Document based essay on how American life and work transformed during the 1870s-1910s.
“We think of historical events as relics of the past, but these events continue to play out over time, affecting our political, economic, and socio-cultural lives. As you begin to learn about the foundations of modern American history, you will investigate how past attitudes, conditions, and experiences can help you understand both the past as well as current attitudes and perspectives. Looking at primary resources should also help you see how important it is to form your own opinions rather than relying on talking heads who
might not have read or understood the full context of events, ideas, or the sources that they discuss. Ultimately, this course and this assignment reaffirms the tools of democratic citizenship by promoting the skills and knowledge necessary to be an aware and active citizen.”
• Write an essay in which you support a thesis statement with evidence from primary sources.
• Interpret primary sources alongside their historical contexts.
• Demonstrate critical thinking by examining the influence of historical events over time.
• Major historical events of the 1870s-1910s as described in Chapters 16-18, 20 of The American Yawp.
• Analyze changes in life and work in America during two of the periods/topics discussed in the chapters:
Gilded Age, Transformation of the American West, Second Industrial Revolution, New South, and/or
• Use of Chicago or MLA-style citations whilst complying with the History Department’s DBQ rubric.
• Answer the following three questions: How did life and work in America transform during the 1870s-1910s? Identify two “periods” or topics used to explain these changes. Do the authors of the primary sources describe the changes as challenges, opportunities, or both?
• Review Chapters 16, 17, 18, 20 of The American Yawp and the corresponding modules.
• Select FOUR of the following sources (at least one image/media and three documents) from the list
below to develop and support your answer. All sources are in The American Yawp Reader:
o “The Tournament of Today” (1883)
o Andrew Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealth (June 1889)
o Dispatch from a Mississippi Colored Farmers’ Alliance (1889)
o The “Omaha Platform” of the People’s Party (1892)
o Chief Joseph on Indian Affairs (1877, 1879)
o Frederick Jackson Turner, “Significance of the Frontier in American History” (1893)
o Tom Torlino (1882, 1885)
o Rose Cohen on the World Beyond her Immigrant Neighborhood (ca.1897/1918)
History Program TILT assessment 1
o Mulberry Street (ca. 1900)
o Ida B. Wells-Barnett, “Lynch Law in America” (1900)
o Booker T. Washington & W.E.B. DuBois on Black Progress (1895, 1903)
o “Next!” (1904)
o Theodore Roosevelt on “The New Nationalism” (1910)
o Alice Stone Blackwell, Answering Objections to Women’s Suffrage (1917)
o “College Day on the Picket Line” (1917)
• As you read the sources, ask yourself how they “talk” to one another, reflecting similar or different arguments and ideas. I recommend you use the ACAPS worksheet to analyze each primary source you select and plan to include in the essay.
• Then, plan what you will write by creating an outline to ensure you organize your essay effectively.
• Not sure how to organize a history essay? Try the QCRE-Writing the Historical Essay.
• Submit this outline ahead of time on OneDrive to receive my feedback.
• Lastly, write a 4 page essay that answers the question in the essay prompt. Be sure you include a thesis statement, reference at least five primary sources from the class reader, and incorporate
appropriate historical content and context. Before submitting your essay, review the DBQ rubric.
Criteria for Success
• I have a clear thesis (main argument) that is supported by the rest of the essay.
• I answered all three questions in the essay prompt.
• I discussed historical events from two time periods described in the assigned chapters.
• I cited 4 or more primary sources with at least one image/media.
• The essay is double-spaced with 12 point Times New Roman font.
• I used Chicago/Turabian- or MLA-formatted citations.
• I read my essay and assessed my work according to the DBQ rubric.
Document based essay on how American life and work transformed during the 1870s-1910s