After the Civil War, the United States had to recover from war, handle western expansion, and grapple with very new economic forms. However, its greatest issues would revolve around the legacies of slavery and increasing diversity in the decades after the Civil War. Reconstruction was partly a period of military occupation of the south by the northern victors. Former slaves now had freedom and new opportunities but faced old prejudices and rapidly forming new barriers. Immigrants from Europe and Asia came in large numbers but then faced political and social restrictions. Women continued to seek rights. Yet, on the whole, America became increasingly diverse by the 1920s. Consider developments, policies, and laws in that period from 1865 to the 1920s. Take one of the positions as suggested below, draw from the sources listed, and present a paper with specific examples and arguments to demonstrate the validity of your position.
Possible position—in each case you can take the pro or con position:
- The Lost Cause narrative of the South effectively sabotaged and influenced racial policy in the US for most of the post-Civil War period. (or you can take the position that it did not)
- Political policies in the decades after the Civil War generally promoted diversity and “the melting pot” despite the strong prejudices of a few. (or you can take the position that political policies did not)
- Reform movements between 1865 and 1930, like the Progressives and the agrarian populists, generally led the way to increased democracy. (or you can take the position that these movements did not)
After giving general consideration to your readings so far and any general research, select one of the positions above as your position—your thesis. (Sometimes after doing more thorough research, you might choose the reverse position. This happens with critical thinking and inquiry. Your final paper might end up taking a different position than you originally envisioned.). Organize your paper as follows, handling these issues:
- The position you choose (from the list above)—or something close to it—will be the thesis statement in your opening paragraph.
- To support your position, use three specific examples from different decades between 1865 and 1930. You may narrowly focus on race or gender or immigrant status, or you may use examples relevant to all categories.
- Explain why the opposing view is weak in comparison to yours.
- Consider your life today: In what way does the history you have shown shape or impact issues in your workplace or desired profession?
The paper should be 500-to-750 words in length. This normally means 3-to-4 pages for the body of the paper. (The title page and References page do not count in these calculations.) Double-space between lines. Format instructions are below.
Research and References:
You must use a MINIMUM of three sources; the Schultz textbook must be one of them. Your other two sources should be drawn from the list provided below. This is guided research, not open-ended Googling. You will have an alphabetized list of Reference entries at the end, using APA format. You will have short, APA-style in-text citations appropriately placed in the body of the paper; these in-text citations will match the References listed at the end. Except as your instructor might direct, don’t use other sources for your paper than those listed here. (Of course, for “starter research” you can read many sources.)
Source List for Assignment 1:
Be sure to use the Schultz text as a source. Use at least two of the other sources listed here. Some sources are “primary” sources from the time period being studied. Some sources below can be accessed via direct link or through the primary sources link on Blackboard. Each week has a different list of primary sources. For others, they are accessible through the Library tab to the left of the screen in Blackboard—once in there, you may do a “keyword” search of the article title.
APA Reference for the textbook - Schultz, Kevin M. (2018). HIST5: Volume 2: U.S. History Since 1865 (Student edition). Boston: Cengage.
Choose sources relevant to the topic and position you are taking:
- Abu-Laban, Y., & Lamont, V. (1997). Crossing borders: Interdisciplinary, immigration and the melting pot in the American cultural imaginary. Canadian Review of American Studies, 27(2), 23-43.
- Black Testimony on the aftermath of enslavement. (1866). Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction. Retrieved from http://college.cengage.com/history/wadsworth_97811...
- Chinese Exclusion Act. (1882). Retrieved from http://college.cengage.com/history/wadsworth_97811...
- Davis, J. C. Bancroft. (1896). Plessy vs. Ferguson. Retrieved from http://college.cengage.com/history/wadsworth_97811...
- Fitzgerald, M. W. (2018, Jan.). Terrorism and racial coexistence in Alabama’s Reconstruction. Alabama Review, 71(1), 7-24. [accessible through Library tab; keyword search the article title; get the .pdf file of the article]
- Foster, G. M. (2002, Feb. 24). The Lost Cause. Shotgun’s Home of the Civil War. Retrieved from http://www.civilwarhome.com/lostcause.htm
- Harjo, S. S. (1996). Now and then: native peoples in the United States. Dissent (00123846).
- Meacham, J. (2017). Our historical ambivalence about immigrants is a great American paradox. Time, 189(5), 23.
- The Lost Cause. Civil War Journeys. Retrieved from http://civil-war-journeys.org/the_lost_cause.htm
- Mississippi Black code. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://chnm.gmu.edu/courses/122/recon/code.html
- Moody, W. G. (1883). Bonanza Farming and its impact. Retrieved from http://college.cengage.com/history/wadsworth_97811...
- Parsons, E. F. (2011, Feb.). Klan Skepticism and denial in Reconstruction-Era public discourse.
- Journal of Southern History, 77(1), 53-90. [accessible through Library tab; keyword search the article title; get the .pdf file of the article]
- Populist Party Platform. (1896). Retrieved from http://college.cengage.com/history/wadsworth_97811...
- Schultz, Kevin M. (2014) HIST: Volume 2: U.S. history since 1865 (3rd ed.). University of Illinois at Chicago: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
- Sinclair, Upton. (1906). Attack on the Meatpackers. Retrieved from http://college.cengage.com/history/wadsworth_97811...
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
- Be typed, double spaced between lines, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
- Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
A template for this paper is here. This is optional.
The paper must be submitted (uploaded and attached) in the course shell provided online.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
- Identify and discuss the different ways that the heritage of slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and segregation have shaped America’s history.
- Specify ways that women and minorities have responded to challenges and made contributions to American culture.
- Summarize and discuss the ways that formal policies of government have influenced the direction of historical and social development in the United States.
- Recognize the major turning points in American history since the Civil War.
- Use technology and information resources to research issues in contemporary U.S. history.
- Write clearly and concisely about contemporary U.S. history using proper writing mechanics.