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From the founding of the United States (even before for that matter), Americans looked to the seemingly vacant lands to the west to provide new economic, political, and social opportunities. More territory meant more opportunity for land ownership, the cornerstone of American independence. By the 1840s, most Americans saw continental expansion as part of the nation’s destiny. However, such expansion did not go unopposed. While the US government settled with the British over territorial disputes in Oregon, the question of Texas and the borderlands led to war. For this assignment, you will look at the controversy surrounding the coming of the Mexican-American War and its relation to Manifest Destiny. Readings History in the Making, Chapter 14 John O’Sullivan, “Annexation,” 1845: https://pdcrodas.webs.ull.es/anglo/OSullivanAnnexation.pdf James K. Polk’s Request for War with Mexico, 1846: http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/america7_brief/content/multimedia/ch14/research_01a.htm José Joaquin de Herrera’s Proclamation, 1845: http://www.dmwv.org/mexwar/documents/herrera.htm Francisco Mejia’s Proclamation, 1846: http://www.dmwv.org/mexwar/documents/mejia.htm Congressman Abraham Lincoln Disagrees with President Polk, 1846: http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/america7_brief/content/multimedia/ch14/research_01b.htm Historical Interpretations of Manifest Destiny—US-Mexican War, 1846-1848, PBS: http://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/prelude/manifest_destiny_overview.html Focus Question Imagine you were a member of Congress in 1846, would you have voted for war against Mexico (yes, no, or maybe)? For this essay, you must draft a letter to President James K. Polk explaining your decision using the perspectives presented in the sources listed above. In other words, you must look at the viewpoints of the Mexicans and the Americans when answering the question. The following questions should help you develop your argument (i.e., answer explain why you would or would not support the war): What did Manifest Destiny mean to Americans in the nineteenth century? Was President James K. Polk right or wrong in his position that the disputed territory in Texas should belong to the United States? What factors contributed to his view? How did the Mexican government respond to the American position on Texas? Why did Congressman Abraham Lincoln oppose Polk’s position? What factors contributed to his view? Formatting Information Your completed letter addressing the question listed above should be between 650 and 800 words (approximately three to four pages of text not including your citations and bibliography). Begin your paper, “Dear President Polk,” and follow the salutation with the body of your letter. Please be sure to double space the letter and use Times New Roman or similar font. At the end of the letter, list your name, followed by the word count of the letter (see sample below). Your letter should have an introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, you should set the context of the debate and state whether or not you will support the president. In the supporting paragraphs, you should include specific examples to support your position (quotations or paraphrases) from the primary sources for this this assignment. If you use a quotation, be sure to identify the speaker in the text; you should not have any floating quotations dropped into the letter. DO NOT USE OUTSIDE SOURCES FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT. If you feel as though you need additional resources, I must approve those sources before you turn in your paper. In the conclusion, you should summarize your decision; you should not introduce new ideas into the letter. Here is a sample of the format for your completed letter. Dear President Polk, Recently, you called on Congress to vote to go to war with Mexico. While I appreciate you believe the Mexicans blatantly attacked the United States, I fear I cannot support your decision to go to war… [Body] [Conclusion] Sincerely, Sarah Mergel Word Count: 41 Style: When writing an interpretive essay, there are several important stylistic issues to keep in mind. Style: When writing an interpretive essay, there are several important stylistic issues to keep in mind. Since the events you discuss occurred in the past, you must describe the events in the past tense. In other words, “George Washington was the first president” NOT “George Washington is the first president.” When expressing your view, you may need to use present tense, but do not use it when talking about the events preceding the request for war. To make your description more interesting for the reader, you should use the active voice not the passive voice. In other words, “James Madison wrote the Bill of Rights” NOT “The Bill of Rights was written by James Madison.” Since you are writing a letter, you will have to use some first person. However, you should not overuse it. Anytime you feel the tendency to say “I think” and other similar statements, leave it out unless the sentence does not make sense unless you state your view. In most cases, since you are the author of the letter it should be obvious to the reader you think or believe something because you wrote it. Finally, you should follow all other conventions of grammar and style covered in a freshman level composition course. You should proofread your work carefully because spell and grammar check do not catch all errors. Citations: You must also properly cite your sources for this paper in MLA or Chicago format. If you looked up information in a source (whether you quote or paraphrase), then you must include an in-text reference to that source. You must also include a works cited page (MLA) or bibliography (Chicago) for your all sources consulted whether you cited them in the body of the paper or not. Failure to do so is a violation of the Dalton State Student Code of Conduct. Under Resources on GeorgiaVIEW, you can find the Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism, which provides a more in-depth explanation of the importance of citations. You can also find Sample Citations, which shows you how to use both MLA and Chicago citations properly in a paper. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY INSTRUCTION
From the founding of the United States (even before for that matter), Americans looked to the seemingly vacant lands to the west to provide new economic, political, and social opportunities. More territory meant more opportunity for land ownership, the cornerstone of American independence. By the 1840s, most Americans saw continental expansion as part of the nation’s destiny.
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Assignment ID
19568
Discipline
CREATED ON
April 1, 2016
COMPLETED ON
April 2, 2016
Price
$40
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queenbrinessa81
December 2, 2016
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