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  1. Your initial post should be at least 250 words, must answer all questions in the discussion, must include specific examples to support your answers, and must be completed by the due date for "Post Initial Thread" to receive full credit. Late work is not accepted. Your responses to classmates should be at least 150 words each. Do not post the same response twice. Your response should say more than "I agree with..." followed by a restatement of what a classmate said. You are expected to fully engage others' thoughts.
  2. Do not restate the question in your response. Also, stay off the internet! I am interested in YOUR thoughts only. If any part of your response, however small, can be definitively traced to some other source, you will receive a zero.
  3. Read and review the following from your textbook, then answer the questions following each reading for your discussion board post:
  • Defining American: William Jennings Bryan and the "Cross of Gold"

    • We say to you that you have made the definition of a business man too limited in its application. The man who is employed for wages is as much a business man as his employer; the attorney in a country town is as much a business man as the corporation counsel in a great metropolis; the merchant at the cross-roads store is as much a business man as the merchant of New York; the farmer who goes forth in the morning and toils all day, who begins in spring and toils all summer, and who by the application of brain and muscle to the natural resources of the country creates wealth, is as much a business man as the man who goes upon the Board of Trade and bets upon the price of grain; . . . We come to speak of this broader class of business men.
    • Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring interests, and the toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them: ‘You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.

Discussion Questions

  1. How do these portions of Bryan's speech reflect how Populists saw their interests being marginalized?
  2. What is the meaning of his "cross of gold" analogy, and why do you think he utilized this?
  • My Story: William Shepherd on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Discussion Questions

c. In previous chapters you have read about the struggles of labor unions to seek better working conditions, how did the disaster, explained by Shepherd, reveal the consequences of unsafe working conditions?

d. It has been stated that labor organizer Samuel Gompers said after the Triangle fire, "Rarely do you get an opportunity for such legislative reform, but women had to burn first in order for this to happen." How does this quote, in connection with Shepherd's account, highlight the arguments made by progressive reformers?

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