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Complete the Primary Source Essay 2 by choosing one of the two selections below.

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Essay Instructions:

Select ONE of the primary source readings from those included below and write an essay on the selection. In writing this essay, integrate information from the textbook with the primary source reading. Write an introduction paragraph and present a thesis to the reader. Choose relevant and specific examples to support your arguments in an appropriate number of body paragraphs. Write a unified essay while answering each of the bulleted questions and organize the information by placing it in logical sequence. Come to a conclusion in a separate paragraph.

The use of any other sources beyond the one(s) assigned as well as the textbook in writing the essay is not expected. If other sources are used to gather information they must be documented and “historical” or written by a professional historian. If information (not just quotations) is used from a source and not documented, that is plagiarism, a form of cheating. See the section on documentation and Academic Honesty in the Syllabus. Also, if direct quotations are used from the sources assigned, textbook, or any other material they must be properly documented and a works cited page included.

Essays should be 700 to 900 words long, double-spaced with normal margins, in a 12 font, and your name and a title at the top. Indicate paragraph separation by indenting the first line rather than adding additional space. The essay should be in formal English, using proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. Late papers may be downgraded 10% for every day late. Again, 700 words is the minimum requirement. Failure to follow through on these guidelines will result in a less than desirable grade. Save the essay with your last name and Primary Source Essay 2 as the title.

Submit the essay by following the instructions associated with the link at the bottom of this page.

Assignment Selections:

Reading Texts in Older English:

The selections below are from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Because many of the words used may be unfamiliar, use a dictionary. Read these sources slowly to extract the meaning and treat every clause like a sentence. Always look for the declarative statement that the author is trying to convey amidst his ornamentation. After becoming more accustomed to reading these texts, students can begin to relish the beauty of the language. Since written language was the only mode of distance communication, even people with very little formal education wrote very well.

Primary Source Selections and Topics (the readings are available directly below these instructions):


Sources: Middle Colonies Constitutions
Using the text and primary source readings, write an essay on the foundation and development of the middle colonies, include discussions of ethnic and religious diversity, economic development, and constitutional development and answering the following questions:

  • What led to the foundation of the English colonies of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania?
  • What was the unique religious and ethnic character of these colonies?
  • What major political, personal, and religious liberties are granted by the Frame of Government of Pennsylvania and the Charter of Government of New York?
  • How are these documents similar or different from the U.S. Constitution?


Source: Excerpts from Thomas Paine’s Common Sense
Using the text and primary source reading, write an essay discussing the importance of the publication of Common Sense to the American Revolution. Analyze Paine’s argument and why he makes his various points by answering the following questions:

  • This document is aimed at ordinary people. Why is that important?
  • What is Paine arguing for? Why does he believe that this argument must be made?
  • Paine utilizes several family references in his argument and comments on the “first emigrants.” What is the signficance of such assertions?
  • Toward the end of the excerpt, Paine reviews two principles; why are they important to his overall theme?


The Constitution of the United States, located in Appendix B of the textbook.
Using the text and primary source readings, write an essay discussing the original structure of the federal government and the first ten amendments to the constitution, and answering the following questions.

  • What was the basic structure of the United States government as set forth in the constitution?
  • This copy of the Constitution italicizes the portions changed by amendments and explains each revision: italicized version. Within the time frame of this class, choose one italicized portion and analyze why it was modified as well as evaluating the importance of being able to amend the document.
  • In your opinion, what were the most important rights given by the first ten amendments to the constitution? What concerns and problems over the constitution were the amendments supposed to address?
  • As described by the constitution, what was the relationship of the federal government to the states? How did this relationship as described by the constitution lead to the Civil War?

Please complete this assignment by creating a document using Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx, or .rtf). When saving the document, use your last name and Primary Source Essay 2 to title the file.

Click on the link above.
In the new screen that appears, use the browse button to search for the document and upload it to this online assignment module (upload it as with any attachment to an email message).
Add any extra thoughts to your instructor about this assignment by typing them into the “Comments” field below the “browse” button.
Finally, after all of the above is complete, click the Submit button.

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