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Content: Chapters 1-5    INSTRUCTIONS: For your midterm assignment, students wil

Content: Chapters 1-5   
INSTRUCTIONS: For your midterm assignment, students will write an essay that surveys the experience of women in early America from one of the female perspectives listed below.   
Choose ONE of the following perspectives to analyze:   
An English immigrant to Virginia; arrived on an indenture (1600s/1700s)
Loyalist (pro-British) during the Revolutionary War
Enslaved woman (post-War of Independence)
Textile worker (early 19th century)
Plantation Mistress (early 19th century)
Camp follower (American Civil War)
Based on your selection, assess the era in question from the indicated perspective.  Listed below are some criteria you might consider in your assessment. 
Historical context. Development of context is important for understanding an event of historic consequence.  Think of context as setting the stage. Historian Jules Benjamin defines historical context as, “the complex environment in which a historical topic is embedded.  The historical context includes social, political, cultural, economic, and other factors” (Benjamin 2016).
Consider social shaping forces of your selected era, for instance, legal standing. Are you governed by laws of coverture?  In other words, are you a married woman, or are you a single woman operating under feme sole? Legal standing is one influence, but there are certainly other social shaping forces you might consider including the church, dominant economic activity of your selected region, and ideology- the Cult of Domesticity, for instance.   
Division of labor: what work responsibilities do you have? Paid or unpaid? Are your labor expectations in alignment with social expectations of womanhood? 
Political realities of the era. In the era of Revolution, for example, the unfolding political landscape (boycotts and the homespun movement) impacts women’s lives dramatically. 
Impact of class (socioeconomic standing). Often times, class is one of the largest determinants of an individual’s experience.  Class dictated women’s relation to labor.  In other words, wealthy woman could hire help where as poor women are not granted an immunity to physical labor outside and within the home.  Consider the labor obligations of slave women.
Impact of geographic region. Geography plays an imperative role within the historical discipline.  The northern English colonies, for example, evolved into an entirely different region than the cultivating regions of the Chesapeake.  These differences also extended into the social landscape as labor considerations offered different experiences. 
Realities and demands of motherhood/family/home life. Keep in mind that most women will not have the benefit of electrification or running water in their homes until the late 19th century (depending on social class and physical location). 
Observations of others. Part of your perspective can include the observation of others.  If, for instance, you are assessing the position of Loyalist women during the Revolutionary era your analysis can be improved by reflecting on the Patriot (pro-Independence) forces as well. 
The midterm paper can be written from a first-person perspective, but it does not have to be.  I will leave that up to individual students to determine. Keep in mind this is a history course, not creative writing.  Attention to historical detail and subsequent analysis will be evaluated.  Clearly, women’s experiences throughout American history have varied across regional, social, and economic lines.  The experiences of women are shaped by a variety of national developments including immigration, war, and policy. 
At its core, this is a research paper.  It is meant to answer the question, “what was the female experience?” 
MECHANICS: 
Your essay must incorporate a minimum of 2 primary sources from Through Women’s Eyes.  Primary sources are found at the end of each chapter as well as embedded within the chapters themselves (small colored textboxes) [1].  Students are encouraged to incorporate supplemental materials that have been posted on Canvas as well (documentaries, scholarly websites, etc.).  Source material must be cited appropriately.  A comprehensive bibliography is required.  
Midterm papers are to be 3-4 pages in length, Times New Roman 12 pt. font, and double-spaced.

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INSTRUCTIONS: For your midterm assignment, students wil appeared first on essaynook.com.

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