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ASHFORD HIS 204 Entire Course (American History since 1865)

ASHFORD HIS204 Entire Course (American History since 1865)

 

Week 1

The History of Reconstruction. Many Americans like to imagine the history of their nation as one of continual progress. While acknowledging that not all persons and groups enjoyed equal rights at all times, Americans often take it for granted that American history moves in only one direction: toward greater rights, greater freedom, and greater equality. This perspective makes it difficult for many Americans to understand the Reconstruction period and to place it in a broader historical narrative. The problem they face is that African Americans from roughly 1867 to 1875 enjoyed far more political influence and equal rights than they ever had before, or ever would again until the end of the modern Civil Rights Movement almost a century later. The fact that a group could be stripped of rights it once enjoyed is difficult for many Americans to accept, and so they often retreat into a false narrative, in which African Americans never gained any rights at all, and were abandoned to their fate as soon as slavery ended. In this model, the infamous Black Codes—which were in effect for less than a year—take center stage, and the various gains of Reconstruction get ignored.

Analyze the history of Reconstruction to identify the concrete gains which African Americans won during this time period. Explain the role of the federal government in extending rights to them and protecting those rights, and explain how the gains of Reconstruction were reversed. Summarize your conclusions on these issues by responding to the following questions:

a. Were the goals of Radical Reconstruction feasible ones?

b. Is it possible to transform a society drastically by government action, or might attempts to do so prove counterproductive?

c. Would a more gradualist approach to extending rights to and establishing freedom for African Americans have been more successful?

d. What would be the costs and dangers of such an approach?

Review the following video about the differences between primary and secondary sources, and how to find both in JSTOR:

a. JSTOR primary and secondary sources

When responding to the questions, draw from at least TWO of the following primary sources and specifically cite them in your post:

a. Speech in the Senate

b. Northern teacher to the Freedmen’s Bureau commissioner

c. The Ku-Klux

d. Civil Rights Act

Also, draw from the material in ONE of the following films:

a. What is freedom?

b. Slavery by another name

Your initial post should be no fewer than 200 words in length, which does not include works cited or the questions being answered. It should address all of the components of the question in a way that demonstrates independent, critical thought and command of the required material. It should not merely repeat the material in the textbook or other sources, but should use that material as the basis for an idiosyncratic interpretation of the topic. All sources need to be cited using proper APA format. If you borrow wording from a source, the wording absolutely must be marked as a quotation.

In addition to your initial post, you should respond substantially, in posts of no fewer than 100 words, to at least two classmates and contribute to their analysis of the topic. When responding to classmates, you should refer to the material from one of the sources which you did not reference in your initial post. Identify important points which they may have missed which either support or challenge their interpretation. Explain how their views have made you rethink your own conclusions or offer perspectives which might help them regard the topic in a different way. Feel free to ask probing questions of your classmates, but, if you do, offer your own interpretation. That is, don’t just respond, “What do you think of X, Y, and Z?” Instead, respond, “What do you think of X? I think W because of V, U, and T. On the other hand some might point to S and R.” In short, the ideal response to a classmate would involve you encouraging a classmate to see things from a new perspective, even as you clarify and develop your own thoughts as well.

The Industrial Revolution. Too much corporate influence in politics; the specter of socialist policies undermining capitalism and individual freedoms; a middle class in apparent decline; waves of immigration which threatened to alter the character of American society; new technologies which introduced new social problems as well as offering new opportunities; and a general sense that the common people had lost control of their government: To a sometimes surprising degree, the issues which troubled Americans in the last quarter of the nineteenth century resembled our own. The past often loses much of its vigor and tumult as it becomes codified as history, and it can be difficult at times to understand how truly revolutionary—tranformative, disruptive, unprecedented, and divisive—an event such as the Industrial Revolution was for the people who lived through it.

To better understand this turbulent period, review the major economic and social changes of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Illustrate the revolutionary character of this period by describing the rise of Big Business and identifying the particular forms new corporations assumed. Identify the social problems and opportunities which economic changes created in the cities, the New South, the farmlands, and the West. Explain the role of state and federal governments in these developments. In your response, explain how socioeconomic changes affected the following groups, and how those groups responded to these changes:

a. Native Americans

b. Immigrants

c. Farmers

Summarize your responses to the prompts above by responding to the following questions:

a. What were the most revolutionary social and economic developments of the last quarter of the nineteenth century?

b. How did different groups of Americans respond to those changes and how effective were their responses?

c. What role did government play in these developments?

When composing your initial post and your responses to your classmates, draw from the material in at least THREE of the following primary sources:

a. Cross of gold speech

b. Wealth

c. Chief Joseph speaks: Selected statements and speeches by the Nez Percé chief

d. Our immigrants at Ellis Island

e. Letter on labor in industrial society to Judge Peter Grosscup

f. Populist Party platform

g. What’s the matter with Kansas?

Also draw from the material in ONE of the following videos:

a. The American industrial revolution

b. Industrial New York

Your initial post should be no fewer than 200 words in length, which does not include works cited or the questions being answered. It should address all of the components of the question in a way that demonstrates independent, critical thought and command of the required material. It should not merely repeat the material in the textbook or other sources, but should use that material as the basis for an idiosyncratic interpretation of the topic.

In addition to your initial post, you should respond substantially, in posts of no fewer than 100 words, to at least two classmates and contribute to their analysis of the topic. When responding to classmates, you should refer to the material from one of the sources which you did not reference in your initial post. Identify important points which they may have missed which either support or challenge their interpretation. Explain how their views have made you rethink your own conclusions or offer perspectives which might help them regard the topic in a different way. Feel free to ask probing questions of your classmates, but, if you do, offer your own interpretation. That is, don’t just respond, “What do you think of X, Y, and Z?” Instead, respond, “What do you think of X? I think W because of V, U, and T. On the other hand some might point to S and R.” In short, the ideal response to a classmate would involve you encouraging a classmate to see things from a new perspective, even as you clarify and develop your own thoughts as well.

 

Week 2

The Progressive Movement. The Progressive Movement was a complicated, even contradictory, phenomenon which sometimes pushed for the expansion of popular democracy while at other times, or even simultaneously, advocated that the functions of government be placed in the hands of experts. The movement addressed some of the worst domestic problems of its time, but its mainstream largely ignored widespread and worsening racial injustices. Review the Progressive Movement of the first two decades of the twentieth century, and generalize what you take to be its core principles. Identify the specific economic, social, and political problems which the Progressives sought to address and explain Progressive approaches and policies toward those issues, at local and national levels. Describe the variations within Progressivism, including the differing agendas of white and black Progressives. Assess the success of specific Progressive policies and approaches. Consider the impact of the First World War on Progressivism, and vice versa. Summarize your responses to these prompts by answering the following questions:

a. What, in your estimation, were the key principles of the Progressive Movement?

b. What were Progressivism’s most significant successes and failings?

c. Can the First World War be regarded as a particularly Progressive conflict, or did it derail the Progressive Movement—or are both of these statements true?

When responding to these questions, draw from the material in the textbook and in the following sources:

a. The progressive era

b. How the other half lives: Studies among the tenements of New York

c. Chapter nine

d. The shame of the cities

e. The history of the Standard Oil Company

f. 1900-1930

Your initial post should be at least 200 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7 in at least 100 words.

America’s Age of Imperialism. America’s Age of Imperialism was relatively short-lived, and somewhat anomalous in terms of overall US history. For a few brief years in the 1890s, the US aggressively pursued overseas colonies, holding on to those colonies even in the face of indigenous resistance and, unlike its handling of continental territories, offering the new colonies no pathway toward equal statehood and citizenship. The Filipino Insurrection of 1899 to 1902 provides a particularly unsettling episode in terms of how Americans generally like to remember their past. Having driven the Spanish out of the Philippines, the US ignored the Filipinos’ demand for independence, for which they had been fighting against the Spanish for several years, and instead took possession of the islands, treating the Filipinos as colonial subjects. For several years, Americans and Filipinos fought over the destiny of the Philippines in a brutal conflict which cost the lives of hundreds of thousands—perhaps even more than a million—Filipino civilians.

Drawing from material in the textbook and the video below, explain how American foreign policy generally grew more interventionist and aggressive from the 1890s into the twentieth century, identifying key moments in that development. Then, examine the specifics of the Filipino Insurrection, explaining how the conflict was perceived in the United States. Using at least three primary sources—articles written during the conflict—summarize the arguments which Americans of the time made for and against the colonization of the Philippines. Also, review one scholarly secondary article about the insurrection. Summarize its contents and explain how its depiction of the insurrection compares with what you read in the primary sources.

All outside sources for this assignment, primary and secondary, need to come from JSTOR, a database available through the Ashford University Online Library. Before beginning your research into JSTOR, review the video from Week One about the differences between primary and secondary sources, and how to find both on JSTOR:

a. JSTOR primary and secondary sources

Draw from material in the following video for a discussion of American foreign policy generally:

a. America becomes a world power

Your initial post should be at least 200 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7 in at least 100 words.

The Progressive Presidents. The presidential election of 1912 was the most Progressive in US history; with the two frontrunners, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, both espousing Progressive philosophies (and the most “conservative” candidate, William Howard Taft, being in many ways a Progressive himself). Although both Wilson and Roosevelt were Progressive, their attitudes toward Progressivism differed, at least in theory. This paper will provide an opportunity to review the complex nature of Progressivism, and to explore how presidents’ policies while in office often differ from their rhetoric on the campaign trail.

To complete this paper, start by analyzing the primary sources listed below to uncover each president’s political principles and beliefs. Compare and contrast the two men’s principles based on their writings. Drawing from the material in the textbook, compare each presidents’ political principles with his actions while in office—how well did their actions match their rhetoric? Finally, use JSTOR or Project MUSE to find a scholarly article of at least fifteen pages in length about the Progressive politics of Roosevelt or Wilson or both. What new perspectives does the article offer on the subject? Does the author’s depiction of those politics agree with your own interpretation based on the primary sources?

Draw from the material in the following sources when writing your paper:

a. Platform of the Progressive party

b. The new nationalism

c. First inaugural address

d. What is progress?

The paper must be three to four pages in length and formatted according to APA style. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar, in your online course.

 

Week 3

Normalcy and the New Deal. When the First World War ended, Americans welcomed what they hoped would be a “return to normalcy.” The decades that followed, however, are ones which would rarely be described as normal, in comparison to what came before or after. During these decades, a struggle ensued within the American nation regarding how best to define the nation’s essential character, as groups like the revived Ku Klux Klan fought a rearguard action to define nationhood solely in terms of white skin and Protestant religion against secularists, Catholics, flappers, “New Negroes,” and others who challenged the traditional order. Immediately thereafter, the New Deal implemented in response to the Great Depression threatened to revolutionize the role of the federal government in lives of the American people, in ways which many Americans believed violated the basic tenets of the Constitution—and others believed were not radical enough. Taken together, the decades from 1920 to 1940 may have transformed the American nation more than any other comparable time period. Review the major social and economic developments in American society during the 1920s and 1930s. Identify the factors which made the 1920s “roar,” and explain how the events of that decade contributed to the outbreak of the Great Depression. Then, describe how Americans responded to the Great Depression, both individually and through the government and other organizations, and assess the effectiveness of their responses. Pay particular attention to New Deal programs, and how the approach of the New Deal changed over the course of the 1930s.

Along with the general discussion, address developments across these two decades related to TWO of the following groups:

a. Evangelical Protestants

b. Farmers

c. African Americans

d. Women

e. Business owners

f. The middle class

To summarize your response to the prompts above, consider the following questions (your response does not need to respond directly to each specific question, but should touch on the various themes implicit in the questions):

a. How did American society change in the two decades after the First World War?

b. How did the federal government change in response to those changes?

c. How did the American people respond to the changing role of the federal government?

d. How did the New Deal change over time and what alternatives were offered to it?

e. Which groups benefited or suffered most from these changes?

f. Should this period be regarded as having represented a revolutionary moment in American history?

When responding to these questions, draw material from TWO of the following videos:

a. The great depression

b. The roaring twenties

c. The civilian conservation corps

Also, draw from the material in at least THREE of the following primary sources:

a. Lending a hand: A woman remembers hoboes of the 1930s

b. Flapper Jane

c. Bonus army marches on Washington, DC 1932

d. “The new Negro”: “When he’s hit, he hits back!”

e. Share our wealth speech

f. An open letter to the honorable Alfred E. Smith

g. Hell and high schools

h. The double task of Negro womanhood

i. Address of the President delivered by radio from the White House

j. I’d rather not be on relief

k. TVA: Electricity for all

l. Prosperity for all

The End of Isolation. In 1938, in Munich, the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made a deal with Adolph Hitler allowing Nazi Germany to annex Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland. Hailed as a hero for his diplomacy at the time, Chamberlain is now widely reviled for his policy of “appeasement” to Nazi aggression. Yet one year later, Chamberlain would lead Britain into war against Germany in defense of Poland once it became clear that appeasement had failed. By contrast, the US did little to halt Hitler’s initial expansion, and entered into the war only gradually, attempting, until attacked directly, to sway the outcome without going to war itself. Never again would the US remain so aloof for so long from such a momentous international affair. As such, the Second World War represents a turning point in American foreign affairs, and it is perhaps hard for us to understand why the US took so long to take effective action against the Axis Powers.

Using the primary sources listed below, explore the evolution of American foreign policy over the course of the 1930s. What arguments were made in favor of isolationism? How and why did America’s isolationist stance erode entering into the 1940s?

After considering how America entered into the war, review the war’s impact on the United States. Address the changes which the war effected on American society generally, along with its specific impact on Japanese Americans, African Americans, women, and servicemen. What role did these groups play in the war? How lasting were the changes brought about by the war for these groups? In your response, draw from material from at least THREE of the following documents and videos:

a. World War II: The road to war

b. World War II: The world at war

c. Des Moines speech

d. The Nye report

e. Address of the President delivered by radio from the White House

f. Neutrality act

g. Neutrality act

h. Lend-lease act

Your initial post should be at least 200 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7 in at least 100 words. When responding to classmates, you should refer to the material from one of the sources which you did not reference in your initial post.

Final Paper Preparation. This assignment will prepare you for the Final Paper by initiating the research process and helping you map out specific events and developments which you will explore in depth in your paper. Review the instructions for the Final Paper laid out in Week Five before beginning this project. Note, that for the Final Paper you will need to discuss at least six specific events or developments related to your chosen topic, three from before 1930 and three from after 1930.

For this assignment, you will choose your topic and the six (or more) related events and developments which you will explore. You will then find one scholarly source related to each event or development. In a paragraph or two at the beginning of the paper, identify the events and developments and explain why you believe they are significant. Then provide an annotated bibliography, identifying at least ONE source for each subtopic, plus two additional sources each for two of the subtopics; for a total of eight sources. At least two of the sources need to be primary ones, and at least two must be scholarly articles from the Ashford University Online Library databases. Please notice that you have been provided with many wonderful primary and secondary sources in the required reading and recommended reading sections for each week. Feel free to use these sources when constructing your assignment. Please visit the Academic Research section on your Course Home page (accessible through the Student Responsibilities and Policies tab on the left navigation toolbar) to review what types of materials are not acceptable for academic, university level research. Accompany each source with an annotation—a paragraph summarizing the source’s contents and explaining how it will be useful for your project. The annotations must be in your own words. Copying abstracts from the sources is not an acceptable means of completing this assignment. The paper must be three pages in length and formatted according to APA style. You must use at least eight scholarly resources other than the textbook to support your claims. You must use at least one scholarly source for each subtopic. You must use at least two primary sources, and at least two scholarly secondary sources from the Ashford Online Library’s databases. Many great sources have provided for you in the recommended readings section for each week; feel free to use those in your paper. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar, in your online course.

 

 

Week 4

A Single American Nation. When the First World War began, African-American leaders pressed the government to provide black men the right to go to combat to prove their devotion to their country. Hoping that their service would lay a stake on citizenship which the nation would have no choice but to honor, the “New Negro” of the 1920s adopted a more militant stance toward civil rights. The civil rights struggle envisioned at the time, however, made few concrete gains. Discrimination and disenfranchisement persisted.

African-American leaders responded to the Second World War much as they had to the First, offering their services while expecting recognition in return. They intended to fight a “Double-V Campaign” against fascism abroad and racism at home. They helped to kill fascism abroad; racist policies at home survived, but only for a time. Less than a decade after the war ended, the Brown case struck down the principle of “separate but equal” in schools. A grass-roots movement emerged to challenge discrimination elsewhere. By 1965, nonviolent means had murdered Jim Crow. Yet, the 60s were nothing if not a violent decade, marred by war, riots, and assassinations. By the end of the decade, Americans were as divided in some ways as they had ever been, and hopes for integration into a single American nation largely gave way to an emphasis on the unique needs and interests of different groups within the nation.

Chart the progress of the Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1965. Identifying specific events from that period, explain why the movement succeeded so well during this period when similar struggles had gained so little in previous decades. Compare and contrast the different approaches to gaining civil rights adopted by different leaders in this period, those of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, for instance. Finally, explain why the Civil Rights Movement splintered at the end of the decade by discussing at least TWO of the following groups, drawing from the primary sources below:

a. Native Americans

b. Women

c. The Black Power movement

d. Chicanos

e. Students

Summarize your response by considering the following questions:

a. What precisely did the Civil Right Movement gain?

b. What objectives did it fail to achieve?

c. Why did so many new movements emerge by the end of the 1960s?

d. Was the nation more or less divided in 1970 than it had been in 1950?

When writing your response, draw from material in the following video:

a. Let freedom ring: Moments from the civil rights movement, 1954-1965

Also in your response, draw from at least TWO of the documents listed below:

a. “The bottom of the economic totem pole”: African American women in the workplace

b. The Port Huron statement of the students for a democratic society

c. “The cycle of poverty”: Mexican-American migrant farmworkers testify before Congress

d. “We must destroy the capitalistic system which enslaves us”: Stokely Carmichael advocates black revolution

e. “Self determination of free peoples”: Founding documents of the American Indian Movement (AIM)

f. “All our problems stem from the same sex based myths”: Gloria Steinem delineates American gender myths during ERA hearings

g. Gay power comes to Sheridan Square

Your initial post should be at least 200 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7 in at least 100 words. When responding to classmates, you should refer to the material from one of the sources which you did not reference in your initial post.

Cold War. After the Second World War, the US embarked on what came to be known as the Cold War against the Soviet Union. Although the two sides never fought against each other directly, the Cold War nonetheless erupted into violence at times in places like Vietnam, Korea, and Afghanistan. As the US grew more activist and interventionist in its foreign policy, the domestic government also grew in power and in its role in the people’s lives.

Explain the origins of the Cold War and describe how different presidential administrations, from Truman to Nixon, handled Cold War affairs. Address the ways in which the presidents responded to the perceived threat of Soviet expansion, and explain how these approaches involved the US in conflicts in Vietnam and Korea. Consider, also, the ways in which the US intervened in the affairs of smaller nations such as Iran. Finally, explore how the Cold War changed America’s domestic society, focusing on issues such as the role of the government in people’s lives, the Red Scare, the return of domesticity, and growing distrust toward the federal government. Summarize your thoughts on the issues above by answering the following questions:

a. Why did the Cold War start and how did it develop over its first three decades?

b. What were its most important effects at home and abroad?

When responding to these prompts, draw from the material in ONE of the following videos:

a. The post-war years

b. Superpowers collide

c. 1930-1960

Also, draw from the material in THREE of the following documents:

a. Electronic briefing book no. 28: The secret CIA history of the Iran coup, 1953

b. Farewell address

c. Protestant-Catholic-Jew: An essay in American religious sociology (1960)

d. The Tonkin Gulf incident; 1964

e. Address on the Cuban crisis October 22, 1962

f. March 9th memo from Kissinger to Nixon

g. Richard Nixon’s resignation

h. SDS Vietnam anti-war speech

i. The vital center: The politics of freedom

j. The war powers act

Your initial post should be at least 200 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7 in at least 100 words. When responding to classmates, you should refer to the material from one of the sources which you did not reference in your initial post.

 

Week 5

The Age of Reagan. Most of us have lived much of our lives in the “Age of Reagan,” a period which dates from 1980 and which may still be ongoing today. Historians increasingly agree that the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 represented a “revolution” in American society and, particularly, its politics. Review Reagan’s presidential career to explain what about it precisely was so “revolutionary.” Compare his approach to politics and foreign affairs with those of his predecessors, and assess the ways that his successors either built upon or attempted to reverse his legacy. Explain why so many Americans opposed Reagan’s policies and those of his successors. Consider also the social and cultural changes which took place during the Age of Reagan. Finally, assess the success of the “Reagan Revolution” by identifying which problems it ameliorated and which it exacerbated. In your response, consider THREE of the following topics, with regard to how both Reagan and his successors handled or contributed to them:

a. The economy

b. The federal debt

c. Federal regulation

d. Social welfare

e. Public health

f. Race relations

g. Gender equality

h. Foreign affairs

To summarize your response, answer the following questions:

a. How revolutionary was the Reagan Revolution and how was it revolutionary?

b. In what ways was it beneficial to the American nation and in what ways was it detrimental?

c. Did the positives outweigh the negatives or vice versa?

d. Did the Reagan Revolution make the American nation more united or more divided?

e. What cultural issues caused the most friction during the Age of Reagan?

f. Is the Age of Reagan still underway?

When writing your response, draw from material in the following video:

a. Powerplay: End of the empire

Also, draw from at least THREE of the documents listed below:

a. “Equal rights are not special”: Advocates call for an end to anti-gay employment discrimination

b. Experimenting with our liberties

c. “A time bomb inside of you”: Social service organizations advocate an improved federal response to AIDS

d. Address to Congress

e. Address to the Republican national convention

f. A crisis of confidence

g. Oklahoma bombing memorial prayer service address

h. Address at the NAACP on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

i. Testimony to Senate Judiciary Committee

j. “There’s been no real creative response”: Ted Houghton on homelessness in New York City

k. Address to the Democratic national convention

l. Address to British Parliament

m. Roe v. Wade majority decision

Your initial post should be at least 200 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7 in at least 100 words. When responding to classmates, you should refer to the material from one of the sources which you did not reference in your initial post.

The Lived Experience of Ordinary People. Especially since the 1960s, historians have sought to understand history not just as a series of major events presided over by generals and statesmen, but also as the lived experience of ordinary people. For this last discussion, begin by reflecting on your own past with an eye toward how American society has changed over the course of your life. In your response, focus less on major political or international events than on the ways day-to-day life in America is different today from what it was when you were younger. You might consider such factors as the cost of goods and services, the forms of entertainment, means of communication, and so forth. Next, identify what you believe to be the most pressing problem facing America today, providing evidence from recent news sources to show that the problem is real and pressing. There are numerous issues you might consider, such as international security, personal and public debt, heightening racial tensions, economic downturns, and so forth; but provide concrete information to back your choice. Finally, describe how Americans at different times during the past 150 years have addressed problems similar to the one you identified, and assess whether those past solutions would be applicable today. Draw from material in your textbook or from scholarly outside sources, or both, when addressing this prompt. Your initial post should be at least 200 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7 in at least 100 words.

Focus of the Final Paper

Understanding history can be more difficult than many people imagine. Historians concern themselves not only with what happened but with why it happened. They analyze and assess a variety of sources, including primary sources (ones created during the time period the historian is examining) and secondary sources (ones written by other historians after the period), to create their own interpretations of the past. For the Final Paper, students will not only learn about the past, but also experiment with the interpretive, analytical methodologies of the historian.

Choose from one of the topics below and review its history from 1865 to the present day. To focus the research, select six subtopics (specific events or developments related to the topic, separated in time); three from before 1930 and three from after. Describe the basic information of each subtopic, and then analyze the subtopic to show how the broader topic changed over time. For instance, a paper about African Americans might choose the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Power Movement as two of its subtopics. In that case, the paper would provide basic information about the two movements; explain what each one revealed about the place of African Americans in broader American society in, respectively, the 1920s and the late 1960s; explain how and why the place of African Americans in the 1920s differed from their place in the late 1960s; and explain how events in the 1920s may have contributed to developments in the later decade.

Choose one of the following topics:

a. Native Americans

b. African Americans

c. Immigrants

d. Women

e. Foreign affairs

f. Civil liberties

g. The economy

h. The role and powers of the presidency

The paper must be eight to ten pages in length and formatted according to APA style. The coverage of each subtopic should be about a page long; the paper should also include an introduction and a conclusion which synthesizes and summarizes the findings of the body paragraphs, and develops a thesis—or interpretive argument—from them. You must use at least eight scholarly resources other than the textbook to support your claims. You must use at least one scholarly source for each subtopic. You must use at least two primary sources, and at least two scholarly secondary sources from the Ashford Online Library’s databases. Many great sources have provided for you in the recommended readings section for each week; feel free to use those in your paper. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar, in your online course.