Topics from the Course Description

Download 38.2 Kb.
Date conversion16.04.2016
Size38.2 Kb.
Ch 18-22 Past Essay Topics

15.  Industrial America in the Late 19th Century

Topics from the Course Description

a. Corporate consolidation of industry

b. Effects of technological development of workers and workplace.

c. Labor and unions.

d. National politics and influence of corporate power.

e. Migration and immigration: The changing face of the nation.

f. Proponents and opponents of the new order, e.g., Social Darwinism and Social Gospel.


Document Based Question

1. To what extent and for what reasons did the policies of the federal government from 1865-1900 violate the principles of laissez faire, which advocated minimal governmental intervention in the economy?


Consider with specific reference to the following three areas of policy:

- railroad land grants

- control of interstate commerce

- and antitrust activities

(See: 1979  DBQ)


2. How successful was organized labor in improving the position of workers in the period from 1875 to 1900? Analyze the factors that contributed to the level of success achieved.


Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1875 to 1900 to construct your answer.

(See: 2000 DBQ)


3. “Between 1880 and 1915 labor leaders voiced sharp disagreement over the proper goals and strategies workers should follow to improve their position in American society.” 


Assess contrasting goals and strategies with an assessment of their ‘vision for the future of America society and the degree of success their approach achieved between 1880 and 1915.’

(See: ARCO)


4. Analyze the ways in which technology, government policy, and economic conditions changed American agriculture in the period 1865-1900.


In your answer be sure to evaluate farmers’ responses to these changes.  

(See: 2007 DBQ)


5. Was the Gilded Age a revolution in American culture, a transportation revolution, an economic/industrial revolution, or was it an age of political mediocrity dealing with postwar reconstruction?



6. In Letters from an American Farmer,  St. Jon de Crevecouer wrote:

He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds ... Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labors and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world.


Assess the validity of this early statement of the melting-pot theory of acculturation using both the documents and your knowledge of immigration during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.



Free Response Questions:

1. Andrew Carnegie has been viewed by some historians as the ‘prime representative of the industrial age’ and by others as ‘an industrial leader atypical of the period.’


Assess the validity of each of these views.

(See: 1986, #5)


2. “Although the economic growth of the United States between 1860 and 1900 has been attributed to a governmental policy of laissez faire, it was in fact encouraged and sustained by direct government intervention.”


Assess the validity of this statement.

(See: 1988, #5)


3. “The reorganization and consolidation of business structures was more responsible for late nineteenth century American industrialization than was the development of new technologies.”


Assess the validity of this statement with specific reference to business structures and new technologies from 1865 and 1900

(See: 1990, #4)    


4. How did the “Old Immigration” of the 1840s and 50s differ from the “New Immigration” that began in the 1880s?


5. Compare and contrast the attitudes of THREE of the following toward the wealth that was created in the United States during the late nineteenth century:

- Andrew Carnegie

- Eugene V. Debs

- Horatio Alger

- Booker T. Washington

- Ida Tarbell

(See: 1994, #4)


6. Analyze the impact of any TWO of the following on the American industrial worker between 1865 and 1900.

- Government actions

- Immigration

-Labor unions

- Technological changes. 

(See: 1998, #3)    


7. Explain how Two of the following individuals responded to the economic and social problems created by industrialization during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

- Jane Addams

- Andrew Carnegie

- Samuel Gompers

- Upton Sinclair

(See: 2007 B, #4)


8. Compare and contrast the ways that many Americans expressed their opposition to immigrants in the 1840s – 1850s with that in the time period 1910-1920

(See: 2011)


9. Analyze the impact of technological innovations on the lives of TWO of the following groups. Confine your answer to the period 1865–1920.

        Factory workers

        Middle-class urban residents

        Midwestern farmers



Unit 16.  Urban Society  in the Late 19th Century

Topics from the Course Description

a. Urbanization and lure of the City.

b. City problems and machine politics.

c. Intellectual and cultural movements and popular entertainment.


Document Based Question:

1. How and why did the lives and status of northern middle-class women change between 1776 and 1876?

(See: 1981  DBQ)


2. To what extent did the economic and political developments as well as assumptions about the nature of women affect the position of American women during the period 1890-1925?


Use the documents and your knowledge of the history of the years 1890-1925 to construct your response.

(See: 1997   DBQ)


3. Analyze the primary causes of the population shift from a rural to an urban environment in the United States between 1875 and 1925.



4. Define and analyze the role played by Social Darwinism in the late 19th and early 20th century.



Free Response Questions:

1. Analyze the ways in which state and federal legislation and judicial decisions, including those of the Supreme Court, affected the efforts of TWO of the following groups to improve their position in society between 1880 and 1920:




(See: 1993, #4)


2. From the 1840’s through the 1890’s, women’s activities in the intellectual, social, economic, and political spheres effectively challenged traditional attitudes about women’s place in society.


Assess    the validity of this statement.

(See: 1991, #4)


3. A number of writers and reformers 1865-1914 discussed the growing gap between wealth and poverty in the United States. Compare and contrast THREE of the following with specific reference to their proposals for reform.

                - Henry George

                - Edward Bellamy

                - Andrew Carnegie

                - William Graham Sumner

                - Upton Sinclair

(See: 1984, #5)


4. To what extent did the role of the federal govenrment change under President Theodore Roosevelt in regard to TWO of the following?




                World affairs

(See: 2007, #4)


Unit 17. Populism and Progressivism

Topics from the Course Description

a. Agrarian discontent and political issues of the late nineteenth century

b. Origins of Progressive reform: municipal, state, and national.

c. Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson as progressive students.

d. Women’s roles: family, workplace, education, politics, and reform.

e. Black America: urban migration and civil rights initiative


Document Based Questions:

1. Analyze the ways in which technology, government policy, and economic conditions changed American agriculture in the period 1865-1900.


In your answer be sure to evaluate farmer's responses to these changes.

(See: 2007 DBQ)


2.  In the twentieth century prohibition spread by states’ passing local option laws, which permitted a unit of local government, such as a  county, to prohibit the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages. After an intensive campaign by the Anti-Saloon League and other prohibitionist organizations and reform groups, national prohibition was achieved by the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment to the federal Constitution in 1919.


What accounts for the success of the prohibition movement in the United States during the era of progressive reform, 1900-1919? Consider the social composition of the prohibitionists, their motives, strategy and pressure-group tactics, and the relationship of prohibitionism to progressive reform.

(See: 1978 DBQ)


3. Documents A - H reveal some of the problems that many farmers in the late nineteenth century (1880- 1900) saw as threats to their way of life. Using the documents and your knowledge of the period, (a)  explain the reasons for agrarian discontent and (b) evaluate the validity of the farmer’s complaints.

(See: 1983   DBQ)


4. Evaluate the effectiveness of Progressive Era reformers and the federal government in bringing about reform at the national level. In your answer be sure to analyze the successes and limitations of these efforts in the period 1900-1920.

(2003-B  DBQ)


5. To what extent did the Supreme Court advance or inhibit Progressive regulation of corporations in the period 1885 to 1920?



6. To what extent were the reforms of the Progressive Era aimed at maintaining the existing society and to what extent did they bring about radical changes?



Free Response Questions:

1. “Most reform legislation since 1900 has been the work of special interests seeking to advance their own well-being, but adopted of such legislation has required the general support of others who were not directly affected but who perceived it to be in the public interest.”  


Assess the validity of this statement with reference to THREE examples of reform legislation since 1900. You may draw your examples from reform at any level of government: national, state, or municipal.

(See: 1979, #2)


2. The Populist party platform in 1892 stated, “The interests of rural and civic (urban) labor are the same; their enemies are identical.”  Given the political and economic conditions of the 1890s, to what extent was this true?


3. Ironically, popular belief in the ‘self-sufficient farmer’ and the ‘self-made man’ increased during the nineteenth century as the reality behind these beliefs faded.’ 


Assess the validity of this statement.

(See: 1978, #5)


4. “In American politics the most significant battles have occurred within the major parties rather than between them.”


Discuss this statement with reference to the periods 1850-1861  and 1900-1912. (See: 1981, #6)


5. Americans have been a highly mobile people. Describe and account for the dominant population movements between 1820 and 1900.

(See: 1982, #3)


6. “Throughout its history, the United States has been a land of refuge and opportunity for immigrants.”


Assess the validity of this statement in view of the experiences of TWO of the following.

- The Scotch-Irish on the eighteenth-century Appalachian frontier

- The Irish in the nineteenth-century urban Northeast

- The Chinese in the nineteenth-century west.

(See: 1987, #3)


7. “The Progressive movement 1901-1917 was a triumph of conservatism rather than a victory for liberalism.”


Assess the validity of this statement.

(See: 1987, #5)


8. In what ways were the late nineteenth century Populists the heirs of the Jacksonian Democrats with respect to overall objectives AND specific proposals for reform? 

(See: 1989, #4)


9. Analyze the reasons for the emergence of the Populist movement in the late nineteenth century.

(See: 1995, #4)


10. After its startling successes of the late 1880s and early 1890s, why did the Populist Party quickly fade into oblivion after 1896?


11. To what extent did the federal government change under President Theodore Roosevelt in regard to Two of the following.

- Labor

- Trusts

- Conservation

- World affairs


12. Historians have argued that Progressive reform lost momentum in the 1920s. Evaluate this statement with respect to Two of the following.

- Regulation of business.

- Labor

- Immigrants



13. Analyze the roles tat women played in Progressive Era reforms from the 1880s through 1920. Focus your essay on TWO of the following.


                Social conditions

                Labor and working conditions

(2010 #4)

The database is protected by copyright © 2016
send message

    Main page