US History American Nations
PROMPT FOR FIVE PAGE ESSAY: five pages, double spaced. Please place your name at the top of the first page so as to assist me in identifying you as author. Use the university’s standards for style in writing the paper. Footnotes need only consist of page numbers in Woodard. If you use another source, however, you will need to give a full citation in the footnotes
When Colin Woodard describes the Midlands regional nation, he presents it as “arguably the most ‘American’ of the nations.” Here are some of the traits of Midlands that prompt him to make this claim: ethnic pluralism, religious diversity, organization around the middle class, a belief that society should be organized to benefit ordinary people, skepticism of top-down governmental intervention, utopian in long range goals but also suspicious of extremism from any side of the political spectrum. You can learn more about these details by reading Woodard’s first mention of Midlands in a paragraph that spans Pages Six and Seven, and also by reading Chapter 8.
- (In the first part of your paper), assume that Woodard is giving an accurate description of Midlands as it existed in the colonial period, and focus your attention instead on whether his description of Midlands matches the America, you experience yourself today. Is he correct to make his claim that it is the most American of the nations?
- (In the second part of your paper), choose one of the ten remaining regional nations and make a case that it, not Midlands, is the most characteristic American nation. In order to do so, you will have to summarize its key qualities, and then make a case that these are the qualities that most fit the America you are experiencing today.
- (last part of your paper) Finally, imagine that you could invent your own regional nation and transplant it to the America of 300 years ago in hopes of making a positive impact on the construction of the United States. Describe the two most critical qualities you would want your foundation to have, mindful as you do so that you are hoping that your invented nation will influence the whole country.