Essay Questions for Dr. Dawn’s Core History 202- Fall 2015
1. What does Ray Bradbury see as more fundamentally important for a good life, knowledge or liberty?
2. Do Abraham Lincoln’s speeches reflect greater concern for equality or unity?
3. Do Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Alexis de Tocqueville share similar concerns for America in their respective eras (late 20th c. and early 19th c., respectively)?
4. Do Thomas Paine and The Federalist Papers share the same view of the ideal American political system?
5. Would Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn prefer Adam Smith’s ideas over those of Karl Marx?
6. What common ground, if any, would Ronald Reagan have found with Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn?
7. Had Mikhail Gorbachev completely given up on Karl Marx’s ideas?
8. Does John Locke’s writing call for, or imply, a rejection of Monarchy?
9. Whom should we consider more democratic, based on the readings, MaximilienRobespierre or Charles de Montesquieu?
10. Which is more fundamental to the thought of Thomas Paine: liberty or equality?
11. Do Thomas Paine and MaximilienRobespierre understand the notion of revolution on similar terms?
12. Are there tensions (that cannot be explained fully by their differing historical contexts) between Martin Luther King Jr.’s ideas of law and rebellion and those of Abraham Lincoln?
13. Is the reign of terror a natural outcome of the Declaration of the Rights of Man,or a departure from it?
14. Do James Madison and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn agree on human nature and the problem of human wickedness?
15. Do Alexis de Tocqueville and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn agree on the role of religion in American society?
16. Between Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, who makes a stronger argument for liberty?
17. Does Frederick Douglass rightly condemn Lincoln as the white man’s President?
18. DoCharles de Montesquieu and Abraham Lincoln share similar views on the rule of law?
19. Do J. S. Mill and Karl Marx agree on the nature of man and the purpose of government?
20. Given his historical context, can we dismiss Madison Grant as merely a racist?
21. Select any two authors and argue, through their texts and contexts, how, if at all, freedom should be limited.
22. Select any two authors and argue, through their texts and contexts, how, if at all, the government should legislate morality.
23. Select any two authors and argue, through their texts and contexts, how, if at all, one’s beliefs about God and human nature influence one’s understanding of a proper system of government.
24. Select any two authors and argue, through their texts and contexts, whether class distinctions are a good to be embraced, an evil to be eradicated, or an inevitability to be tolerated.
25. Select any two authors and argue, through their texts and contexts, whether freedom and monarchy are mutually exclusive.
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