OUR FINAL EXAM IS ON DECEMBER 7, 2016 FROM 8:00 A.M. TO 11:00 A.M. This exam will have three essay questions.
To study for this exam, I have included all of the guiding questions, as well as the main topics to focus on for each question. For further detail, feel free to reference my previous notes or study guides.
1. What does it mean to be modern? What did “modern” mean in 1876? ∙ The year 1876 was a year to show off the technological developments that America had made as a nation. Some of these advancements include the typewriter, the automatic telegraph, and the Corliss Steam Engine. Additionally, they began the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad, in hopes to settle the West.
2. What was the significance of the railroad?
∙ Railroads attract investment and were able to connect communities in ways that were not previously possible. Furthermore, railroads established where people went, due to the fact that the railroads owned the land the tracks were on, as well as the surrounding land. The establishment of the railroads also led to the creation of time zones. People now lived according to the railroad, instead of by time governed by the sun.
3. What were the arguments for and against unregulated capitalism?
∙ Henry George posed the question of why poverty had to come along with progress. There were two main answers to his question:
o Andrew Carnegie – “The Gospel of Wealth” – felt that the distribution of wealth was how it should be; those who fail are incompetent and deserve their failures, and the rich win due to their intelligence and skill; the rich should be stewards of the nation and help the weak.
oCharles Graham Sumner – “survival of the fittest” – felt that the strong should succeed and deserve to be rich, and would lead to the ultimate
extinction of the weak; this viewpoint led to racism within the distribution of wealth and power.
4. What were the most significant similarities and differences between life in America’s industrial cities and the southern states in this period?
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∙ Cities: living conditions were poor because they couldn’t support the rapid growth of people moving away from farms to look for factory jobs, as well as the influx of immigrants; cities had bad sanitation, bad streets, bad housing, unclean water, and inadequate fire and police protection
∙ New South: the South developed into an industrial capitalist economy and society; railroads were key to the economic rise; Northern textile industries began to relocate in the South We also discuss several other topics like Which barriers prevent mating or fertilization between species?
5. Why did rural Americans mount the greatest challenge to unregulated capitalism in this period? If you want to learn more check out How does this relate to slavery?
∙ Farmers were angry about the complete dependence on the railroads and banks. Due to this, the Farmer’s Alliance was formed. They decided they needed to create an independent organization to seek alternative solutions. They wanted to balance the power of the banks by joining together in a cooperative effort. This alliance was able to spread nationally because people were experiencing the same core problems and were attracted to the same solution. This led to the formation of the People’s Party, which wanted government regulation of railroads and banks, direct election of Senators, expansion of money supply by monetizing silver, get land taken back by the railroads, and a graduated income tax for the wealthy.
6. To what extent did the idea of “white supremacy” become an American governing philosophy in the 1890s?
∙ Lynchings peaked during this time period. Young African Americans were born free and were less respectful of whites than their parents had been. Because of this, whites feared disorder and the loss of racial privileges. This led to the creation of the AntiImperialism League several years later. In addition to this, the Mississippi State Constitution was written in such a way as to disenfranchise African Americans from voting. Plessy v. Ferguson also took place, which declared schools separate but equal.
7. How did the Progressive movement and WWI alter American politics? ∙ Progressives had rising expectations about the lives they should enjoy. To reach their ideal, they sought political reform. The National American Women Suffrage Association was created, which led to the creation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Theodore Roosevelt was President at this time, and put forth many Progressive ideas. At the start of World War I, America was officially neutral. However, many Americans knew war was imminent, which started the Preparedness Movement. Once we did go to war, there was an increase in income taxes, as well as an excess in corporate profit tax. This was the largest expansion of the federal government up to that point. Additionally, several acts were passed, such as the Espionage Act, Trading with the Enemy Act, and the Sedition Act, all with the effects of the war in mind. Don't forget about the age old question of How characters are held as numbers in computers?
8. The United States was defined both by the “Jazz Age” and the most conservative government in decades in the 1920s. Was this a contradiction?
∙ The 1920s was characterized by the ideas of old America vs. new America. Or, put in other words, it was rural Protestants vs. urban culture. In this time period, many women began to leave the farms and move to cities to seek independence. The cities were also places of consumption and leisure, which attracted women.
9. Was the New Deal a radical change or a moderate reform?
∙ The New Deal was seen as a drastic change within the government, compared to changes made in the past. FDR was committed to action and he promised change. He didn’t have a solid plan in place, but decided to tackle the economic depression by action and experimentation. Within his first Hundred Days in office, he began making drastic changes, such as the Emergency Banking Act, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and several other acts and administrations were put in to place. With these, FDR hoped to restore balance to the capitalist system.
10. How did the New Deal shape American involvement in WWII and the early Cold War? ∙ The leading idea of the New Deal was action. This could be seen in the early stages of World War II. Several acts were passed, such as the Neutrality Act of 1937, later revised in 1939, Selective Service Act, Tripartite Pact, Lend Lease Act, First War Powers Act, Second War Powers Act, Executive Order 8802, Executive Order 9066, and the GI Bill of Rights. Roosevelt felt that action was the best way to tackle any government issue, until he found something that worked. Don't forget about the age old question of What are the aspects of athletic training?
11. How did the Cold War affect American culture and politics?
∙ There was an underlying fear of communism within the United States. The Cold War sparked the New Red Scare, in which suspected communists were purged from the federal government. Union leaders were now required to take a loyalty oath. There was an increase in spending in U.S. military power, and NATO was created in hopes to contain the Soviet Union. Following the New Red Scare was the Lavender Scare, in which suspected homosexuals were purged from the federal government. Homosexuals were thought to be susceptible to blackmail from communists.
12. Why did American society seem to pull apart in the late 1960s?
∙ In 1964, the Civil Rights Act was passed, which outlawed discrimination in public services relating to interstate commerce, education, voting and employment. This applied to race as well as gender. Southern Democrats disliked it, and filibustered it to defeat it. Additionally, students began protesting with the Free Speech
Movement as well as the Civil Rights Movement. Energized by the social change, the Feminist Movement was also started. In response to the social changes, the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was passed, which made racial discrimination in housing
illegal, as well as the Safe Streets Act, which gave surplus military hardware to local police. During this time, America was seen as a nation divided. Don't forget about the age old question of What do you call the fear of something and having an irrational avoidance behavior?
13. What three words best describe America in the 1970s?
∙ The 1970s saw the rise of the Sunbelt as well as the decline of the Rust Belt. Old industrial areas were losing money, jobs, and investment. In the early 1970s, the Equal Rights Amendment, as well as Title IX of Education Amendment of Civil Rights Act were passed. Overall, when Carter was elected President in 1976, the nation was riddled with problems. There was a distrust of the government,
inflation, deindustrialization, and a cultural divide.
14. How did the end of the Cold War affect American politics and culture? ∙ Americans dreamed of a peaceful world at the end of the Cold War. Money was freed to go global, and with it, we saw the decline of manufacturing, and with it, a widening trade deficit, the rise of FIRE, business and professional services, educational, health, and social services. With the decline in manufacturing, Americans were more focused on gaining possessions, rather than making them. WalMart became an American staple, with its low prices, cheap production, and low wages. Since there was a focus on free trade, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed by Clinton in 1993. The largest focus after the Cold War was free trade, free markets, and balanced budgets.