1. The United States, like many industrial nations, entered into a new race for colonies at the end of the nineteenth century (the Age of High Imperialism). The Europeans squared off in a Scramble for Africa, the United States and Japan were vying in the Pacific, and everyone was carving up spheres of influence in Asia. While the United States did create a formal empire and expand its informal empire over Latin America during this time, the concept of American Empire stirred quite a bit of debate. Why do you think this was? Should we have developed an empire? (for this latter, do not use presentist arguments – use the reasoning of the time to explain your answer).
2. Who do you believe was right – Roosevelt or Muir? At the time did the needs of San Francisco outweigh the preservation of a beautiful valley? What about now – should Hetch Hetchy be drained and the valley restored? What of the needs of San Francisco? Explain your reasoning.
3. What shocked/surprised you the most about the fight for women’s suffrage as presented in the documentary? Why? How did this change your perception of the fight for suffrage and women’s rights?
4. Consider the letters from the documentary Dear Home. How did the war change Americans? After the basic tender greetings present in all the letters, what do you think were the most important concepts/thoughts/ideas that the letter writers wanted their loved ones back at home to understand about the war? What did you learn about war from these letters?
5. Who do you agree with more on foreign policy – Wilson or Lodge? Why?
6. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries there were conflicting policies toward minorities and immigrant groups within the United States. Some groups were forced to assimilate against their will. Others, who wished to participate in the mainstream of American society, found themselves segregated. And some groups actively sought and were successful at assimilation/integration. What do you think accounts for these different reactions of mainstream America to the “others” in their midst? Use specific examples in your post.
7. You have just read/listened to materials on the People’s Party and populism in the late 19th century. I want you to consider these three questions in making your reply to my post. What does the term “populism” mean to you? What accounts for the rise and fall of the People’s Party in the late 19th century. Finally, do you see signs of a return to populism today?
Only references to use
• Jones, et al. Created Equal, 4th edition, vol. 2
• Broesamle and Arthur, Clashes of Will: Great Confrontations That Have Shaped Modern America
• Argersinger, The Triangle Fire: A Brief History with Documents
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