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*Please use the professor’s comment to rewrite the draft. Only use the sources I give to you(including the text book and class notes)


Endterm Paper, First Draft: An essay on freedom in the United States before and immediately after the Civil War, which describes which Americans were free and which were not free and why (50 points) 

A  draft of an original essay on the above topic. The essay must have all of the 3 distinct elements described below. The instructors will review these drafts for the required elements, each of which earns 10 points. A completed draft, containing all elements, earns 30 points. Incomplete drafts earn fewer points.

The first draft of your essay must address the following three elements:

  1. A definition of freedom: how do you define it? What are its principal features? 
  2. A description of which people (or groups) were free and which were not free in the US before the Civil War, and the criteria you used to say so.
  3. A discussion of why so many white Americans in the southern states were willing to fight a war to protect slavery. What was a stake for them?
*professor’s comment:
First, you did not clearly address the three required first draft elements. I had to look hard to find them. You do offer a definition of freedom (see below). But you do not discuss in detail who is free and who is not free in the antebellum period. You also do not directly address the question of why southerners were willing to fight a war to protect slavery. Why was it that important to them? You claim that enslaved labor was the South’s “main labor source.” No. It was the main labor source of the southern plantations. But most southerners did not own or live on plantations. They lived on small farms or in small towns and relied on their own and their household’s labor to survive. What interest did the majority of white people who owned no enslaved persons have in protecting slavery? As for your discussion of freedom, I find it very confused. No one is born free. All infants are equally dependent on an adult to nurture and care for them until they are able to nurture and care for themselves. Also, no one ever achieves anything wholly on their own. We are all born into a stream of traditions and technologies, which shape our desires and capacities. Finally, a person who exists only for their own sake is selfish but not necessarily free. A selfish person may easily have fewer opportunities and choices and thus be less free than someone who is unselfish and has more options. Freedom is a social not an individual attribute.