All posts by Nicholas Collins


On my poster, I will split it up into three sections, the way my paper is. The economic section will likely have a graph or chart of the economic progression of both the south as a whole and south carolina. The impact of nullification on the economy will be a seperate chart. On the historical and cultural part of the poster, different images of what makes South Carolina different from the North and how that was portrayed will be present, as well as images of John C. Calhoun and texts of his speeches. On the political and government side of the poster there may be some images of debate in the Senate over enforcement of tariffs, but this is where most of the words that I will be using will go.


“The secession of South Carolina yielded the immediate secession of many other southern states.” This is a bandwangon appeal fallacy. I could correct this mistake by providing a source or more evidence to show that it is an accepted belief in the academic community.
“The status of South Carolina’s farming class and merchants in urban areas was deteriorating and they certainly knew the position that Northern policies were putting them in with tariffs and abolition of slavery, which is a big part of their economic success.” I do the same thing again here with bandwagon appeal. I made a counter statement to what the author had stated, but didnt back it up.

My presentation

Putting together and eventually presenting my research pecha kucha to the class made me realize that i have two things that I must now focus on. One is finding a way to make my topic less broad and refine my question to a specific part of the civil war and secession. Another is finding a way to craft my question and research so that there is a clear and present “they say” and a way for me to respond to that with an “I say.” As of right now I’m not really sure what I say, and how I’m going to make a dent in the circle of secession discussion.

The questions after my presentation pretty much made me realize the same thing. I kind of just have a bunch of information about an extremely broad topic and not really a focus of what I want to say.

Rolling Stone’s Top Five Sources of All Time

Spicer, John. “”The Cause” of the American Civil War.” History Review. 9 (2004): 45-50. Print.

Richardson, Heather Cox. “Explaining the American Civil War.” Historian. 61.2 (1999): 396. Print

Bestor, Arthur. “The American Civil War as a Constitutional Crisis.” American Historical Review. 69.2 327-352. Print.

Grimsley, Mark. “In not so dubious battle: The Motivations of American Civil Wat Soldiers.” Journal of Military History. 62.1 (1998): 175-188. Print.

Merrell, William Thomas. Champions of Contending Armies: The Ancient Rivalry Between Massachusetts and South Carolina, 1829-1856. Clemson, SC: 2010. Print.

I think the source which will be most helpful to me will be the first one. It goes over the many causes of not only the Civil War, but war itself. I think it will provide an array of opinions which I can look for elsewhere or look for rebuttals to elsewhere. In short, it provides a good jumping off point from which I can create a pathway of research into more refined sources.

Stallybrass ma boy

      Stallybrass seems to be saying that you didn’t know that those words were the correct ones to use inherently, but that you were taught that they are correct. The same goes for research. Any thoughts you have about a subject are not original and you can’t possibly know something about a topic without having been told it. This relates to a research project because it stresses the need to cite cite cite your work. Also, if you have a thought about a subject that you seem to think is your own and not ever asserted before, just look for it somewhere in the scholarship, and you are bound to find it. At the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice awards Will Smith said that you should never stop reading, because any problem you have, someone out there has had the same problem and written about it. No realm of study in this world has gone without consideration nor has it been neglected, so there is information out there about everything.

maybe my research topic

    I am interested in reserching the reasons that the human brain (particularly Americans) is drawn toward religion, if it is. I am interested in why Americans respond psychologically to religion. I want to research this because I want to find out how natural it is to have religious inclinations and what effect on American thinking religiosity has. This is important because such a large population have a religious element in their lives and since religion is a man-made component of thought it is important to figure out how many people are under the influence of a man-made component of thought and what kind of influence this has on them.

1) Do different religions have a different control over different schools of thought in the brain?

2) Does the presence of religion in the mind inhibit any certain kind of brain activity?

3) Are different sexes influenced by religious thought in different ways, and if so, why?

Japanese Times article

        The article about the exhibit in the Japanese Times focused a lot of its commentary on the curator of the exhibit and what he had to say about how well the exhibit at the Smithsonian could accomodate their interests in terms of representation of the event. In relationship to our discussion about museums and exhibits and in situ versus in context, I would say that this exhibit, and quite possibly the National Air and Space museum as a whole, are predominantly in situ pieces. The survivors of the bombing were calling for the exhibit to show just how devastating the attack on Hiroshima was. The curator explained that it just wasn’t possible because there wasn’t space (no pun intended) for such an exhibit at the museum. Most of the important exhibits are just replicas that hang overhead from the ceiling of the museum, which is exactly how the Enola Gay exhibit was to be placed. Like most exhibits there, the Enola Gay came with just a description of what it did or could do. If this were an incontext museum, it would be on display as having been the aircraft that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and there would be more detail about the event and the importance surrounding it. This is not that kind of museum though, as the curator explained. What I thought was most important about what he said was that the museum is that it is “primarily a technology museum,” and not one that shows historical impact or importance. It is there for people to revel in the technological advances of our time, and I think Enola Gay was a big part of that advancement.

The White House

      The history of the White House is rich and full of defining moments of both the residence itself, the offices in it, the men who have served in it, and the nation as a whole. This “official story” of the history of the White House goes through many Presidents of the United States and their impact on the White House, particularly its construction under Washington, the two fires under Madison and Hoover, and the renovations that certain Presidents made to accomodate a growing American public. It truly illustrates how this building has been both an active participant in and a passive observer of the growth and prosperity of the nation.

       However, it does leave out a crucial part of this building’s history and the imprtant work a man who helped shape it and its importance. It leaves out the influence President Theodore Roosevelt had on making the White House a place for the public to connect with the President and the President to make permanent residence while in office. President Roosevelt established the White House Press room, and opened the executive branch to the public more than it had ever been. This was an important moment in the history of the White House, and the official page of the White House conspicuously left it out.

Letter to Henry Clay in North Star

      The first thing I noticed about this letter is that it was written to Henry Clay, of course. Henry Clay was a Senator and was known as the Great Compromiser. I also noticed that the letter was written in 1847, three years before the Compromise of 1850 which was authored in the Senate by Clay and had a big impact on the issue of slavery in this country. So it was relevant that Douglass be writing him at this point in history on the issue of his views on slavery. Clay was a known opponent of slavery, however Douglass did not hesitate to point out to Clay his faults and hypocrisies in the letter. The purpose of this letter was for Douglass to use a political outlet to shape slavery policy and make get a voice in the issue. It was also to entreat Clay that compromise is not the way to solve the problem of slavery.

      What I can glean from the time period in whic Douglass lived and wrote this letter is that a lot of things were happenning at the time. Douglass was trying to get his point across any way he could before policy was made in a way that didn’t favor his side. Also, I think it makes a good point that even and maybe especially back then politicians were huge hypocrites who couldn’t be trusted to make unbiased and unsullied decisions.

      Some new questions this article yields are, obviously, did Clay read the letter? Did he take it into consideration? Did it influence his actions on the floor of the Senate in the future? What was Douglass’s relationship with politicians like? Did he meet with them regularly as a valued advisor? What was his role in the eventual abolition of slavery?