Tuesday, February 26, 2008

US Imperialism: Comparing turn of the 20th and 21st century international relations

Read the following articles on US foreign policy at the turn of the 20th (a) and 21st (b, c) Centuries

How does AFL leaders' Samuel Gompers' views on imperialism compare with those of the contemporary editorialists featured in articles B and C?

What similarities and differences do you see between US foreign policy in the Phillipines and Hawaii under Mickinley and Roosevelt and that of G.W. Bush?

In your opinion, when is US foreign intervention justified? What should be the role of the US government in "developing nations" and "emerging deomocracies?" Provide specific examples and evidence to support your response?

Minimum 300 words

Respond to at least one other post

Due Fri. 2/29 at the begining of class

Monday, February 18, 2008

Election Study: Comparing turn of the 20th century politics with today's presidential race

1. Check out CNN's "Election Central" resources:

2. Identify and summarize at least three key issues in the upcoming elections. Discuss the positions of any two politicians still in the running for Presidental nomination in the Democratic and Republican parties. What are the major differences in their political views? Who's politics do you support more? Why?

3. Then, read a recent New York Times editorial about the similarties between Senator Hillary Clinton and one of the Presidents covered in out latest unit, Grover Cleveland:

And an article from US News and World Reports about a scandal that took place in the 1888 election:

Summarize the scandal of 1888 and explain why the author feels Hilliary Clinton might be "the next Grover Cleveland?" Evaluate his position using evidence from your candidate research.

For optional extra credit you may complete one or both of the following tasks:
a) Research two third party candidates and summarize and compare their views with the other candidates you read about for this blog


b)Identify summarize two "Great Moments in Campaign History" from US News' recent coverstory: http://www.usnews.com/features/news/politics/greatmoments.html

THIS BLOG MUST BE AT LEAST 400 words. Please remember to comment on at least one other post. Extra credits should be 200 words each. Due Monday 2/25 before class.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Nativism and Immigration in the Gilded Age

Read the article posted below (two formats available):

http://www.vanells.com/125-22.pdf (with images, PDF requires Adobe Acrobat),+disease&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8&gl=us
(HTML/ will work on any computer)

AND Chapter One of Jacub Riis' How the Other Half Lives


A) Discuss how health, sanitation and scientific theory affected the lives of "old immigrants" in the Gilded Age.

B) Consider Riis' arguments for social reform and Herbert Spencer's theory of Social Darwinism.

In your opinion, was the government responsible for the health and safety of immigrant communities at the turn of the 20th Century?

Should undocumented (alien) immigrants recieve social services in modern US society?

How do your opinions on these matter relate to the Riis and Spencer?

C) Respond to the post of at least one classmate.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Digital History Investigation: The Gilded Age

Group work project - 50 points

Over the next two class periods, we shall be exploring the Gilded Age through the following social and political lenses:

· African Americans After Slavery
· Indian Policy
· Changing Status of Women
· Farmers' Revolt
· Responses to Industrialization


1. Chose one of the topics above and move to the table marked with that label.
This will be your working group for our first project of the new marking period.

2. You group must complete the following tasks on our class blog OR powerpoint:

Using resources at the Digital History archive: http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/modules/gilded_age/index.cfm

A) Create a mini-timeline identifying 8 events related to your topic. Summarize three of the most important of these events in detail. Use the timeline link on the homepage for this assignment to aid you in this process.

B) Identify and summarize a landmark Supreme Court case that related to your topic of study. How did the outcome/ decision influence society in the Gilded Age?

C) Answer any two of the questions at the end of your topic summary. Overall, do you feel the trends and developments related to your topic in the Gilded Age advanced or hindered social progress in the United States?

D) Post and summarize at least two visual sources (cartoons, maps, graphs, photographs, etc.) related to your topic. This task requires internet research outside of the URL provided, so be sure to post links to your visual sources and (if possible) include MLA citations.

E) Compose three study questions that your classmates should be able to answer upon reading your group’s work.

3. Present your work to the rest of our class (Thursday)

Note: we will only have access to the computers in class today (Tues 2/5) and tomorrow (Wed. 2/6) so it is vital that you take responsibilty for some of this work at home.

Your homework tonight is to work on this assignment.

Assessment- Each task will be graded on a scale of 1-10 points using the following rubric:

9-10 points: accurate analytical work that reflects a comprehensive understanding of the period and topic area assigned. Insightful connections drawn to economic, social and cultural trends and/or other periods of US history.

7-8 points: Accurate work that reflects a thorough understanding of the era and topic assigned. Work is straightforward and provides historical detail with some analysis.

5-6 points: Work includes factual errors but attempts to meet guidelines of the task.

3-4 points: Work is incomplete

0 points: section missing

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Term 2 Blog Assignment #1: US Society in the Gilded Age

The period immediately following the Civil War presented a number of challenges to the United States. Reconstruction was an expensive federal endeavor, meaning society in part tured to private industry to strengthen the economy. In the essay "Robber Barons and Rebels", Howard Zinn discusses the economic, political and social trends in the period generally referred to as the Gilded Age.

"In the year 1877, the signals were given for the rest of the century: the blacks would be put back; the strikes of white workers would not be tolerated; the industrial and political elites of North and South would take hold of the country and organize the greatest march of economic growth in human history. They would do it with the aid of, and at the expense of, black labor, white labor, Chinese labor, European immigrant labor, female labor, rewarding them differently by race, sex, national origin, and social class, in such a way as to create separate levels of oppression-a skillful terracing to stabilize the pyramid of wealth... the government of the United States was behaving almost exactly as Karl Marx described a capitalist state: pretending neutrality to maintain order, but serving the interests of the rich... the purpose of the state was to settle upper-class disputes peacefully, control lower-class rebellion, and adopt policies that would further the long-range stability of the system."

Consider the varying social and economic strains experienced by the United States at the turn of the Ninteenth century as described in Zinn's artilce: http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinnbaron11.html

Summarize the key developments revealed in the text and respond to the following questions:

  • Did the US government's actions in this era benefit the nation as a whole or (as Zinn seems to believe) did the economic policies that emerged in the Gilded Age benefit the wealthy and punish the poor/working classes?

  • To what extent should the government regulate private industry?

Your response should be at least 200 words and relate to at least one other post

Anyone seeking extra credit may complete the blog my US classes are working on, which is related to this topic.