Posted: September 6th, 2023
Choose ONE of the following five questions to answer.
Your responses need:
• Please indicate which question you are answering.
• This essay must be 8-11 paragraphs minimum (a paragraph is 3-5 complete sentences, not fragments, not bullet points). 1 paragraph of introduction, 6-9 paragraphs for the body, 1 paragraph of conclusion.
• Each essay must include a thesis statement. You need to make an actual argument that needs to be supported with facts.
• Each essay needs to rely on evidence found in classroom lectures, our textbook, and the OER textbook. YOU MAY NOT use outside sources, like the internet, without prior approval. Click here for the link to the OER textbook.
• You must use a primary and secondary source. Lectures do not count.
• You must cite where you got each piece of evidence [For Example: “Hitler annexed Austria in 1938” (Created Equal) or “African Americans were often forced to take bogus literacy tests before they were outlawed in 1965 (“Voting Literacy Test 1965” in Created Equal) or “The Union Stockyards are an example of Gilded Age industrialism” (Gilded Age Lecture)]
• Put a works cited page.
• Use MLA or Chicago Style citations
• Essays should ONLY include topics that happened between 1877 and 1990.
• Submit essays in word doc or pdf format. Google doc links, pages, odt, or text submissions will not be accepted.
Follow the question prompts carefully. If a question asks you to give five specific examples, give five examples. If the question asks you to discuss the cause and effects, please discuss both.
The number one thing that students do wrong in these essays is over-generalize. Be very clear and very explicit. Do not tell me, for example, that the lives of women changed in the 20th century because “they got more freedoms.” That will not receive a passing grade. Instead, you should talk about things like the 19th amendment or the specific things feminism did for women.
QUESTIONS TO ANSWER
1. Throughout history, there are clear divisions between urban and rural geographies and cultures. Pick two specific eras discussed in this course and describe the ways in which urban and rural Americans had very different experiences. Be specific in your response using evidence from your textbook, primary source readings, lectures, videos to support your argument.
2. Outline the transition of the US government from isolationist to globalist. Use at least five specific events and detail how the event led the US closer to global foreign policy. Be specific in your response using evidence from your textbook, primary source readings, lectures, videos to support your argument.
3. Explain the economic rises and falls over the Twentieth Century. Provide me with at least five key events of the US economy, describing its causes and effects. Be specific in your response using evidence from your textbook, primary source readings, lectures, videos to support your argument.
4. Explain how the fear of communism influenced modern US History. Use at least five specific examples and detail how the fear resulted in direct action from the US government, people, or culture. Be specific in your response using evidence from your textbook, primary source readings, lectures, videos to support your argument.
5. Pick ONE of the US Civil Rights Movements (African American, Feminism, Latinx, American Indian, LGBTQ, Disability Rights). Provide me with at least five key events of the Movement, the events that led up to those key events, and where the Movement succeeded and failed. Be specific in your response using evidence from your textbook, primary source readings, lectures, videos to support your argum
Question 1: Throughout history, there are clear divisions between urban and rural geographies and cultures. Pick two specific eras discussed in this course and describe the ways in which urban and rural Americans had very different experiences.
In American history, the divide between urban and rural areas has always been prominent. During the Gilded Age (1877-1900), rapid industrialization led to an influx of people into cities. As a result, urban areas experienced overcrowding, poor sanitation, and increased crime rates, while rural areas remained largely agricultural and conservative.
In the Gilded Age, the urban experience was characterized by rapid economic growth and social stratification. The rich lived in luxurious mansions and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, while the poor lived in overcrowded tenements and struggled to make ends meet. In Jacob Riis’s book “How the Other Half Lives,” he described the harsh living conditions of the poor in New York City’s tenement buildings. The poor had limited access to clean water, proper sanitation, and medical care. The tenement buildings were overcrowded, and disease was rampant, leading to a high infant mortality rate.
On the other hand, rural Americans during the Gilded Age experienced a different set of challenges. As the United States continued to industrialize, the rural population declined. Many farmers struggled to keep up with new technologies and rising costs, leading to a decline in agricultural production. As a result, many farmers lost their land and moved to urban areas in search of better opportunities.
During the Great Depression (1929-1941), the experiences of urban and rural Americans diverged even further. The economic downturn hit both areas hard, but urban areas were hit the hardest. In cities, people lost their jobs and homes, and poverty rates skyrocketed. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies attempted to address these issues with programs like the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which created jobs and built infrastructure.
Meanwhile, rural Americans faced different challenges during the Great Depression. Many farmers had already been struggling to make a living, and the economic downturn made their situation even worse. The Dust Bowl, a severe drought that affected the Great Plains, made it difficult for farmers to grow crops and caused widespread damage to the land. Many farmers were forced to abandon their land and move to urban areas in search of work.
In conclusion, throughout American history, the experiences of urban and rural Americans have been vastly different. During the Gilded Age, urban areas experienced rapid economic growth and social stratification, while rural areas struggled to keep up with industrialization. During the Great Depression, both urban and rural areas faced economic challenges, but the issues they faced were unique to their respective environments. The experiences of urban and rural Americans continue to be shaped by their environment and the economic and social forces at play.
Riis, Jacob. How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York. Dover Publications, 1971.