Below are the essay prompts for your final assignment. There are two questions but you are to answer only one of them. Answer as completely as possible. Your response should be 4-6 pages, double-spaced, with standard one-inch margins, and must be typed. Please include page numbers on all pages. It should be written in grammatically correct prose. Anytime you use words not your own—including words from the textbook and from web sites—those words must be placed within quotation marks and must be accompanied by a citation. You may use any form of citation you want (in-text citations or footnotes). Failure to do so is plagiarism and will result in failure of the course. You should use your lecture notes, class discussions, readings, films, podcasts, and/or websites to help formulate your answer. It is due on Wednesday, May 5 at 11:59 p.m. Upload it to Canvas.
These essays should be argumentative, meaning you should have a thesis statement that makes your argument clear. This thesis statement should appear within the first paragraph of your paper. The rest of the essay should provide evidence and analysis that helps you prove your argument.
Essay Option 1
“The problem of the twentieth-century,” the brilliant civil rights activist W.E.B. DuBois famously said, “is the problem of the color line.” Describe how political, social and economic forces helped shape American racism between 1865 and 1965. In your response you must integrate an analysis of the following:
- Lynching and other forms of racial violence
- The G.I. Bill
Essay Option 2
Thomas Jefferson described the United States as an Empire of Liberty. Explain what he meant by this phrase. Discuss the social, political and economic motivations for U.S. expansion, and intervention abroad between the Early Republic and the Vietnam War. Given this history, do you think it is fair to call the United States imperialist? In your response, be sure to address the following:
- Settler colonialism
- Territorial expansions during the 1890s
- The Cold War