Draft (10%)

Due: Friday, March 27

Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson, The House of Commons (1808): This depiction of the House of Commons appeared in Rudolf Ackermann's The Microcosm of London (1808-1811). A fire destroyed the House of Commons in 1834, and the present chamber looks much different.

The Assignment

Britain has a fine and venerable tradition of political oratory, and this assignment will give you an opportunity to explore it. For this assignment, I would like you to pick one of the speeches listed below and write an essay discussing the following (if applicable) in a coherent and seamless fashion:

Finding the answers to these questions will require you, above all, to obtain a full copy of the speech. If you look at the list below, you will see that I have indicated where you can locate the speech. To write a quality essay, you will also need to do a fair amount of research. Biographies of the speaker, secondary sources that focus on the issue with which he dealt, and relevant articles will be indispensable. You will need to use a minimum of five secondary sources for your paper. Although you can use web sites if you wish, I advise that you employ them with due caution. Moreover, they will not count toward your minimum of five secondary sources (academic articles pulled from a library database, however, do count toward your five secondary sources). Other works that may help you orient yourself at the beginning of the project but which do not count toward your five sources include the textbook (or any textbook for that matter), encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, or other reference works. Articles will come in handy for many of you, but they should not constitute your sole source of information—you will have to use books (especially biographies) because they often provide more context and detail.

Remember that our library doesn't necessarily have all or even the best material for you topic. You ought to avail yourself of Interlibrary Loan. I strongly encourage you to consult with the reference librarians for help in locating relevant works. Jeff Waller, the head of Reference and Instructional Services at Geisel Library, has put together the following course guide to assist you with your research. You will find the advice on this page indispensable to conducting your research, so be sure to view it and take its suggestions to heart.

Before turning in your essays (and preferably before you start working on your essays), be sure to read carefully the sections of this website on How to Cite Sources, Tips for Success on Essays, Academic Honesty, and Grading Criteria. Also, please remember the applicable policies concerning papers in this course. First, I will grant NO extensions on or after the due date. I will provide an extension only if you produce the necessary documentation. Second, late papers will suffer a penalty of 10% for each day they are late.

I would like a first draft of this paper on Friday, March 27. It should consist of at least 1200 words. If it falls short in this respect, you will suffer a penalty. A first draft does not mean a half-finished, poorly written, or hastily completed essay. A first draft is wholly done and even polished. It includes citations. This demand is more of a favor to you than a convenience for me. The more you have worked on this assignment by March 27, the better shape you'll be in by the end of the semester.

One more thing to keep in mind as you work on this draft is the college's plagiarism policy. This policy states that the burden of proving plagiarism does not rest with me. Instead, it is up to you to prove that you wrote the paper. That being the case, it would be a very good idea if you kept your notes, drafts, and photocopies from this assignment.

Finally, if you have ANY questions, problems, or difficulties, do not hesitate to contact me, and I will do all I reasonably can to assist you.

List of Speeches

Edmund Burke: Speech to the Electors of Bristol (November 3, 1774): The background story is complex, but Burke sought to explain to the electors of his constituency what he thought representation was all about. You can find a full copy of this speech at the Library of Economics and Liberty.

John Wilkes: Speech Supporting a Motion for a "Just and Equal Representation of the People of England in Parliament" (March 21, 1776): Wilkes' speech introduced for the first time a detailed reform plan for the House of Commons. The motion did not get far, but it constituted an important precedent. You can find a copy of this speech on the class Blackboard site under "Course Documents" at the top of the list of sources.

William Wilberforce: Speech to the House of Commons on the Slave Trade (May 12, 1789): Wilberforce is remembered as a tireless and effective foe of the slave trade and slavery. In this speech, Wilberforce supported a motion to abolish the slave trade. This speech appeared in The Times on May 13, 1789, beginning on page 1. Go to the Geisel Library website, proceed to "Databases," and then choose the Times of London Digital Archive.

Daniel O'Connell: Speech at Tara Hill (August 15, 1843): O'Connell, the great Irish statesman who led the charge for repeal of the union between Ireland and Great Britain, held a monster rally at Tara Hill which was then believed to have once been the seat of the High Kings of Ireland. Over 500,000 people came to hear O'Connell speak. Times coverage of the rally and this speech begins on page 6 of The Times on August 17, 1843. Go to the Geisel Library website, proceed to "Databases," and then choose the Times of London Digital Archive.

Sir Robert Peel: Speech to the House of Commons on the Repeal of the Corn Laws (May 15, 1846): The repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 was one of the most controversial measures fought out in the House of Commons. Although most of his party was dead set against repealing these tariffs, Sir Robert Peel, the Prime Minister, had finally decided that it was time for such a measure. He defends his position in a speech that came after blistering attacks launched against him by Benjamin Disraeli and other members of his own party.This speech appeared in The Times on May 16, 1846, beginning on the second column of page 5. Go to the Geisel Library website, proceed to "Databases," and then choose the Times of London Digital Archive.

Lord Palmerston: "Civis Romanus Sum" Speech to the House of Commons (June 25, 1850): Antagonized by Greek behavior during the "Don Pacifico Affair," Lord Palmerston, Britain's Foreign Secretary, dispatched the Royal Navy to blockade the port of Piraeus. Many in Parliament found this action excessive, and Palmerston was compelled to defend himself in the House of Commons. In this speech, he explained some of the principles that guided his foreign policy. This speech appeared in The Times on June 26, 1850, beginning on page 2. Go to the Geisel Library website, proceed to "Databases," and then choose the Times of London Digital Archive.

Illustrated London News, "Disraeli Speech" (1874): Benjamin Disraeli (standing, left) addresses the electors of his Aylesbury constituency at an intimate gathering during the General Election of 1874.

Benjamin Disraeli: Speech to the National Union of Conservative and Constitutional Associations at the Crystal Palace (June 24, 1872): In this famous speech, Disraeli, the leader of the Tories, who struck many people as entirely unprincipled, explained what Conservative princples were. This speech appeared on pages 7 and 8 of The Times on June 25, 1872. Go to the Geisel Library website, proceed to "Databases," and then choose the Times of London Digital Archive.

William Gladstone: Midlothian Speech at Edinburgh (November 25, 1879): A former Prime Minister and one of the Liberal Party's leading politicians, Gladstone delivered this speech to the electors of his new Midlothian constituency. Gladstone's attack on what he saw as the Conservative Party's immoral foreign policy (particularly in relation to the Ottoman Empire) became the cornerstone of the so-called "Midlothian campaign" that eventually culminated in the defeat of the Conservatives in the General Election of 1880. This speech starts on page 10 of The Times on November 26, 1879. Go to the Geisel Library website, proceed to "Databases," and then choose the Times of London Digital Archive.

Joseph Chamberlain: Speech at Glasgow University (October 6, 1903): It was with this speech that Chamberlain, the most dynamic member of the Conservative Party, initiated his great campaign for "Imperial Preference," otherwise known as "tariff reform." With one grand, ambitious plan, Chamberlain sought to strengthen the bonds of the British Empire, promote British industry, and maintain British military power. This speech appeared on pages 4 and 5 of The Times on October 7, 1903. Go to the Geisel Library website, proceed to "Databases," and then choose the Times of London Digital Archive.

David Lloyd George (1919): As Prime Minister, David Lloyd George addresses a crowd gathered at the railway station in Lampeter, Wales.

David Lloyd George: Introducing the "People's Budget" to the House of Commons (April 29, 1909): As Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George introduced the "People's Budget" which caused a firestorm in British politics and (in retrospect) helped launch Britain (ever so gently) toward the welfare state. In this speech, he explains the budget and his reasons for raising taxes. This speech appeared in The Times on April 30, 1909, beginning on page 6. Go to the Geisel Library website, proceed to "Databases," and then choose the Times of London Digital Archive.

Winston Churchill: "Their Finest Hour" (June 18, 1940): This speech was perhaps the most famous one that Churchill ever delivered. France was on the verge of surrendering to the Germans, and Churchill, who was then Prime Minister, sought not only to present the military situation to the British people, but also encourage them for the long struggle ahead. This speech appears at The Churchill Centre's site.

Hugh Gaitskell: Speech to the Annual Labour Party Conference (October 3, 1962): In this emotional speech, Gaitskell, leader of the Labour Party, presented the case against Britain's entry into the European Economic Community. You can find this speech on the European NAvigator site (ENA).

Enoch Powell: The "Rivers of Blood" Speech (April 20, 1968): This speech about British immigration policy by a major political figure was perhaps the most explosive in modern British history. It can be found on several sites if you Google "Enoch Powell" and "Rivers of Blood."

Tony Blair: Speech to the Annual Labour Party Conference (October 2, 2001): This oration is commonly referred to as the "9/11" speech because it memorializes the victims of that attack, but it is about much more than that. In it, Blair, who was the Prime Minister, laid out a series of principles concerning British foreign and domestic policy. You can find this speech on The Guardian's site, guardian.co.uk. Remember, it's divided into Part 1 and Part 2.

Tony Blair (2001): This photo shows Blair delivering his well-known "9/11" speech to the annual Labour Party Conference at Brighton.

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