American History I

Response sheet 7, for class, Tuesday

1.  We ended our last class with images of gravestones.  You could see the transition from a more pessimistic view of “human nature” in seventeenth-century New England to a more optimistic one entering the eighteenth century.  What about your moment in history, now — do you think human beings are fundamentally good, or fundamentally evil?  Why so?

NOTE:  The Byrd document contains some frank sexuality; the Woodmason document for Thursday contains some lechery; both are rather pathetic versions of masculinity, but so it sometimes was.

2.  How did personal discipline fit into William Byrd’s life?  How did piety?  How did sexuality?  How did violence?  Did these seem contradictory to Byrd?  Why or why not?

3.  How did personal discipline fit into George Washington’s life?  Piety?  Sexuality?  Violence?