ASSIGNMENT 1: DEALING WITH DIVERSITY IN AMERICA FROM RECONSTRUCTION THROUGH THE 1920’s

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After the Civil War, the United States had to recover from war,
handle western expansion, and grapple with very new economic forms.
However, its greatest issues would revolve around the legacies of
slavery and increasing diversity in the decades after the Civil War.
Reconstruction was partly a period of military occupation of the south
by the northern victors. Former slaves now had freedom and new
opportunities but faced old prejudices and rapidly forming new barriers.
Immigrants from Europe and Asia came in large numbers but then faced
political and social restrictions. Women continued to seek rights. Yet,
on the whole, America became increasingly diverse by the 1920s. Consider
developments, policies, and laws in that period from 1865 to the 1920s.
Take one of the positions as suggested below, draw from the sources
listed, and present a paper with specific examples and arguments to
demonstrate the validity of your position.

Possible position—in each case you can take the pro or con position:

  1. The Lost Cause narrative of the South effectively sabotaged and
    influenced racial policy in the US for most of the post-Civil War
    period. (or you can take the position that it did not)
  2. Political policies in the decades after the Civil War generally
    promoted diversity and “the melting pot” despite the strong prejudices
    of a few. (or you can take the position that political policies did not)
  3. Reform movements between 1865 and 1930, like the Progressives and
    the agrarian populists, generally led the way to increased democracy.
    (or you can take the position that these movements did not)

After giving general consideration to your readings so far and any
general research, select one of the positions above as your
position—your thesis. (Sometimes after doing more thorough research, you
might choose the reverse position. This happens with critical thinking
and inquiry. Your final paper might end up taking a different position
than you originally envisioned.). Organize your paper as follows,
handling these issues:

  • The position you choose (from the list above)—or something close to it—will be the thesis statement in your opening paragraph.
  • To support your position, use three specific examples from different
    decades between 1865 and 1930. You may narrowly focus on race or gender
    or immigrant status, or you may use examples relevant to all
    categories.
  • Explain why the opposing view is weak in comparison to yours.
  • Consider your life today: In what way does the history you have
    shown shape or impact issues in your workplace or desired profession?

Be sure to use the Schultz text as a source. Use at least two of the

other sources listed here. Some sources are “primary” sources from the

time period being studied. Some sources below can be accessed via direct

link or through the primary sources link on Blackboard. Each week has a

different list of primary sources. For others, they are accessible

through the Library tab to the left of the screen in Blackboard—once in

there, you may do a “keyword” search of the article title.

APA Reference for the textbook – Schultz, Kevin M. (2018). HIST5: Volume 2: U.S. History Since 1865 (Student edition). Boston: Cengage.

Choose sources relevant to the topic and position you are taking:

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