Assignment #7 – Slavery and Reconstruction

STEP #1 – WATCH — Without Sanctuary


STEP #2 – WATCH — Birth of a Nation by DW Griffith


STEP #3 – READ — Gone With the Wind

Please include your 5 five things on Discussion Board.

Click the link below to READ!!!!



Reconstruction is probably the least understood period in our history. When one really begins to understand the promise of what could have been, this period becomes even more heartbreaking. We had a handful of idealistic men and woman in this country who believed they were presented with an unprecedented opportunity to make this country a true democracy for the very first time in our history — a place where all people were created equal.

And for a time they did

and we must not diminish the efforts of these individuals simply because Jim Crow began to dismantle their creation almost as soon as they created it. if anything, once one knows the level of violence these people faced for their convictions, their story almost becomes that much more harrowing and poignant. But it was racism and violence that ultimately caused the demise of reconstruction. The Ku Klux Klan rose to a great state of prominence during this time period, and it was through their efforts that virtually all of the progressive legislation put in place during this time either came to an end or reversed entirely. The Klan used violence and fear as their political tools, and lynchings become probably their most favored mode of torture and fear-mongering.


Assignment #8 – The Gilded Age

STEP #1 – WATCH — South Park – Something WallMart This Way Comes

STEP #2 – WATCH — Is Wal-Mart Good for America?

STEP #3 – READ – Robber Barons and Rebels



For this discussion, I am going to have you watch first the south part episode entitled “Something Wall-Mart this way comes” Much of this episode while crude in many ways, actually is very similar to what Mark Twain was trying to get access. What point do you believe the writers of this South Park episodes were trying to make with this story? How is it similar to the satire of Mark Twain? Many scholars and writers seem to believe we have found ourselves in a second Gilded age today, and that the difference between the haves and the have-nots has actually become much worse today than it was 100 years ago. Many of your articles for today’s discussion touch on this. To further understand this situation take a look at the database amassed by the AFL-CIO. It was designed specifically to help monitor CEO compensation year by year….


Assignment #9 – The Progressives

STEP #1 – WATCH — A Dangerous Business

Please click the title above to take you to the PBS Frontline productions entitled “A Dangerous Business” AND “A Dangerous Business Revisited” concerning the working conditions of one of today’s iron foundries.


STEP #2 – READ — The Socialist Challenge

Please read the chapter entitled “The Socialist Challenge,” from Howard Zinn’s book A People’s History of the United States



STEP #3 – READ — The Land of Opportunity

Please read chapter 7 “The Land of Opportunity,” from Lies My Teacher Told Me.




There was another interesting set of statistics that a person might have gathered in Packingtown– those of the various affections of the workers. When Jurgis had first inspected the packing plants with Szedvilas, he had marveled while he listened to the tale of all the things that were made out of the carcasses of animals, and all of these lesser industries was a separate little inferno, in its way as horrible as the killing-beds, the source and fountain of them all. The workers in each of them had their own peculiar diseases. and the wandering visitor might be seceptical about all the swindles, but he could not be skeptical about these, for the worker bore the evidence of them about on his own person–generally he had only to hold out his hand.

There were the men in the pickle-rooms, for instance, where old Antennas had gotten his death; scarce a one of these that had not some spot of horror on his person. let a man so much as scrape his finger pushing a truck in the pickle-rooms, and he might have a sore that would put him out of the world; all the joints in his fingers might be eaten by the acid, one by one. Of the butchers and floorsmen, the beef  boners and trimmers, and all those who used knives, you could scarcely find a person who had the use of his thumb; time and time again 


Assignment #10 – Imperialism

STEP #1 – WATCH — Harvest of Empire


STEP #2 – READ — The Empire and the People & War is the Health of the State

Please read the chapters “The Empire and the People” and “War is the Health of the State” from Howard Zinn’s book A People’s History of the United States.

STEP #3 – WATCH — American Empire?

STEP #4 – CONSIDER — Albert Beveridge’s Speech Before Congress

Albert Beveridge to Congress:

Mr. President, the times call for candor.  The Philippines are ours forever, “territory belonging to the United States,” as the Constitrltion calls them. And just beyond the Philippines are China’s illimitable markets. We will not retreat from either. We will not repudiate our duty in the archipelago. We will not abandon our opportunity in the Orient. We will not renounce our part in the mission of our race, trustee, under God, of the civilization of the world. And we will move forward to our work, not howling out regrets like slaves whipped to their burdens, but with gratitude for a task worthy of our strength, and thanksgiving to Almighty God that He has marked us as His chosen people, henceforth to lead in the regeneration of the world.

* * *

Mr. President, this question is deeper than any question of party politics: deeper than any question of the isolated policy of our country even; deeper even than any question of constitutional power. It is elemental.  It is racial. God has not been preparing the English-speaking and Teutonic peoples for a thousand years for nothing hut vain and idle self-contemplation and self-admiration.  No! He has made us the master organizers of the world to  establish system where chaos reigns.  He has given its the spirit of progress to overwhelm the forces of reaction throughout the earth. He has made us adepts in government that we may administer government among savage and senile peoples.  Were it not for such a force as this the world would relapse into barbarism and night. And of all our race He has marked the American people as His chosen nation to finally lead in the regeneration of the world.  This is the divine mission of America, and it holds for us all the profit, all the glory, all the happiness possible to man.  We are trustees of the world’s progress, guardians of its righteous peace.  The judgment of the Master is upon us:  “Ye have been faithful over a few things; I will make you ruler over many thing.”

From Congressional Record(56th Cong., 1st Session) Vol XXXIII, pp.705, 711.

What “isms” are represented here in Beveridge’s statement?


The Spanish American cuban Filipino war is something very few Americans know anything about, and yet it is an incredibly important turning point in the history of our country’s foreign policy. it marks the beginning if a period of imperialism (the practice of taking over smaller countries and their natural resources for your own country’s benefit) in the United States. In 1898 we begin a long journey throughout the 20th century that sees many pitstops along the way marked by either invasion or economic domination of various countries throughout the world. and Cuba and the philipines are not the first. The industrial revolution of the late 19th century brings with it the ability to make products at a faster and faster rate, thereby bringing more and more profit to the owners of these assembly line factories. However, it is soon discovered that a finite number of goods can be sold here in the United States. Therefore in an effort to avoid over saturating the market with goods and services and bringing about an economic depression, the wealthy industrialists begin pushing the government to find more and more foreign trading partners to which they could sell their wares. and in looking around at all of the possible trading partners, none stood out more in terms of sheer numbers of consumers than china. China become the trading partner American business owners wanted most. and as a result of this much of our foreign policy (how we relate to other countries) became focused on finding a way to get to china. and believe it or not, the Spanish American-Cuban-Filipino war became the final stepping stone we needed to solidify china as our main trading partner. if we were to look at a map of all the islands in the Pacific Ocean during this time, you might understand why. What other thoughts do you have concerning this war from your reading, zines graphic novel on American empire and all the far-reaching implications for us today? How does this war lead the world into World War I?

Written Exercise #2

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