HIST 321 Cal Poly Transition from Slavery to freedom Affected Souths Economy Proposal

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HIST 321

California Polytechnic State University



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Research Paper Proposals Submit a proposal (minimum 1750 words) February 26, 2021 Note: Do not think of a research paper proposal as a general idea of what you will research. We have already done that in our preliminary research exercises. A proposal is what you write after you have conducted some research. This is your opportunity to present your research thus far and test out your thesis. To complete this research paper proposal, you want to have sharpened your thoughts from your preliminary research and have a clearer idea as to what you can do in this paper. You should have identified sources and have an idea as to which of your questions they can answer. *Present your best example(s) here. If you need to detail your plan to bring in additional examples in your final draft, do so. Again, this is your chance to test out a thesis. Shrink it down to make your best case. (NOTE: If you can't make a case for it in 7 pages, 14 is going to be tough.) Thesis: In your proposal, you need to have decided which historical question you can answer with the evidence available and offer an answer. Your thesis, after all, is the answer to your big question. You will not be able to tell us everything about your topic. One thing that differentiates an historical paper from a general book report is the presence of a reasoned historical claim. In your proposal, use your reading comprehension skills on your own work. Look at your own proposal: Is there a clear thesis? Do you have examples of your claim and do you offer an interpretation as to why your claim is reasonable? Do you consider the arguments of other scholars in scholarly secondary sources that are in dialogue with your thesis? You must show that you have arrived at your thesis based on quality research and you must demonstrate that to your reader. This is the assignment. Grading: - Do you have a clear thesis? (20 points) - Do you have examples of your thesis from primary sources? (10 points) - Do you engage arguments from scholarly secondary sources that are in dialogue with your thesis? (10 points) - *Do you use careful historical language? (10 points) - **Is your proposal written in formal prose using Chicago format? (10 points) *Note on historical language: Remember that a large part of this assignment is creating the historical context through which you want your reader to view your subject. This is a consciously constructed assignment. As such, be overt, specific, and transparent in your language... especially when you are not sure. Overstating is unnecessary. It is a greater demonstration of knowledge to walk your reader through why you believe something to be true. **Note on formal writing: The grading for this proposal is not about proper grammar and formatting, for propriety sake. This is about the presentation of your ideas. Is there a structure to your argument? For example, for this assignment I am not going to take points for misspellings (although if there are enough of them that can detract from your message, but that is for the polishing in the final paper). BUT, disorganized paragraphs may be problematic because a paragraph is the presentation of a key point that must be understood to understand your thesis, so if that is not clear that matters. You want to sell your reader on your idea and you want to do so based on the merits of your idea. That means you have to be clear and strategic in your presentation. On the use of Chicago. I am not grading your format for the proposal... save that for the polishing in the final. BUT... I am grading your attempt: you must have footnotes/endnotes that provide the information about your source. If you have periods and orders reversed, you can clean that up later. But if your reader cannot see author, date, title, publisher (if published), then that is a problem. Again... you are selling an idea based on its merit and sources are your merit. You are only as good as your sources. For the same reason, in addition to notes, you must have a bibliography. *I am more than happy to talk Chicago in group or office hours anytime! Primary Scholarly Secondary Secondary Tertiary Primaries were there. Scholarly secondaries are authored by professionals on the subject and contain arguments based on primary research. Secondaries make an argument. Tertiaries summarize, organize, or condense secondary sources. ANYTHING THAT WAS THERE!!! Monograph books by experts/specialists/professionals Monograph books Encyclopedias Articles Dictionaries . Articles in peer reviewed journals Essays Textbooks Essays by experts/specialists/professionals Documentaries Bibliographies . Newspapers Diaries Speeches Movies Art Music Census Data Etc., etc., etc. Book reviews in peer reviewed journals Lectures and Talks by experts/specialists/professionals ANYTHING! * This holds true for ALL web sources. Internet information can be broken down into these types of sources.
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Research Proposal OUTLINE: How Transition from Slavery to freedom Affected the
Souths Economy

Student’s Name

Course’s Name
Instructor’s Name

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1. Introduction
A. Before slavery and the slave trade were abolished, the economy of southern states
(southerners) was booming.
B. Southerners depended on free slaves for cotton plantations and other agricultural
C. However, due to the abolition of slavery, which occurred after an immense fight by
proponents of the abolitionist movement, the economy of Southerners was negatively

Thesis Statement
A. Abolition of slavery and transition from slavery to freedom led to a decline in the Souths'
economy due to the fall in agricultural and industrial outputs, initially produced by


Purpose of the Research Proposal
A. The purpose of this proposal is to examine the economic effects of the abolition of
slavery in Southern states.


Significance of the Topic
This topic is important because it helps people, especially scholars understand the role of

slaves in the economic prosperity of Southern States, and how these states were affected after the
abolition of the slave trade and human labor2.


Kawashima, Masaki. "Slavery and the early development of America." In American History,
Race and the Struggle for Equality, pp. 33-57. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore, 2017.

Sternhell, Yael. "The Long Emancipation: The Demise of Slavery in the United
States." Journal of Southern History 84, no. 1 (2019): 186-187.

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Research Questions

The research questions are as follows:
A. Did the abolition of slavery lead to a reduction in cotton yield that was initially
produced by slaves?
B. Is there a relationship between a decline in cotton production after the Civil War
(1861-1865) with the abolition of slavery?
C. Did the scarcity of forced laborers impact the agricultural activities of
D. How did the decline in cotton yield production impact the economy of

Research Hypotheses
H1. The agricultural yield production declined after the shift from slave labor to freedom
due to a lack of human labor to support agricultural activities.
H2. There is a direct correlation between a fall in cotton production and the ban of
slavery and the slave trade.
H3. Scarcity of forced laborers after freedom was embraced negatively affected the
economy of southerners because there was no manpower to support agriculture and
industrial activities.
H4. A decline in cotton yield affected the souths economy because it was the main source
of income. Slave laborers worked in cotton farms.
2. Literature Review

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A. A study conducted by Mathisen established that scarcity of cheap labor after the
transition from slave labor to freedom negatively impacted the Southerners’ economy3.
B. Mathisen further indicated the Civil War (1861-1865), abolitionism, and reconstruction
marked the beginning of deep poverty among southerners.
C. Research by Dupont, Brandon, and Rosenbloom found that slavery enabled southerners
to realize impressive profits.
D. Dupont, Brandon, and Rosenbloom argued that shipping and financial companies shy
away from supporting southern farmers after slavery was abolished4.
E. Lowery indicated that the southern economy declined when freedom and free labor were
embraced because slaves’ renting business declined5.
F. Lowery pointed out that the southerners' economy dwindled because the income
generated from supplying slaves for public projects, such as improving waterways,
repairing roads, and building railroads, declined.
G. Helg stated that revenues generated by slave owners by leasing slaves to gristmills,
fishing and fish process, rope factories, and ironworks, plummeted6.
H. Helg further argued that economic pressure triggered by the abolition of the institution of
slavery brought huge economic turbulence to southerners.


Mathisen, Erik. "The second slavery, capitalism, and emancipation in Civil War
America." journal of the civil war era 8, no. 4 (2018): 677-699.
Dupont, Brandon, and Joshua L. Rosenbloom. "The economic origins of the postwar southern
elite." Explorations in Economic History 68 (2018): 119-131.
Lowery, Malinda Maynor. "The Original Southerners: American Indians, the Civil War, and
Confederate Memory " Southern Cultures 25, no. 4 (2019): 16-35.
Helg, Aline. Slave no more: self-liberation before abolitionism in the Americas. UNC Press
Books, 2019.

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I. However, according to Wiecek, it took several years for southerners to regain their lost
3. Research Methods
A. In this proposal, both quantitative and qualitative research methods will be used.
B. Interviews are used because they tend to be flexible, accurate, and sources of first-hand
4. Research Design
A. The research design that will b...

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