discuss the importance of the 36-30 line here

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discuss the importance of the 36-30 line here

Postby The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi » Mon May 21, 2012 2:28 pm

Split from the BHSAT discussion thread --Mgmt.

List of Fighting Spirit characters wrote:I really liked the tossups on "actual" historical things like newspapers, gold, and iron, which better adheres to the kind of "trend" history emphasized in survey courses in high school. There should be a reward for having studied those things along with the specific person/place/thing/event mentality pervading high school. One thing that could definitely be fixed is the overly hard third parts, like La Rochelle and 36-30. The latter is the kind of information that is rather trivial to ask about.


Ankit, 36-30 and La Rochelle are both important things in the history of the particular areas. They are certainly not trivial, and I feel like asking about an important Protestant stronghold or where slavery was limited to is fair game for history.
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby Auroni » Mon May 21, 2012 2:28 pm

List of Fighting Spirit characters wrote:I really liked the tossups on "actual" historical things like newspapers, gold, and iron, which better adheres to the kind of "trend" history emphasized in survey courses in high school. There should be a reward for having studied those things along with the specific person/place/thing/event mentality pervading high school. One thing that could definitely be fixed is the overly hard third parts, like La Rochelle and 36-30. The latter is the kind of information that is rather trivial to ask about.


You do actually learn about 36 30 in class.. it's about as important as 54 40 is. I agree that La Rochelle was pretty tough though, but maybe it could have been gettable with Three Musketeers clues.
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby Culture is intrinsically impossible » Mon May 21, 2012 5:13 pm

I actually did get that bonus part on 36-30, and I did learn it in APUSH. But it's the kind of one-off thing that you can easily forget and is generally a function of memorization rather than actual understanding of the topic under question, which should be the golden standard of quiz bowl. I also agree with Adam about SB 1070, where it should have been acceptable to give an answer that is correct de facto if not de jure. And I never contended that La Rochelle was trivial, just that it was too hard.
Last edited by Culture is intrinsically impossible on Mon May 21, 2012 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi » Mon May 21, 2012 5:15 pm

List of Fighting Spirit characters wrote:I actually did get that bonus part on 36-30, and I did learn it in APUSH. But it's the kind of one-off thing that you can easily forget and is generally a function of memorization rather than understanding of the topic, which should be the golden standard of quiz bowl.


That's certainly a fair point, Ankit. I just wasn't sure what you were trying to say at first about 36-30. And yeah, now that I think about it, Auroni's right, La Rochelle is tough.
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby the charm » Mon May 21, 2012 5:53 pm

Though the Game Boy game bonus was awesome, it was probably pretty hard.

Not sure about the difficulty of 36-30 since I remember it from APUSH, but I agree on La Rochelle being pretty tough.
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby Smuttynose Island » Mon May 21, 2012 7:28 pm

List of Fighting Spirit characters wrote:I actually did get that bonus part on 36-30, and I did learn it in APUSH. But it's the kind of one-off thing that you can easily forget and is generally a function of memorization rather than actual understanding of the topic under question, which should be the golden standard of quiz bowl.


While on the surface knowing that the Missouri Compromise set the dividing line for slavery at the 36'30" parallel may seem like "trivial" knowledge that is known as a "function of memorization," it really isn't, in so far as any (specific) important detail of a treaty or law can be. Debate over that specific provision of the Missouri Compromise plays a crucial role in essentially every debate over the extension of slavery between 1820 and 1860. Whether it is the fact that the territories that Dred Scott visited lay above that parallel or whether or not slavery should be extended into Texas, the 36'30" parallel proved to be a highly contentious issue in American politics and, as such, is important knowledge to have. Yes, it is true that of greater importance is understanding that the Missouri Compromise established the boundary for how north slavery could be extended, but knowing that specific boundary is important as well.
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby Charles Martel » Tue May 22, 2012 2:26 pm

It seems unimportant to me because the 36 30 line was essentially meaningless. It was never used to decide whether or not a new state had slavery. California, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware were all exceptions to the rule, and after it was implemented, they ignored it the next time they added a state near the line.
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby JamesIV » Tue May 22, 2012 2:30 pm

Charles Martel wrote:It seems unimportant to me because the 36 30 line was essentially meaningless. It was never used to decide whether or not a new state had slavery. California, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware were all exceptions to the rule, and after it was implemented, they ignored it the next time they added a state near the line.


Plenty of treaty stipulations were never implemented in the way they were supposed to, or were totally perverted from their original sense. Is Molotov-Ribbentrop not worth knowing because the Germans eventually ignored it? As Daniel pointed out, the line set at 36 30 was extremely significant in the debates over extending or limiting slavery. Whether all the parties actually acted in good faith and whether it was actually effective seems to me beside the point.
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby Charles Martel » Tue May 22, 2012 2:34 pm

JamesIV wrote:
Charles Martel wrote:It seems unimportant to me because the 36 30 line was essentially meaningless. It was never used to decide whether or not a new state had slavery. California, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware were all exceptions to the rule, and after it was implemented, they ignored it the next time they added a state near the line.


Plenty of treaty stipulations were never implemented in the way they were supposed to, or were totally perverted from their original sense. Is Molotov-Ribbentrop not worth knowing because the Germans eventually ignored it? As Daniel pointed out, the line set at 36 30 was extremely significant in the debates over extending or limiting slavery. Whether all the parties actually acted in good faith and whether it was actually effective seems to me beside the point.


Exactly. Knowing that they had a line, and that it caused debate, is important. That the line was never used to make a single decision means that the exact location of the line is unimportant, and shouldn't be asked about.
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby Down and out in Quintana Roo » Tue May 22, 2012 2:39 pm

Charles Martel wrote:It seems unimportant to me because the 36 30 line was essentially meaningless. It was never used to decide whether or not a new state had slavery. California, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware were all exceptions to the rule, and after it was implemented, they ignored it the next time they added a state near the line.

Your history is flawed.

Missouri was the exception to the rule, clearly documented in the Compromise of Missouri (that's a reason why they called it that).

Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware were states long before 1820, so they did not apply in this decision.

California was added as a free state in the Compromise of 1850. Again, this was a Compromise, so clearly it was an exception 30 years later.

Kansas and Nebraska's decision over slavery, as i'm sure you're well aware, was not decided until the 1860s, when popular sovereignty (sort of) was used to decide the issue. Nevertheless, they were not subject to the line as it was declared unconstitutional by the Dred Scott case in 1857.
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby Cody » Tue May 22, 2012 2:47 pm

Charles Martel wrote:Exactly. Knowing that they had a line, and that it caused debate, is important. That the line was never used to make a single decision means that the exact location of the line is unimportant, and shouldn't be asked about.
Whether or not you, or anyone else, thinks an answer is unimportant (or important) is immaterial. The importance of an answer doesn't justify it's inclusion or exclusion.

(Incidentally, you're wrong.)
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby Smuttynose Island » Tue May 22, 2012 3:02 pm

Charles Martel wrote:It seems unimportant to me because the 36 30 line was essentially meaningless. It was never used to decide whether or not a new state had slavery. California, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware were all exceptions to the rule, and after it was implemented, they ignored it the next time they added a state near the line.


You are aware that Kentucky, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland were all slave states BEFORE the Missouri compromise was enacted and therefore the existence of slavery in them has no real bearing on how important the 36'30" parallel is as the Missouri Compromise was never meant to deal with the existence of slavery in organized states?

Charles Martel wrote:
JamesIV wrote:

Plenty of treaty stipulations were never implemented in the way they were supposed to, or were totally perverted from their original sense. Is Molotov-Ribbentrop not worth knowing because the Germans eventually ignored it? As Daniel pointed out, the line set at 36 30 was extremely significant in the debates over extending or limiting slavery. Whether all the parties actually acted in good faith and whether it was actually effective seems to me beside the point.


Exactly. Knowing that they had a line, and that it caused debate, is important. That the line was never used to make a single decision means that the exact location of the line is unimportant, and shouldn't be asked about.


Your statement that the exact location of the 36'30" doesn't matter is not backed by facts as it was precisely the EXACT location of the 36'30" that caused a lot of the debates. Many northerners did not want to annex Texas because they knew that the Missouri Compromise, by establishing the 36'30" parallel as the dividing line between new slave and free states, in a sense mandated that Texas, a Republic that had very few slaves, become a slave state. Had the line been drawn significantly differently then the debate could have followed an entirely different course! A large portion of the debate over how the California territory would be divided up centered upon whether or not the 36'30" parallel, and not any other line, should determine where slavery was allowed. If the line had been set higher north or farther south by a significant amount, then the debate would have followed an entirely different course! Additionally a large swath of FREE territory was organized specifically because of the 36'30" provision, thus preventing the entrenchment of slavery in more territories prior to the Civil War. (If you need a map: Map of the United States - 1850). While much of that territory did not become states until after the Civil War, the fact that the area was mandated to be free by virtue of the Compromise is still important.

On top of this the fact that the line was ignored is important as well. The most contentious portion of the Kansas-Nebraska Act was that of popular sovereignty. A lot of the debate over this provision of the bill revolved around, among other issues, the fact that it outright ignored the 36'30 parallel provision of the Missouri Compromise, by allowing two territories that lay above the 36'30" parallel to vote on whether or not they should become free or slave states. If the 36'30" parallel had not been chosen as the line then the popular sovereignty provision of the Kansas-Nebraska Act would not have been needed to garner southern support for the bill, which was the precise reason that it was added by Stephen Douglas. Also, a lot of the problems arising out of the Kansas-Nebraska bill were specifically caused by the fact that both Kansas and Nebraska had a history of being free territories, specifically because they lay above the 36'30" parallel.

In other words, the 36'30" parallel, both by virtue of being ignored and by virtue of being used, is an important thing to know about.

All of this discussion ignores the arguably more important fact that the 36'30" parallel is something that people do know about and are taught about in school. Not only that, but it is a piece of knowledge that can easily be tested by a quizbowl question, which means that it satisfies both the "Is this known enough to be asked about?" and "Can I actually write a question that asks about this?" criteria for being a good quizbowl answerline.
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby Charles Martel » Tue May 22, 2012 4:38 pm

Down and out in Quintana Roo wrote:
Charles Martel wrote:It seems unimportant to me because the 36 30 line was essentially meaningless. It was never used to decide whether or not a new state had slavery. California, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware were all exceptions to the rule, and after it was implemented, they ignored it the next time they added a state near the line.

Your history is flawed.

Missouri was the exception to the rule, clearly documented in the Compromise of Missouri (that's a reason why they called it that).

Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware were states long before 1820, so they did not apply in this decision.

California was added as a free state in the Compromise of 1850. Again, this was a Compromise, so clearly it was an exception 30 years later.

Kansas and Nebraska's decision over slavery, as i'm sure you're well aware, was not decided until the 1860s, when popular sovereignty (sort of) was used to decide the issue. Nevertheless, they were not subject to the line as it was declared unconstitutional by the Dred Scott case in 1857.


I said right it my post that those states were exceptions to the rule. You are saying that I am wrong because they were exceptions to the rule. I know that those states got special exceptions, and my point is that in pretty much every instance a special exception was made.

Daniel's post has convinced me that the exact location of the line had importance in terms of the framing of the debate, beyond the rough guideline of "Northern states are free, Southern States have slaves".
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Tue May 22, 2012 5:31 pm

Schroedinger's cat isn't real, therefore it doesn't matter.
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby Auroni » Tue May 22, 2012 9:22 pm

The exact location of the line is important because that's what the line is called!
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby ALGOL 68 » Wed May 23, 2012 1:43 am

Charles Martel wrote:It seems unimportant to me because the 36 30 line was essentially meaningless. It was never used to decide whether or not a new state had slavery. California, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware were all exceptions to the rule, and after it was implemented, they ignored it the next time they added a state near the line.


I always thought the 36-30 line only applied to new states west of the Mississippi River. California was an exception, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act overturned the Missouri Compromise which designated the 36-30 line to begin with.

If not, I think I just failed one of my APUSH exam essays :party:
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi » Wed May 23, 2012 1:49 am

DJCocoPuffs wrote:
Charles Martel wrote:It seems unimportant to me because the 36 30 line was essentially meaningless. It was never used to decide whether or not a new state had slavery. California, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware were all exceptions to the rule, and after it was implemented, they ignored it the next time they added a state near the line.


I always thought the 36-30 line only applied to new states west of the Mississippi River. California was an exception, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act overturned the Missouri Compromise which designated the 36-30 line to begin with.

If not, I think I just failed one of my APUSH exam essays :party:


There's a reason why Mr. C said Adam's history was flawed. The 36-30 line did apply only to new states west of the Mississippi (unless I'm forgetting my history, which I hope I'm not).
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36-30 2

Postby Habitat_Against_Humanity » Wed May 23, 2012 7:15 am

DJCocoPuffs wrote:
Charles Martel wrote:It seems unimportant to me because the 36 30 line was essentially meaningless. It was never used to decide whether or not a new state had slavery. California, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware were all exceptions to the rule, and after it was implemented, they ignored it the next time they added a state near the line.


I always thought the 36-30 line only applied to new states west of the Mississippi River. California was an exception, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act overturned the Missouri Compromise which designated the 36-30 line to begin with.

If not, I think I just failed one of my APUSH exam essays :party:


Just a heads up: The AP folks don't like it when people disclose info about the essays (unless they appeared on the College Board website about two days after the test). I just administered a ton of these things and had to read that disclaimer about seven times, so I just thought I might let you know, lest some lurking presence from the College Board sees your post.
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby tintinnabulation » Wed May 23, 2012 11:48 am

Habitat_Against_Humanity wrote:
DJCocoPuffs wrote:If not, I think I just failed one of my APUSH exam essays :party:

Just a heads up: The AP folks don't like it when people disclose info about the essays (unless they appeared on the College Board website about two days after the test). I just administered a ton of these things and had to read that disclaimer about seven times, so I just thought I might let you know, lest some lurking presence from the College Board sees your post.

That one was posted.
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Re: BHSAT General Thoughts and Discussion

Postby The King's Flight to the Scots » Wed May 23, 2012 12:05 pm

Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:
Whether or not you, or anyone else, thinks an answer is unimportant (or important) is immaterial. The importance of an answer doesn't justify it's inclusion or exclusion.


I'm pretty sure this statement is incorrect.


It's more accurate to say that nearly everything is important in one way or another, or, depending on how you look at it, nothing is actually that important; either way, the metaphysical significance of that line being at 36-30 rather than somewhere nearby has no bearing on whether it's askable. Opening up that avenue of discussion doesn't really lead anywhere. As always, the more useful question is "Will people who have studied this area of history (or what have you) in depth be able to answer this bonus part?"

The point Cody is trying to make, I think, is that "important" is a very imprecise word. It's used as a catch-all to justify writing anything from a high school tossup to an ACF Nats bonus part on a given answer. Because thinking in vague terms leads to muddled reasoning, it's usually better to stick to "Is this difficulty appropriate or not?"
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Re: discuss the importance of the 36-30 line here

Postby Weighted Companion Cube » Sat May 26, 2012 7:23 am

I have to agree with Adam on this one, the line was nominal, at best. Everything was by its own compromise when it came to slavery, so it's probably a bad bonus part. La Rochelle is alright for a hard part, maybe, because a quick skim of the wiki article for edict of Fontainebleau or Nantes will mention La Rochelle multiple times. Finally I would have negged the gold question on wales and have said tin, as Wales is pretty famous in history for being mined for tin during the Greek and Phoenician eras. Saying where things were mined probably isn't the best idea, seeing as a lot of mines give off more than just one metal.
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Re: discuss the importance of the 36-30 line here

Postby Auroni » Sat May 26, 2012 12:36 pm

something ambiguous wrote:La Rochelle is alright for a hard part, maybe, because a quick skim of the wiki article for edict of Fontainebleau or Nantes will mention La Rochelle multiple times.


Dude, seriously?
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Re: discuss the importance of the 36-30 line here

Postby Cheynem » Sat May 26, 2012 12:56 pm

You should write on something:

1. if it is "important" (i.e. not trivia, like "how much did William Howard Taft weigh?")
2. if it is accessible to the appropriate difficulty level
3. if a good question can be produced on it (i.e. sometimes good topics don't make good tossups, neat stuff doesn't always make good questions, etc.)

The 36-30 line seems okay to me here, with the only problem being if it might be too hard.

Anyway, I just want to say that using Wikipedia to prove anything is garbage and that I'm sick of people making pronouncements about what's important and what's not.
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Re: discuss the importance of the 36-30 line here

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Sat May 26, 2012 2:34 pm

Cheynem wrote:Anyway, I just want to say ... that I'm sick of people making pronouncements about what's important and what's not.


Is this important?
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Re: discuss the importance of the 36-30 line here

Postby Cody » Sat May 26, 2012 3:35 pm

Cheynem wrote:Anyway, I just want to say that ... I'm sick of people making pronouncements about what's important and what's not.
Seriously. No one cares if you think something is or isn't important (especially when talking about answerability where IT HAS NO BEARING) and it adds nothing to the discussion, so just shut up about it already.
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