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Final Presentation Guidelines

Hi everyone,

As promised, I’m writing up a little more information for you to be able to plan out your final presentations. We’re looking for the presentations to be about 10 minutes in length, so that we’ve got time for your classmates and other invited guests to ask any questions that they might have.

Your presentations should include:

  1. Why you were interested in the project in the first place! Why did you think that this made sense as the secession movement for you to study?
  2. What are the fruits of your research? What have you uncovered that wasn’t known before? If you’re telling a story that’s been told before, why is your interpretation different? What are your conclusions about the research project?
  3. How did you build the website? What design choices did you make; what difficulties were there in presenting your research in digital format?
  4. How should a visitor use the website? What do you want them to learn from your work?
  5. What could be done with this project in the future? Are there avenues for future research?

I realize there’s a lot of questions there, but I wanted to make sure that I piqued your inquisitiveness in explaining the project to others! Remember that things that become very familiar to you over the course of a few months will still be new to others. You’ve all done an excellent job so far, so make the most of the opportunity to get others excited about your projects (this shouldn’t be too hard!). You don’t need to answer the questions as if they are a checklist, but hopefully this gives you some guide for structure and content. Good luck!

Tony Mastrantonio and Nate Schnittman’s Contract

Mission Statement

When looking at our audience, we wish to cater to the local residents of Vermont, specifically, the Second Vermont Republic. They are a modern day Vermont secessionist movement that wishes to restore the original Vermont Republic run by Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys. We are aware they are most likely familiar with a lot of the Vermont Republics history, but we hope to bring new Midwestern perspectives to the group. On a broader scale, our website is expected to be useful to fellow undergraduate and graduate students that seek information on Vermont and their rich history of independence.
Accessibility is key to our initial planning, we want our visitors to get a comprehensive view of the Vermont Republic with as little hassle as possible. To accomplish this goal, our timelines, story maps, and pages will be simplistic, but engaging. We plan on have 3 main sections with multiple sub-pages attached. The three main sections will include the New Hampshire Land Grants of 1749-1764, followed by the formation of the Green Mountain Boys led by Ethan Allen, lastly, the Vermont Republic.

I. New Hampshire Land Grants of 1749-1764
• Beginning land grants (First page within Section I).
• New Hampshire Governor squabbled with the New York Governor.
• New Hampshire appealed to the Crown (the British Government) for land grants in an effort to prove that the New York Governor had no jurisdiction within current day Vermont.
• The appeal went to the Privy Council. The Privy Council Struck down New Hampshire and ruled that New York had the rights to current day Vermont. That ruling thrusted the New Hampshire land holders into action, which included Ethan Allen, who held 50,000 acres of New Hampshire land grants prior to the privy council ruling in favor of New York.

II. Formation of the Green Mountain Boys led by Ethan Allen
• Ethan Allen, having a large stake in the New Hampshire land grants (50,000 acres that were useless after the ruling), went to modern day Vermont in 1764 and founded the Green Mountain Boys. A local militia that was dedicated to retaining the land they that viewed as theirs (First page within section II).
• The Green Mountain Boys were largely made of settlers that had a stake in the New Hampshire land grants (almost exclusively).
• The militia was successful in stopping New York law enforcement that tried to evict and arrest the Green Mountain Boys for what was “technically” squatting. Even though men like Ethan Allen legally purchased the New Hampshire land, the ruling voided previous land agreements, making the settlers of New Hampshire illegal “squatters.”
• The Green Mountain Boys ruled modern day Vermont from 1770 to 1777 with little interference from New York.

III. Vermont Republic
• Vermont declared itself an independent republic in 1777. Not as part of the British Empire or the thirteen colonies, but its own independent nation (First page within section III).
• They largely remain neutral during the American Revolution, but played a crucial role in the American victory at the battle of Bennington (1777), which was named after Benning Wentworth, the author of the New Hampshire land grants. At the Battle of Bennington, the British suffered high casualties, with over 200 dead and 700 captured. After battle of Bennington, France decided to join the Revolution, which marked a turning point for American forces.
• 1781, the Haldimand Affair rocked the Vermont-colonial relations with news of Ethan Allen and the governor of Quebec in negotiations for Vermont to rejoin the British Empire. Allen was ready to make a deal with the governor of Quebec until the battle of Yorktown later in 1781, where colonial America achieved a decisive victory against the British. America had the upper hand against its former imperial masters, Vermont, therefore, decided to join the Union of the United of States instead of the British Empire. Once within the Union of the United States, Vermont traded complete independence (as achieved in 1777), for a degree of political autonomy within a larger, successful union.

Tools We Plan to Use
• Word Press
• JS Timeline
• JS Story Map
• Primary source documents
(In-text citation and links)
• Digital Images

Feb 18th through March 10th
1) Search Vermont Historical Society website and schedule online or phone (call or skype) consultation for spring break (March 13-17).
2) Begin Section 1, New Hampshire Land Grants 1749-1764.
3) Complete timeline for New Hampshire Land Grants 1749-1764 on February 25-27th for the required timeline due February 27th.
4) Continue work on Section 1.
March 13th through 17th (Spring Break)
1) Internet or phone meetings with Vermont Historical Society.
2) Go through sources from Vermont Historical Society that are relevant to section II and III.
3) Get sources for section II and III organized.
4) Begin section II.
March 20-31
1) Finish section II
2) Begin section III, if section II is finished early.
April 1-17
1) Complete Section III
April 17-21
1) Maintenance and touch ups on website. That includes any graphics that have not yet been added, additional research if needed, and extensive proof reading for grammar mistakes or structural issues.
April 24-26
1) Class presentations of project, we will plan as if we are presenting on the 24th.

Common Themes

Thanks for such productive discussions and questions this week, everyone. As I mentioned on Monday, I think that there are several relatively obvious themes overlapping between your projects, and a couple of topics that you could all usefully incorporate more into your project proposals/contracts as you start to get them finalized.

To turn this into a quick list, firstly with the themes that came up in class discussion:

  • Self-government and governmental control
  • Inclusion or exclusion under the law
  • Access to and control of natural resources
  • Economic opportunity
  • Cultural identity
  • Relations with the federal government

Areas that you might like to focus particular research, as a means of adding more wide interest to your website projects:

  • Individual leaders
    • Where did they come from?
    • Why did they identify with their movement?
    • How long/how intensely did their involvement last?
  • Iconography of the movement
  • Geographical dimensions and claims

I’m really looking forward to seeing you flesh out the projects as you develop your contracts – do remember to check out to see what previous project contracts have looked like. Best of luck!

Instructions for Draft Proposal

Hope you’re all having an excellent end to the week. I’m posting here to clarify a point that’s been raised by some of you: for Monday’s draft proposal, you only need one blog post per pair. You should work together to draft the proposal, but we only need to see one version of it ahead of class. Good luck getting things done – really looking forward to seeing what you’ve come up with!

The Semester Ahead

Professor Mathews and I are really looking forward to teaching this class in the coming semester. We’re in the process of finishing preparations, and pretty soon you should have all the materials you need to prepare for class available through this site.

The syllabus, and a link to a schedule of assignment deadlines, is available using the ‘Syllabus’ heading at the top of the page. Readings will shortly be made available using the ‘Readings’ tab – please check your email for the password to access the PDF files. If you have any questions, please email me or Professor Mathews.

The other information you should have received recently is a link for setting up your course blog. You’ll note, from the schedule of assignments, that there will be a number of blog posts due in the early weeks of the semester. So if you’re having any difficulty setting up your course blog, please let me or Professor Mathews know.

Welcome to Divided Houses!

Thanks for checking in at the Divided Houses course site. We will gradually be building this site out over the next few weeks, providing you with general information about the course. This will include course expectations, policies, a syllabus, and preliminary information about assignments and deadlines.

Please check back regularly for more updates. In the meantime, work with your partner to think about possible project ideas. We’re really looking forward to working with you!