Describe and explain the role of commodities in American society from the colonial period

  1. Essay AND Key Terms. This is the whole exam. Consider all parts of the question. In answering, you should make use of MOST of the key terms in black, and you are also free to use key terms that are not listed. You should draw on lectures, readings, and student presentations.

 

 

Essay Prompt:

 

Describe and explain the role of commodities in American society from the colonial period to the present in three parts.  Your essay should defend the following thesis: “Commodities have played a critical role in American society from colonial times to the present.”

 

  • 1) In the colonial period and early American history, consider the role of commodities like tea, sugar, tobacco, cotton, and slave labor, all part of the Triangle Trade, in the development of society

 

  • 2) In the period of industrialization after the Civil War, consider the importance of “free” or wage labor, westward expansion, vertical integration, imperialism the assembly line, and Fordism.

 

  • 3) In present-day society, or contemporary history, consider the importance of products from poor or “Third World” countries such as coffee, shoes and athletic apparel, and fruit, etc, and key terms such as Green Revolution.
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