The scenario is below.
It is late March, 1861. You are a member of newly inaugurated President Abraham Lincoln’s staff. Before your president took office on March 5, much of the Lower South seceded out of fear that a Republican administration would take action against the expansion and continuation of slavery. How this secession crisis will be resolved is yet to be seen, but a more pressing matter is at hand.
Federal installations in the South faced a difficult choice over the winter, after Lincoln’s election, while President Buchanan remained in office: do they honor the request of seceded states to yield or do they refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the newly formed Confederacy?
In Charleston, SC, one such federal outpost – Fort Sumter – has refused to lower the flag. It’s commander, Robert Anderson has kept his post despite demands from South Carolina that he should evacuate.
Anderson is running out of supplies, and out of time. President Lincoln must make a decision on how to deal with this situation. His cabinet is divided, and he has asked you to present him with a set of solutions to this situation before the next cabinet meeting.
You will produce a paper that offers a case study of this scenario and ultimately suggests how to resolve the problem within the scenario. • Your submission should be formatted using the Chicago Style (footnotes for citations). • Your submission should be at least 4-5 double-spaced pages long. • Provide a bibliography at the end of your report, and be sure to cite those sources in the text of your case study when you draw upon them. Your Case Study should include the following sections: 1. Background • Explain the historical context of the scenario provided. What background needs to be considered if we are to understand best and then solve the problem at the center of this scenario? • Consider relevant political, social, religious, or cultural developments. Consider groups and events that are involved in the scenario. • The idea here is to not just list facts but to present critical information that you believe is relevant to resolving the scenario. Be sure to organize your thoughts accordingly and offer an analysis of what information might be most relevant. • Be sure to cite the sources that you drew upon to write this section. • This section should be at least 1-2 pages long. 2. Strategies and Solutions • In this section, offer multiple strategies and solutions that suggest how to resolve the scenario or solve the problem in the case study. • The first paragraph should offer at least two strategies to approach solving the problem within the scenario. Strategies are general approaches. (For example, if the scenario involved a serious disagreement between two nations, one strategy might be a military approach, while another might be diplomatic, or even economic pressure.) • Subsequent paragraphs should present at least two specific solutions based on the strategies you identified. Here you propose more detailed ways of resolving the problem, again, drawing on your research for support. (For example, if you propose a solution rooted in the diplomatic strategy, what might your country have to bargain with to create a diplomatic solution to the problem? What might a negotiated settlement have looked like?) • As in part I, cite your sources. Even if you create an original solution, it should build upon your research on the problem, so draw upon sources to make your case. • This section should be at least two pages long. 3. Proposed Solution • Propose one of your solutions from Part 2 as your recommendation. Discuss why you believe it is the most feasible solution. • In other words, here you are evaluating the solutions you crafted and selecting the one you believe offers the best chance for a “good” result. • Predict the impact of your chosen solution. (For a terrible and dramatic example, if the problem was whether or not to deploy a nuclear weapon against North Korea during the Korean War, and you chose to do so, what might that have meant in terms of loss of life? Given what you learned about the relationship N. Korea had with other Communist powers, what might China and the USSR do in response to such an attack? Even in a hypothetical scenario, you can use your research of that historical moment to offer some predictions of what would happen.) • Again, if you draw upon sources to support your ideas, cite them. • This last section should be at least a page long. General Notes • This assignment aims to encourage you to be creative in thinking through the perspective of a specific historical person or group and develop your ability to use evidence to draw conclusions. In short, to use historical research to think through a historical problem. • Be creative in your solutions, but within the scope of what was available when the scenario took place. Your solutions must be built within the constraints of the period and reflect the interests of the role you have taken on. Your research should help explore what those constraints might look like. • Your response must draw on at least 3-5 college-level, reputable sources. Do not lean on websites like SparkNotes, Khan Academy, or the History Channel for your research. They might prove to be helpful starting points but should not comprise your main sources. Instead, utilize your course materials and resources such as books, journal articles, and websites from organizations or authors who are experts in the subject matter.
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