Unit 8 Assignment Sheet

 

Assignment 1. Mapping Progressivism

  • Nash, 611-629.
  • Robert Filene, “An Obituary for the Progressive Movement” American Quarterly 22.1 (Spring 1970), 20-34. [PDF]

Questions to Consider:

  1. What were the elements of the progressive outlook?
  2. In what ways is progressivism similar to populism in what ways is it different? How was the constituency of each similar? How was it different?
  3. After 3 decades of relative inactivity on the reform front, why the burst of reform energy during the first 2 decades of the 20th century?
  4. Is the term “progressive” an appropriate description of the reform efforts during the period? In what sense were the reform efforts not progressive?
  5. Why do you think that Filene published this essay? Think about both his argument and the time he was writing?

Assignment 2. The End of Laissez Faire

  • Nash, 629-637.
  • Theodore Roosevelt on the Trusts, excerpts from the 1901 State of the Union Address [LINK]
  • Theodore Roosevelt on Conservation (1907) [LINK]
  • Theodore Roosevelt on Labor issues (1911) [LINK]
  • Theodore Roosevelt on the "New Nationalism” (1910) [LINK]

Questions to Consider:

  1. Why do so many historians believe that Theodore Roosevelt was the perfect president for the Progressive Era?
  2. How was Taft similar or different to TR?
  3. What was TR's attitude towards labor?
  4. In what ways is conservation a quintessential Progressive Era movement?
  5. What were the major features of TR’s “New Nationalism”?
  6. How did progressivism lead to an increase in the intervention of state power in economic, political, and social affairs?

Assignment 3. The Election of 1912 & Wilsonian Progressivism

  • Nash, 637-645.
  • Lochner v. New York (1905) case summary [LINK]
  • Muller v. Oregon (1908) case summary [LINK]
  • Excerpts from “Woodrow Wilson on the New Freedom” (1912) [LINK]
  • TR's Acceptance Speech (1912) [LINK]
  • 1912 Democratic Party Platform [LINK]
  • The Socialist Party Platform of 1912 [LINK]
  • The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 [LINK]
  • The Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 [LINK]
  • The Clayton Anti-Trust Act of 1914 [LINK]

Questions to Consider:

  1. What was the Lochner case about? What was the significance of the ruling?
  2. What was the Muller case about? What was the significance of the ruling?
  3. What were the elements of Woodrow Wilson's “New Freedom”?
  4. What happened during the election of 1912?
  5. What was the Socialist Party's platform and how did it differ from that of other Progressives?
  6. What were Wilson's key domestic accomplishments?
  7. How did he move closer to the New Nationalism?
  8. How did progressivism lead to an increase in the intervention of state power in economic, political, and social affairs?
  9. What were the limits of Progressivism?

Assignment 4. America Enters the World

  • skim Nash, chapter 18.
  • Thomas G. Paterson, "U.S. Intervention in Cuba, 1898: Interpreting the Spanish-American-Cuban-Filipino War," OAH Magazine of History (Spring 1998), 5-10. [PDF]
  • Alfred Thayer Mahan, “The Influence of Sea Power” (1890) [LINK]
  • Albert Beveridge, “The March of the Flag” (1898) [LINK]
  • William Jennings Bryan, “First Speech Against Imperialism” (1898) [LINK]
  • John Hay, “The First ‘Open Door’ Note” (1899) [LINK]
  • “The Platt Amendment” (1903) [LINK]
  • “The Roosevelt Corollary” (1904) [LINK]
  • Optional: Michael H. Hunt, "1898: the Onset of America's Troubled Asian Century," OAH Magazine of History (Spring 1998), 30-36.[PDF]

Questions to Consider:

  1. Why did American begin to involve itself in foreign countries during the Gilded Age?
  2. Why did Mahan think that sea power was so important?
  3. How was US involvement overseas a departure from the American foreign policy tradition?
  4. Did America become an Empire at the turn of the century?
  5. Why did the US intervene in Spain’s war with Cuba?
  6. What was the imperialist argument?
  7. What was the anti-imperialist argument?
  8. Why was Asia important to the US?
  9. Why was Latin America important to the US?
  10. What was new and distinctive about the Platt Amendment and the Roosevelt Corollary?
  11. Why did Wilson intervene in Mexico?

Assignment 5. From Neutrality to War

  • Nash, chapter 20, esp. pp., 654-662.
  • Randolph Bourne, "War and the Intellectuals" Seven Arts (1917). [LINK]

Questions to Consider:

  1. Why did Wilson proclaim America’s neutrality in August of 1914?
  2. What forced Wilson out of his professed stance of true neutrality by 1917?
  3. What were the various rationales behind those Americans who were against intervention?
  4. What were the rationales behind those who supported intervention?
  5. Was there a united “progressive” position on intervention and neutrality?
  6. What is Bourne’s criticism of Progressive intellectuals?
  7. How did the Wilson administration organize the wartime economy?
  8. How were things German perceived by Americans during World War I?
  9. What was the impact of World War I on the lives of women and African-Americans?
  10. What happened to civil liberties during the war?
  11. Why was it necessary to develop a propaganda program to support the war?
  12. Was the war Progressive?
  13. Was it responsible for ending progressivism?
  14. \

Assignment 6. The War at Home

  • Nash, pp., 665-673.
  • Ronald Schaffer, "The Home Front," OAH Magazine of History Vol. No. 1 (October 2002), 222-24. [PDF]
  • Randolph Bourne, "War and the Intellectuals" Seven Arts (1917). [LINK]
  • Woodrow Wilson, “War Message” (April 2, 1917) [PDF]
  • The Schenck Case (Schenck’s Pamphlet & Justice Holmes Supreme Court Decision) [PDF]
  • George Creel on the Selling of the War (1920) [PDF]

Questions to Consider:

  1. How did the Wilson administration organize the wartime economy?
  2. To what extent was the conduct of the war at home in line with the Progressive ethos of the preceding decade and a half?
  3. How were things German perceived by Americans during World War I?
  4. What was the impact of World War I on the lives of women and African-Americans?
  5. What happened to civil liberties during the war? Does the opinion in Schenck seem reasonable?
  6. Why was it necessary to develop a propaganda program to support the war?

Assignment 7. Postwar Doldrums & Red Scare

  • Nash, 676-681.
  • Woodrow Wilson, “Fourteen Points” (1918) [LINK]
  • Mitchell Palmer, "The Case Against the 'Reds,'" Forum (1920), 63:173- 185. [PDF]
  • Emma Goldman Recalls the Red Scare. [PDF]

Questions to Consider:

  1. How does the Fourteen Points represent a change in America’s approach to world affairs?
  2. How did Wilson confront the growth of radicalism abroad?
  3. How did his administration confront the growth of radicalism at home?
  4. Why did Versailles fail?
  5. Was the war responsible for ending progressivism?

Assignment 8. The Roaring 20s -- Culture

  • Nash, chapter 21 -- focus on pp., 681-696.
  • Lawrence Glickman, "Rethinking Politics: Consumers and the Public Good During the 'Jazz Age'" OAH Magazine of History (July 2007), 16-20. [PDF]
  • Bruce Barton, excerpts from The Man Nobody Knows (1925). [PDF]
  • Earnest Elmo Calkins, excerpts from “Business the Civilizer” (1928) [PDF]
  • Harry Emerson Fosdick, “Shall the Fundamentalists Win?” Christian Work 102 (June 10, 1922): 716–722. [PDF]

Questions to Consider:

  1. How did American consumers respond to the economic growth of the 20s?
  2. Why did mass culture accelerate so rapidly during the 1920s?
  3. Why are the 1920's referred to as the “Jazz Age” and the “Roaring Twenties”?
  4. Why were Americans fascinated with heroes in the 1920's?
  5. What factors contributed to the rebirth and growth of the Ku Klux Klan and the rise of fundamentalism during the 20s?
  6. Why did “traditionalists” feel threatened by the changes of the 20s?
  7. In what ways did the criticisms offered by so-called “Lost Generation” and participants in the Harlem Renaissance differ from the critique of America offered by the traditionalists?
  8. Were the 1920s conservative or progressive?

Assignment 9. The Roaring Twenties-Business-Government-Economy

  • Nash, chapter 23, esp. pp., 696-706.
  • Ellis Hawley, "Herbert Hoover, the Commerce Secretariat, and the Vision of the the "Associative State, 1921-1928" JAH (June 1974), 116-140. [PDF]
  • “The Ancient Days Have Not Departed”: Calvin Coolidge on the Spirituality of Commerce. [LINK]

Questions to Consider:

  1. What was the conventional historiographical perspective on the relationship between the government/economy relationship of the Progressive era and the New Era?
  2. How did revisionists challenge this perspective?
  3. What is associationalism? How did it function?
  4. What examples does Hawley provide?
  5. In your estimation: Did the 20s constitute a return to the Gilded Age or was did it represent a new stage in the evolution of the relationship between government and business?
  6. Can you predict what one of the major historigraphical questions regarding the relationship between the 20s and 30s is?

Assignment 10. The Crash & Hoover's Great Depression

  • Nash, 707-714.
  • Michael Bernstein, "The Great Depression as Historical Problem," OAH Magazine of History (Fall, 2001), 3-10. [PDF]
  • Go to the New York Times Web Special: Looking Back at the Crash of '29 and read a few of the articles[LINK]

Questions to Consider:

  1. What are some of the differing perspectives on the causes of the Great Depression?
  2. Did the crash cause the depression or was the crash symptomatic of underlying fundamental problems in the 20s economy?
  3. What's the contemporary importance of this question and its resolution?
  4. What was the media’s sense of the Crash?
  5. Why did the Depression have such a profound psychological impact on the American people?
  6. What was the “invisible scar” of the Great Depression?
  7. What functions did movies play during the Great Depression?
  8. Why did the Dust Bowl happen?
  9. What was Hoover’s response to the Depression?
  10. What were the most dramatic examples of protest during the Hoover years? What do these episodes tell us about the Great Depression?
  11. If Hoover was such a “progressive,” why didn’t he make more extensive use of the government to end the depression?
  12. How and why did the national election of 1932 mark a turning point in American politics?

Assignment 11. The New Deal part 1

  • Nash, 714-730.
  • Richard Polenberg, "Introduction" in The Era of Franklin D. Roosevelt (Bedford), p. 1-35 but focus on 8-24. [PDF]
  • FDR's First Inaugural Address, 1933. [LINK]
  • FDR's First Fireside Chat -- the Banking Crisis [LINK]

Questions to Consider:

  1. How did FDR differ from Hoover in addressing the Great Depression?
  2. What were the 3 R's?
  3. Which were the most important programs implemented by FDR during the First New Deal?
  4. What particular set of New Deal actions represented the greatest departure from past government policy?
  5. What is Keynesianism?
  6. How is Keynesianism a departure from earlier forms of government interventions?
  7. How was the Second New Deal different from the First?

Assignment 12. The New Deal part 2

  • Nash, 730-740.
  • Howard J. Sherman, et. al, "Keynesian Economics and the Great Depression," in Economics: An Introduction to Traditional and Progressive Views 7th ed. (M.E. Sharpe, 2008),167-171. [PDF]
  • FDR, "Acceptance of the Renomination for the Presidency" (1936). [LINK]
  • Huey Long, “Share the Wealth Speech” 1935. [LINK]
  • Herbert Hoover, "The New Deal," (1936). [LINK]
  • Milliard Lampell, Pete Seeger, Lee Hayes, “Talking Union” (1941). [LINK]
  • Optional:Michael Berkowitz, "A 'New Deal' for Leisure: Making Mass Tourism during the Great Depression," in Being Elsewhere: Tourism, Consumer Culture, and Identity in Modern Europe and North America, eds. Shelley Baranowski and Ellen Furlough (University of Michigan, 2001), 185-212. [PDF]

Questions to Consider:

  1. What is Keynesianism?
  2. How was the Second New Deal different from the First?
  3. What was the criticism of the New Deal from the Left and from the Right? What did FDR do about this criticism?
  4. Was the New Deal conservative, liberal, or radical?
  5. How did the position of workers and of organized labor change during the New Deal?
  6. Was the New Deal responsible for these changes or were the workers themselves responsible?
  7. Why did the arts and other cultural activities take on such an important role during the New Deal?