Part 3 Essay Questions:
1 – Sitting Bull stated, “The life my people want is a life of freedom.” Likewise, Chief Joseph simply asked the government for equal rights enshrined by the laws. Describe what freedom meant to the Indians and how that conflicted with the interests and values of most white Americans. Also, explain why white Americans did not allow Indians the opportunity to have American citizenship.
2 – The West experienced tremendous growth after the Civil War; nowhere was this more apparent than in California. Write an essay on the consequences of population growth on the western landscape, looking at farming, livelihoods, the impact of the railroad, the growth of Indian reservations, and the subjugation of Indian peoples.
3 – What might account for the emergence of a mythic “Wild” West during the Gilded Age? Given the rapid post–Civil War expansion of industry beyond the Mississippi River, why would perceptions of a West, at once a lawless but timeless romantic frontier dominated by cowboys and Indians, permeate American popular culture in the late nineteenth century? (In composing your answer, consider the impact of the second industrial revolution.)
4 – Explain why Americans increasingly came to feel that they were being denied economic independence and democratic self-government during the late nineteenth century.
5 – How did the Populists seek to rethink the relationship between freedom and government to address the crisis of the 1890s? Why was their platform considered radical? How did their platform seek to guarantee freedom?
6 – Chronicle the process that developed in the South of chipping away the freedoms granted to blacks during Reconstruction. Give careful consideration to how the Civil War was remembered by white America. By 1900, what conditions did African-Americans in the South face? How did they respond to these conditions?
7 – Analyze the consequences of American rule in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines. Did the citizens prosper? Enjoy freedom? Accept American rule? Comment on the consequences for the United States with regard to the statement made by Eric Foner in the text: “Thus, two principles central to American freedom since the War of Independence—no taxation without representation and government based on the consent of the governed—were abandoned when it came to the nation’s new possessions.”
8 – Explain the controversy that the war in the Philippines and the annexation of the Philippines triggered over the relationship between political democracy, race, and American citizenship.
9 – Discuss some of the freedoms and restrictions experienced by American women after 1880. How did some women’s lives seem to change for the better, while others’ did not? How would you explain the disparity of their situations? Support your answer with specific examples from the text.
10 – Discuss the many obstacles faced by Chinese immigrants to the United States in the late nineteenth century. Among the immigrant groups arriving in the United States in the late nineteenth century, how were arrivals from China singled out for particular discrimination by Americans? Why do you think the Chinese received such unique treatment?
Part 3 Essay Questions: