HIST 3220: First Essay Assignment

Pick one of the candidates in the 1912 presidential election—Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, or Eugene Debs—and explain their diagnosis of what ailed American society during the Progressive Era. Describe the specific policies they proposed, and the problems that they meant to solve. Explain the rationale behind their solutions for America’s social and economic ills in the early twentieth century.

Your answer should draw on both the assigned reading in The 1912 Election (pgs. 21-62) as well as at least two primary source documents from Part Two of the book. The essay response should have a clear thesis, supported by quotations from the primary sources with citations using Turabian or Chicago style footnotes. The response should be 3-5 pages in 12-point Times New Roman font.

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Final Exam Study Guide

The Cold War





Cuban Missile Crisis

John F. Kennedy (JFK)

Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ)

“Daisy” ad

The Civil Rights Movement

Brown v. Board of Education (1955)

Betty Friedan

The Voting Rights Act (1965)

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

Stokely Carmichael

Stonewall Riot (1969)

The Rise of the New Right

The Vietnam War


Jimmy Carter

Iran Hostage Crisis

Anita Bryant

Ronald Reagan

The War on Drugs

PATCO strike

After the Cold War

Mikhail Gorbachev

The Washington Consensus

Bill Clinton


The “New Economy”

Welfare reform (1996)

America in Globalization and War

2000 Presidential election

The Iraq War (2003)

“Weapons of mass destruction”

Hurricane Katrina

Global Financial Crisis (2008)

Barack Obama


Essay Questions:

What was “containment”?  What concerns and motivations drove the United States to resist the spread of Communism after World War II, and how did these anxieties influence American foreign policy?  How did the Cold War affect life in the United States?  Give at least three explicit examples of how the US government acted to fight Communism at home and abroad during the Cold War, and what consequences did these actions have?

What strategies did members of the civil rights movement use to combat racist oppression of African Americans in the 1950s and 1960s?  What specific tactics were used to dismantle segregation and fight for greater political, social, and economic inequality during this period, and what were the movement’s greatest successes?

What did Betty Friedan mean by “the problem that has no name”?  In what ways were women limited by law and tradition in the 1950s, and in what ways did the feminist movement fight to expand freedom for women in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s?  Give specific examples of laws, court rulings, and/or cultural attitudes that changed during this period.

What factors gave rise to the New Right in the 1960s, 1970s, and the 1980s?  Why did conservatism begin to appeal to more American voters during this period, following a long period of liberal dominance from the time of FDR’s New Deal in the 1930s to LBJ’s Great Society/War on Poverty in the 1960s? Be sure to cite specific issues and/or events that led to greater political success for conservatives and the Republican Party.

How did the United States change in the wake of the Cold War?  How did the policies of Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton change American society, and what broad trends reshaped the US economy and politics as the nation moved into the twenty-first century?

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HIST 2110: No Class Monday December 1st


We will not have a lecture on Monday and students are not required to attend; however, you are welcome to come and take part in a review session where we will go a little deeper in discussing the recent material.  We will be back to the normal schedule for the remaining two days of class (Wed Dec 5th and Mon Dec 8th), where we will be discussing Vietnam, the rise of the New Right, the end of the Cold War, and globalization.

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HIST 2110: Lecture Slides for the Remainder of the Semester

It’s that time of the semester — the home stretch.  The lecture notes for our remaining classes are all available below.

20 – Building a Free World

21 – The Third American Revolution

22 – Vietnam and Rise of New Right

23 – The Washington Consensus

24 – America in Globalization and War

Key Crash Course videos:


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HIST 8030: Big Narratives

“The past has nothing of interest to teach us.” (Judt, 2). When I think about the twentieth century, the first thing that comes to mind is how much our world changed in just one hundred years; from cars to the Internet to how we live our lives in convenience. The wars and policy that were implemented during the twentieth century has had lasting affects on our lives today. Jefferson Cowie and Nick Salvatore discuss the lasting impact of the New Deal throughout the twentieth century in The Long Exception, while Timothy Mitchell’s Carbon Democracy dives into the correlation of oil, war, and political powers throughout the twentieth century and its lasting impact on today’s world. When considering all that occurred in the twentieth century, how much changed, and how much endured, I think it is important to remember that the past has so much to teach us if we only remember that we are not too good to look for help and make sure the same mistakes are not repeated again and again.

In Tony Judt’s “The World We Have Lost”, an introduction to Reappraisals, Judt discusses how close and yet how far away we are from the twentieth century. We always discuss that we should remember the past and learn from it, but Judt making the argument that, for some reason, we, seem to be too good to do the same for the twentieth century. As a society, we look at the twenty-first century as a fresh start and it learning from the past one hundred years would do nothing to benefit us going forward. At one point, Judt states, “… on not listening with greater care to some of the wiser heads of earlier decades; on seeking actively to forget rather than remember.” (Judt, 2) I struck me how true this statement was, I hear all the time how those old, white men do not know what they are talking about and how “old-fashioned and narrow-minded they are. While some of them may not agree of a twenty-somethings’ idea of marriage or illegal immigration, the past generations have seen so much and we are missing this opportunity to learn from their experiences.

Jefferson Cowie and Nick Salvatore give a compelling argument, in The Long Exception, that the New Deal was more than a simple way to end the Great Depression and boost the economy, it changed the trajectory of the entire twentieth century. In Timothy Mitchell’s Carbon Democracy, our dependency on oil and that issues it is causing becomes very clear. Mitchell argues that our entire foreign policy centers around the idea that we need to get oil, we need to be in friendly with countries who have oil, and that we cannot live without oil. To be such a world power, we are constantly at the mercy of enemies who can provide oil for us to continue living our everyday lives.

1. In your opinion, what steps need to be taken to lessen the U.S.’s dependency on oil and increase our governance as a world power?

2. How can history be taught so that we’re not simply memorializing history through the museums, inscriptions, etc. but to actually help future generations become educated and global citizens? (Judt, 3)

3. Do we have something to learn from the twentieth century and in history in general?

4. In your opinion, what was the most significant lasting impact of the New Deal?

5. Going forward, how can we learn from the triumphs and turmoil of the twentieth century?

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HIST 2110: Exam 2 Study Guide


Compromise of 1850

John Brown

Homestead Act

Emancipation Proclamation

Black Codes



Fourteenth Amendment

Knights of Labor

Dawes Act

Gilded Age

Tammany Hall

Jim Crow

Booker T. Washington

Eugene Debs

Settlement houses

Lochner v. New York

Birth of a Nation

Margaret Sanger

Fourteen Points

Nineteenth Amendment

Alice Paul

Marcus Garvey

Great Migration

Bonus Army


Social Security Act

Wagner Act

New Deal Coalition


Congress of Industrial Organizations

Four Freedoms

A. Philip Randolph

The Manhattan Project

Essay Questions 

In what ways did the United States’ triumph in the Mexican War create problems that led to the Civil War?

What does Jourdon Anderson’s letter to his former master tell us about the changing relationship between black workers and white landowners in the wake of Emancipation? If he had decided to go back, what kind of economic arrangement do you think might have developed between Jourdon Anderson and P.H. Anderson?

Discuss what the “frontier” symbolized for Americans in the nineteenth century, and then describe at least two ways in which the reality of the West differed from the myth.

What were three ways that the US government sought to defeat Native American resistance and change their way of life?

Describe at least three problems that farmers faced in the late nineteenth century, and then discuss ways that the Populists hoped to remedy those problems.

What are two different theories scholars have used to explain the emergence of a Progressive reform movement among the middle and upper class in the early twentieth century? What motivated the Progressives?

Describe the differences between Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey’s visions for improving the lives of African Americans in the early twentieth century.

How did Austen Bolam and Norman Thomas see the New Deal differently?

How did the administration of Franklin Roosevelt try to solve the problems of the Depression through the New Deal? Describe three different policies and the issues or concerns they were meant to resolve, as well as their consequences (good and bad).

How did the mobilization for World War II change the lives of women and African Americans?

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HIST 2110: Lecture Slides for the Remainder of the Semester

It’s that time of the semester — the home stretch.  The lecture notes for our remaining classes are all available below.

18 – Depression Era America slides

19 – The Ideological War

20 – Building a Free World

21 – The Third American Revolution

22 – Vietnam and Rise of New Right

23 – The Washington Consensus

24 – America in Globalization and War


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