Remembering the American Revolution


ESSAY #1: Remembering the American Revolution


DUE DATE: Wednesday, March 16.  Please submit a hard copy of your paper AND submit it on Blackboard via SafeAssign.  If you have last-minute software/printing problems with one or the other, make sure at least one version of your paper is on time so penalties don’t accrue!



DIRECTIONS: In answering the question below, you will write a two-part essay of approximately 1700 to 2000 words that focuses on Alfred F. Young’s The Shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the American Revolution.  This is approximately 3 to 4 pages of text, double-spaced, in 12-point font.  (Be sure to consult the Style Sheet.)


ESSAY QUESTION: In The Shoemaker and the Tea Party, Alfred F. Young writes, “In a time of upheaval, ordinary people make events possible” (206).

PART ONE:How does the perspective of George R. T. Hewes, an ordinary person,shape our interpretation of the Revolution and its significance?Use specific examples from Young’s discussion of Hewes.

PART TWO: highlighttwo or three specific examples of the ways that the public memory of the American Revolution changed between 1783 and the present.  Using these examples as evidence, construct an argument about how we ought to remember the history of the American Revolution.

The best papers will find a way to integrate the answers to these two questions into a single essay.


WARNING 1: Do not simply recount a biography of Hewes’s life.  Do not simply describe incidents mentioned in the book.  Your job is not to parrot the text or to tell a story—your job is to dig deeper—to analyze and interpret—and to focus on aspects of Young’s book that you find significant for understanding something deeper about American history.


WARNING 2: On the other hand, don’t depart from the text entirely! Make sure to use specific examples from the book to support your argument, so your argument doesn’t become too abstract.


CITING SOURCES: The first time you quote or use information from Young’s book, put a footnote at the end of the sentence (after the period or end quotation mark).  On Microsoft Word, you insert a footnote using the “Insert” menu.  Then cite Young’s book exactly as it appears on the syllabus (this is proper citation according to the Chicago Manual of Style or CMS), followed by a comma and the page number(s) where you obtained your information.  For all other citations of Young’s book, you can provide a parenthetical citation: put the page number(s) in parentheses before the period at the end of your sentence. You are NOT expected to do outside research for this paper, but if you do use another source (online or otherwise), you must provide a proper footnote, using proper CMS citations: consult the Style Sheet, or see this brief guide to “Chicago style”:

Please note that I will not grade a paper that lacks citations.


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