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Learning Exercise

Material: Exploring Constitutional Law
Submitted by: William Paquette on Aug 03, 2009
Date Last Modified: Aug 03, 2009
Title: The Amistad Trials
Description: The trials of the Africans on board the Amistad shaped national opinion about slavery and had increasing impact on polarizing the nation.
Type of Task: Individual, Student-centered, Supplemental Activity, Unsupervised
Time Required 3-4 hours.
Topics: Slavery; Amistad; John Quincy Adams.
Course: United States History
Audience: College General Ed, College Lower Division, High School
Prerequisites Skills: None.
Learning Objectives: To present the legal arguments about slavery in the context of the illegal shipment of Africans to the United States.
Technical Notes: None.
Text of Learning Exercise: Instructions: CLICK "go to material." SCROLL to the bottom of the page. CLICK "Famous Trials." CLICK "Amistad Trials." READ "The Trial Account" by Douglas Linder. Answer the following questions: 1. Describe the background of the travels of the ship Amistad from contemporary newspaper accounts, 2. Who were the key figures in the trial and explain the connection of each one to the Amistad?, 3. How many people were actually involved in the trial?, 4. Summarize the trial testimony for and against the accussed, 5. Summarize the Supreme Court's opinion on Janury 1841 regarding the Amistad, 6. What role did the Lewis Tappan letter play in the trial?, 7. Was the trial fair?, 8. What was the verdict?, 9. How did the verdict affect the Africans on trial?, 10. How did the trial affect the slavery question in the United States?
Assessment: Paper.
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