Directions: Respond to the writing prompt below in a 3-4-page essay. Your essay should include:

An introductory paragraph with a clear thesis statement (argument/position)
3 supporting examples (which will each require multiple paragraphs to fully explain)
A concluding paragraph

Your supporting paragraphs should have clear topic sentences, full explanations and should parenthetically cite the sources you are drawing from for your examples. These examples should be drawn from a combination of primary sources (sourced created in the time period you are studying, such as the Declaration of Independence, or the landscape art of Thomas Cole) and secondary sources (lectures, articles). To receive full credit, you must use at least three primary and/or secondary sources, in addition to lecture material. The more sources you use, the stronger your paper will be. There are many good quotes and images in the PowerPoint slides that you can use. You may NOT use any outside sources.


After the Revolution, Americans worked to create a cohesive national identity, both politically and culturally. Paradoxically, just as America’s national identity was solidifying, sectional differences started to draw the North and South apart. Considering this tension between national and sectional interests, if you had to describe an American identity right before the Civil War, what three words would you use and why? For each word you choose, explain your rationale using multiple class sources. Be sure to include both political and cultural examples in your answer.

Secondary SOURCES: (This Video is important)

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