Lan Tayloras The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832

At its core, Alan Tayloras The Internal Enemy is a narrative about escaped slaves during the War of 1812 and how those slaves helped turn the tide of war. Broadly, however, it is an account about freedom and independence in the early United States and how those ideas were intertwined with slavery. For the paper on Taylor, I want you to examine the competing visions of freedom that existed in Virginia during the Early American Republic.

The paper will be divided into three main sections. In the first section, you will explore the notions of freedom amongst whites in Virginia. Namely, you will appraise the argument made by slaveowners and whites in Virginia that the United States was the pinnacle of liberty in the Atlantic World despite the central fact that slavery was fundamental to Virginian society. Please note that I am not asking you to defend or be an apologist for slavery, but rather to explore how white Virginians understood the role of slavery in what they deemed a free society and what actions they took based on that understanding. In the second section, you will examine the notions of freedom and independence held by enslaved peoples and the actions they took to constantly press for those ideas. In the final section, you will explore the effects of the War of 1812 on the relationship between enslaved peoples and slaveowners; what changed after the war and how did those changes affect the role of slavery in the United States. As this is an essay, you will need an introduction with a thesis that clearly articulates your argument and provides a common link for the three sections. You will finally need a conclusion where you provide a value-added assessment of your argument.

The paper needs to be 4-5 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font, and have 1-inch margins all the way around. Any paper shorter than four full pages or longer than five pages will be docked points. Any paper not following the stated formatting request will be docked points. You should only be using Taylor for this paper, so when citing from The Internal Enemy, please do parenthetically with the author and page number: (Taylor, 1). Papers that do not properly or insufficiently cite quotes or paraphrases will lose points. Any evidence of plagiarism will automatically result in a 0 on the paper and possibly be subject to other penalties.

A successful paper will have a clear and original thesis that provides a sophisticated argument. The organization of the successful paper will be evident, easily followed, and have excellent transitions. Further, the evidence provided by the paper will only come from Taylor and that evidence will be integrated into the argument not simply placed in the paragraph. You will not have stand-alone quotes but effectively use quotes to supplement your argument. The evidence will speak to the larger themes of Taylor and be reflective of the entire book, not just one part. The paper will be logically argued with connections that illuminate the thesis and offer a unique perspective on Taylor and slavery in America. Finally, the paper will have excellent grammar, diction, sentence structure, correct use of punctuation, proper citations, and generally free of errors.