Acres Of Diamonds

It is a historical analysis essay. There will be no word count or page length requirements for the essays in our class;  instead, there will be form and content requirements by which your work will be evaluated.  In those assignments where you will be asked to write an essay, it should be in the form of a three-paragraph essay.  Your essay should include the following paragraphs with the following items. It should start with an introductory paragraph in which you both introduce the primary source documents and author, as well as explain their proper historical context.  Key elements required in presenting historical context include the specific date in which the document was created, any specific historical events or issues to which the document responds and/or any important historical events that directly relate to the document. In the body of your essay you will quote from the primary source document.  You should keep your selection of what to quote short and focused and explain how the quotes you’ve selected relate to the overall message or point of the document.

Russell Conwell was a Baptist minister and businessman. In the following speech, he depicts and explains what he describes as a set of new ideas regarding Christian theology and thinking regarding issues related to wealth and poverty.  Your task here is to find ways to relate the things we’ve studied about the Industrial Revolution and in its influence and see how this might be changing American thinking about religion and write a three-paragraph essay with a full introduction, a body containing at least two quotes which are properly analyzed, and a concluding paragraph.  In other words, compare what we know about this American history to what we see in this primary source document and see how the two match up.

Acres of Diamonds
Rev. Russell Conwell, “Acres of Diamonds” (1915)

I say again that the opportunity to get rich, to attain unto great wealth, is here in Philadelphia now, within the reach of… every man and woman who hears me speak tonight…. I have come to tell you what in God’s sight I believe to be the truth… men and women sitting here, who found it difficult perhaps to buy a ticket to this lecture or gathering tonight, have within their reach “acres of diamonds,” opportunities to get largely wealthy…. Never in the history of the world did a poor man without capital have such an opportunity to get rich quickly and honestly….

I say you ought to get rich, and it is your duty to get rich. How many of my pious brethren say to me “Do you, a Christian minister, spend your time going up and down the country advising young people to get rich, to get money?” “Yes, of course I do.” They say, “Isn’t that awful! Why donít you preach the gospel instead of preaching about man’s making money?” “Because to make money honestly is to preach the gospel.”….

“Oh,” but says some young man here to-night, “I have been told all my life that if a person has money he is very dishonest and dishonorable and mean and contemptible.”; My friend, that is the reason you have none, because you have that idea of people….; Ninety-eight out of one hundred of the rich men of America are honest.  That is why they are rich…. That is why they carry on great enterprises and find plenty of people to work with them. It is because they are honest men.

My friend… [if you] introduce me to the people who own their homes around this great city, those beautiful homes with gardens and flowers, those magnificent homes so lovely in their art, and I will introduce you to the very best people in character as well as in enterprise in our city…. A man is not truly a man until he owns his own home, and they that own their own homes are made more honorable and honest and pure, and true and economical and careful, by owning the home….

Money is power, and you ought to be reasonably ambitious to have it. You ought because you can do more good with it that you could without it. Money printed your Bible, money builds your churches… and money pays your preachers, and you would not have many of them, either, if you did not pay them….

I say, then, you ought to have money. If you can honestly attain unto riches… it is your Christian and godly duty to do so. It is an awful mistake of these pious people to think you must be awfully poor in order to be pious….

Some men say, “Don’t you sympathize with the poor people?” Of course I do, or else I would not have been lecturing these years…. But the number of poor who are to be sympathized with is very small…. While we should sympathize with God’s poor and shy; that is those who cannot help themselves; let us remember that there is not a poor person in the United States who was not made poor by his own shortcomings…. It is all wrong to be poor anyhow….

Other Comments:
– Will be submitted through TurnItIn so there can be no plagiarism. You do not have to cite anything.
-Professor is a harsh grader, likes details
-It is a historical analysis essay, meaning he wants us to relate what is in the source to history and a broader picture. In this case we are relating  the Industrial Revolution and in its influence and see how this might be changing American thinking about religion and compare what we know about this American history to what we see in this primary source document and see how the two match up.
-Must have two quotes, three would be better, from the source, which I copy and pasted called ‘Acres of Diamonds’

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