WORKSHEET FOR DEBATES AND PAPERS            HIST 355            SP 2005

Debate Topics
1)  Was Charles I guilty of treason?  (15 February)
Affirmative: Charles I was guilty of treason.
Negative: Charles I was not guilty of treason.

Both sides should consider the definition of treason, the traditional" prerogatives of the crown and the "historic" rights and privileges of subjects.

2) Was Oliver Cromwell the protector of England's ancient rights and liberties? (17 March)
Affirmative: Oliver Cromwell was the protector of England's ancient rights and liberties.
Negative: Oliver Cromwell was not the protector of England's ancient rights and liberties.

Both sides should consider the nature of England's ancient rights and liberties and examine Cromwell's religious, political (consider local and central government), and economic policies and practices.

3)  Were William III and Mary II the "legitimate" rulers of England?  (12 April)
Affirmative:  William III and Mary II were the legitimate rulers of England.
Negative:  William III and Mary II were not the legitimate rulers of England.

Both sides should consider the definition of "legitimate" rulers.  This will involve a discussion of the nature of kingship and of the social contract.  The sides should also explain James II's actions and account for the status of James' baby son, James Edward.

Debate Purpose
The purpose of each debate is to encourage students to consider the diverse economic, constitutional, religious, social and political factors which affected the lives and beliefs of Englishmen and women in the Stuart era.  By examining the works of contemporary writers, students should be able to gain a sense of the complexity of the historical record and of the importance of critical reading and individual judgment to the analysis of the past.

Each debate group will be divided in half, and one half will argue the affirmative and the other the negative side of the question.  Presentors MUST include primary documents (contemporary petitions, laws, statutes, diaries, speeches, etc.) as well as secondary materials in support of their argument.  You may use visual aids such as overhead transparencies, slides, maps, or posters.

The affirmative side will speak first and will have thirty minutes to convince the "audience" of the "truth" of its position.  The negative side will in turn have thirty minutes to present its point of view.  Each side will then have five minutes to "correct" the "errors" of the other.

Every student must participate in the research, writing, and presentation of material.  You might want to make one person responsible for a certain author or for certain types of material.  On the day of the debate each group will be expected to turn in a record of the contributions of each member and a list of the historical works consulted.  You will receive both a group and an individual grade for the debate.  Grades will be based both on the format and the content of the presentation.

Every student must write a ten - fifteen page, typewritten essay (12-point font, double spaced) detailing the historical issues raised in her/his debate.  An essay is an interpretive paper in which the writer presents her/his views on a single subject.  The word essay comes from the Latin word, exigere, to weigh out or examine.  Since historians need to examine and evaluate diverse evidence to come to an understanding of the past, essay papers are a good introduction to the historical process.

Whereas you argued passionately for your side in the debate, you MUST now examine impassionately both sides of the issue.  After describing the arguments employed by various contemporary and modern authors, you should explain which historical analysis of the events you find most plausible.

Present your material in a logical and organized manner.  Introduce your topic; consider all aspects of the question, illustrating your points with specific examples or quotations from your sources; summarize your conclusions in a final paragraph.  Make sure that every idea taken specifically from a reading, whether paraphrased or quoted, is properly cited.  Please use either footnotes or endnotes in the humanities style (no internal citations please) to acknowledge sources.  A paper without acknowledgments WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY CREDIT.

Papers from all three debates are due on or before 26 April. Late papers will be marked down ten points for each day late.