A The late nineteenth century was an eventful period in United States history with different developments occurring in different parts of the country: the decline of Reconstruction and the rise of the Jim Crow Era in the South, expansion and Indian Wars in the West, industrialization, urbanization, and immigration in the Northeast. At the same time, all of these developments shared certain characteristics seen in attempts to define Americanism and construct American nationalism. Write an essay describing two of the three periods and uniting them by the nativist or exclusive tendencies in each.
B. The study of history often intersects with the study of myth. Write an essay about the American West and about how the history differs from some of the narratives constructed about it. As part of your response, discuss â€œAmerican Progress,â€ this 1872 painting by John Gast as one representation of the American West in the nineteenth century. How does this West, as it was painted, compare to the historical West as it was lived? How might ideas of manifest destiny structure later U.S. expansion at the end of the century, beyond the continental borders and across seas?
C. Modern developments around the turn of the century occurred rapidly and left many social, political, and economic issues in their wake. What were the problems identified by the Progressives and reformers of this era and how did they address them? What were the major ideas underpinning Progressive reform? What were their accomplishments and what were their failures?