Midterm Exam Study Guide
Professor Michael Hawkins
Midterm Exam Date: Thursday, February 9
You will have the entire class period to complete the midterm exam. A blue book (or two) is required so please purchase one well in advance of the exam date. No make-ups permitted. Study, be prepared, and show up on time.
Identification Exercise (40%): The midterm has two components. In this first section, you will identify and explain the historical significance of 8 of the below events, figures, ideas, and movements. On exam day, you will be presented with 10 of the terms below and you will choose 8 of these 10 to identify. If you want to learn more check out Succession myth
*Spanish American War:
∙ Significance: marked the beginning of the U.S. becoming a global power ∙ Cuba was a colonial empire of Spain, the most powerful nation on earth at the time ∙ Cuba rises up and rebels against Spain, the U.S. decides to intervene because: 1. economic interest - Very profitable sugar cane industry in Cuba
If you want to learn more check out Where do root cells get their energy to grow?
2. political forces – Republican party was in office - The U.S. wanted national unity after being divided by the Civil War, intervening in Cuba brought the nation together through the value of democracy; they wanted to liberate the Cubans with freedom and democracy
3. cultural influences – Yellow Journalism (fake news that appealed to people because of the entertainment factor) vilified the Spanish people
∙ The U.S. occupies Cuba until 1924
∙ Known for their passion for politics
∙ Wanted to punish the South for the Civil War
∙ Convinced moderates to be radical
∙ Demanded justice and got the Constitution amended 3 times within 5 years: 1. 13th amendment: slavery is abolished forever
2. 14th amendment: everyone born in this country is a citizen, and all citizens of this country are guaranteed equal protection under law
3. 15th amendment: no one can be denied the right to vote based on race
*Great Migration Don't forget about the age old question of What is the study of humankind in a cross-cultural context?
∙ 1910-1912: half a million blacks leave the South in search for economic opportunities in the North
∙ Black population of Chicago doubles
∙ They met restricted employment, exclusion from unions, segregation, and race riots
∙ Deadliest race riot in American history: Tulsa, OK, 1921 – 300 blacks killed and 10,000 left homeless
∙ Rise of science as measure of truth
∙ Charles Darwin wrote Origin of the Species (1859), talked about evolution adaptation, selectivity, and progress. Social Darwinism was a misapplication of Darwin’s theories ∙ “survival of the fittest”- used to justify racism
∙ It was thought that the rich owe the poor nothing, and the poor owe the rich everything, because if you are rich, you are more fit and therefore should not be obligated to support the poor
∙ Laissez-faire: the government should not intervene in the economy or tax the rich
∙ Gave the head of each Indian family land, and the remaining tribal lands were declared “surplus” and opened up for whites
∙ Hundreds of thousands of acres surged by whites We also discuss several other topics like What is elastic rebound theory?
∙ Assimilated Native Americans from their cultural identity- they could be citizens if they “adopted the habits of civilized life”
∙ People that created the Dawes Act thought they were doing what was right ∙ Disaster for Native Americans, economic boom for whites
∙ women given the right to vote in all federal elections
∙ the amendment did not state that only white women have the right to vote, but literacy tests and understanding clauses still prevented black women from voting.
∙ movie that came out in 1933 during the Great Depression
∙ significant because of its failure and rejection by the American people ∙ the movie was a comedic satire; anarchic in a way that everything was a joke, and overall cynical about the government
∙ with the most popular comedians starring in the movie, it was prefigured for box office success
∙ though today it is considered a comedic masterpiece, it was so rejected during the time that it was released because Americans wanted to trust their leaders. They were craving something solid and meaningful amidst this time in crisis.
∙ elected in 1912
∙ first president with PhD
∙ pledged “Fair and Honorable Dealings”
∙ white supremacist and racist: fired every black person working for the government, segregated Washington D.C., played Birth of a Nation in the White House which glorified the KKK
∙ believed in reason and rationality over war – this ideal failed – more military intervention in Latin America than any president before or since
*Committee on Public Information
∙ created by Wilson Administration to promote the war effort and get people to enlist ∙ used ads and posters (ex: Uncle Sam “I Want You!”)
∙ propaganda videos were played before movies in theaters
∙ Four Minute Men gave 4 minute speeches convincing people why they should support the war at sport/public events
*The Man Nobody Knows
∙ Book by Bruce Burton published 1925
∙ Exemplifies ‘meaning through stuff’ (materialism) and the pleasure that comes with having more
∙ Argued that Jesus Christ can best be understood as a businessman
∙ Significance: The culture of the 1920s glorified the rich and is defined by materialism
∙ Wrote “The Theory of the Leisure Class” (1899)
∙ Father of Institutional Economics (experts regulating the economy with a common goal) ∙ Argued that it’s bad for society when the rich have too much money and power – they practice “conspicuous consumption” by spending their money on monuments to their wealth instead of bettering society
∙ Argued a progressive society works for the many instead of the few
*Buck v. Bell
∙ Challenged Eugenics as reform and Virginia’s forcible sterilization laws ∙ Carrie Buck, a woman born with a disability, was deemed a “genetic threat to society” ∙ She was raped and impregnated, and then forced to give her baby up for adoption’ ∙ She was forced to go through tubal litigation
∙ The court upheld the law, 8-1 decision
∙ From 1907-1963, over 64,000 Americans were sterilized for being a “genetic threat”
Short Essay (60%): In the second section of the midterm you will be presented with two of the three questions below and select one to answer. Your essay responses will be evaluated on the use of specific detail and success in answering the questions in their entirety.
1. Explain the economic and social problems that emerged in the United States during The Gilded Age and how these problems were or were not addressed in The Progressive Era.
❖ Economic/social problem in Gilded Age: Bleak scene – disparity in wealth justified by Social Darwinism
⮚ How this was addressed in the Progressive Era:
∙ Reform writer William Dean Howells critiqued the Gilded Age – “The Rise of Silas Lapham” made the point that being rich doesn’t make you great. “The Traveler from Altruria” exposed America as a terrible place where very few people are rich and the rest of the people who are working for them are in poverty.
∙ Theodore Roosevelt created campaigns to address disparity in wealth ∙ Racial minorities left out of reform
o Dead Indian Act of 1902
o Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
❖ Economic Problem in Gilded Age: Lassiez-faire – the government did not intervene in the economy or tax the rich
⮚ How this was addressed in the Progressive Era:
∙ Election of 1896 marks end of lassiez-faire era – people started valuing power of science and expertise
∙ Institutional Economics – experts will regulate the economy with a common goal
∙ Institutions created to better society and create an economy that works for the many
❖ Economic/social problem in Gilded Age: Success mythology of “rags to riches” ⮚ How this was addressed in the Progressive Era:
∙ Washington v. DuBois – DuBois argued against rags to riches, no matter how hard African Americans try, they will never be considered equal, so they have to demand change. He believed the educated elite should have economic power.
Overall, the Progressive Era didn’t poverty, but allowed for more inclusion and a more liable economy.
2. Explain why the U.S. entered World War I, the impact of the war on domestic America, and the immediate effects of the peace process on American foreign relations.
❖ Four reasons:
∙ Ethnic Identities
⮚ Large majority of people who came to America were German, therefore automatically siding with Central Powers.
⮚ Russian Americans sided with Allies.
⮚ Other large majority of Americans were of British decent (WASPs: White Anglo-Saxon protestants), and automatically sided with Allies.
⮚ Yellow Journalism representing Germans as evil
⮚ America took advantage of Europe’s economy being on hold
⮚ Germany’s submarines shot torpedoes at U.S. ships to stop shipments, British navy agreed to protect American ships from the Germans, therefore our economic future was tied to a British victory.
∙ Submarine Warfare
⮚ Lusitania (1915) – American luxury line ship sunk by Germany, all Americans on the ship died
⮚ Sussex Pledge – Wilson got Germany to sign the pledge saying they would not do it again, and they violated the pledge.
❖ Final straw: Zimmerman Note – a secret telegram from Germany to Mexico plotting to attack America – intercepted, decoded, and broadcasted all over newspapers.
❖ Impact of the war on domestic America:
∙ 10 million soldiers die
∙ Civilians die in the millions: 21 mil in famine, influenza epidemic
❖ Immediate effects of the peace process on American foreign relations: ∙ Germany punished and humiliated
∙ Europe’s map is remade - Austria, Hungary and Poland separate from Germany ∙ League of Nations created
3.Describe the various searches for meaning in American culture during the 1920s (including religion, consumerism and materialism, psychology, “dropping out”). How did these searches offer pathways to expression for American women?
∙ Religion: Failure of science and rationality to make a better nation led America to being suspicious about science because they think it meant turning their back on God. Christian science became popular because Christian scientists believed that any problem you have: physical, mental, or emotional, can be relieved through God. They rejected science and reason, and rejected medicine.
∙ Consumerism and materialism: Booming economy with less taxes and regulation – for the first time advertisements sold the lifestyle that came with the product instead of the product – led people to search for meaning through stuff and find the pleasure that comes with having more
∙ Psychology and psychiatry became popular because it said to Americans that were anxious about the future, “your feelings can be understood, diagnosed, and treated.”
∙ The Drop Out Age – there was a widespread questioning of authority, and criticism of traditions
∙ Pathways to expression for American women: Women were active in the political cause for prohibition, because women reformers wanted to protect women and children against domestic violence. The New Woman also played a big role as a consumer. The New Life was directly marketed to women for the first time as ‘torches of freedom”. Cigarettes were marketed towards women as a statement of freedom saying they get to choose what happens to their body.