I'm having trouble starting a paper. How do I get past this?
First, make sure that you've set up an outline, either on (electronic) paper or in your head. Once you have a concept of the shape of your paper, figure out what you want to say in the middle. Pick the portion of the middle that you feel most comfortable working with and write about it. Expand outward. The more you work with the paper's subject, the more comfortable you'll feel writing about it. I usually save my introduction and conclusion paragraphs for last. Both of these sections are meant to inform the reader about what is written in the body, so focus on writing the meat of the subject before writing the synopsis-like sections.
How can an individual be measured on a liberal-conservative spectrum?
A survey can be established that uses pertinent questions to determine the extent to which an individual values equality over freedom and the extent to which an individual values order over freedom. The former category tends to attract people who are more liberal, while the latter attracts more conservatives. There are some issues (such as gun control and abortion) that fall outside of these parameters and, therefore, cannot be used to determine liberal-conservative ideology.
Who were the Exodusters?
Exodusters were African Americans who migrated out of the South after Reconstruction. While the initial years following the Civil War provided African Americans in the south with the hope of obtaining equal rights, reprisals for black success soon emerged. In 1879, a large contingency of southern African Americans migrated to the western territories in hopes of establishing communities free from the violent racism of some former slaveholding states.