The Old South. Explain how the South developed as a distinct region between 1820 and 1860. Describe some of the different cultures or social classes in the region. Explain how slavery played a key role in shaping the South.
- California Connected. Describe some of the ways California changed after becoming part of the United States. How did developments in transportation and agriculture help shape the modern state we see today? How were events in California related to events in the rest of the country? (You may use Connecting California, Sections V-VII and also the Conclusion.)
- Political Crises. Explain some of the key events that led up to the Civil War. What social and political trends do you see behind these events? Do you think the war was the result of poor leadership, or was it due to forces that nobody could control?
- Fighting the Civil War. Explain the advantages of the North and the South. Was the South foolish to think they could win? Examine specific events to explain your thinking.
- Impact of the Civil War. Describe the extent of suffering, both on and off the battlefield. Describe how the war also changed the country socially and economically.
- Reconstruction. How did the lives of African Americans change after the Civil War? In what ways was the South unchanged? Examine key events to show how Reconstruction was both a failure and a success.
- You as President. You can pick the year you get elected (some time in the 1840s to 1870s). What major issues would you tackle? How would you get support for your ideas? You might mention if there are particular leaders you would like to work with. The key to doing a good job on this essay is to write about actual events and realistic options in the time period you choose.
- Civil War Era: Illustrated Essay (counts as two essays). Find six pictures from the era covered in Chapters 14, 15, and 16. Discuss six key terms or questions on the handouts that relate to the pictures. Tie it all together in an essay with an introduction and a conclusion.
Part II. Write essays of at least one and a half pages each on TWO of the following major themes. Use examples from various parts of the course to develop your main points. Pictures are helpful but not required on this section. I will give a little extra for people who really get into these essays.
- Trade. Why has trade been such a hot topic throughout our history? In what ways has trade helped develop the country? In what ways has it divided Americans?
- Diversity. In what ways does the early history of our country reflect a richness of cultures, values and lifestyles? Give examples of how Americans have respected diversity and not respected diversity. How has diversity shaped our nation?
- Women. Describe the role of women in various time periods. What major changes do you see? What events or changes in society had the most impact on women?
- Politics. Describe how Americans have debated political issues in various time periods. Which era do you think had the liveliest political discourse? How are we similar today?
- Values. What values do you see as particularly important in early America? Did these values develop from religion? Were they shaped by economic or social factors? Give examples of how Americans have pursued an idealistic vision in various time periods.
Extra Essay Option: You may do an extra essay for extra credit. The extra essay may be from Part I or Part II. This essay could possibly be worth about 3.5 extra points.