Thursday, May 7, 2009

Debate Prep: Controversial Issues at the end of WWII


7 minute debates:

today you will be preparing for a TWO ROUND debate on ONE of the following issues. You will not be told in advance WHICH position you will argue in class tomorrow, so be sure to complete both perspective columns in your notes.


Dropping of Atomic Bomb

Is the deployment of the A Bomb a necessary step to end Japanese aggression and ensure America’s victory in the Second World War? - Video - primary sources, truman library primary sources, truman library



22nd Amendment to US Constitution:  Is it necessary  to limit the President to two terms in office? Do term limits preserve checks and balances or hinder democratic process?


Formation and joining of NATO : Is the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization a necessary step in advancing diplomacy and world peace?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Review Help

I decided to start posting helpful review sites. Please add your reccomendations as comments as you like. 

Also, if anyone wants to write songs or poems to the tune of pop songs to help the class review specific eras, please do.

 You'll get +5 test points for each rhyme successfully posted and PERFORMED for class - that's right. PERFORMED!

Cinco de Mayo 101

Monday, May 4, 2009

Homework for May 4, 2009 (due Tues. 5/5)

The following is the assignment that was distributed in class today.  B e sure to read the reminders at the end of this HW assignment. 

1. Read pp. 890 -n 901 in Out of Many. 

2. Define: 

Nuremburg Laws
Nye Committee
Neutrality Act of 1939
Lend Lease Act
Axis Powers
Allied Powers
Atlantic Charter
War Powers Act
Office of War Information
Office of War Mobilization
Rosie the Riviter
Executive Order 9066
Korematsu v. United States

3. Identify and describe how the nation adapted economically and culturally to mobilize for the war effort.

Please note that if you missed today's exam (the SAT is not a reason to  miss class, folks) you will need to make up your test after school this Tuesday or Wednesday. If you have a medical or legal excuse note, we can negotiate your lunch period as a make up time. 

If you have not submitted the New Deal DBQ keep in mind that it is worth 27/ 100 points from the exam we took today.  You will lose 10% of that essay score for each day late. 

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Progress, Preparedness and Protest : The US and WWI

For your blog -Read Chapter 8: The Birth of Civil Liberties in The Story of American Freedom by Monday 4/6 .

In Chapter 8 of The Story of American Freedom, Eric Foner explains that "the enlistment of democracy and freedom as ideological war weapons, qualities that set the country apart from German authoritarianism, inevitably inspired demands for their expansion at home."

In your opinion, why did American social movements gain momentum during the period leading up to and immediately following the Great War. How did those social movements contribute to support and opposition to the US' role in WWI. Reference at least three achievements of social movements to support your answer.Be prepared to have a seminar on this chapter on Monday.

By Tuesday, 3/7 have a timeline/ copious notes and questions prepared on pages 771-782 in Chapter 22 of Out of Many. The notes should reflect key terms, understandings and events related to the US' role in WWI and it's impact on American domestic and foreign policy.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Nationalism and New Freedom

Clifford Berryman cartoon depicting candidates for the election of 1912
1. Actively read and summarize the essay "The New Nationalism and the New Freedom: A Study in Contrast" at:

2. How did Roosevelt's New Nationalism and Wilson's New Freedom ideologies compare? Which was more beneficial for Americans in the first decades of the twentienth century?

3. Read the recent Washington Post editorial entitled "Obama's Blank Slate" by Tony Blankley:

According to this article, do Obama's goals seem more like those of Roosevelt or Wilson? How will his efforts resemble these two important "liberal" administrations?

minimum of 250 words total. due monday at the begining of class

Thursday, March 19, 2009

progressive era - key themes

progresive era powerpoint from today's lecture is available for view here:

use this resource to complete the notes and questions from today's session.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Homework for tuesday, March 17th: The Progressive Era

(Image to left: Jane Adams, social reformer and founder of Hull House, 1899.)

For class tomorrow, read the section of Chapter 21 in Out of Many designagted by the first letter of your LAST NAME and follow the directions below. Points will be deducted if you change your group without my permission as it is important that all of the areas be covered in depth for tomorrow's lesson to work well. 

A-C: The Female Dominion and Urban Machines - pp. 724-730
D-H: Journalism and Intellectual Reform - pp. 730-736
I- L: Working Class Experience and Worker's Rights- pp. 736-744
M-Z: Women's movement and the Black Awakening pp. 744-748

Directions for writing assignment: 

1. Answer the focus question on page 723 in 150-250 words (on looseleaf or typed, you're encouraged to post it to the blog but will need a hard copy in class, too - the printer is out)"

 "Discuss the tensions within progressivism between the ideas of social justice and the urge for social control. What concrete achievements are associated with each "wing" of the movement?" 
 (NOTE: focus on the section/ topics you were assigned only for this assignment in your response.)

2. Define 8-10 key terms, reformers, policies, events, works of literature, etc. that come up in your section of the text. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Josiah Strong - Our Country (1885)

Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr. (R-MA)

Alfred Thayer Mahan - The Influence of Sea Power Upon History (1890)

Queen Liliuokalani

Sanford B. Dole

McKinley Tariff of 1890

"yellow" journalism


William Randolph Hearst

"reconcentration" policy

De Lôme Letter

"Splendid Little War"

Teller Amendment

Rough Riders

Commodore George Dewey

Treaty of Paris (1898)

Foraker Act (1900)

Insular Cases (1901)

Jones Act (1917)

Anti-Imperialist League

José Martí

Cuba libre

Emilio Aguinaldo

Boxer Rebellion

Open Door Notes

John Hay

Rudyard Kipling - "White Man's Burden"

Elihu Root & the Platt Amendment

Friday, March 6, 2009

Nationalist Movements in modern-day Hawaii and Puerto Rico

This week we are exploring the reasons that the US government sought colonial rule over regions of the Caribbean and South Pacific at the turn of the 20th century. The legitimacy of US authority over commonwealths like Puerto Rico, Guam, Samoa and even the statehood of Hawaii remain controversial issues in modern society. This week's blog asks that you read some articles on contemporary nationalist movements and analyze the call for independence that is becoming a strong political movement among indigenous people in these areas.

Actively read the following articles on independence movements in Hawaii and Puerto RicoA)Hawaii

B) Puerto Rico
Summarize the articles and explain the reasons why Puerto Rican and Hawaiian nationalists feel their homelands should be granted full independence by the US government.

In your opinion, would autonomy and self-rule benefit the people of Hawaii and Puerto Rico or exacerbate poverty and other problems that exist in these areas today? Explain using support from the article, your knowledge of history and any outside sources that you may use to further research this assignment. If you read other sources, be sure to cite the URL or newssource in your post.

minimum 250 words, please comment on the post of one of your peers.Due Monday 3/9 before class.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Helpful study guide and SAFMED terms:
(you can't print or copy and paste the page but I think it's a really useful link)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Robber Barons and Rebels: Seminar Prep

1. Actively read chapter 11 of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, "Robber Barons and Rebels". The chapter is available for view and print at :

2. Post two of your own discussion questions

3. Respond to at least one of the questions below (200 word minimum)

A) Zinn suggests that the US government’s non-intervention in business practices enabled exploitation and the widening gap between the rich and poor at the turn of the 20th century. At the same time, he points out that the free-market system enabled individuals from humble beginnings (i.e. Edison, Carnegie and Morgan) to become self-made millionaires. Evaluate Zinn’s notion that “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.” What impact did this approach have on American society as a whole?

B) Based on this chapter, was Big Business steering US politicians or were politicians steering Big Business in the period from 1890-1910? Provide evidence to support your answer.

C) By 1886,” the Supreme Court had accepted the argument that corporations were "persons" and their money was property protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” To what extent should businesses be entitled to the same rights and privileges as American citizens?

D) Monopoly and trust-busting were two political issues that reflected a great schism between the American industrial working class and wealthy elite. Zinn notes that many political policies which initially aimed to protect the common American were corrupted by misinterpretations in the US Supreme Court.

E) As corporate wealth expanded in the early 20th century, so did the causes of philanthropy and public works charities. In your opinion did the trend of corporate philanthropy (charity) advance or distort democratic process? Explain.

F) As the labor force became greater in members and discontent, so did the American Labor Movement. Consider the gains and losses made by strikers and unions in the period of 1890-1910. Was this movement a success or failure of the American working class? Explain.

G) Union activists (including Eugene B. Debbs) and members were often indicted for socialist beliefs and organizing against the government. Does promoting union values make one a socialist by definition? Is being a socialist particularly anti-American? Explain your answer.

H) According to Zinn, “ on top of the serious failures to unite blacks and whites, city workers and country farmers, there was the lure of electoral politics-all of that combining to destroy the Populist movement. How did the geographic, ethnic and racial diversity of the American workforce from 1880-1910 affect politics of the period as a whole? Provide specific examples to support your response.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Civil war film review: optional extra credit assignment

As extra credit for this class, you may review one or more of the following films on the US Civil War:



Cold Mountain

The Confederate States of America

Gods and Generals

Summarize the plot of the film in 150 words or more. Then, explain how the film relates to class and evaluate it's historical accuracy. Finally, give your opinion on wether or not this is a "must see" for students of US history. The review must be a total of at least 250 word and may be posted on a blog, submitted on paper or take another creative/ visual format (video, poster, powerpoint, etc.)
Due Monday, January 20 (Yes, I know we have off in observence of MLK day, but by then.)

Civil War Primary Source Investigation

Harper's Weekly was the most popular newspaper during the Civil War, and it featured stunning illustrations, and in depth stories on all the important people and events of the war. For this week's blog assignment, analyze and evalutate material from this important primary source following the directions below:

1. Actively read any issue from the online archive of Harpers' papers from 1861-65. (These papers are 4-6 pages long and include photographs and advertisements.) The papers are available for view at:

2. Summarize two articles and/or cartoons related to the war published in this edition (be sure to indicate the date and page of each source.) What insight do these articles provide into the issues most important to Harper's Weekly readers at this time? What are the authors and/or artists' positions on the war?

3. Conclude by discussing the impact you believe papers like Harpers' Weekly had on the war.This post is due by Friday, 1/11 at 7 a.m. 200 word minimum. Remember to respond to at least one classmates post.