In the decades leading up to the U.S. Civil War, opponents as well as defenders of slavery

Declaration Statement and Humane Sentiments versus Law


For your Final Paper, you will write a 4-6 page, one-inch margins, typed 10-12 font, double-spaced paper
that provides an answer to the following prompt. Please read the question, and the instructions below
it, very carefully.
The Final Paper prompt is:
In the decades leading up to the U.S. Civil War, opponents as well as defenders of slavery
invoked the ideas as well as the words of the Declaration of Independence and the United
States Constitution. Drawing upon the following list of primary sources located in the
American Yawp Reader, write a 4-6 page paper analyzing how critics and defenders of slavery
drew upon these two foundational documents to make their respective cases.
To write your Final Paper, you will draw upon the following primary sources (to access them, just click
on their names).
David Walker’s Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World (1829)
William Lloyd Garrison introduces The Liberator (1831)
Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842)
George Fitzhugh Argues That Slavery is Better Than Liberty and Equality (1854)
1860 Republican Party Platform
South Carolina Declaration of Secession (1860)
Alexander Stephens on Slavery and the Confederate Constitution (1861)
Fifteenth Amendment Banner (1870)
Instructions for Writing the Final Paper
The Final Paper is divided into three components: an Outline, a Draft, and the Final Paper. Please find
the due dates for each component in your Blackboard course site. Completing all three steps thoroughly
and on time is essential to success on this assignment.
First, read all eight primary sources listed above, along with the textbook chapters (10-16) that
accompany them. The textbook chapters will provide you with the context you need to make sense of
the sources. As you read the primary sources, be sure you understand the basics of the primary source—
who is writing it, who is his/her/their audience, and what is the primary message of the primary source.
If something does not make sense, read the passage again, and refer to the textbook chapter that
corresponds with the primary source, to see if the question is answered there. Next, look for places
where the source references the words or ideas of the U.S. Constitution or the Declaration of
Independence. We strongly recommend that you print out each of these primary sources and take notes
directly on the text. Doing so will help you remember important information about the source, and refer



back to key passages later. You might indicate to yourself which primary sources are pro-slavery and
which are anti-slavery.

Second, write your Outline. Since the Final Paper Prompt is asking you to analyze how pro- and anti-
slavery texts invoked the Declaration and the U.S. Constitution, your Outline must include information

on each source’s perspective on slavery (is it pro-slavery or anti-slavery?), which text’s words or ideas it
invokes (The Declaration, the U.S. Constitution, or both), and how it uses this source to make its case.
Thus, Part I of your Outline, called “Primary Sources Summary,” will consist of a list of the above
sources, with a brief (1-2 sentence) summary of the source, followed by information on its pro-slavery or
anti-slavery stance, and passages (properly quoted and cited) that demonstrate its use of the
Declaration, the Constitution, or both.



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