Topic:Mourning Lincoln – History to 1877


Volume: 2 pages

Type: Essay

Format: MLA


BEFORE YOU WRITE: Consider and reflect upon what you have read in Mourning Lincoln, Give Me Liberty! (especially Chapters 14 and 15) and any primary source documents that Dr. Barr has sent you either through D2L or given to you in class or provided links to in this review. Also, think about the various matters we have discussed this semester. Feel free to include substantial quotations, especially from the primary and secondary sources in the in answering the following questions. Be sure that you make an argument in your essay and underline your thesis and at least 10 key terms/people throughout. ESSAY # 1: Hodes uses the phrase “collective catastrophe” and, in addition to Lincoln’s murder, refers to September 11, 2001 and the assassination of John F. Kennedy. As one reviewer of her book has written, “Americans recall these events as moments of universal, communal mourning; we also generally believe that about Lincoln’s assassination.” Does Hodes book confirm such a viewpoint? If so, how? If not, explain how, precisely, she contradicts this stance. In your answer, be sure to cite the various pieces of evidence and stories she uses throughout the work, including the views of Rodney Dorman and Sarah and Albert Browne? To what degree does Mourning Lincoln shed light on the question of whether the Civil War be considered a “second American Revolution”? Consider political, social, and economic conditions in your response. ESSAY # 2: Think about the development of freedom/liberty and equality in America from “1491” through the American Revolution, the Amistad Rebellion (1839), and the death of Lincoln and the onset of Reconstruction. How were these notions different for whites, blacks, Native Americans, and women? How had these notions of freedom and equality changed? How did Lincoln’s various mourners define these concepts differently (be specific)? ESSAY # 3: One of the strengths of Mourning Lincoln is the focus on African American reactions to Lincoln’s death. Describe their response to the murder of the sixteenth president? How did African Americans feel about the possibilities and the terrors of Reconstruction considering Lincoln’s assassination? Did Reconstruction establish the ideals of the Declaration of Independence (see the final chapter of Mourning Lincoln)? In other words, had “all men created equal” and “Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness” been realized and achieved both politically and economically by the turn-of-the-century (1900)? What were the failures of Reconstruction and what were its successes? In what ways was it a “splendid failure” (the phrase is from W.E.B. Du Bois)? ESSAY # 4: Nineteenth-century Americans were a deeply religious people. As Barry Schwartz has written, the “assassination evoked theodicy on both sides” and that the religious “coincidences of this [Lincoln’s] death were astonishing.” Based on your reading of Mourning Lincoln, in what ways was this true? How did this shape reactions to Lincoln’s assassination, not to mention Lincoln’s long-term reputation? Each essay question should be answered as follows: Thesis/Argument. Thesis Paragraph # 1 Thesis Paragraph # 2 Thesis Paragraph # 3 You may have more paragraphs, but make certain that all your work relates back to your key argument. Conclusion It is 1 essay containing 4 questions to be answered separately in just a few paragraphs as listed at the bottom.

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