Labor and Age of Industrialization Essay

Labor and Age of Industrialization Essay


Please answer one question from each section.  Your answers should be typed, double-spaced, and will generally be between three to four pages in length.  Essays should be well organized (i.e., introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion), and include specific examples from the textbook or lecture to highlight the major points in your essays.

Section One – 100 points

  1. What conditions during industrialization led to the rise of organized labor?  How had the workplace changed with the advent of mass production?  Compare and contrast the goals, ideology and member of the Knights of Labor, the Industrial Workers of the World, and the American Federation of Labor?  Which group’s ideas and tactics proved to be the most successful?
  2. Why was immigration an important and divisive issue for early 20th century Americans? Who were the New Immigrants, and why were native born Americans concerned about them?  What explains the strong and lasting relationship between immigrants and the city bosses?  What new policies were adopted by government towards immigrants?  How does this history reflect a longstanding ambivalence nation born Americans have towards immigration and the melting pot ideal?
  3. Why did American foreign policy change from the 1880s onward? Who were the proponents of American expansionism, and what were their reasons?  Discuss economic, political, and strategic factors.  How did the broader international climate affect the development of U.S. foreign policy?  Give examples of how this new foreign policy was seen in U.S. actions in Latin America and Asia.
  4. Describe the challenges faced by the federal government during Reconstruction. What policies were first attempted during Presidential Reconstruction, and what prompted the shift to what became Radical Reconstruction?  Why was the progress made towards racial equality during Radical Reconstruction unable to be sustained?  How did the end of Reconstruction lead to the rise of segregation in the South?  Why were conditions arguably as bad or worse for African Americans as they were during the time of institutional slavery?


Section Two – 100 points


  1. Describe the changes during industrialization that led to the rise of big business.  Include specific examples from industries like the railroads, steel, or oil.  How did the workplace change because of mass production?  What impact did industrialization have on American society?  Compare and contrast the costs and benefits of industrialization.  How and why did the rise of big business prompt for calls for the reform of industry?
  2. Compare and contrast the Populist and Progressive movements. What kinds of Americans joined their ranks?  How did these groups view the changes in 20th century American society?  What did they want to change, and how did they intend to do it?  How successful were both groups in achieving their objectives?  Which movement had a more lasting influence on shaping the United States as it exists today?
  3. What effect did World War One have on the American home front? How did the mobilization emergency enable government to enact broad changes to American society?  Discuss the unprecedented ways in which the government took control over the economy, mobilized support for the war, and suppressed dissent?  What effect did wartime mobilization have on women, African Americans, and organized labor?  To what extent were these wartime changes permanent?  To what extent, did the mobilization effort reflect Progressive era values and reforms?
  4. To what extent did the 1920s represent a “return to normalcy” or a new departure for the United States? Include political, economic, social, and cultural factors in your answer.  What is meant by the term a mass consumer culture?  How did this new consumerism both fuel economic growth and also facilitate the economy’s decline by the end of the decade?

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