Unit 6 Essay:
The Coming of the Civil War

This essay will explore the coming of the Civil War by examining two speeches given just prior to the start of the Civil War: John Smith Preston’s speech to the Virginia state legislature, and Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address. Both represent two very different perspectives about the nature of the Union and who is responsible for dividing the nation. Your goal will be to read through both speeches and discuss the major themes and arguments made in each document.

DISCUSSION READINGS

John Smith Preston on Secession

Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address, 1861

INSTRUCTIONS
You will read the above two speeches (John Smith Preston, Abraham Lincoln), and answer all of the following questions in your essay:

a) JOHN PRESTON SMITH: Is it legal for southern states to secede from the Union? What has the North done to cause southern states to leave the Union?

and

b) ABRAHAM LINCOLN: Can states break away (secede) from the Union? Why or Why not? What are Lincoln’s views toward the South? What are his duties as President of the United Sates?

Your essay should be a minimum of 2 pages, and you should spend AT LEAST one page discussing EACH position (one page discussing the Preston perspective and one page discussing the Lincoln perspective). Remember, two pages is the minimum, and minimum essays normally score a C. If you want a higher grade, plan to be comprehensive in your coverage of the readings (there is no maximum page limit). Your answer should reflect the main points from both readings, and use examples from the documents to illustrate your main points.

Be sure to proof your essay before submitting it as errors in grammar and spelling will lead to a deduction in points. Use quotations when using the exact wording from the reading and cite the reading at the end of the sentence [ex: if you quoted from the Lincoln reading, simply put (Lincoln, 2) at the end of the sentence which shows me which document and page the quote is from]. As per the instructions in the syllabus, most of the essay should be in your own words and include your own analysis of the readings. I would encourage you to re-read the section in the syllabus that addresses expectations for essays.

Use only the above sources for this assignment: DO NOT USE ANY OUTSIDE SOURCES FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT. If you do, you will receive a “0” for the assignment. Your essay should be uploaded as Word document (no PDF files).

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