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Jigsaw Study Guide
In your Jigsaw Group answer the following questions about your assigned readings. Be
certain that everyone understands the reading and answer to the questions. Each person
should be prepared to teach the other groups the view points expressed in their reading.
Thomas Jefferson
In 1781, Thomas Jefferson wrote Notes on the State of Virginia. Much of the book was devoted
to descriptions of the physical terrain of the state. One section, however, was devoted to
Jefferson's observations and prejudices about the character, intelligence, and physical attributes
of blacks.
1. What are the 4 political reasons Jefferson objects to the incorporation of blacks into the
state of Virginia if slavery is outlawed?
2. What are 2 other reasons Jefferson objects to the incorporation of blacks into the state of
Virginia if slavery is outlawed?
3. On the first page there Jefferson lists 7 physical and moral inferiorities of blacks. What
are they and what is his evidence for each inferiority?
4. Why does Jefferson feel Blacks should be judged against whites and not in their native
land of Africa?
5. How does Jefferson compare ‘Indians’ to Blacks?
6. How does he use the examples of ‘Indians’ and Ignatius Sancho to proved Blacks
inferiority?
7. “The improvement of the blacks in body and mind, in the first instance of their mixture
with the whites, as been observed by everyone, and proves that their inferiority is not the
effect merely of their condition of lie…” What does Jefferson mean in regards to slavery?
8. On the last page Jefferson makes 3 different statements that summarize his view on 1) the
reason for black inferiority, 2) the obstacle to emancipation, and 3) colonization. What
are these statements? And how do they summarize his view of black people as a race and
the status blacks should have in American society?
Name:
Date:
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Jigsaw Study Guide
In your Jigsaw Group answer the following questions about your assigned readings. Be
certain that everyone understands the reading and answer to the questions. Each person
should be prepared to teach the other groups the view points expressed in their reading.
James Henry Hammond—“The ‘Mudsill Theory’”
James Henry Hammond was a senator and wealthy plantation owner from South Carolina. This
excerpt is from a speech he made to the Senate on March 4, 1858, in which he lays out his
famous "mudsill theory" and states, "In all societies that must be a class to do the menial duties,
to perform the drudgery of life." This class, says Hammond, makes it possible for the higher
class to move civilization forward.
In the antebellum period, pro-slavery forces moved from defending slavery as a necessary evil to
expounding it as a positive good. Some insisted that African Americans were child-like people in
need of protection, and that slavery provided a civilizing influence. Others argued that black
people were biologically inferior to white people and were incapable of assimilating in free
society. Still others claimed that slaves were necessary to maintain the progress of white society.
1. In the first paragraph Hammond defines what the ‘ Mudsill Theory’ is, how does he
define it?
2. In the first paragraph Hammond explains that they found a class to fill the role of the
Mudsill. What class is that, and why are they suited for Mudsill status?
3. In the second paragraph who does Hammond accuse the North of enslaving?
4. Why does Hammond say Southern slavery better than Northern slavery?
5. Towards the end of his speech what warning does Hammond give the North?
6. At the end of the speech what threat does Hammond make towards the North?
Name:
Date:
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Jigsaw Study Guide
In your Jigsaw Group answer the following questions about your assigned readings. Be
certain that everyone understands the reading and answer to the questions. Each person
should be prepared to teach the other groups the view points expressed in their reading.
Mississippi Black Code: 1865
Immediately after the Civil War, most Ex-Confederate States replaced their existing slave codes
with “Black Codes”. Below is an excerpt from the Mississippi Black Code of 1865. The Black
Codes were effectively obstructed by the actions of the Freedmen’s Bureau in the South, and
officially struck down by the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Thus they did not last long at all, but they
did reveal much about the mindset and objectives of the southern white legislators who crafted
them.
1. Section 4 gives Blacks the write to testify in court against whites. The part of section 4
that says ‘Provided’ effectively makes this impossible. How so?
2. How does section 5 effectively deny Blacks of living where they choose?
3. How does section 6 effectively deny Blacks freedom of labor?
4. How does sections 7-9 reflect the original fugitive slave laws of the outlawed slave
codes?
5. The sections under Vagrancy Law effectively re-enslaved Blacks. How so?
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Jigsaw Study Guide
In your Jigsaw Group answer the following questions about your assigned readings. Be
certain that everyone understands the reading and answer to the questions. Each person
should be prepared to teach the other groups the view points expressed in their reading.
Frederick Douglass’s Evaluation of Reconstruction: From My Bondage My Freedom, 1881
1. The first four paragraphs Douglass explains what reconstruction is like on paper. How
does he describe it?
2. In paragraph 5 (which continues on the second page) Douglas explains what
reconstruction is like in reality. How does he describe it?
3. In paragraph 6 Douglass describes the state of Blacks after slavery. What was it?
4. At the end of paragraph 6 he states that the complaint that freedmen have made no
progress is unfair. Why?
5. In the Next paragraph how does he support the above idea?
6. In paragraph 8 how does Douglass say freedom came to the slaves. And how has this
type of emancipation effected the slaves?
7. How does he compare the slaves of history to the slaves of America?
8. In paragraphs 10-11 he has a more hopeful tone? Why?
9. What groups does he use as examples for the slaves? How does use these examples?
10. In the Last two paragraphs Douglass gives advice to the freedmen. What does he say they
need to do to survive? Why?
Name:
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Jigsaw Study Guide
In your Jigsaw Group answer the following questions about your assigned readings. Be
certain that everyone understands the reading and answer to the questions. Each person
should be prepared to teach the other groups the view points expressed in their reading.
What They Fought For
What They Fought For gives voice to the very men who risked their lives in this struggle and
places them in the great and terrible choir of a country divided against itself. The result is both
an impressive scholarly tour de force and a lively, highly accessible account of the sentiments of
both Northern and Southern soldiers during the national trauma of the Civil War.
1. What did slaveholding families emphasize as the reason they fought in the war?
2. What did nonslaveholders emphasize as their reason they fought in the war?
3. What is Herrenvolk Democracy?
4. The second paragraph has several quotes from poor farmers explaining why they fought
in the war. What were they?
5. Many say racism has sprung from the resentment of poor whites towards free blacks and
not from masters towards slaves. How does this passage reflect that idea?
Name:
Date:
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Jigsaw Study Guide
In your Jigsaw Group answer the following questions about your assigned readings. Be
certain that everyone understands the reading and answer to the questions. Each person
should be prepared to teach the other groups the view points expressed in their reading.
Shelly Fisher Fishkin Was Huck Black?
1. The first 5 paragraphs talk about why Twain wrote the book and why he wrote the book
in the way he did. What was the reason Twain wrote the book and Why did he write it the
way he did?
2. When was Huck Finn written? What is significant about when he started writing Huck
Finn and when he stopped?
3. In Paragraphs 10-11 it describes the time of reconstruction, what was it like? Name 3
specific events that represent the turmoil of the time.
4. In paragraph 12-15 it describes the end of reconstruction what was it like? Name 3
specific events that represent that time.
5. How did this affect Twain and his novel?
6. In paragraph 17-20 Fisher makes a statements about how Huck Finn was written what is
it?
7. What is the importance of Satire to African Americans, Twain and Huck Finn?
(Paragraph 21-to the end)
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