Analytical Essay on Jeffersonian Worldview, Change Over Time



In this exercise you will use all the skills you have learned in the previous exercises to write a full length, rule of three, historical essay on the prompt below.

As a reminder, an analytical essay contains an introduction setting up the context (with a clear rule of three thesis statement as the last sentence), three paragraphs of the body (in the same format as the one paragraph assignment) – one for each key point in the thesis statement, and a conclusion.

The Essay Prompt

PROMPT: The context that had created and supported the Jeffersonian world view (that of the yeoman farmer as the bedrock of American democracy and the American economy) disappeared by the mid-nineteenth century, prompted by a shift toward an economy based on commerce, manufacturing, and larger scale agricultural endeavors. What is you’re best explanation for why this change took place? What impact did this change have upon the ethics and civics of what it meant to be an American? Be sure to consider change over time and geographical differences in you’re analysis.

Hint: Think broadly here as you scattershoot/concept map you’re essay before writing. What were the economic causes of this change (think about markets, productivity, trade policies, etc.)? What role did technological change play? Consider social causes (conflicts between groups, classes, races, genders), political causes (new voters, political parties, institutional leadership, etc.), government (state, federal, various branches), and expansion of the nation. Think also about intellectual changes (new ways of thinking, religion, and conceptions what it means to be an American and questions of ethics and civics) and changes in environment. You need not answer all of these questions in you’re essay, they are here to guide you’re thinking on the prompt.

Hint 2: Make sure that you integrate you’re discussion of Change over Time and Ethics/Civics throughout you’re analysis, not just in one paragraph. This means that Change over Time and Ethics/Civics WILL NOT be key points in you’re rule of three thesis statement.

Requirements for the Final Essay

    • Must be in Rule of Three format with a introduction and strong thesis statement, 3 paragraphs of the body (each with they’re own thesis statement – one for each of the three key points of you’re overall thesis), and conclusion. So a minimum of 5 paragraphs.
    • This is a fact based essay, you must provide specific and detailed evidence for you’re hypotheses.
    • You must utilize a minimum of three primary sources from the assigned materials as evidence in you’re essay
    • You must utilize a minimum of three secondary sources from the assigned materials as evidence in you’re essay
    • You may only use materials assigned in this course for you’re essay (we have vetted all the materials utilized in this course, other materials may not be appropriate or accurate)
    • DO NOT quote secondary sources
    • You may briefly quote a primary source (a phrase or a sentence) before immediately analyzing the relevance of the quote – a quote cannot stand alone as explanation or evidence
    • You must consider change over time in this essay
    • You must consider ethics/ethical decision making in this essay
    • You must consider change over time in this essay
    • Don’t forget about geography, where something takes place matters and it may be important to you’re argument.
    • You must use Turabian citation style in this essay; all citations must be footnote style citations (no parenthetical cites allowed, no endnotes/works cited at the end, you need footnotes). Be sure to review how to properly cite a primary source that may be contained in another work and be sure to use page numbers where possible.
    • 12 pt type, 1 inch margins, double-spaced

How the Assignment is Graded

The assignment is worth up to 100 points. The following factors are taken into account when we grade:

RULE OF THREE THESES – Do you have a well thought out and clear overall thesis in you’re introduction? Do you have a thesis statement for each of you’re three paragraphs of the body? Do the paragraphs of the body follow the overall thesis statement?

EVIDENCE – You must have solid evidence for each point you raise in the thesis. Evidence is not simply a statement, their must be an explanation of how that evidence supports the thesis statement.

Example: If you were writing a paragraph on the causes of the Cold War, you might use the Baruch Plan as an example. Simply writing “the Baruch Plan was a cause of the Cold War” in you’re paragraph would not be enough and would not be analytical. However, the following sentences do provide a good analysis of this piece of evidence:

“One cause of the Cold War was the failure of the United States and the Soviet Union to agree upon a plan for nuclear disarmament after World War II. The Baruch Plan, presented by the US, would maintain the American atomic weapon advantage for the foreseeable future. This played into Stalin’s suspicions of the Americans’ true motivations toward the USSR.”

Did you use the minimum number of primary sources? secondary sources?


Is you’re argument clear and does it make sense? Is it historically accurate? Does you’re evidence prove you’re point? Does you’re analysis answer the prompt? Have you considered change over time and geographic differences in you’re essay?


Have you properly cited? Have you used Turabian/Chicago? You must also FOOTNOTE. Parenthetical cites are NOT allowed.


Is the essay up to college standards for grammar and spelling? Is it an analytical essay? Does it meet minimum length and formatting requirements?

Grade Scale:

A = 90-100. Exceptional in all aspects noted above

B = 80-89. Above average in most of the aspects noted above

C = 70-79. Average work

D = 60-69. Below average work

F = 0-59 Unacceptable college level work or does not meet minimum requirements

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