U.S. History from Reconstruction to the Present HI 112 OL and EL Spring 2022 Ass

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U.S. History from Reconstruction to the Present
HI 112 OL and EL Spring 2022
Assignment 5 (Final) due Monday 9 May (20%)
All rewrites must be submitted by Monday 16 May
NOTE THAT 100 POINTS CAN BE EARNED ON THIS ASSIGNMENT
Over the course of the semester you will write a series of essays regarding the major themes of the course. The majority of successful essays have been five to ten pages (5-10 pp) in length, but this one will almost certainly be longer given the cumulative component. It will be almost impossible to fully answer the question in less than five to seven pages (typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12-point font recommended) but please try not to exceed fifteen pages.
As a reminder, on the essays I provide numerous questions to guide you through each of the essays, but please do not simply answer the questions point for point. The ultimate goal is to write cohesive essays not compile a set of fragments. Please therefore provide an introduction and conclusion to each essay. You are strongly encouraged to write (or at least re-write) your introduction AT THE END, so that they actually introduce the essay you have completed. In addition, you will not cover all of the sub-themes equally but you will decide which are the most important points to cover IN ORDER TO make the most effective arguments.
You are expected to make arguments, which requires that all ideas are logically coherent and are supported with evidence. Without evidence you are only making assertions, which cannot be properly evaluated. Without logic and coherence, you are simply rambling. Any argument will be considered, as long it is coherent and supported by specific historical evidence. Deal with one topic per paragraph, use topic sentences and the active voice. See below for guidance:
http://www.bartleby.com/141/strunk5.html
You are expected to review all of the sources and all sections of the textbook in order to understand the issues, although for analytic clarity you will focus on some sections and but a few sources. The most successful essays will use sources from BOTH Yawp/Boyer AND Cobbs. That said, the greatest emphasis should be on the primary sources and interpretive essays from Major Problems.
No matter what, you are primarily answering the central question of the essay. This assignment will answer how do assess the Right Turn of the 1980s, and what were the foreign policy and domestic challenges of the 90s, how do we understand the 21st century, all providing specific historical evidence. Finally, you are asked to write a cumulative essay.
REMEMBER that the cumulative essay, covering material from @1877 to @2021, is 40% of the assignment, so give it the time it deserves
How do we define and assess the New Right in the 1980s? How do we assess the Reagan administration, particularly with regards to domestic policies (20%)?
Cobbs, Chapter 15, “The Rise of the New Right (3d ed)”
Cobbs, Chapter 14, “The Emergence of the New Right (4th ed)”
IF YAWP
Chapter 28 “The Unraveling”
Chapter 29 “The Triumph of the Right”
IF BOYER
Boyer, Chapter 30, “Conservative Revival”
In the previous assignment we looked at the real and perceived failures of the 1960s and 1970s and ho they led to the rise of the New Right. For example, some of the anxieties and fears might have been over changes that were on sum positive but disturbed some people (such as women in the workplace or upward mobility for black people). And some of the failures were obviously real, such as inflation and government deficits. Or of course the defeat in Vietnam. You can revisit that material here as context to assess the movement in the 1980s more broadly, and in particular the policies of the Reagan administration.
Assess the primary merits and successes of the movement, but also note some of the issues. For instance, discuss the Southern Strategy (Boyer) which is analyzed by Carter (Cobbs 3d ed), or Boyer’s emphasis on Evangelical Conservatism (Cobbs, 4th ed).
You can follow up with why the Reagan administration was a not able to fulfill some of the promises. For instance, government spending and deficits (Boyer) increased throughout the decade, despite the rhetorical emphasis on “small government,” and economic inequality increased dramatically.
Whatever the reasons, the New Right transformed US society and culture. Explain some of the outcomes, both positive and negative, as you see them, being sure to discuss religion (Falwell, Reagan and Boyer 4th ed, Falwell 3d ed), anti-Government sentiment (Californians Revolt, Reagan and Schulman, 3d ed, Californians, Sierra Club, and Brands, 4th ed), the economy (growth but deficits and downsizing) and foreign policy (end of the Cold War—Graebner et al and Lundestad, 4th ed)
How do we define and assess the decade after the end of the Cold War— the 1990s (up to 9/11)? What was life like for African Americans and other marginalized groups in the 1990s? Did the country move backwards or stalled on racial equity since the 1990s? (20%)
Cobbs, Chapter 15, “End of Cold War and Terrorism (4th ed)”
Cobbs, Chapter 15, “Globalization and the Economic Challenge (4th ed)”
IF YAWP
Chapter 30 “The Recent Past”
IF BOYER
Boyer, Chapter 31, “Global Dangers”
What were the most important events and processes, in the decade after the end of the Cold War? Is the period best defined by economics and globalization for either good or ill (Unionist, No Globalization, Friedman and LaFeber)? The latest victories in the Civil Rights movement—for gay people? The persistence of racial inequality?
For example, and Mandlebaum (Cobbs, ed 4) and Friedman (Cobbs 3d ed) look at the issue that the US faced after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The closer we get to the present, the more debatable are the explanations and analysis. However, like always, it is essential to anchor the arguments in solid and specific evidence and to emphasize reality over rhetoric.
How do we define and assess the generation in the 21st century? The two decades since 9/11? Were domestic or foreign policies and events more important? You can focus on one or the other, but at least briefly address both. (20%)?
Cobbs, Chapter 15, “End of Cold War and Terrorism (4th ed)”
Cobbs, Chapter 15, “Globalization and the Economic Challenge (4th ed)”
Cobbs, Chapter 16, “End of the Cold War, Terror, and Globalization (3d edition)”
IF YAWP
Chapter 30 “The Recent Past”
IF BOYER
Boyer, Chapter 31, “Global Dangers”
It is clear that 9/11 was a transformative moment in US history, but consider that in addition to that the Great Recession and the successive generations of increased inequality have also had a lasting impact on the American people. And many would look at other kinds of inequalities, for example the persistence of racial segregation as extremely important. You are invited to discuss how both foreign and domestic affairs have affected Americans to the present.
NOTE: You can discuss the gains made in terms of civil rights, but MUST ALSO address the persistence of racial and class inequality. You can use material from question #1 in this essay, and also in the cumulative essay.
NOTE: In many people’s minds, Gulf War II and the War in Afghanistan are grouped together, BUT they were distinct conflicts fought for different reasons (Afghanistan in response to the attacks of 9/11, and Iraq was a pre-emptive war fought to destroy Saddam Hussein’s alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs)). YOU MUST explain the differences and evaluate them—being sure to address the differences, even if you argue that future action (War on Terror) conflated the wars.
I will attach, in Blackboard, chapters from Foner, as an additional optional resource. The most successful essays will take the analysis into the 21st century.
Comprehensive Question (50%)
How do we define US history from the turn of the Twentieth Century (1900) to the first decades of the Twenty-First (2020)? Focus on domestic OR foreign policy (explaining why the choice), using specific examples to defend the position. If you choose foreign policy you can focus on the Cold War and/or globalization.
If you choose domestic, you can focus on Civil Rights. Just be sure that you use specific evidence from after the 1980s and 1990s AND the 21st century (2000s and 2010s). In other words, write about the ENTIRE 20th century and beyond—do not stop in the 1960s.
If you choose globalization, you should at minimum address up 2000, but even better, include the global crisis of 2007 and beyond.
If you select foreign policy, you need to address the wars that followed. If you choose this option, be sure to distinguish between the origins the two wars of the early 21st century (Afghanistan and then Iraq). Like Korea and Vietnam, they are not the same war! And note that in the cumulative essay—“double-dipping” is OK.
But like the first choice, be sure to address material FROM BEFORE WWII, and not only TO the end of the twentieth century, BUT ALSO into the 21st century. Even if you go back as far as the Spanish-American War, you must still end in the 21st century.
NOTE that up to 110 points can be earned on this assignment.

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