Charter Societies in the 1700’s


1. You are writing an analytical essay on the topic below. Your essay is expected to
follow the formal conventions of college-level writing.
2. Your essay must be 5-6 typewritten or computer-generated double-spaced pages with
standard margins and in 12-font (preferably Times New Roman) and proofread before it
is turned in. You must turn in the essay by the end of your class. Otherwise it will be
marked as late. For the MW classes, the paper is due on Wednesday, March 21.
For the TuTh class, it is due on Thursday, March 22. Any papers received after the
end of your class will automatically lose one full grade (unless you have prior
permission cleared with me before the due date.) No excuses regarding computers,
printers, typewriters, flash drives, forgotten papers, parking, oversleeping, etc. will be
accepted. Paper #1 will NOT be accepted after the end of class on Monday, March 26,
for the MW classes and Tuesday, March 27, for the TuTh class. Be forewarned: You
will receive ZERO points toward your course grade if you do not turn in the assignment.
3. The following criteria will be used in grading essays:
a. The essay has an introductory paragraph with a clearly stated thesis. A
statement like “In this essay I will show you why the Spanish and English became charter
societies and why the others failed” is NOT an adequate thesis. Your thesis should be
organized around specific reasons and/or specific technological, demographic, economic,
social, political, and cultural factors that allowed the Spanish and English to become
charter societies, while the others could not. (This means you also need to consider why
the others did not become charter societies within the reasons why the Spanish and
English became dominant.)
b. The essay is organized and structured. Each topic sentence is connected
to your thesis. As stated above, your essay should be organized around the factors – not
by ethnic groups. Because of the length of the essay, you will need more than five
paragraphs. The five-paragraph essay is a model for short papers and should be
expanded upon as necessary. The essay has a conclusion.
c. The essay supports its points with specific historical examples. You need
to support your argument with evidence. Provide names, dates, events, examples of
experiences of the various groups from the readings and lectures, and refer to documents
and their content and relevance by name. For instance, statements such as “The Native
Americans were unable to fight off English colonists” or “Africans found themselves
enslaved” are too general. Give a historical example of where Natives were unable to
fight off the English colonists or show where and how Africans were enslaved. **You
will need to use at least three different primary sources/documents in your essay,
otherwise your paper will not earn higher than a D.**d. The essay uses ideas and examples especially from the readings, with
proper citation – remember how to cite and use the article and documents from
Canvas. You are expected to use all of the sources including the Canvas materials,
the appropriate chapters in Olson and Beal, along with lectures and discussion.
Your grade will reflect your use of these sources (especially the primary sources – you
need to use at least three documents), as well as specific historical examples you use to
support your analysis. DO NOT USE ANY OUTSIDE SOURCES.
You must provide footnotes or parenthetical notes when quoting or citing
materials. If you are citing lecture, then put the date of the lecture. Students will be
penalized if extensive uses of other authors’ words are incorporated in your essay without
citation. Changing a few words does not change authorship.
See . Plagiarism is
neither acceptable to nor accepted by either Santa Monica College or me — it is an
academic violation that may result in a failing grade (0 points) on the assignment.
e. The essay uses proper grammar and the conventions of good writing.
Write in complete sentences, and please proofread! Do not use “I,” “we,” “me,”
“you,” or “us.” Because this is a history course in which events have already
occurred, use the past tense.
f. The essay is a complete and full discussion of the topic. This topic covers
several ethnic groups, focuses on the dominant groups, and covers the period from 1492
to 1790.
g. The essay answers the question asked.
4. Do not put your essay in a folder – please staple. You do not need a cover sheet.
According to T.H. Breen, a “charter society” is the first group of people who
move into an area and get to establish the rules that other groups who arrive later must
follow or else they move on. Although the Native Americans were the first groups in the
Americas, by 1790, the Spanish and English ultimately became the “charter societies”
that established the rules, while Natives, Africans, and other Europeans (particularly the
French, Germans, and Scots-Irish) did not.
What specific technological, demographic, social, political, economic, and
cultural factors resulted in the Spanish and English and not the Natives, Africans, and
other Europeans (the French, Germans, and Scots-Irish) becoming the “charter

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