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Settling the Great Plains

1. Many Europeans settled the Great Plains in the 1860s and 1870s. However, these settlers often went to great lengths to preserve their native culture within their communities. What methods did they use to retain their cultural characteristics? Ultimately, were they successful in this endeavor?

2. Expound upon the economic and social changes blacks in the South experienced during the Reconstruction era. Include within your discussion the topics of education, farming, family life, and the church.

3. Imperialism became a leading but controversial topic during this time period. Outline the argument both for and against imperialism. Was imperialism un-American? Why, or why not.

4. Discuss the role of women in the Knights of Labor. What activities did the organization undertake on behalf of women?

5. Who was Eugene V. Debs? What objectives and political philosophies did he advocate? What did he accomplish in 1912?

6. Who were the muckrakers, and what contributions did they make? Overall, what impact did these contributions have on the Progressive movement at large?

7. Compare and contrast the First and Second New Deals. Be sure to examine the problems they sought to address as well as their goals, opposition, and results.

8. Discuss how the New Deal affected gender roles in American society. Did it do more to challenge or to reinforce these roles? Why?

9. Describe the American family following World War II. Specifically, did the role of women change in this conversion to peace? If so, how?

10. Explain the process of Japanese internment during World War II. How did this affect civil liberties in the United States? In your opinion, was it a violation of rights, or was it necessary to national security? Explain your answer

11. Discuss Lyndon B. Johnson's background prior to his presidency with the Civil Rights Movement. What approach did he take concerning Civil Rights as President, and what were his motives?

12. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X were both leaders in the Civil Rights Movement. Compare and contrast these two leaders. Be sure to address their goals and methods.

13. Many liberation movements began on the home front during the Vietnam War. Chose one movement (Black Power, Women's Liberation, Gay Liberation, Chicano Rebellion, Red Power, or Yellow Power), and identify what minority group instituted it, the goals they sought, the methods they employed, and the results they achieved.

14. Describe the make-up of American soldiers during Vietnam. As the antiwar movement deepened, how did soldiers protest the war? Evaluate the conditions soldiers returned to in America following their service.
The book I am using is "OUT OF MANY" Vol II Fifth Edition by John Mack Faragher, Mari Jo Buhle, Daniel Czitrom, and Susan H. Armitage.

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1. Many Europeans settled the Great Plains in the 1860s and 1870s. However, these settlers often went to great lengths to preserve their native culture within their communities. What methods did they use to retain their cultural characteristics? Ultimately, were they successful in this endeavor?

This is a very good question. Probably the strongest method that European settlers used to preserve their native culture within their communities was through settling within close proximities together and forming communities where they were free to keep their traditions alive and strong. Although many Americans and European settlers moved westward and had miles of land in-between their neighbors, they often came together to socialize at meeting places (such as churches) and hold town meetings to plan for the future and to helped each other out especially if a neighbor was in need. Considering many of the European settlers spoke common languages, forming communities together with shared cultural beliefs allowed them to succeed in their venture out West. With the ability to communicate in a shared language along with similar cultural beliefs, neighbors bonded with each other kept their traditions (from their homeland) alive. They also often held events that combined food, work, and entertainment such as dances and celebrations from their native land. As well, church activities were very encouraged with women organizing picnics and potluck events after services. Their religion also kept many of the European settlers close to their native culture. This, for the most part worked because many of our homeland traditions are still alive with us today. However, as generations began to grow up and move away, they began to assimilate more into mainstream America, and many of the traditions once strong began to weaken.

History. Found May 20, 2013: http://www.history.com/topics/colonial-culture

2. Expound upon the economic and social changes blacks in the South experienced during the Reconstruction era. Include within your discussion the topics of education, farming, family life, and the church.

After the Civil War ended and Reconstruction began, blacks in America faced many economic and social changes. Freedom came at a price it seemed to many because African Americans faced impossible barriers to political, economic, and social equality that lasted well into the next century. For example, Jim Crow laws quickly developed in the South which "...enforced a rigid racial segregation, consigning black citizens to inferior schools and other public services, imposing poll taxes and literacy tests aimed at preventing blacks from voting, and providing official support for a culture of segregation and discrimination" (Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Era). African Americas were discriminated against in employment simply because of the color of their skin. Most found it impossible to find a decent wage-paying job. Often they were forced into sharecropping (many by their formal masters) where they would work the land for free to produce crops for the owner and, in exchange, were given a small plot to grow food to feed their family. This often put a strain on family life with the pressures of finding a wage job, working the farm for free, and growing enough food to survive on. In fact, many African Americans found their conditions to be worse than when they were enslaved. African American children often did not have schools to attend because they were not allowed to be in class with white children. Those who were fortunate enough to have a school did not have an adequate one with proper educational materials for them to learn. Without an education, they were not able to compete in society with a fair advantage. "In other regions of the country, there were fewer legal barriers, but widespread, often blatant discrimination in employment, housing, schools, churches, and most other aspects of life" (Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Era.). Where religion was concerned, African Americans has strong beliefs and, even without lavish churches, they were able to meet and worship together strongly as a community. Although they were not welcome in a white church, this did not stop their beliefs in God.
Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Era. Found May 20, 2013:
http://www.tracingcenter.org/resources/background/reconstruction-jim-crow-and-the-civil-rights-era/

3. Imperialism became a leading but controversial topic during this time period. Outline the argument both for and against imperialism. Was imperialism un-American? Why, or why not.

PRO: Because of the vibrant trade industry in the USA as well as maintaining strong foreign policy, the United became influenced by imperialism. Businesses had to find markets and areas to obtain raw materials, and because of competition, it was easier to go into countries and basically take over in order to obtain what they need. There was also a need to begin posting US military forces around the world due to foreign policy, so a need to expand United States territories was strong in order to assure world peace and protect allies from harm. This because especially true after the war with Spain which made the US a major economic, military, and imperialistic power.

ANTI: Prior to the Civil War, many northerners were opposed to acquiring more territory in the west because they feared the spread of slavery. After the Spanish-American War, some of the old "Radical Republicans" and other members of Congress opposed the idea of acquiring colonies. Many just outright thought that taking over someone else's country was outright wrong because it was not the American way. "They quoted Lincoln in reminding the nation that no man is good enough to govern another man without that man's consent" (Rogers). As well, "Many simply opposed imperialism because it would be too costly and would force the US to send American troops into "harm's way" to put down any resistance to our taking over other lands" (Rogers).

Rogers, Sara. Why people are against Imperialism. Found May 20, 2013: http://www.ehow.com/info_8428842_reasons-people-against-imperialism.html

4. Discuss the role of women in the Knights of Labor. What activities did the organization undertake on behalf of women?

When the Knights of Labor (a powerful union) was formed in 1878, the delegates took a bold progressive step and allowed women to be members. This was in order "To secure for both sexes equal pay for equal work" (Illinois Labor History). The Knights decided that all its activities ...

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The solution discusses settling the Great Plains.

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