Need help with my midterm, i really just need an outline as i am | HIST 121 | University of Wisconsin-Stout


Section I: Comprehensive Question-Choose one of the following two questions for your first essay.

1. Between the Civil War’s conclusion and the New Deal (1865-1940) the perceived role of government, long viewed as strictly limited, began to change in response to growing economic complexity, matters of civil rights, and questions of national security. Choose three examples from this period that illustrate such expansions of governmental power, explain them, and then assess how well they balanced acting for the common good while still respecting individual rights and the free market. (Reconstruction, the Progressive Era, World War I, and the New Deal are good places to focus upon for this question)

2. Historians fiercely debate the period between the Civil War’s conclusion and the Great Depression in terms of defining who enjoyed the benefits of American freedom. One group sees these years in terms of an incredible expansion in the boundaries of belonging. Among other things, they point to the end of slavery, the Reconstruction Amendments, the Homestead Act and settlement of the West, the millions of immigrants who settled in America in these years, and women’s suffrage. A second group argues just the opposite: they argue that the overwhelming tide of this period was a narrowing of the boundaries of belonging privileging the rights of whites, and above all white men. Among other things, they point to the failure of Reconstruction, American Indian policy in the West, segregation and disfranchisement, lynchings, American empire-building and foreign policy at the turn of the century, and immigration restriction. For this question, take a position on this debate (for, against, or a middle ground), define why you believe this position correct, and then present three specific historical examples from this period that support your argument.

Section II: Period-Specific Essay-Choose one of the following two questions to answer in your second essay.

1. The period between 1865 and 1900 has often been labeled by historians as America’s “Second Industrial Revolution.” What were the three most significant consequences of this period of industrialization and how did they affect American society? Explain your choices using specific historical examples.

2. At the beginning of the First World War, the United States adopted a neutral position towards the warring powers. Discuss the nature of American neutrality (why did America adopt it, how did it benefit the U.S., etc.) and then provide at least three reasons why American abandoned neutrality in favor of joining the Allied war effort.  Be sure to support your points with concrete historical evidence.

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