Slavery And Racism: The Role Of Religion And Civilization (Essay Sample)
Write a “letter to the editor,” using your knowledge of global history to make an argument or a point about one current event in our present moment. Imagine you are writing for the general public. You may choose ANY topic in current events—economic, foreign policy, political, cultural, social—and it need not be something we have explicitly discussed in class. The idea, here, is to use your knowledge of history to illuminate a feature of our current moment: how does knowledge of the past help us better understand a current issue, or perhaps pose alternatives or solutions to current problems?
Your letter should:
• Address a specific newspaper or magazine of your choice (for example, The Kingsman, The Excelsior, the New York Times, or an online publication like Rethinking Schools)
• briefly explain the current event/topic you have chosen
• use specific historical ideas, events, processes, or debates as evidence to make your point. Be sure to engage at least three of the sources we have read for class
Assignment: This assignment asks you to make an argument using the documents we have been reading each week and to draw on evidence from lectures and discussions to support your argument.
Length and Format: Your essay should be between 1000 and 1200 words (~4 pages), typed in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, standard 1-inch margins, with page numbers. Your essay should (1) articulate and defend an argument, and (2) employ a rich variety of evidence from lectures, readings, and discussions to support the argument. Your essay will be penalized for incorrect reading of the documents, poor organization, awkward prose, grammatical errors, and typos. This essay is worth 20% of your final grade.
Primary Source Analysis: You will be relying heavily on primary sources, so be sure to determine the context of the source by answering some questions about them, such as: Who is the author, and what is their objective? Who is the audience they are writing to? What was going on at this time and place that might explain what they’re writing? Thinking about these questions will help you make sense of sources in order to use them in your paper.
Thesis: Include an argument statement - a sentence or two summarizing your main argument - in your introductory paragraph. Stay on topic and make sure your paragraphs are used to introduce evidence to clearly back up your thesis. Bold this statement.
Structure and Clarity: Be clear and concise. Use strong topic sentences to introduce paragraphs, and use transition sentences to help flow from one paragraph to the next. Avoid long and complicated sentences, and avoid vague statements. The order and organization of your paper should make sense to the reader.
Spelling and Grammar: Remember that spell-check can sometimes be wrong, so be sure to proofread your paper! Read it out loud, and have a friend or classmate proofread it for you.
Avoid Plagiarism: If you are using anyone else’s words, ideas, arguments, or specific statistics or anecdotes, you must cite them. This lets readers know where to go to find more information, gives credit to the original author, and protects you from academic dishonesty. In text citation is fine.source..
Slavery and racism
To the Editor,
The New York Times,
Dear Sir /Madam,
I would like to bring to your attention one of the recent debates I read in one of your articles about the role of religion and civilization. I want to share with you some insights on the reasons why religion was quickly replaced by the state. Historically, religion was the driving force of many nations; this is evident from historical events like the European expansion in America and Africa, whereby the role of religion slowly diminished as nations became more civilized.
The increased power of the state promoted secularism, several accounts written by different people during the European expansion in the fifteenth century, reveals the reasons why the state replaced religion. Bernal Diaz presents the true account of his experience of the conquest of Mexico, exposing how Spanish soldiers were greedy. Cortes was among the many Spanish soldiers who established a sizable estate on the island of Hispaniola. Diaz was involved in the conquest of Mexico; he presents the detailed description of his experience in Mexico in 1520.
According to Diaz, Cortes meeting, Montezuma was majorly driven by greed for Montezuma's gold; he was determined to find the legendary capital of the Aztec empire. Montezuma welcomed Cortes but treated them with caution, for example, he refused to extend his hand when Cortes greeted him. Montezuma was hospitable towards them but doubted the main purpose of their visit. In his narration, Diaz was impressed by the riches of the palace when he described the richly furnished apartments of Montezuma.
Diaz was amazed by the respect accorded to Montezuma, he noted that only a few people could speak to him, and anyone who wanted to speak to him was compelled to take off their rich cloak. What caught their attention during their expedition were some marks on the walls, they suspected that Montezuma kept his father's treasures in the room. Cortes convinced the king to permit them to build a church for worship as part of their Christian practice. However, they took advantage to explore the city and later discovered where Montezuma kept his father's treasure, Cortes, and his soldiers set a trap by holding Montezuma hostage in his palace to take all his treasures.
According to Spanish, the Aztec were uncivilized, they worshipped and made human sacrifices to their gods, while the Spanish worshipped on one God. The description by Diaz about the nature of sacrifice included tearing Indian chests and eating their arms and thighs at a ceremonial banquet, proved that the Aztecs were backward. The narrative presented by Diaz makes him more of a sympathizer than an advocate because he did participate in all the events but did not explain his role and what he did to change the situation. Therefore, he was merely presenting his own perspective.
Bartolommeo De Las Casa presented his case against Indian slavery at the Spanish court termed his experience as one of the worst exploitation he had witnessed. Similar to what Diaz narrated, the Spanish people were never contented with what they had gotten from the locals. Bartolommeo reveals how the Spaniards used force and violence oppressing the locals, he even recalls how the native Indians wondered if the S
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