items in the chapters that deal with varying viewpoints and/or contending voices for different opinions on an issue. (b) Next, consult the section at the end of each textbook chapter entitled, “TO LEARN MORE”, which gives a short list of suggested readings or sources that can help you get started. Be aware of two types of sources for historical research – (i) primary source documents, which are works/records written by people in the past and are the raw materials for historians & other investigators to work with; and (ii) secondary sources which are materials written or produced using those primary sources. For example, Stowe’s novel is a primary source, while a study based in part on her book is a secondary source. Another example: A newspaper article is a primary source since it is contemporary with its time period and the current events it reports; but a journalistic or scholarly article utilizing the newspaper account is a secondary source. Use the suggested readings, especially the primary sources to help you answer the questions of this assignment; and you must use primary sources in addition to secondary ones. (c) After utilizing your textbook, consult the library to get additional materials. For example, slave narratives are oral or written accounts by slaves themselves describing their experiences in bondage. These are available in print under different editors. One editor is the African American historian, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. of Harvard University; but there are others that you can look up in the library. (Library services are available during the pandemic; consult the College website for information on library services). (d) You can also use online sites, but reputable ones – not blogs. There is a lot of junk on the web, including fake histories and lunatic-fringe “facts.” One online site that you can consult is: http://college.hmco.com. You can also consult the history sites provided by reputable colleges & universities – e.g. CUNY, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the University of California, the University of Chicago. Don’t use websites of institutions/organizations you’re unfamiliar with or have never heard of: Again, there is a lot of junk on the Internet – be careful! (e) You may also watch documentaries by PBS (i.e. Public Broadcasting Service or Public TV; in New York City, it’s WNET/channel 13) — e.g. THE ABOLITIONISTS – THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, and SLAVERY, which may be streamed on the PBS web-site or on iTunes. It may also be available at the Baruch library. (f) Encyclopedias can be used; but use reputable ones, such as the Encyclopedia Britannica. Again, remember that your paper must have primary sources, not just secondary ones like encyclopedias. (g) For those curious about slavery in New York City from the 1600s to 1820s, you can visit the National Park Service’s, AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND National Monument in Lower Manhattan on Broadway near Federal Plaza. Check the website for opening days/times and other information (like masking policy): https://www.nps.gov/afbg. Note that there is an indoor and outdoor component to the African Burial Ground; so if the indoor section is closed, you can still see the outdoor portion. And you can get some historical background from the monument’s website. Also note that slavery was abolished in New York State by 1827. Other Northern states would end slavery during the early decades of the 1800s, so that by 1850 slavery would exist only in the Southern states of the US. (h) For those interested in researching Black History, there is the SCHOMBURG CENTER FOR RESEARCH IN BLACK CULTURE. This is part of the New York Public Library system but is a research institution: i.e. you can see materials there, but you cannot borrow them to take home. (This is the difference between a research library and a lending library.) However, all of the NY public libraries have exhibitions from time to time; so consult the Center’s website for current ones, as well as other information (like times/days of opening and masking requirements): https://www.nypl.org/schomburg. ****************************************************** BEAR IN MIND THE FOLLOWING: (A) There is NO CURVING OF GRADES. (B) WHAT WILL IMPACT YOUR PAPER’S GRADE: (1) LATE PAPERS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED; and there will be 10-point penalty for the missing work. So, if your term grade for the course is a B, it will be lowered to a C. (When I use caps, I’m not shouting at you; I’m just emphasizing or highlighting something.) (2) ALL questions and sub-sections of a question on the prompt must be answered. Credit will be lost for omissions as well as errors, and lower your grade on the paper. (3) As mentioned above, IF YOU HAVEN’T DONE THE RESEARCH, YOU HAVEN’T DONE THE ASSIGNMENT AND YOUR PAPER WILL GET A LOW OR FAILING GRADE. (4) Writing will count, so problems with grammar, organization, word usage, etc. will also affect the grade. During the pandemic, there is free help available to students from the Writing Center. You can schedule an appointment on the Center’s website well in advance of the due date for your assignment. You should schedule such help sessions at least two weeks in advance, since you will need time to re-write the paper. The website is: **** (5) PLAGIARISM WILL MEAN AN AUTOMATIC “F” – this means that you MUST: (a) Use your own words in answering the questions. (b) If you quote, put quotation marks around the quoted words if it’s a short quote; or put a longer quotation without quote marks in a separate single-spaced paragraph. (c) Whether you quote or use your own words, always cite (i.e. identify) the source or material from which you’re getting your quotations and information. To cite something means telling the reader from what parts or pages of a book, article or source-material you’ve gotten your quotation or information (i.e. you must give the exact pages where the quote or information is found, such as p.31 of a book you’ve consulted). If you don’t cite your sources, but present other people’s ideas/words as your own, that is cheating or plagiarism. (Use an English manual on style or writing, if you don’t know how to do bibliographic and footnote citations; or ask the Writing Center for help with citations). Citations are required not only for quotations, but also for any information that you summarize or paraphrase (i.e. reword). (C) FORMAT OF THE PAPER & SUBMISSION OF ASSIGNMENT: (1) Don’t summarize the plot of the novel; this is not a book report. (2) Answer the questions in Q&A (Question & Answer) format; remember to copy the question or sub-section of a question that you are answering. Treat your responses like a mini-essay with complete sentences and paragraphs. Remember that even with Q&A, organization and correct grammar are still needed. For freshmen or students for whom English is a 2nd language, pay attention to what you learn in your English prose composition classes which can help you with writing essays. And note that the services of the Writing Center are still available during the pandemic (see the Center’s website address above in item B4). (a) NOTE: The assignment is structured in such a way that you can do it in stages — this makes the paper more manageable. So, some questions or sub-sections of a question can be researched and answered independently of the novel UNCLE TOM’S CABIN. (But, remember to keep reading the novel as you go along with your research.) (3) The paper is to be 15 typed, double-spaced & numbered pages. You may use additional pages as needed; but no more than 5 pages over the limit. If you don’t know how to number your pages, go to the tool bar of your Windows document: Click on “Insert”, and on its drop-down menu look for “Page Number” and click on it for options. (Mac-users may have a different way of numbering pages; so use the “Help” function to find the Mac method of pagination.) Get into the habit of numbering the pages of all your written work, which is the standard practice with academic papers, as well as with business reports and letters. (4) Insert 1.5 inch-margins on all sides of each page (this is standard formatting). Again, if you don’t know how to make margins, go to the tool bar of your Windows document, click on “Page Layout” and then click on “Margins” for options. For Mac users, consult the Help function on your devices to set margins. (5) To identify your paper, give the following information in the upper left hand corner of your first page, (i) Your name; (ii) Instructor’s name; (iii) HIS 1000/Sat. class; and (iv) the date . (This is standard practice for papers – get used to doing this, even if you submit papers online or by email). (6) SUBMIT YOUR PAPER AS AN ATTACHMENT TO A DIRECT EMAIL TO ME, NOT THROUGH BLACKBOARD. ********************************************************** F. Y. I. — Note the following points to avoid confusion of developments and time periods: 1. Stowe deals with American slavery in the 19th century (1800s) and NOT in the period of the 17th and 18th centuries (1600s and 1700s). So, don’t confuse the two historical periods. a. In the 1600s to 1700s, most slaves were imported from Africa. But after 1808 when the US government banned the African slave-trade, Americans got their slaves by breeding them; consequently, the slaves in Stowe’s novel are American-born, even though the author dubs them “Africans.” b. In the 1600s and 1700s, slavery existed in both the North and the South. But in Stowe’s time, i.e. the 1800s, slavery was abolished in the North by the state legislatures over many decades (1780s to 1850); however, it continued in the South and only ended in that region after the Civil War. Therefore, slavery by 1850 refers solely to Southern slavery. 2. In Stowe’s novel, the geographical term, “north”, has two meanings: a. “North” may refer to the free or non-slave region above the state borders of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri (see the map of US slavery after the Compromise of 1850 in your textbook). b. “North” may also refer to the UPPER South (i.e. the slave states of Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware), as opposed to the DEEP South (i.e. the slave states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia). So, Kentucky is not a Northern free state but a Southern slave state, even though it’s sometimes called “up north” in the novel. c. Note that Ohio IS a free state, despite the fact that its Senator Bird votes for a pro-slavery bill in the novel. 3. Indentured servants were a form of mostly white contractual labor bondage that existed in the 1600s and 1700s; but it was not prominent in the 1800s before the Civil War among whites. Also, under indentured servitude, the laborer had to be set free when his/her contracted term of work was over (usually after 4 to 7 years). This is what makes indentured servants different from slaves, not race or the kind of treatment they got (both could be abused). In Uncle Tom’s Cabin, there are no such servants. So, don’t confuse the two forms of labor bondage. 4. Great Britain ended slavery in its empire long before the United States did (in the 1830s), so that British territories like Canada were the preferred destination for some American slaves, rather than the “free” Northern states of the US where they could still be captured. 5. Non-native English speakers should be aware of the difference between the following terms: “South America” only refers to Latin America or that part of the Western Hemisphere where Spanish and Portuguese are spoken; it does not mean the “American South” where slavery existed in this country in the 19th century before 1865. ********************************************************** QUESTIONS ON THE NEXT PAGE. ASSIGNMENT QUESTIONS: Students must answer all 10 questions and their sub-sections. 1. What were the differences between 19th century American slavery and slavery in other countries & time periods? What made American slavery distinctive? For ALL sections of this question [i.e. sections (a) to (g)], look at the system and practices of slavery in one foreign culture/country to compare with America’s. (a) How did one become a slave under the American and foreign systems during different time periods? Was it only abduction (kidnapping) that led to a person being enslaved? (b) In some societies, slaves could buy their way out of slavery. How did this occur under foreign and American slavery? In both American and foreign systems, how were freed slaves treated after manumission? (c) Were slaves only used as manual laborers under American and foreign slavery? Could they be educated or skilled in other work besides menial labor? Were there different sub-classes or hierarchies of slaves that allowed slaves some “privileges”, though not liberty? (d) Did American and foreign societies acknowledge/respect the marriages of slaves, and the family ties between slave parents and their children? Were slaves legally regarded as “persons”? Can non-human entities (e.g. a business corporation) have legal “personhood”; and what does this imply for human rights or even the definition of being human? (e) Under different systems, what was the status of children born of slave parents — were such children also slaves? And what was the status of children born of a slave woman and her owner? (f) What kinds of restrictions were imposed on slaves under both American and foreign systems? (g) In different cultures, did slaves have some protection against extreme abuse by their owners or overseers? How were slaves treated if they resisted mistreatment and oppression, or tried to escape? If slaves were brought into a law court for some case, how were their testimonies treated, and how were their testimonies extracted? 2. In both the novel and in real life, there were huge debates over the pros & cons of slavery. In Stowe’s book, the justifications and condemnations of the “peculiar institution” are expressed by members of the St. Clare (St. Claire) family – i.e. Augustine, his wife Marie, and his twin brother Alfred. (a) What are they? (Note: the views of the St. Clare family members are expressed in different parts of the novel; so look for them – don’t just rely on one view for each member.) (b) Compare and contrast their views with real-life defenders and opponents of slavery. (Be specific in identifying who said what: Just stating that real life defenders and opponents of slavery shared Augustine’s view is not enough.) And do the justifications for American slavery resemble arguments in other cultures/times for oppressing other peoples? Which times and cultures? (Think of human rights.) 3. Defenders of slavery insisted that it was a form of paternalism toward an “inferior” people, who were “better off” as slaves than as free (wage) workers. (a) How were slaves treated, according to Stowe’s novel? Look at the treatment of slaves on the Shelby, St. Clare (St. Claire) and Legree estates. Is the kindness of owners ever sufficient protection for slaves, in Stowe’s book? What would give slaves real security from abusive masters, in the author’s view? (b) In history, how were American slaves actually treated? Give the views of both real-life defenders and their opponents. (Again, be specific, and identify the individuals & their views — don’t generalize.) 4. Stowe describes what domestic (i.e. American, not African) slave trading was like in her time period of the 1850s. (a) How were trades conducted in both the novel and in real life? (b) What American social classes were involved, and which of them did Stowe blame the most for this human trafficking? Was she correct, according to real-life supporters and opponents of slavery? (c) In both the novel and in history, what were American slave-warehouses like, and how were slaves treated by the traders, & by the customers in their inspection of the “merchandise”? (d) What aspect(s) of the slave trade did Stowe find the most horrible? What did real-life abolitionists consider to be the worst aspect(s) of the trafficking in whatever form it took? 5. Contrary to stereotypes, both history and the novel reveal that not all Southerners or slave-owners supported slavery. (a) Which Southern whites in history were against slavery and why? (Identify those individuals.) What did they do about this system of bondage? (Don’t confuse such individuals with Northern abolitionists, like William Lloyd Garrison.) When and why did Southern abolitionism die away? (b) In the novel, how does Augustine explain the origins of slavery? (Look at his “Quashy” speech, chapter 19). And how does he explain the perpetuation or continuation of slavery? What were the real-life reason(s) for slavery’s continuance in America? (c) Besides Augustine St. Clare, which other slave-owners in the novel (not Ophelia) are opposed to slavery? Why doesn’t Augustine and slaveholders like him in the novel do anything about slavery, when they know how inhumane it is? What is Stowe’s view of such passive individuals? 6. Northern states at different times had abolished slavery on their own initiative (i.e. independently of the national government), well before the Civil War which would finally end the “peculiar institution” in the rest of the United States. What was Northern abolitionism like? (a) In history, what reason(s) did Northern whites in the 1800s have for ending slavery? Was their opposition solely on moral grounds, as Stowe’s was? And was opposition to slavery the same as supporting racial equality? (b) In the novel, what does Stowe point out about Northern whites through the character of Ophelia and through Augustine’s criticism of Northerners like his cousin? (c) How were free blacks in the North actually treated in real life? How did Northern blacks respond to their treatment? (FYI: on PBS, the Public Broadcasting Station or Channel Thirteen website, there are documentaries on Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass that can help you with this.) (d) What was the “colonization scheme”? How did blacks in real life and in the novel feel about it? (For the novel, look at the character of black George Harris, who is not to be confused with his white master of the same name.) 7. In spite of the hardships, exploitation and abuse experienced by slaves, most did not rebel against or run away from their masters. Why? (a) What does the novel suggest as to the factors that kept slaves disunited, or discouraged from running, or disinterested in defying their masters? (Look at the different treatments of Augustine’s household slaves, and those on the Shelby & Legree estates.) (b) In real-life, what did the laws in southern states (slave codes) allow owners & overseers to do to slaves in terms of restrictions and of punishment? Be specific. (c) In what ways did slave rebellions influence the slave codes (e.g. the uprisings of the Haitian Revolution, and of Denmark Vesey & Nat Turner — explain what happened in these rebellions & indicate when they occurred.) 8. Historically, there were also laws at the federal (national) level that upheld white supremacy and protected slavery. (a) How was the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act different from earlier federal fugitive acts? Why were earlier acts ineffective in helping slave owners? What made the 1850 act so controversial? (b) Why did Northern politicians in history, like Illinois’ Senator Stephen Douglas, support the interests of the slave-holding South? What did they do for those interests? And which politician in the novel is like Douglas, and why does that Northern character initially support slave-owners? What makes that character later help Eliza and her son to escape? 9. It has been said that US slavery was the result of the will of most Americans, and not just the will of Southerners. (a) Does Stowe agree with that? Which region of the country does she blame the most for slavery’s continued existence? (See chapter 45 in the novel; read this carefully.) (b) Historically, would that statement be true? Look at how involved the North was with slavery and the activities of the South. And how much did the North share with the South in attitudes toward enslaved and free blacks? 10. Look at what happened after the Civil War of 1861-65, which saw the formal end to slavery with the passage of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution (see the text of the Constitution and its amendments at the back of your textbook). Did slavery’s abolition fulfill its promise of equality for African Americans in the rest of the 19th century (from late1860s on) and in the 20th century (1900s)? Besides reading the chapter on Reconstruction in your textbook, you may also watch the PBS documentaries on RECONSTRUCTION, and on SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME. (These are streamed on ) Note: these programs are more than an hour long; but they will help with the question.