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Step 1: Select your topic and focus question! Read the topics from the list on page 2 of this document and choose the topic and focus that interests you. Fill out the box below.


What’s your topic and focus question?


Topic: This Land is My Land


Focus Question: Evaluate the impact of the Pequot War on either the Europeans or Natives.


Step 2: In 50 words or more, state why you chose the topic and focus question that you chose. It could be how the topic is of interest to you and that you have studied it previously, or it could be a subject that you want to learn more about something of which you do not have knowledge.

I opted for “This Land is My Land” topic due to my insightful interest to explore historical events related to patriotism and balancing power between Europeans and Natives in situations such as trade negotiations. The trade aspect drove me to be specific on the focus question that need to address the impacts of Pequot War to Europeans and Natives. In this case, the contact of both had profound effect where balance of power shifted overnight from natives to Europeans. My choice is therefore grounded on the enthusiasm to discover more knowledge into this particular aspect.


Step 3: List the two primary source and two secondary sources that you have chosen in the boxes below.


Source Type

Source Name

Primary Source #1

Indian Complaints about English Settlers, 1675

Primary Source #2

Edward Randolph’s Report of King Philip’s War, 1675

Secondary Source #1

Adam J. Hirsch, “The Collision of Military Cultures in Seventeenth-Century New England.”

Secondary Source #2

Michal L. Fickes, “’They Could Not Endure that Yoke’: The Capitivity of Pequot Women and Children after the War of 1637”



Step 4: In 50 words or more, describe your initial thoughts about how your sources relate to your chosen topic and focus. Make sure to provide specific examples from each of the four sources that illustrate how they will help you answer your focus question. This will help you begin to think about the form of your paper!


In primary #1 the natives who were the Indians, revolted against the Europeans led by King Phillip which meant the next combinations of Indians to threaten European dominance after Pequot War. Primary #2 contribute to this research since Randolph, sent by King James II, compiled a report to account for the war involving Indians and colonies led by King Phillip.  

On the other hand, secondary #1 is relevant to this paper since it analyze military conflicts in 17th-century, warfare practice in Europe; facets of native warfare of Indians and differences between European and native military prowess. Finally, Secondary #2 inputs to my compilation as it addresses how natives of New England were enslaved as it document how Europeans eventually thought of Pequot War as the “civilized” English versus the “savage” natives. The colonialists killed and enslaved Pequot women and children.





Topic instructions: Select a topic from this list. Once you have done this, select your specific focus and sources from the next list.

1.     This Land is My Land

2.     Revolutionary Ideas

3.     The New Nation

4.     Going Underground

5.     All Men Are Created Equal

6.     In Her Place

7.     Splitting Up

8.     Fighting for Peace


Focus and source instructions: Now that you have your topic, select your desired focus option. Then, it will list the sources that can be used for this topic. Choose two primary and two secondary sources. Think about your choices and then fill out the worksheet on page 1!


1.     This Land is My Land


a.     Focus Question: Analyze the major causes of the tensions between the Native Americans and the European colonists in the 16th-18th centuries. 

Primary Sources:

1.     Lion Gardener, “Relation of the Pequot Warres”, 1660

2.     John Mason’s “Brief History of the Pequot War”

3.     Indian Complaints about English Settlers, 1675

4.     Edward Randolph’s Report of King Philip’s War, 1675

Secondary Sources:

1.     Philip Ranlet, “Another Look at the Causes of the King Philip’s War”

2.     Alden T. Vaughan, “Pequots and Puritans: The Causes of the War of 1637”

3.     James Drake, “Restraining Atrocity: The Conduct of King Philip’s War”


b.     Focus Question: Evaluate the impact of the Pequot War on either the Europeans or Natives. 

Primary Sources:

1.     Indian Complaints about English Settlers, 1675

2.     Edward Randolph’s Report of King Philip’s War, 1675

Secondary Sources:

1.     Adam J. Hirsch, “The Collision of Military Cultures in Seventeenth-Century New England.”

2.     Michal L. Fickes, “’They Could Not Endure that Yoke’: The Capitivity of Pequot Women and Children after the War of 1637”


2.     Revolutionary Ideas


a.     Focus Question: Compare and contrast the main arguments of the Patriots and Loyalists. 

Primary Sources:

1.     Reports of Mob Attacks on Loyalists

2.     A Loyalist Poem, “The Patriots of North America”

3.     Thomas Paines’s Common Sense

4.     A Loyalist Tract

Secondary Sources:

1.     Benjamin A. Irvin, “Tar, Feathers, and the Enemies of American Liberties, 1768-1776”

2.     Keith Mason, “Localism, Evangelicalism, and Loyalism: The Sources of Discontent in the Revolutionary Chesapeake.”

3.     Wallace Brown, “The American Farmer During the Revolution: Rebel or Loyalist?”


b.     Focus Question: Analyze the main reasons for the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.

Primary Sources:

1.     Thomas Paine’s Common Sense

2.     A Loyalist Tract

3.     Charles Inglis’ reply to Common Sense

Secondary Sources:

1.     Michael A. McDonnell, “A World Turned ‘Topsy Turvy’: Robert Munford, The Patriots, and the Crisis of the Revolution in Virginia.”

2.     Anna Alden Allen, “Patriots and Loyalists: The Choice of Political Allegiances by the Members of Maryland’s Proprietary Elite.”



3.     The New Nation


a.     Focus Question: Analyze the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.  How did the Constitution serve to address these weaknesses?

Primary Sources:

1.     Federalist #15

2.     The Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of Pennsylvania

Secondary Sources:

1.     Robert A. Feer, “Shay’s Rebellion and the Constitution: A Study in Causation”

2.     Donald S. Lutz, “The Articles of Confederation as the Background to the Federal Republic”


b.     Focus Question: Evaluate the “spirit of compromise” involved in the ratification of the Constitution.

Primary Sources:

1.     Objections to the Constitution

2.     The Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of Pennsylvania

Secondary Sources:

1.     Robert A. McGuire and Robert L. Ohsfeldt, “Self-Interest, Agency Theory, and Political Voting Behavior: The Ratification of the United States Constitution.”

2.     Robin Brooks, “Alexander Hamilton, Melancton Smith, and the Ratification of the Constitution in New York.”


4.     Going Underground


a.     Focus Question: Analyze the motivations for the development of the Underground Railroad. 

Primary Sources:

1.     Fugitive Slave Act

2.     Reward for Return of a Slave

3.     Levi Coffin’s Underground Railroad Station

4.     The Slave Policy

Secondary Sources:

1.     Larry Gara, “The Underground Railroad: Legend or Reality”

2.     Gayle T. Tate, “Free Black Resistance in the Antebellum Era, 1830 to 1860”

3.     Stanley Harrold, “On the Borders of Slavery and Race: Charles T. Torrey and the Underground Railroad”


b.     Focus Question: Evaluate the effectiveness of the Underground Railroad in assisting slaves escape and remain free.

Primary Sources:

1.     The Conductor’s Diary

2.     Levi Coffin’s Underground Railroad Station

Secondary Sources:

1.     Nilgun Anadolu Okur, “Underground Railroad in Philadelphia, 1830-1860”

2.     Larry Gara, “The Underground Railroad: Legend or Reality”



5.     All men Are Created Equal


a.     Focus Question: Evaluate the key arguments of the abolitionists, making sure to discuss the economic, social, and political impact of abolition.

Primary Sources:

1.     Fugitive Slave Act

2.     Dred Scott

3.     Three Grand Mistakes

4.     Reward for Return of Slave

5.     Caution to African American’s in Boston

Secondary Sources:

1.     Jane H. Pease and William H. Pease, “Confrontation and Abolition in the 1850s”

2.     John S. Vishneski, III, “What the Court Decided in Dred Scott v. Sandford”

3.     Alix Oswald, “The Reaction to the Dred Scott Decision”

4.     Stephen Middleton, “The Fugitive Slave Crisis in Cincinnati, 1850-1860: Resistance, Enforcement, and Black Refugees”

5.     Robert J. Loewenberg, “John Locke and the Antebellum Defense of Slavery”


6.     In Her Place?


a.     Focus Question: Analyze the changing role of women in society.  Be sure to discuss the economic, religious, demographic, and/or cultural influences and highlight the reformers who helped shape the movement.  What were the goals of the early women’s movement?

Primary Sources:

1.     Eliza Bixby’s letter to her brother

2.     How the Americans Understand the Equality of the Sexes

3.     Woman’s Present and Future

4.     The Ladies of Trenton Assemble

Secondary Sources:

1.     Elizabeth Cometii, “Women in the American Revolution”

2.     Barbara E. Lacey, “Women in the Era of the American Revolution: The Case of Norwich Connecticut”

3.     John L. Brooke, “Spheres, Sites, Subjectivity, History: Reframing Antebellum American Society”

4.     Regina Markell Morantz, “Making Women Modern: Middle Class Women and Health Reform in 19th Century America”

5.     Thomas Dublin, “Women, Work, and Protest in the Early Lowell Mills: ‘The Oppressing hand of Avarice Would Enslave Us”


7.     Splitting Up


a.     Focus Question: Evaluate the arguments given by the south justifying secession. Contrast these arguments with those in favor of maintaining unity.

Primary Sources:

1.     The Declaration of Causes of Seceding States

2.     The Rebuke of Secession doctrines

3.     The Secession of Virginia and the American Civil War: The Illustrated News, May 18, 1861

4.     Northern Interests and Southern Independence: A Plea for United Action

Secondary Sources:

1.     Hudson Meadwell and Lawrence M. Anderson, “Sequence and Strategy in the Secession of the American South”

2.     William S. Hitchcock, “The Limits of Southern Unionism: Virginia Conservatives and the Gubernatorial Election of 1859”

3.     Frank F. White, Jr., “A Soldier Views the Secession Crisis”


8.     Fighting for Peace


a.     Focus Question: Compare and contrast the war efforts of the Confederacy and Union.  What were the strengths and weaknesses of each side?

Primary Sources:

1.     Confederate soldier’s letter home about shortages in camp

2.     “Four Years Under Marse Robert”

3.     “Life in the Confederate Army”

4.     A Woman’s War Record, 1861-1865

5.     Union Soldier’s letter to his sister on the comforts of camp life

Secondary Sources:

1.     Richard H. Shyrock, “A Medical Perspective on the Civil War”

2.     Alan Farmer, “Why Was the Confederacy Defeated?”

3.     William O. Brown Jr. and Richard C. K. Burdekin, “Turning Points in the US Civil War: A British Perspective”

4.     The National Museum of Health and Medicine, “To Bind Up the Nation’s Wounds”



Information #2:


An important part of being an historian is acting as a detective and investigating your sources before using them in a paper. In this activity, you are the detective! To use a source effectively, you will need to understand everything you can about it, including author, the relation of the author to the subject he or she is writing about, what the source says, and so on.


Answering these questions below is an important first step in writing your final paper!


Part I: Primary Source Investigation!

 1. What is the name of your source and when was it produced?

 Edward Randolph’s Report of King Philip’s War, produced in 1675


2. Who was the author/creator of this document and how is the author related to the event he/she is writing about?

The author of this source is Edward Randolph who is related to this event since he was to account for the Pequot war as a messenger to King James II, referred to the colonies to examine the damages of the Crown’s colonial laws and the general state of colonial affairs, more so in New England.

In 1637, England sent Edward Randolph to assess the war’s roots and evaluate the damage. According to this author, Puritan Massachusetts government regarded the Indian assaults as castigation of their own evils. The notion of godlike punishment originates from the Old Testament that repeatedly reflects on conflicts on the olden Israelites as punishment for their sin.


3. How credible is the author on his/her subject and what are some potential biases the author may have had? 

In the report by Edward Randolph, the local authority in Massachusetts thrived to Christianize the conflicts that led to the Indian war. In his opinion, they were just doing this for personal gain while pretending to punish them for their sins such as drunkenness.

In his inclination, he noted that English made contributions to what befell them in the war aftermath, they initially trained the Indians how to use fire arms. They also made them available in all their assemblies and preparations, and taught on how to handle, repair and make their muskets, and they were provided with all types of weapons by authorization of the government, this led to Indians becoming outstanding firemen.


4. List three things in the document that are important to your topic’s focus.

 The main points of interest from this primary source that are relevant to the impacts of Pequot war on Europeans and Natives include the following three;

1.     The Crown’s colonial laws that the Indians found intolerable as the government tried to Christianize them and enforce them against their will and for their own profit.

2.     Acquisition of firearms by Indians and training of handling the same. This was one of the main cause of the war since the Europeans had with great ease, entertained the Indians in learning their ways.

3.     Peace terms reached upon through Boston Government that aimed to culminate peace between Indians and Europeans. This peace agreement concluded that Indians were under English command but the former could settle in their land without let.

5. Why do you think the document was written?

As prior indicated, “Edward Randolph’s Report of King Philip’s War” was written with a primary goal of reporting and documenting the major conflict events that happened after Pequot war and determine the causes of that King Philip’s War that involved Indians and the Englishmen as demanded by King James II.

Basically, Edward Randolph was an envoy of King James II government. He was referred to the colonies more so in New England to probe the violations of the Crown’s colonial laws and the general condition of colonial matters that involved wars and aftermath effects. This endeavors resulted to writing this document.


6. How will this source contribute to your paper’s focus?

This source grounds on the topic of “This Land is My Land” as the entire conflict as reported by the author shows that the natives, Indians, fought the Europeans to have their right to freely use their land without regulations such as cultural fashion and lifestyles. This resulted `to them being allowed to live in that land without let.

The focus of this topic was the impact of this war to both groups. The aftermath of Pequot War meant the Natives were to live under English Command and submit to Crown’s colonial laws. This made both closely relate despite the Indians becoming intolerable on the decrees. In the social interactions, their acquired fire arms and learnt how to use them through the Europeans which resulted to King Philip’s War.


Part II: Secondary Source Investigation!



1. What is the name of your chosen document?

 The Collision of Military Cultures in Seventeenth-Century New England is an academic journal produced in March 1988.


2. Who was the author of this document and why is the author qualified to write about this topic?

Hirsch, Adam J. is the author who is qualified to write this document since he has written other content under Journals of American History. One of this documents include The Rise of the Penitentiary: Prisons and Punishment in Early America” doctoral dissertation that was awarded the George Washington Egleston award for the best dissertation in American history. The author is an academic fellow and a professor of law at Florida State University. Pequot War is well documented in the American History and his knowledge about this discipline qualify him to deliberate on this particular topic. Major historical war events with the focus topic included, were based on the right to manipulate land and chest thumbing to control it.


3. What historical event/topic is the author writing about and what is his/her main argument?

In this source, the author write about the military battle in New England, 17th century. It addresses events such as practice of war by European and also native warfare characteristics and specifically the Indians in New England. It also compares the colonial and native military weaponry.

The main argument is that the English undertakings in the Pequot War failed to replicate the dominant European philosophies of fair play. On the contrary, the author views the breakdown of the concept of non-combatants resulting from fears stimulated by the isolated and reliant on the position assumed by English colonists in collaborations with Pequot attacks on boundary and land treaties.


4. List three things in the document that are important to your topic’s focus.

            My topic focus being the impact of Pequot war on Indians who were the natives and the colonials who were the Europeans; the document provide various interest aspects such as;

1.     The perception or extent to which the Europeans considered women, children, and the aged as “non-combatants” with the author condemning the English for failing to follow the universal fair play standard during the 30 years Pequot War.

2.     The misunderstanding of motivations and actions of Puritan and Indian military cultures which purportedly steered the Pequot War. Both acted as per their military traditions which appeared alien despite the expectations of acting in a shared actions.

3.     Interactions between Colonialist and Indians. E.g. Indians were tangled in their food supplies and the colonist needed them to fight fellow Indians.

5. How will this source contribute to your paper?

This source directly contribute to the research paper as it address both the factors that led to the Pequot War and the aftermaths of the same. The journal document the present restraints in the battle field during the war such as standards of treating women and children as non-fighters together with deliberation on the cultures and traditions of Indian and colonist military. The author compiles documentary evidences to support arguments and describe events of the war and how it affected the participants. The impact of the war is well represented seeing aspects of slavery in the journal where the author states that even women were enslaved for life with others being sent to colonial prisons together with male children.


Details for Paper five pages or more, very polished and informative 


1.     Introduction

Your introduction should include the following:

·       Background information on the topic of your essay. This includes introducing key figures or concepts, as well as providing dates and locations to place your topic in an historical context. Do not assume that your reader knows the topic or the sources that you are using. Always fully introduce your sources, historical figures, and topics.

·       A thesis statement. A thesis statement is the argument that you will be proving in your paper. For example, do not make general statements such as, “Phillip II and Henry IV had many similarities and differences.” A thesis is a very focused argument. A better thesis statement would be, “Henry IV and Phillip II both faced challenges to the stability of their kingdoms that developed from religious conflicts. While Henry IV was primarily concerned with domestic unrest, Phillip II faced these challenges in outlying regions of his kingdom.” You can see that one is much more focused and specific in the points that it will prove in your essay. The following link provides some great information and demonstrates how to create a thesis statement:


2.     Body of Paper:

The body of your essay should include the following:

·       Historical analysis. Do not simply provide a timeline of events or a list of facts. An historical essays analyzes these events and facts to create a strong argument that proves your thesis.

·       The most relevant and important information that you will use to prove your argument. Stay focused on the most important information and try to avoid including random facts that, while interesting, might not connect to, or be relevant to, your argument.

·       Historical details and examples. These are the building-blocks of your argument. You should include relevant dates, events, people, and examples to prove your thesis.

·       Sources. Your writing should include references to your sources and properly formatted footnotes or in-text citations. Avoid using lengthy quotes to insert historical information the majority of your writing should be your own, not quotes. General historical information can be related in your own words. Reserve direct quotes for examples that prove your point or to briefly relate the ideas of a source. Find a way to transition between your own writing and the quote to fluidly connect the statements.

3.     Conclusion

Your conclusion of your essay should do the following:

·       Draw together the points that you have raised in the essay.

·       Connect your points to a larger revelation about the topic that proves your thesis.

·       Avoid using overly general statements or making connections to our current time, unless the essay instructions specifically ask you to make this connection. For example, if you are writing an essay on women regents in Ancient Egypt, you would not end your essay with the statements, “Women have played major political roles throughout time. The position of female regents in Ancient Egypt set the stage for women in politics today and continues to influence our world.” These types of points are overly general, not really relevant, and do not help to prove your overall thesis.


4.     Works Cited

Your Works Cited/Bibliography section should do the following:


·       Include proper citation for the sources that you used for the assignment.

·       Organize sources alphabetically by the last name of the author or, when not available, the first word of the article title.

For assistance with proper citation, please review course material and visit the following link:







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