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Book: American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century Gary Gerstle Directions
Assignment: Students are expected to write one 4-5 page essays which result from students investigating, analyzing, and evaluating the historical periods and/or themes discussed in class. Purpose: To develop the student’s power of judgment by studying the past not merely as a collection of facts but as a human narrative with meaning that calls for interpretation and value judgments.
Style: The essay will be 1300 to 1500 words long (roughly 4-5 pages if you have 1” margins, 12 font, Times New Roman, and double-spaced). Essays less than 1300 words receive an entire letter grade deduction (See Rubric for specific directions). All research papers are to be typed using Times New Roman, 12 pt font with standard one-inch margins. Papers should be double-spaced and make use of footnotes to cite texts. Parenthetical references are not to be used. Papers should include a works cited page with at least five primary sources used by students to prove the essay thesis. Questions Relevant for first half of class:
Your essay should provide an answer and evidence to prove your answer (main idea or thesis) to one of the set of questions below. Make certain you utilize at least FIVE primary sources to prove the validity of your thesis (main idea). Q1: What did it mean to be a minority in the US during 1865-1921? What is US diplomacy during 1865-1929? Where did race relations domestically and US diplomacy intersect during 1865-1921?
Q2: How did reconstruction fail? How did it succeed?
Q3: How did science and technology change American cultural, diplomatic, political, and/or religious ways in the period from 1865 to 1921?
Q4: How does “race” explain US policy domestically from 1865-1921? How does “race” explain US policy internationally 1865-1921?
Q5: Discuss how the United States became a world power in the period from 1877-1916?
Q6: Define the nature of US relations with Cuba, Philippines, Hawaii, and/or China from 1877 to 1921?
[Note here are some themes to ponder as you begin to brainstorm. Consider the failures and successes of reconstruction; and/or how did science and technology change American cultural, diplomatic, political, and/or religious ways; how did ideas of “race” influence US policy domestically and/or how did ideas of “race” explain US policy internationally; consider Native American relations with US settlers in western territories and the federal government; how did the United States become a world power in the period from 1877-1921; define the nature of US – imperialism – relations with Cuba, Philippines, Hawaii, and/or China during the late 19th and early 20th century; and what were the experiences of eastern and southern Europeans in the United States during the progressive era.]
Q7: What problems did the “police state” (for example, Prohibition, immigration restriction and censorship) create in the United States, during the 1920s? How did a “consumer society” resolve these problems, during the 1930s onward?
Q8: How did the concepts of totalitarianism and democracy influence the course of the Cold War and the political and social climate of the United States? Q9: How did ideas of nationalism and internationalism change from the era of Reconstruction to the end of the Cold War in the United States?
Q10: How did the politics of the Cold War intersect with the politics of the civil rights movement?
Q11. What is the Cold War (1917-1991)? Discuss its cultural, economic, political, religious, and social dimensions.
[Note here are some themes to ponder as you begin to brainstorm. Consider the failures and successes of Wilsonianism (that is, making the world safe for democracy post-1921); the affects of the Great Depression on cultural, economic, political and/or social ways in the US; how did the threat of totalitarianism change the cultural, economic, political and/or social ways of the US; how did atomic weapons change US relations with the world; consider the various strategies used by civil rights activists; how did civil rights (non-violence) relate or not to black nationalism; how did the Korean and Vietnam wars affect the United States; how did the Cold War change US immigration policies; what was the new left and new right; consider what changed in the US during the 1960s and 1970s and/or what remained the same.]