Shakespeare Argument or Creative Character Analysis
Shakespeare Essay/Does Shakespeare Still Matter?
Write or present a convincing argument with supporting textual evidence from the texts in the course, as well as others of your own choosing, as to why Shakespeare still matters or does not matter. Explain whether his writing reflects the human condition or not. Is Shakespearean literature still relatable today? Explain with reasons and textual evidence.
If writing: In an essay, convince your audience as to why Shakespeare still matters or does not matter. Does his writing reflect the human condition today? Explain your ideas clearly with two to three reasons why Shakespeare still is or is not important today.
American Political History
The Decline of the Whig Party
In the 1850s, America was vastly divided based on slavery. As a result, a new political party called the Republican Party was formed to keep off slavery in the South (Buck 50). Those in the South believed that they had the right to continue their lives despite moving into new territory. The new Republican Party managed to attract other antislavery Democrats and several Whig Party members, causing their inevitable demise (Buck 52). The Whig party was also hurt by other parties like the Know-Nothing Party and the Native American party, both anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant. The parties had strong supporters in the urban centers, previously considered strongholds for the Whig Party.
Beginning of New Parties Such Free Soil Party and Nativist Faction
The Free Soil party was organized in 1848 to oppose the expansion of slavery (Buck 45) primarily. This foundation is also rooted in the ongoing conflict between the antislavery and proslavery forces in the country. This conflict further grew due to the acquisition of new land from Mexico, creating an argument about whether slavery would be permitted in the new lands. In essence, the Free Soil party evolved from antislavery policies and then disgruntled aspects of the Democratic and Whig political parties in the country. These policies were later incorporated by the Republican Party, which also eclipsed the Free Soil Party.
Nativism was a policy that favored the interests and beliefs of the native population in the country over those of the immigrants (Buck 47). In America, the largest nativism movement occurred in the 19th century during vast European migration and the immigration of the Chinese population on the West Coast. The overall nativism policy entailed anti-Catholic beliefs because most immigrants came from previously Roman Catholic Countries. Despite the common religious grounds of nativists, the primary motivation was often economic. The immigrants came with vast skillsets and could provide cheap labor, threatening the livelihood of the native workers.
Factions within the Democratic Party in the 1850s
The Democratic Party nominated Franklin Pierce as their presidential candidate because they believed him to be a Northern man with Southern principles (Astor 249). His initial stand was individual state liberty regarding slavery in the country. Those from the South believed that his administration would guarantee the future of slavery in their territories, while those from the North were confident that they had elected a man who was not radically antislavery or proslavery. Eventually, he won the 1852 election under the Democratic Party ticket. However, while in power, Pierce actively supported the compromise of 1850 and enforced the Fugitive Slave Act, which angered many Northerners and the majority of the Democratic Party (Astor 250). The result is that new factions emerged in the Democratic Party, those with Pierce’s administration and those against his policies.
Rise of the New Republican Faction in the Country
The new Republican Party emerged after Pierce’s administration started to enforce ideologies that were proslavery (Heersink 72). The Republicans strongly believed that non-slave owning farmers have the right to expand their agricultural activities westward. They also believed that infrastructure should be developed in the North and that slavery should be restricted in the newly acquired territories. In essence, the Republicans adopted ideologies presented by the Free Labor, Free Soil, and the Free Man political parties (Heersink 80). They served to represent the Western and Northern economy that stood for the modern and prosperous areas with virtues of liberty, equality, and self-governance.
Election of 1860
The democrats initially met in Chicago to nominate a suitable candidate for the oncoming 1860 elections (Egerton 975). However, the northern and southern democrats failed to come to an understanding regarding the best candidate. The meeting ended without a candidate, but six weeks later, the Northern democrats chose Douglas for the presidential race, and in a separate meeting, the Southern Democrats chose John Breckenridge as the running mate (Egerton 975). The Republicans met during the same year and realized that their opponents’ confusion caused them an advantage and picked Abraham Lincoln as the presidential candidate (Egerton 975). John Bell, a wealthy slave-owner, was another candidate for the election under the party ticket of the Constitutional Union Party (Egerton 975). This election would eventually determine the slave situation in the country, causing great tension between the abolitionists and those in favor of slavery. Abraham Lincoln won the elections, creating a strong threat for the Southern States (Egerton 976). Some states like Southern Carolina acted immediately, deciding on severe their ties with the United States. The Confederates also severed their American Identity.
Causes of the Civil War and War Related Issues
In general, the Civil war resulted from the differences in slavery in the country (Schoen 131). Other factors, such as the economics of slavery and political control, also instigated the Civil War in the country. Southern States wanted to prove more powerful than the federal government, especially by abolishing federal laws that were not in their favor (Schoen 131). Such rights included the right to keep slaves or transport them wherever they wished. Another issue was territorial expansion. Southerners wanted to transport their slaves into new Western territories, while those in the North wanted to keep these territories white labor areas. The new Republican Party was also against slave expansion. Lastly, the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 threatened slavery altogether in the United States. Lincoln won despite the lack of a single Southern vote (Schoen 132). Therefore, the Southern States resulted in secession, which eventually caused the civil war in the country.
Astor, Aaron. “Northern Men with Southern Loyalties: The Democratic Party and the Sectional Crisis by Michael Todd Landis.” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 114.2 (2016): 248-250.
Buck, Stephen J. “Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Origins of the Republican Party in DuPage County, Illinois.” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1998-) 112.1 (2019): 43-67.
Egerton, Douglas R. “The Election of 1860: “A Campaign Fraught with Consequences.”; Making an Antislavery Nation: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Battle over Freedom.” (2019): 974-976.
Heersink, Boris, and Jeffery A. Jenkins. “Whiteness and the Emergence of the Republican Party in the Early Twentieth-Century South.” Studies in American Political Development 34.1 (2020): 71-90.
Schoen, B. (2016). The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War.