Raphael School of Athens

Answer Key to History Student Reader Assignments

Answer Key to History Student Reader Assignments

This page is a work in progress. We’re starting with Lesson 20 to assist current homeschools following the recommended scope and sequence. Each week we’ll add a new lesson! We also plan to go back and complete the earlier lessons. Thanks for your patience.

Lesson 20

Lecture 20.1 Assignment

Read “A House Divided” by Abraham Lincoln. How is his speech just? How is his speech nationalistic? How would this speech have been received by the distinctive regions of the early United States?

 
Possible Answer

Lincoln's speech is just because he attempts to review the legal processes and precedents involved in both the Nebraska bill and the Dred Scott decision, what he calls the "almost complete legal machinery" (second long paragraph). His speech is nationalistic because he describes the conflict between free and slave states as a zero-sum game in his opening paragraph: "In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. 'A house divided against itself cannot stand.' I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other." The speech would be received by free states as a discouragement to states wanting to determine the legality of slavery in their borders. Slaveholding states would view the speech as an ultimatum: either the nation would be all-slave or all-free, with the executive opposed to the former.

 

Lecture 20.2 Assignment

Read “The Slavery Question” by John C. Calhoun. How does Calhoun’s speech appeal to the constitution and the sovereignty of states as the source of unity? How does Calhoun’s speech address (or not address) the slavery question?

 

Possible Answer

Calhoun appeals to the Constitution as an agreement entered into by all states for their mutual benefit. For example, in the middle of the selection he states, "the legislation of this government…was appointed as the common agent of all and charged with the protection of the interests and security of all." He makes the argument that the Southern states are being targeted with unfair export taxation and are prevented from adding new Mexican land and therefore more population for purposes of representation. Calhoun address is slavery as a problem that the north wants to solve at the expense of destroying southern peace. It could be argued that this is a weak defense of the institution.

 

Lecture 20.3 Assignment

Read several of the slave narratives recorded by former slaves and housed by the Library of Congress. Describe the varied experiences of slaves in the United States. Explain why slavery was wrong.

 
Possible Answer

Student answers will vary depending upon narratives chosen, but a wide reading of the narratives exposes the impossibility of describing "one" experience of slavery in America. It is not defensible to say that there was nothing but atrocities all the time. Nor is it defensible to say that slavery was a peaceful or beneficial institution for all. There were quite a number of cruel masters and benevolent masters, both kinds acknowledged widely in the slave narratives. Student explanations for the wrongness of slavery will vary, but are encouraged to start with a discussion of sin in scripture, i.e. the sin of man-stealing as a form of theft.

 

Lecture 20.4 Assignment

Read “On the Death of John Brown” by William Lloyd Garrison. How is Garrison right in his sentiments? How is Garrison radical in his ideas?

 

Possible Answer

Garrison is right when he acknowledges that true worship of God requires freedom from racial hatred and vainglory: "one God to be worshipped, one Savior to be revered, one policy to be carried out--freedom everywhere to all the people, without regard to complexion or race--and the blessing of God resting upon us all! I want to see that glorious day!" Garrison is radical when he makes such statements as "I tell you our work is the dissolution of this slavery-cursed Union, if we would have a fragment of our liberties left to us!"

Lecture 20.1 Assignment

Read "Sex and Property" by G.K. Chesterton. What does he say about how modern culture views sex and property? How should we view these things? How are they, that is marriage, family, and fruitful production, at the heart of Distributism?

 

Possible Answer

Chesterton argues that sin related to sex in antiquity idolized fruitfulness, while modern sin in those areas "exalts lust and forbids fertility." Modern culture makes the same error with regard to property: "The reason why our contemporary countrymen do not understand what we mean by Property is that they only think of it in the sense of Money." A good summary quotation appears midway in the essay: "Now the notion of narrowing property merely to enjoying money is exactly like the notion of narrowing love merely to enjoying sex. In both cases an incidental, isolated, servile and even secretive pleasure is substituted for participation in a great creative process; even in the everlasting Creation of the world." The heart of Distributism is gratitude to God for his gifts, and living out God's call to impose man's will to make those gifts bear fruit.

 

Lecture 20.2 Assignment

Read the following accounts of life during the Great Depression. How did things change for ordinary people? How did these people adapt?

 

Possible Answer

Circumstances changed drastically, especially when viewed through the lens of children. They noticed the uncertainty of parents in the home (from where will the next paycheck come? when will the money run out?) and were disconcerted themselves. Some adapted to limiting consumption of food and goods, while some sought work in surprising locations.

 

Lecture 20.3 Assignment

Read the memorandum of Henry Morgenthau, Jr., FDR’s treasury secretary. What was Morgenthau’s conclusion regarding the New Deal’s spending program and high deficits? What did he propose to stabilize the government?

 

Possible Answer

Morgenthau believes that taxation should make up for the New Deal spending and deficits, and he proposes a higher tax on the wealthy. He believes that taxa revenue will allow the government to allocate those resources towards new jobs, which will end unemployment.

 

Lecture 20.4 Assignment

Read the opening paragraphs of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago. How does Solzhenitsyn describe the injustice of arrest in Stalin’s police state of concentration camps?

 

Possible Answer

Solzhenitsyn describes the arrest as a supreme shock, but one that he and his compatriots should have seen coming if they paid attention to the warning signs. He conveys a sense of terror through disembodied voices, boots, and hands, as well as by the sense of isolation from one's neighbors.

Lecture 20.1 Assignment

Read the following biographical sketch. How does Plutarch describe the character and ambitions of Alexander?

Possible Answer

Plutarch describes Alexander as "extremely eager and vehement…in his love of glory, and the pursuit of it." He pursued glory while abstaining from many vices of pleasure. Biographers described him as a demi-god, but he had a restless ambition that required his mark on the world.

Lecture 20.2 Assignment

Read the contemporary military account. How did Philip conquer the Greeks?

Possible Answer

Philip captured Elateia in a surprise assault, overpowered Athens and her ally Boeotia by means of the battlefield prowess of his son Alexander, and persuaded the rest of the Greeks to lay down arms because he would avenge them upon the Persian invaders.

Lecture 20.3 Assignment

Read the following biographical sketch. How does Plutarch display the supposed destiny of Alexander?

Possible Answer

Plutarch projects the destiny of Alexander from the start of his campaigns. He visits the gravesite of Achilles, the greatest Greek warrior, with a series of elaborate honors. He then attacks a superior Persian force and with personal heroics causes contributes to 22,000 Persian casualties to 34 of his own. Finally, he interprets a natural overflow of a spring near Xanthus as an indication of divine favor on his behalf.

Lecture 20.4 Assignment

Read the following speech. What does Alexander spur his men to do? How does he do this?

Possible Answer

Alexander delivers a convincing speech. He recounts the many lands and victories he and his men have shared. Then he compares himself to both Heracles and Dionysus who advanced in the face of adversity. Next, he reminds his men of his liberality in gifts, honors, and treasure when on campaign. He ends with the excellent line, "I will make those who stay the envy of those who return."

Lesson 21

Lecture 21.1 Assignment

Read the selection from A Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States by John C. Calhoun. How does Calhoun demonstrate the meaning of a ‘federal’ government? How does he show the importance of states within this union?

 
Possible Answer

Calhoun demonstrates the meaning of a 'federal' government in the fifth paragraph when he writes that it is the government of a community of States, not the government of a single State or nation. The importance of the states within this union is demonstrated in the first paragraph when he states that "the several States composing the Union" preceded "the one common Government of the United States." The federal government receives it powers delegated by the states, just as the states receive their powers delegated by the people.

 
Lecture 21.2 Assignment

Read The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Why did abolitionists refer to this act as the “Bloodhound Law”?

 

Possible Answer

The nickname refers to the ability of a commissioner to pursue "a person held to service or labor" into another state or territory of the United States. Section 6 adds language which allows the re-capture to take place with or "without process". Essentially, fugitives were hunted down.

 
Lecture 21.3 Assignment

Read the letter of President Abraham Lincoln to Horace Greeley. What are his motivations regarding slavery and regarding the Union? How do his official views and personal views differ and how does this show Lincoln to be a complex man?

 

Possible Answer

Lincoln expresses his "paramount object" as the preservation of the Union. The impact on slavery in the states is secondary, despite his "oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free." In essence, he believed keeping the Union together was needed in order to deal with slavery, a tough line to maintain with vigorous detractors on both sides.

 

Lecture 21.4 Assignment

Read the “First Inaugural Address” by President Abraham Lincoln. For what reasons does Lincoln feel compelled to preserve the Union? How does he view the invasion of any state? Why does he disagree with secession?

 

Possible Answer

Lincoln feels compelled to preserve the Union because of the apparent attempt to destroy it over the Fugitive Slave Act. He believes the future of the country depends upon the Union remaining intact. He views invasion of any state as unlawful. According the fourth paragraph, he "denounce(s) the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes." He disagrees with secession because, in his opinion, "no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union." If the States are members of a social contract, then simply retracting their allegiance is insufficient to break the bond of Union.

Lecture 21.1 Assignment

Read the following quotation by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. How does he define the purpose of education?

 

Possible Answer

According to Quiller-Couch, the purpose of education is repentance ("a chastened and corrected liberty of your own thought") and service ("service in whatever capacity, with a mastery learnt here, but a mastery of service").

 
Lecture 21.2 Assignment

Read "A Piece of Chalk" by G.K. Chesterton. How does Chesterton enjoy life and the way things are created?

 

Possible Answer

Chesterton delights himself in the world that God has created. His work frequently casts the glum, ungrateful modern age against the spirit and vitality of Christendom. Here it is no different. He enjoys polite banter with a shop clerk, muses on the symbolism of items in his pocket, and revels in the fact that the geological landscape provides him exactly what he needs to complete his picture—and the essay.

 

Lecture 21.3 Assignment

Read "The Lost Tools of Learning," an address by Dorothy Sayers. How does she encourage one to approach learning?

 

Possible Answer

There is much that could be said by the student based on this long reading. The essence of Sayers' argument is that one must be taught how to learn rather than given a program of content. Early in the essay she laments, "Is not the great defect of our education today—a defect traceable through all the disquieting symptoms of trouble that I have mentioned—that although we often succeed in teaching our pupils 'subjects,' we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think: they learn everything, except the art of learning." She gives form to this argument by discussing the ways in which learning can be cultivated according to the age and stage of the pupil.

 

Lecture 21.4 Assignment

Read "The Weight of Glory" by C.S. Lewis. What is the ultimate goal of the Christian life? What does this goal look like?

 

Possible Answer

The ultimate goal of the Christian life for Lewis is the attainment to glory. This is explained in several ways in the sermon. According to Lewis in the third paragraph, "Those who have attained everlasting life in the vision of God doubtless know very well that it is no mere bribe, but the very consummation of their earthly discipleship; but we who have not yet attained it cannot know this in the same way, and cannot even begin to know it at all except by continuing to obey and finding the first reward of our obedience in our increasing power to desire the ultimate reward." An important point for Lewis is that desiring glory is not a trivial or sanctimonious goal, but rather the very purpose for which we were created—like a general desiring victory as the reward of battle or a man desiring marriage as the reward of love.

Lecture 21.1 Assignment

Read the following description. How is the power and wealth of the Greek kingdoms displayed in this passage?

 

Possible Answer

The size, scope, and extravagance of the procession are recounted in detail. Flowers out of season in other lands are strewn about, wine is brought in 3,000 measures, 600 men draw one wagon, and carvings and previous metals adorn everything. The Greek kingdoms exert power far and wide, and wield the wealth that such far-flung power commands.

 

Lecture 21.2 Assignment

Read the following maxims. What is the purpose of life, according to Epicurus?

 

Possible Answer

The purpose of life is to be happy. While that sounds weak given the current meaning of happiness, for Epicurus happiness meant a lack of entanglements and dependencies. This, in turn, was caused by the confidence and of prudent living and the security of self-sufficiency independent of one's neighbors.

 

Lecture 21.3 Assignment

Read the following letter. What discoveries does Archimedes share in it?

 

Possible Answer

The student will note several; relationship of radius to circumference, cylindrical properties, and properties of buoyancy are some of the discoveries.

 

Lecture 21.4 Assignment

Read the following military account. How did Judas Maccabeus become a Jewish hero?

 
Possible Answer

This account begins immediately with a great victory of Judas over the Samaritan Apollonius, a motivating speech before victory over Seron the Syrian. There follow several victories over the generals of King Antiochus, as well as the restoration of sacrificial worship in the temple. These last feats were accompanied by apparent fulfillment of prophetic words and  fortification of the land.

Looking for an American history curriculum?

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Looking for an American history curriculum?

Try 4 Free Lessons of Dave Raymond's American History

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