Your Final Exam is to write your Personal Historical Manifesto. A personal manifesto is historical writing that reflects on the person that writes it, that person’s history, and that person’s goals and dreams. This should be a total of THREE PAGES and a Works Cited Page for total minimum of Five pages, double-spaced. Make sure you use MLA format for your opening heading and Works cited page.
The core idea for this Final Exam is that you are part of American society and your own personal history exists in conjunction with our national history. Recent events have made us reimagine ourselves and the society we want to live in. The recent presidential elections, the Black Lives Matter protests, the election protests, the COVID pandemic and much, much more have really set us into unchartered territory. Amongst all of this YOU exist, your history exists, your hope and dreams of the future are intertwined with the current time. So it only makes since that YOU and I should decide what sort of solutions exist and what sort of future we would like to see- not that it will actually happen- but there is no cost to imagine. In the end, this Final Exam will be part traditional coursework and part personal inflection. This can be a very impactful assignment if you really take it to heart because now is the time to start charting your future no matter where you are in your life. I have personally had some major shifts in my life recently.
READ THIS CAREFULLY BEFORE STARTING TO WRITE !
For this assignment, consider the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, as well as the links to manifestos posted, and use them as the historical underpinning of your writing. Everything we have read and encountered throughout the semester is open to use here. Everything! You can bring in any outside resources as long as you document them. Obviously the chapters that cover the American Revolution are most relevant here. This is not a traditional academic essay, you can see it but more like a report or listing, yet it is the same as an academic essay in that you need to QUOTE and CITE sources. You might think of this as a cited, very specific, extended journal entry.
Actually type out “Section 1,” “Section 2,” and “Section 3″ in your paper as you break down your writing into these THREE SECTIONS.
Section One- This section is for you to contemplate yourself. Minimum one page.
Who are you? What is your history? What is your family background and origins. What are the things that make you who you are as a unique person in this world? This section is for you to explore your personal history. What are your historical origins? Your hobbies, your pastimes, your passions. What are the things that you cannot live with? Detail the important things in your life. You might look back on this years later and be amazed who you are right now and how you have changed. You can make a list of ” I am ….” to get the conversation started.
Section Two- This section is for you to form an opinion on American history based on documentation. This is the traditional historical section. Minimum two pages but you can go over.
What do you think is wrong with race relationships in America today? Are we all treated equally in society? If you say yes, then give your reasons why. If your answer is no, then give your reasons as well. This is the historical part. Base your answer on the historical documents to back up your argument. In other words, how does the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights impact race relations today. Of course, just because a law exists it doesnt mean you are protected by it. Pick language from the Declaration and analyze it to make a point if it protects people or not today. Pick at least three of the first 10 constitutional amendments that make up the Bill of Rights to also discuss how they protect people today and whether or not they are being respected today. The point in this section is to show change across time for different people. How much have times changed and how does this impact different segments of society today? Make sure you QUOTE the two documents and the CITE them in Works Cited page. Use MLA format here.
Section Three- This section is for you to contemplate changes for the historical problems and to meditate on where you see yourself in the future. One page minimum.
This is where you offer solutions to the historical issue in Section Two. You don’t have to cite the writings in this section. This is where you contemplate not only the future of America but your own future as well. Write out which direction you feel the (A) nation should steer towards and (B) where you are going to be doing in the future. What kind of America do you envision in five years, ten years? This is personal. How do you see yourself in your vision of the future nation? What are your own personal goals and how do you plan to employ them as a member of American society? Do you plan on helping others, changing society, making tons of money or something else? In many ways this is you manifesting the future you want for yourself through writing.
A separate WORKS CITED page should be added. MLA format. Should include the documents, the Foner book and any other resources that you have brought into your manifest.
“Give your manifesto a great title!”
Section 1 – min one page
Section 2 – min two pages
Section 3 – Min one page
Works Cited . one page