1.How important a role has religion played in the development of the American colonies and the United States? Discuss this by considering the Puritans of the 17th century, the First Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening.
2.The political crisis of the 1850s and early 1860s in the United States led to a cataclysmic confrontation between the North and the South. Describe and explain this crisis. Do you think this crisis and the resultant war could or could not have been avoided? Explain why?
3.Reconstruction has often been seen as a period of tremendous promise for American democracy. Do you see it that way? Why? If so, did it succeed or fail to fulfill its promise? If it was not a period full of possibilities for democracy, what was it?
4.Compare and contrast the experiences of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs through their respective autobiographies. What can we learn from them about the overall experience of slavery and how men and women may have experienced enslavement differently?