Jefferson vs. Hamilton

History 109 – Early U.S. History
Jefferson vs Hamilton
Essay Prompt
Page 1 of 3 8/12/20
Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton had a profound impact on the foundation of the Republic. Yet, as the book
Jefferson v. Hamilton reveals, both men differed dramatically in their political convictions and visions of democracy for the
new nation. In many respects, their disagreements foretold future political divisions that would endure long after both men
had died.
Based on your reading of America and Jefferson vs Hamilton – Confrontations that Shaped a Nation, write an essay
answering the following essay prompt.
Essay prompt: Evaluate and examine Jefferson’s and Hamilton’s respective views on the significance & interpretation of the
Constitution, the role of the federal government versus state governments, the establishment of a national bank, the
economic direction of America and their respective views on the essential components necessary for a successful democracy.
Analyze the long-term impact of Jefferson’s and Hamilton’s debates on the foundation of the United States and how their
ideas shaped the nation and the government (this is your thesis). Support your argument/thesis with evidence from the
Jefferson vs Hamilton text as well as the text America. Do not use any other outside sources.
Instructions: Keeping the essay prompt in mind, read Jefferson vs Hamilton: Confrontations that Shaped a Nation. Begin by
reading the various Chapters of the text. Read the introduction and the introduction to each section and take detailed notes
as you read. Review the primary sources within each section, taking notes on each primary source as you read. It is not
necessary to read every primary source within each section, but you should deep read at least 3 or 4 documents within
each section and complete a cursory read of the other primary sources within each section. Keeping in mind the theme of
the Chapter you are reading and the essay prompt, add to your notes. Select at least four (4) primary sources to support
your thesis. You are required to use at least four primary sources to support your thesis and are encouraged to use more. In
the essay be sure to explain how/why these four primary source documents support your thesis.
Come back to the essay prompt and carefully read the prompt again analyzing it in context with your notes. Prepare a draft
thesis keeping the essay prompt in mind. You will then create an outline for the essay.
Your next steps will be to develop a draft essay and a final version of the essay for submission. Please review the individual
assignment instructions for the outline, draft and final version of the essay.
This assignment is intended to provoke critical thinking on your part. Answer the prompt above by relying on your analysis of
the history of Jefferson & Hamilton and Shi’s America text only. You do not need to do any additional outside research. Essays
that include outside research will receive zero points.
ESSAY INSTRUCTIONS: Please read carefully
• Include an introduction. Lay out for your reader the organizational plan for the essay. State your main argument (thesis)
in the introduction. Introduce the book in the first or second paragraph of the essay, so that your references are clear
throughout.
• Thesis statement. The thesis statement should be an academic argument to answer the essay prompt. It should not
restate the essay prompt. The thesis statement is the basis of the essay. The essay should not be a summary of the book
or a book review but a historical argument. Visit the Academic Success Center on campus for help developing a solid
thesis statement.
• Address every question. Be sure to answer every part of the prompt. To avoid overlooking a question, it may help to use
the prompt questions to organize your essay.
• Think for yourself. Answer the questions with your own brainpower, in your own words. This is not a research paper
assignment! The America text and the readings on Canvas are the only sources outside of the assigned book “Jefferson
vs Hamilton” that you may consult.
History 109 – Early U.S. History
Jefferson vs Hamilton
Essay Prompt
Page 2 of 3 8/12/20
• Outside sources are not allowed. Do not access the web for sources. Do not use any other sources besides the assigned
textbook America and Historian Cunningham’s anthology “Jefferson vs Hamilton.” Essays that use outside sources
will receive zero points.
• Prove your point. Provide ample evidence to support your argument(s) by providing concrete examples and illustrations
from the reading. Cite relevant events, assertions, passages, and page numbers. Be sure to make specific reference to
and cite specific examples from your reading as evidence to support your answer
• Citations. Chicago style (footnotes) is the citation for History discipline. Chicago Style formatting guidelines and examples
are available on Canvas. Essays submitted with MLA or any other citation style will receive a 10-point deduction. Please
review the Essay Rubric. Essays must include citations to avoid plagiarism issues. Essays submitted without citations or
without “valid” citations will not be accepted and will receive zero points.
• Quotes. When quoting: Alwaysintroduce quotes – who said it, when, where, in what document- give the reader as much
information as you know/have available – do not make the reader review the footnote and do their own research or
inference – it’s your job as the historian to do that. Do not “drop quotes” in the middle of sentences and expect the
reader to interpret them – that is the historian’s job to explain, interpret and place the quote in historical context for the
reader. Quotes should be no more than 1 or 2 sentences. Use your own words and the quote as supporting
evidence. Essays with “dropped” quotes or quotes longer than two sentences will receive a 4-point deduction. Please
review the Essay Rubric.
• Avoid personal sentiments. Argue the thesis based on the evidence only. Avoid using the first person and personal
sentiments such as “I feel that…” or “I believe that…” Your essay should make an academic argument based on evidence,
not opinion. This is not an opinion paper. This is not a summary of Jefferson and Hamilton’s history or administration’s.
Opinion papers or summary essays will receive an overall score of 50% or less.
• Write clearly and carefully. Does every sentence make sense? If you need help organizing your thoughts, you are
encouraged to visit the Academic Success Center for help. Poor spelling, punctuation, and grammar are often a sign of
sloppiness and will weigh heavily against your grade. Take advantage of resources available on campus or within MS
Word to grammar check & spellcheck the essay before submitting the essay.
• Writing Style & Voice: Write in the style you know. Students often try to add unfamiliar words to make the writing
appear academic. What often happensisthat the writing becomes disjointed and unclear. Please know that your writing
level, style & voice will naturally improve as you advance in your education. It may be helpful to read your essay aloud
after some time of not looking at it or have another person read the essay to see if the writing is clear. As writers we
know what we intend to say and that is what we see. Having another reader can be very helpful.
• Pronouns: Avoid the overuse of pronouns (He said, she did, they, them, their etc.) Students often misuse pronouns and
the result is the sentence is not correct/true. It is better to use the name (Jefferson, Hamilton, Americans, citizens etc.)
rather than a pronoun. The pronoun always refers to the last person mentioned by name. Please be very careful. When
pronouns are misused the writing can be historically incorrect and can affect the clarity of your writing and of course the
grade.
• Tense: Please use pa st tense for History – you are studying the pastso any reference to the pastshould be written in past
tense.
• Follow standard formatting. Your essay must be a minimum of 5-6 full pages of content (not counting title & bibliography
pages), typewritten (Times New Roman, 12-point font), double-spaced with 1-inch margins, with Chicago Style citations.
An overall score of (50%) or less may be given for incomplete papers and papers that do not meet these requirements (5
full pages, 1″ margins 12 pt. font) or that reflect a total lack of effort.
History 109 – Early U.S. History
Jefferson vs Hamilton
Essay Prompt
Page 3 of 3 8/12/20
• Extra Credit. Students may earn 10% of the earned grade on the essay for visiting the Academic Success Center and
meeting with a writing tutor to discuss a draft of the essay. Tutoring appointments must be made in advance do not wait
until the week the paper is due. (Example: Essay grade 75% +7.5% extra credit = Final Grade 82.5%) Written verification
must be scanned and submitted with the essay. Late essays are not eligible for extra credit.
• Unicheck. Submit an electronic copy to Canvas & Unicheck by the due date & time. Essays must be submitted on Canvas
by the due date & time to be considered on time. Essays not submitted on Canvas & Unicheck will not be accepted or
graded. Essays will not be accepted via email.
• Late essays. Late essays will be penalized 10 points for every 24-hour period or portion thereof the essay is late. Refer to
the syllabus for the complete Late Essay policy.

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