Part 1: Post-Midterm Questions.
Two of the following will appear on the final, and you will write on one.
1. Trace the federal government’s social welfare policies from the days of the Great Depression through the Great Society. Discuss the significant changes that occurred over time in fundamental attitudes about who society ought to help and in the social programs themselves.
2. Since the end of World War II, the Cold War has shaped the history of the United States and the world. What caused the Cold War, and how did it affect Americans at home and abroad from the end of the Second World War through Vietnam?
3. To many Americans who have lived through the twentieth century, both the 1920s and the 1950s seem to be remembered as the golden years characterized by booming economy and consumer culture. When President Eisenhower took office in 1953, some people also thought that American society would once again return to "Normalcy" as it had done in the 1920s.
Are these two decades really so similar to each other? Can you find any differences? Answer these questions by making a comparison in the following aspects: economy, social mobility, culture, and politics.
4. Some events in American history have produced controversies that have
sharply divided Americans. Construct an essay that analyzes how the New Deal,
McCarthyism, and desegregation all created deep rifts in American society, and
the terms on which the controversies they created were resolved.
Part 2: Cumulative Questions. Two of the following will appear on the final, and you will write on one.
1. "Between 1865 and the late 1960s, African-Americans made very little progress towards becoming full citizens in American society. In fact, the harsh social, political, and economic realities of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries left most blacks little better off than they had been before emancipation." Assess the validity of this statement. In your answer, make sure you discuss how Reconstruction, the "New South," the Great Migration, and the Civil Rights movement of the
1950s and 1960s shaped race relations in the United States.
2. The United States has never entered a war for purely idealistic reasons. Its primary goal has always been the defense of vital national interests." Assess the accuracy of this statement with reference to any three (3) of the following: the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Cold War or Vietnam. Be sure to explain what you mean by "idealistic reasons" and "national interests." Remember to support your argument with relevant historical details.
3. Some historians have argued that the great increase in size and power of the federal government
since the Civil War is one of the dominant themes of American history. Trace the growth of the federal government since 1865, paying particular attention to its evolving involvement in world affairs and the domestic economy.
4. What is Popular Culture? How has popular culture shaped the lives of Americans?