HIST1302-US History Since 1877


1.Neurasthenia: Look at the changes facing women in a rapidly industrializing society. What was the “cult of domesticity?” Why were women diagnosed with this illness? How did they respond? How is the story The Yellow Wallpaper connected? 

2.William Jennings Bryan: Look at the Populist Party and issues that led to its emergence (Farmers’ Alliance etc.) How did Bryan address issues that concerned farmers and others concerned with the government’s monetary policy? What happened in the election of 1896?

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3.Wounded Knee Massacre: Look at the events involving the Sioux from Custer and the Battle of Little Big Horn, Dawes Act, Ghost Dance, up to Wounded Knee. Don’t forget about Sitting Bull.

4.Chinese Exclusion Act: How is the Transcontinental Railroad connected? Discuss racism against Chinese immigrants in the US. How is Denis Kearny connected? What other steps were taken against Chinese immigrants prior to the Exclusion Act?

5.Williams v. Mississippi: Discuss the efforts to take the vote away from black men in the South. (Poll tax, literacy tests etc) Who was Williams? What was he trying to accomplish? How does this case affect the right of black men to vote in the South?

6.Brownsville Raid/Riot: Look at how black soldiers were treated in general after the Civil War. Look at the events of the Brownsville raid. What does the Brownsville incident tell us about race relations in the US? What does it tell us about Theodore Roosevelt?

7.Jesse Washington: Don’t just cover Jesse Washington. Look at the larger issues connected to lynching (miscegenation etc). What led to the lynching of Washington? What did whites in Paris, Texas do to Henry Smith?

8.Queen Liliuokalani: What was she trying to accomplish in Hawaii? How did whites in Hawaii react? Look at Walter Gibson, Sandford Dole, etc. How does the US react? How is this connected to imperialism? Don’t forget about her brother, annexation, Republic of Hawaii.

9.Margaret Sanger: Discuss the birth control movement in the Jazz Age. How is this connected to the “New Woman” and the “sexual revolution?” How is Sanger connected to the Progressive Era’s Social Purity Movement? How is race connected to her efforts?

10.Pure Food and Drug Act: How is this connected to the Progressive Era? Why did this law come about? How is Harvey Wiley and the Department of Agriculture connected? What was the result of the law?

11.Espionage and Sedition Acts (1917): Look at why there was opposition to US involvement in WWI. Why did Congress pass the Acts? What happened to Charles Schenk and Eugene Debs? Look at the role of the Socialist Party. What efforts did the US government take to get people to support the war? (Committee on Public Information?)

12.Zimmerman Telegram: Look at the tension between the US and Mexico right before WWI. (Look at Pancho Villa) Connect those issues to the Zimmerman Telegram in 1917.

13.The New KKK: Why did they re-emerge in the 1910s? Who was involved (Simmons, Mayfield etc.) Who supported them? What were their goals? How were women connected? How was temperance connected?

14.Stock Market Crash: Discuss the changes in the stock market that led to its collapse in 1929. How was the market crash connected to the Depression? Don’t forget Andrew Melon, Herbert Hoover.

choose one of the following to answer in an analytical essay using historical evidence to prove your thesis. YOU MUST HAVE A THESIS STATEMENT. This essay is worth 390 points. Possible long essay topics: I will randomly choose 2 essays for your exam. You will choose one of the two I put on your exam to answer. You should be prepared for 4 of the 5 to guarantee at least one you can answer is on the exam. 

1. Discuss segregation and disfranchisement in the South, and the reaction of the African American community. 

Look at race relations in the 1880s and 1890s. How did white southerners go about taking the vote away from African Americans? (Mississippi Plan) How did segregation (Jim Crow laws) evolve? Look at the Civil Rts Act of 1875 and the Supreme Court ruling about it. Look at Plessy V Ferguson. Look violent white reactions, like lynching and the Wilmington Riot. How did Booker T. Washington respond to segreation? How did W.E.B. DuBois respond? Ida B. Wells?

2.Discuss labor conflict from 1877 through the 1890s.

Start with the Great Railroad Strike in 1877. Look at the Haymarket Riot and the role of anarchism. How did this affect the public view of labor unions? Look at the Homestead Strike. Look at the Pullman Strike. Look at the labor unions that emerge in the country and the various labor leaders. Mother Jones, Knights of Labor etc. The AFL and Samuel Gompers. You should think about the gains and losses that working people and unions made during this period.

3. Discuss US imperialism. 

What motivated US imperialism? Look at US expansion in the Pacific (Samoa, Hawaii). Look at US involvement in Latin America, especially Cuba. Cover the causes and events of the Spanish American War. Look at the PhilippineAmerican War and the opposition in the US to that war. Look at the Open Door Notes and how that affected US involvement in Asia. How do we end up with the Panama Canal?  

4. Discuss Progressive Reform. 

I would divide this into social reform and political reform. Look at who the Progressive were and what motivated them. Social: Look at the Social Gospel, Settlement Houses, Temperance (Frances Willard, WCTU), look at the Mann Act, Margaret Sanger, and other social purity concerns. . Political: look at efficiency, municipal reform, labor regulations (especially after the Triangle Fire and efforts against child labor), “trust busting,” government regulation (especially in meat packing and the Pure Food movement) 

5. Discuss the role of gender, race, and religion in the 1920s

Explain the resurgence of the KKK in the 1920s? What were their objectives? Who were the people involved? What does this tell us about race relations in the US? How does it impact the 1928 presidential election? How did the Women’s Suffrage Movement finally succeed? Look at Alice Paul? How is Prohibition connected to both women’s suffrage and the New KKK? Look at the Anti-Saloon League. Look at the growth of Religious Fundamentalism. You will need to cover the Scopes Trial – Butler Act, Darrow, Bryan.

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