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Final Exam (Chapters 12-16 and Major Themes)
Please do both Part I and Part II.
Exam III covers topics in Chapters 12-16 as well as broad themes that relate to the whole class. You may also use material in Connecting California.
Part I. Write essays of about 1.5 pages each on THREE of the following and include pictures:
- Economic Change. Explain how you see America’s economy changing from the 1840s-1870s. How were economic changes related to political and social conflicts of the era? You might also discuss the role of international trade and technological innovation in this era.
- US/Mexico. Discuss the relationship between these countries in the 1820s-1840s. Was war innevitable? Discuss the impact of the conflict on the West as well as the nation as a whole.
- The Old South. In what ways did slavery shape the Southeastern US in the era from 1820-1860? In what ways was the society of the South actually more complex that people might realize?
- North, South and West. Illustrated Essay. Find three or more pictures from the era covered in Chapters 12-13. Discuss how you see three distinct regions developing in the era.
- 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 (after 1846) leading 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.
- 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 1848-1876). 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 14-16. 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. Two essays; five paragraphs each. Write on two of the following major themes. Use examples from various parts of the course to develop your main points. Include pictures that you see as especially helpful. Please makes sure the specific information you use is different from what you use in Part I.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
- Explain how geographical factors have played a key role in three time periods we studied. Consider how communities in America have connected to nature and natural resources. What can we learn from other people who have shared the same land?
- We often think of America (or California) as a land of opportunity. Explain what this could have meant for various people in at least three distinct time periods. In what ways did the idea of opportunity shape the societies we have studied.
- History and You. Share three pictures that relate to you or to things important to you, now or in the future. Relate the pictures to specific history topics we have covered in class. Discuss how your understanding of American or California history has shaped the way you see your own life.