Be sure to address the questions in the prompt directly in your introduction paragraph.Your essay should set forth a clear argument (thesis) and draw upon evidence from both lectures and the readings. A good essay will reference primary sources to support argument.
“From the drafting of the nation’s founding documents forward, the tension between the quest for equality and representative government, on one side, and the determination to preserve powers of domination and privilege, on the other, has animated the main battles of American history?” – Nancy MacLean
When we began our course, I argued that the American ethnic/racial past is best understood within a framework of the “insider/outsider dilemma.” I contended that it is the tension within this dichotomy that has driven the history of American ethno-racial relations.
To what extent did you find this analytical thread useful? That is, in what ways and to what degree does this theme organize a messy history and/or in what ways does it distort or detract from a more accurate portrayal of the American past?
In your essay, fully explore one major development from each of the following periods (1870 – 1920, 1920 – 1960, 1960 – 1990) to demonstrate the utility and/or limitations of the insider/outsider dilemma framework. If you feel that the insider/outsider framework is completely rubbish, propose a new framework and show how it better organizes American history by exploring the same periods defined above.