Choose one of the four prompts for your first writing assignment. Your response must be double-spaced with a minimum count of 750 words (maximum 1500).
While grading is primarily based upon your understanding and critical analysis of the issue, good form will also be taken into account. Please check carefully for spelling and grammatical errors before submitting your essay. Remember to cite direct quotations. As a rule they can be valuable in underscoring a point, but avoid lengthy and excessive quotations: they are boring. With regard to formatting, you should simply note the author and page number in a parenthetical reference. For example, “The 1880s witnessed a new wave of labor organizing. At its center stood the Knights of Labor” (Foner 629). Finally, do not plagiarize. No credit will be given for dishonest work.
1. The nineteenth century saw the basis of work change dramatically from an artisan-based system to one based on mass production. How did the new pattern of industrial work shape the lives of workers? What were the various responses of workers to their new conditions?
2. Explain the rise of the Populist Party and its development between 1890 and 1896. What accounted for the discontent? Who joined the party and how did they try to address their problems? Was anything new about it?
3. Explain the rise of southern racial segregation. Explain how it relates to lynching and the disfranchisement of African Americans. Why did southern whites create such a rigid racial caste system in the 1890s?
4. How did World War I affect the nation’s economy and society, both during the war and after the conflict ended?