U.S. History from 1877 to the Present Assignment | Custom Essay Help

U.S. History from 1877 to the Present

Critical Thinking Exercise

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Go West Young Man! Westward Expansion 1840-1900

Why and how did the U.S. government promote western migration in the midst of fighting the Civil War?

What accounts for the success of large, commercial “bonanza farms?” What benefits did they enjoy over their smaller family-run counterparts?

How did everyday life in the American West hasten equality for women who settled the land?

How did mining and cattle ranching transform individual “get rich quick” efforts into “big business” efforts when the nineteenth century came to a close?

What were the primary methods that the U.S. government, as well as individual reformers, used to deal with the perceived Indian threat to westward settlement? In what ways were these methods successful and unsuccessful? What were their short-term and long-term effects on Native Americans?

Compare and contrast the treatment of Chinese immigrants and Hispanic citizens to that of Indians during the period of western settlement.

Describe the philosophy of Manifest Destiny. What effect did it have on Americans’ westward migration? How might the different groups that migrated have sought to apply this philosophy to their individual circumstances?

Compare the myth of the “Wild West” with its reality. What elements of truth would these stories have contained, and what was fabricated or left out? What was life actually like for cowboys, ranchers, and the few women present in mining towns or along the cattle range?

What were the primary methods that the U.S. government, as well as individual reformers, used to deal with the perceived Indian threat to westward settlement? In what ways were these methods successful and unsuccessful? What were their short-term and long-term effects on Native Americans?

Describe the ways in which the U.S. government, local governments, and/or individuals attempted to interfere with the specific cultural traditions and customs of Indians, Hispanics, and Chinese immigrants. What did these efforts have in common? How did each group respond?

In what ways did westward expansion provide new opportunities for women and African Americans? In what ways did it limit these opportunities?

 

Industrialization and the Rise of Big Business 1870-1900

How did the burst of new inventions during this era fuel the process of urbanization?

Why was Rockefeller’s use of horizontal integration such an effective business tool at this time? Were his choices legal? Why or why not?

What differentiated a “robber baron” from other “captains of industry” in late nineteenth-century America?

What were the core differences in the methods and agendas of the Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor?

Briefly explain Roland Marchand’s argument in the Parable of the Democracy of Goods.

Consider the fact that the light bulb and the telephone were invented only three years apart. Although it took many more years for such devices to find their way into common household use, they eventually wrought major changes in a relatively brief period of time. What effects did these inventions have on the lives of those who used them? Are there contemporary analogies in your lifetime of significant changes due to inventions or technological innovations?

Industrialization, immigration, and urbanization all took place on an unprecedented scale during this era. What were the relationships of these processes to one another? How did each process serve to catalyze and fuel the others?

Describe the various attempts at labor organization in this era, from the Molly Maguires to the Knights of Labor and American Federation of Labor. How were the goals, philosophies, and tactics of these groups similar and different? How did their agendas represent the concerns and grievances of their members and of workers more generally?

Describe the various violent clashes between labor and management that occurred during this era. What do these events reveal about how each group had come to view the other?

How did the new industrial order represent both new opportunities and new limitations for rural and working-class urban Americans?

How did the emergent consumer culture change what it meant to be “American” at the turn of the century?

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