Essay Questions (50 points each):
Answer two of the questions below in essay form (i.e. two separate essays) by drawing on information from lectures, your textbook, class discussions, as well as documents we have read for class. Good answers will start with a clear argument and then support each point with specific examples drawn from class materials. Please see the “Tips” sheet I posted on D2L for additional advice.
1. The mid-nineteenth century was a period of profound change within the United States. Examine how at least three different reform movements sought to reshape American society during this period. What were its aims? What obstacles did they encounter? How successful were they?
2. During the 19th century the United States rapidly expanded from the Mississippi River westward to the Pacific Coast. During this period, numerous conflicts began to break out over how these new western territories would be incorporated into the United States. In a well thought out essay, trace the major disputes and tensions over western expansion that contributed to the outbreak of the Civil War.
3. Historians have argued that the Civil War was more revolutionary than the Revolutionary War. By analyzing the changes wrought by the Civil War and Reconstruction, would you agree with this statement (i.e. I don’t expect you to discuss the Revolution—focus instead of what actually changes during and after the Civil War)? In what ways was the Civil War “revolutionary” and in what ways did things stay the same?