US History

Use information only from material provided.

Assignment A

 (The first two attachments are for this assignment.)


Answer one or more of these questions:


1. Which of the “explanations for historical change” make the most sense to you, and why?  You might find that more than one seems true to you.


2. Present examples from contemporary news that support the idea that “history is political”–how is history a “battlefield” in our contemporary culture?  What happens when historical interpretations fall into dispute?


3. Which of the professional standards for historians do you think is most important, and why?


Total of 750-1000 words



Assignment B


Brefily answer the following question (just from your own knowledge, no Wikipedia!) your explanation for these four big changes.  Limit yourself to 500 words.

1. The economy shifted from an agricultural to an industrial base (Pre-WWII), and then to a globalized, post-industrial base (Post WWII).


2. The population shifted to cities (Pre-WWII), and then south and west, and away from cities to metropolitan/suburban areas (Post WWII).


3. The nation’s status as an international power started at a very low level, and the nation ended the century as the sole superpower.


4. In 1900 women could not vote, and African-Americans were segregated in all facets of society and the economy.  By the end of the century (though serious challenges remain) women and African-Americans had attained economic and political power impossible in 1900–Latinos, LGBTQ Americans, and Americans with disabilities had also achieved levels of civil rights inclusion not thinkable in 1900.



Assignment C

500-800 words

After reviewing the “Population” trends and US census report try out these questions:

1. What trends in overall population do you notice over the 20th century–it was increasing overall, but at times more than others–why was this so?

2. Where was population growth fastest and slowest, and why?

3. What do you notice about the contours of the population: age, sex, ethnicity and race?  Any notable trends?

4. What do population trends tell us about the economy, law, and foreign affairs–can you choose a trend and tie this to events of the time in detail?


Readings for this assignment:


2. Demographic Trends in the 20th Century, US Census