You will write and submit an original essay (approximately 1,500 words) based on the Unit II materials assigned during weeks 10-16 of the course. Your essay is to be based on the following prompt:
Our theme in Unit III has been “A Nation and its Discontents,” and as you studied the Civil War in Week 16, you saw how those discontents led to the most destructive era in American history. So the question is, why civil war? Was it unavoidable, and if so, why? If it was avoidable, then why did the country not avoid it? In writing this essay, find the connections between “big picture” issues like slavery, politics, economics, and geography, and the details of specific events and personalities that you have learned about in the antebellum period.
Reminder: be sure to read the detailed instructions for this essay under our Week 16 module as well as the final essay scoring rubric also posted there. Students hoping to earn full credit should expect to show familiarity with ALL the assigned sources, especially lecture, but also the OpenStax textbook, Master of the Mountain, and other assigned readings.