*Credit goes to one particular Coach Nance :D*
*Credit goes to one particular Coach Nance :D*
For this debate, I was in charge of the misconceptions about MLK’s role and motives in the Civil Rights Movement while my partner was in charge of what he actually did (or didn’t do) so I only have half the argument.
Synthesis and Thesis:
Abraham Lincoln is named the Great Emancipator in honor of his Emancipation Proclamation that freed most of the slaves during the Civil War as well as the passage of the 13th Amendment which outlawed slavery, both during his presidency. However, the decision to make slavery the center of American politics was not a simple one and Lincoln was far from doing it for moral reasons. Sure, he thought slavery was morally wrong but he was not willing to risk it being a national issue until the Civil War in which he used slavery as a moral weapon against foreign countries seeking to weaken the United States by supporting the secessionist Southern states. This sort of oversimplification of character is also seen in portrayals of Martin Luther King Jr. He was seen as the spiritual and moral leader of the movement and often the effectiveness of the movement is attributed to him alone. However, this is not true. The black civil rights movement was already under way when MLK became known as a leader. He was in a time when the social pressures were just right for him to exhibit his full abilities as an orator and an intellectual and his role as a leader didn’t mean that other more locally-based leaders of the Civil Rights Movement weren’t as essential to the movement. Rather, King put a face on the Movement and people looked up to him but he was far from being the universal leader everyone thinks he is.
Stance: Yes (how the media blew up what was happening in Cuba in order to sell more papers)
Synthesis & Thesis: The Spanish-American War wasn’t the first time the Americans were whipped into a frenzy of mass hysteria: the earliest and most famous example of which was the Salem Witch Trials. Over two hundred people were accused between February 1692 to May 1693 and twenty were executed. They were accused of practicing witchcraft and people believed that they were agents of the devil and could bring curses upon those they didn’t like. It turned out that there was a strong correspondence between the wealth and status of the accused and the accusers. The economic hardships of the time as well as their deep-seated superstitions and resentment caused the Trials and their beliefs spurred on by rumors and fear, spiralled out of control and resulted in very real consequences, much like the baselessness of the Spanish-American War. With the press actively working to encourage war, public opinion soon became putty to be molded according to the news headline of the day. With news stories so completely false and separate from the facts and yet having a massive following with eye-catching headlines, the US and Spanish government was soon backed into a corner where one had to fight to save face or risk rebellion and the other had to fight to relieve the bloodlust of its people. Yellow journalism caused the War by putting forth false and sensationalist news that fuelled public outrage and then forced the hand of the government through the pressure of public opinion.
While I disagree with my given stance, this was the position given to me to argue, so I had to take it. I like arguing the on the losing side anyway; it’s much more exciting and fresh. In any case, since each side of the debate is made up of a team of two people, my partner and I decided to split up the ways in which we would argue that Lincoln was not the best president. I was responsible for talking about his economic policies during and after the Civil War. As always, the outline is written in the least amount of words possible since they only serve as pointers to what I’ll actually say during the debate.
Stance: No (economic)
Synthesis and Thesis:
Each president has one thing they are known most for. For Harry Truman, he was most remembered for dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ensuring a speedy end to World War II. Because of that, he is often ranked pretty highly when it comes to his popularity as president. But during his two terms, he also created the state of Israel and the CIA and contributed significantly to the advent of the Cold War. In creating Israel against the advice of diplomats and the wishes of the Palestinians, he created the long war between the Jewish and the Arabs that continues to this day. The CIA would go on to interfere in the politics of numerous countries, stage coups and organise regimes of torture for several decades after its conception and in issuing the Truman Doctrine, he would effectively start the Cold War. These results from his actions didn’t seem to detract from his popularity despite their disagreeable long-term consequences. Similarly, President Lincoln was hailed as a hero for reuniting the halves of the US in the Civil War and then as a martyr after he was assassinated. But what most people don’t consider was the private agenda from which his policies sprung. In the end, the Civil War could have been shorter in duration, the South could have been spared from total destruction and Lincoln should have refrained from abusing his powers as president, but they didn’t happen so he was not, in fact, the best president the United States had or even the best president he could have been.
Alright, so this discussion group was one where I had to argue the more difficult position; the position that Andy Jackson deported the Native Americans from their own lands “for their own good”. Basically, the gist of my argument is the fact that the Native Americans would have entered into conflict with the white settlers more directly and with more intensely if they had stayed in their traditional lands and would have probably been wiped out but by moving them, gave them a chance to re-establish elsewhere. Not a strong argument but that’s all I have. Since I had a partner to argue this position with me, this isn’t the whole of the Yes side so some information that could be used is missing.
Position: Yes (moral side of the argument and explaining Jackson’s goals and motivations)
Synthesis and Thesis: During WWII, the US government implemented a series of actions to protect against the infiltration of citizens from enemy countries. The most prominent group that was targeted were the Japanese. In February of 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, giving the military broad permission to ban any citizen along the West coast, which also happened to be where most Japanese-Americans lived. These exiled citizens would then be moved to internment camps for “the security of the United States”. This sentiment, while spurred on by Pearl Harbor, was further bolstered by racist thoughts that many Americans harbored. This combination of anti-Japanese paranoia with the American people’s ability to act on their thoughts meant that many Japanese-Americans were sent to these internment camps under horrible conditions in hostile environments. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 that Andrew Jackson passed may be similar in the atrocities committed, but the president himself was trying to do the best for a people that would have otherwise been completely wiped out. Many unfortunate things happened during the relocation of the Native American population, but the original goal was to preserve the peace and help secure the continuing safety of the Native American culture in establishing reserves just for them. As the President has personal connections to the Native American people, that also strengthened his bond to the cause. All in all, President Andrew Jackson had the Native American’s best interests at heart in his plan to remove the isolated pockets of Native Americans within the white-dominated states.
Note: NA = Native Americans
This will be the first of APUSH discussion group prep on Outlet. In APUSH, we have discussion groups where we would debate on historical topics based on information we were given or had to research. These articles will be the prep work that I did for certain topics that my class had to debate on and the position that was given to me and my partner. So your particular discussion group topic might not pop up or your position would be on the opposite side of the debate. Let’s get into it:
Position: Yes; supported by Carl N. Degler, from Out of Our Past: The Forces That Shaped Modern America, rev. ed. (Harper & Row 1970)
Synthesis and Thesis:
After being under British rule for over a century, American colonists and their British rulers reach a critical point in their relationship. Mutual distrust, already strained by disagreeable actions taken by the British Parliament and the distasteful responses of the colonists, set off several violent encounters between British forces and American revolutionaries before the war. This would lead to the beginning of a war that pitted the American colonists against their masters in Britain. Yet, contrary to its name, the Revolutionary War was anything but revolutionary. The American Revolution was a conservative movement because the political and social structure of newly formed nation remained largely the same as before and in fact, preserved some elements of the British government while the common people more or less kept their pre-war status. The conservatism in what should otherwise have been a revolutionary movement was once again asserted after the Civil War when, in a time of potential radical change to the nation, the results fell flat of what was expected. The radical Republicans after the Civil War wanted equal rights for all races and punishment for Confederate leaders and yet, didn’t achieve long-lasting change in either area, thus only affecting the political and social landscape minimally. The main difference in this case, however, is that while the radical Republicans of the Reconstruction failed in their mission, the Founding Fathers achieved theirs.
Due to it being the last unit of the year, our teacher gave us a choice on which prompts we have to prepare for so here are the three I chose to do.
(1) In what ways did the Great Society resemble the New Deal in its origins, goals and social and political legacy. Use specific programs and policies to support your argument.
Synthesis: The Affordable Care Act
Contextualisation: Civil Rights Movement
(2) Describe and account for changes in the American Presidency between 1960 and 1975, as symbolized by Kennedy’s “Camelot”, Johnson’s “Great Society” and Nixon’s “Imperial Presidency”. Address powers of the presidency and the role of the media in your answer.
Synthesis: Jefferson and Hamilton’s view of what America should be like. As widespread media wasn’t available back then, what people heard were only local news and both sides depending on their geographical location would be convinced that the other side would betray the nation’s foundation
Contextualization: TV was becoming more popular in the meantime and its importance could be seen in the Kennedy v Nixon debate. Fun fact: Was probably what convinced politicians to start getting body language coaching.
(3) Explain the causes and consequences of immigration and ONE of the following population movements to the United States in the United States during the period 1945–1985 (2011).
Suburbanization The growth of the Sun Belt
Synthesis: 1916 Great Migration
Contextualization: Sun Belt– jobs, good climate, cheaper land, lots of people moved here, increased pop.
We got only got five essay prompts for this unit.
(1) Analyze the impact of TWO of the following on Soviet-American relations in the decade following the Second World War, 1945-1955.
The Yalta Conference Communist Revolution in China
Korean War McCarthyism
Synthesis: US-Soviet relations were never good to begin with. Then, with the Cold War came the Red Scare and America’s refusal to recognise the USSR as a legitimate nation. Then, in 1933, President Roosevelt ended this non-recognition in hopes of bettering the US’s economic situation during the Great Depression.
Contextualisation: You can use the Communist Revolution in China and how that excited more fears of communist expansion and power.
Yalta Conference —
Korean War —
(2) Analyze the successes and failures of the United States Cold War policy of containment as it developed in TWO of the following regions of the world during the period 1945 to 1975.
Southeast Asia Europe Middle East Latin America
Synthesis: Wilson’s “Make the world safe for democracy” and “end all wars” in WW1→ failure due to idealism
Contextualisation: The failure to contain Communism was accompanied by a growing fear and suspicion of Communism within the nation, which eventually led to the McCarthyism and the Red Scare, where many, especially those working in government offices, were accused of being Communists.
Southeast Asia —
(3) While the U.S. appeared to be dominated by consensus and conformity in the 1950’s, some Americans reacted against the status quo. Analyze the critiques of U.S. society made by TWO of the following:
Youth Civil Rights Activists Intellectuals
Synthesis: U.S. dominated by consensus due to prosperity during the 1920s but some Americans reacted against status quo by criticising America’s materialism (“Lost Generation”).
Contextualisation: Intellectuals rebelling against society (i.e.: Rachel Carson in “Silent Spring”). Until publication, few Americans knew about effects of pesticides on humans, plants, animals, etc and how they poisoned the environment. It warned of the dangers to all natural systems and questioned the direction of modern science.
Civil Rights Activists —
(4) How do you account for the appeal of McCarthyism in the United States in the era following the Second World War?
Synthesis: First Red Scare
Contextualisation: Around the same time (the 1950s), a new wave of feminist and (especially) civil rights movements were starting to build. The US economy was the largest in the world. Communism also means fewer economic opportunities for the US which would limit capitalism expansion and many people were resentful because of that.
Summary: Basically, this threat of accusation was all-pervasive and God help you if you get accused and named in the Red Channels because your reputation will be ruined and no one will listen to you even if you don’t get convicted by the HUAC. The Republican Party used this to intimidate and discredit their opponents and one of the ways you can get immunity is to name more names. Any protestation against the govt was seen as being traitorous and if anyone dared propose reforms, then they were communistically-inclined and would be under suspicion and possibly accused. No one knew if and when their name would come up and no one knew who they could trust… Sounds Stalinesque, doesn’t it?
(5) Compare and contrast United States foreign policy after the First World War and after the Second World War. Consider the periods 1919-1928 and 1945-1950.
Synthesis: George Washington’s Farewell Address establishes the precedent of remaining neutral and staying out of world affairs, isolationists who advocated for staying neutral after WWI supported this
Contextualisation: The Red Scare after WWI and McCarthyism after WWII – people became more increasingly afraid of communism and believed that the US had to intervene as a “policy of containment”, similar to the fear of foreign ideas during WWI
After WWI —
After WWII —
1. suffragettes: Catt, Stanton, Paul, Mott
2. Treaty of Paris (1899)*
3. Conservative U.S. Supreme Court decisions: Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918); U.S. v E.C. Knight
4. “dollar diplomacy”
5. WWI: U.S. neutrality/freedom of the seas
6. child labor
7. Annexation of Hawaii
8. Hawaii/Dole/ Queen Lilioukalani
9. Spanish American War/causes
10. “Splendid little war”
11. Anti-Imperialist League
12. yellow journalism/Hearst/Pulitzer
13. The “White Man’s Burden”/Social Darwinism
14. The U.S.S. Maine
15. Teller Resolution
16. Platt Amendment
17. Emilio Aguinaldo/Filipino Revolt
20. the Boxer Rebellion
21. Russo-Japanese War /TR’s Nobel Prize
22. TR’s “Gentleman’s Agreement”
23. Incorporated v. unincorporated possessions (Insular Cases)
24. The Panama Canal
25. The Roosevelt Corollary
26. Open Door Policy
28. Jane Addams/Hull House/Settlement Houses
29. Booker T. Washington
30. W.E.B. DuBois
32. Muckrakers and their works*: Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, Upton Sinclair, Jacob Riis
33. Dept. of Commerce and Labor (Bureau of Corp.)
34. Bob LaFollette
35. Electoral reforms: initiative, referendum, recall, city manager, primary elections
36. Progressive Era Amendments (16-19)
37. Pure Food and Drug Act
38. Meat Inspection Act
39. United States v. Northern Securities Co.
41. United Mine Workers/anthracite coal strike
42. Governor’s Conference on Conservation
43. Tariff laws: Dingley (1897), Payne-Aldrich (1909), Underwood-Simmons (1913)
44. Federal Reserve System
45. Federal Trade Commission
46. Birth of a Nation (1915)
47. Our Country: Its Possible Future and Present Crisis (Josiah Strong)
49. nationalism, esp. the Balkans
50. Triple Alliance/Central Powers
51. Triple Entente/Allied Powers
52. “total war”
53. The Lusitania
54. Sussex Pledge
55. Zimmerman Note
56. Espionage and Sedition Acts
57. War Industries Board (other “war boards” too, Food Adm., National War Labor Board, etc.)
58. Committee on Public Information
61. National self-determination
62. “Peace Without Victory”/Wilson’s War Message/14 Points Address
63. The Treaty of Versailles
64. The League of Nations
65. “Irreconciliables” and “Reservationists”
(1) Compare and contrast the criticisms of American society in the 1920’s and 1930’s by American writers.
Synthesis: Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Frederick Douglass’ slave narrative criticised the brutality of slavery through their literary works, both hoping to have an impact on the existence of slaves in America. Although both works wrote their stories in order to change the perspectives of Americans and shed light on the deplorable conditions of slavery, Douglass’ literary style was different than Beecher’s. He was able to recount his true story as a slave, while Beecher’s novel was fiction. Both authors were anti-slavery but approached the subject differently.
Contextualisation: At the same time, artists, architects and musicians were also evolving their style — Joseph Stella’s The Bridge, Edward Hopper with Hopper, Dorothea Lange’s photos during the Great Depression, the shift from modern cubism to photography.
Writers attacked the materialism and the disillusionment that many Americans were enveloping themselves around. They disliked the new business culture of America. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels criticise the increasing of materialistic, self-absorbed views that the wealthy had. His books had characters that rejected traditional beliefs.
Sinclair Lewis criticised small-town America and how it limited individuality. Many of the people in his books were foolish men and women that chased after money.
To put it simply, 1920s writers wrote about materialism and the lavish lifestyles of the urban population and the greed that pervaded the culture at the time. During the 1930s, writers wrote about standing up for oneself and working hard and not relying on the politicians to do anything for them because they’re not. They tried to reject traditional values in order to make people pave their own roads instead of following the institutions. The 1930s also saw more attention and criticism of the areas outside of urban centers for their complacency and inability to adapt to present difficulties.
(2) Analyze the ways in which TWO of the following New Deal measures attempted to fashion a more stable economy and a more equitable society.
Agricultural Adjustment Act The Securities and Exchange Commission
Wagner Labor Relations Act Social Security Act
Synthesis: The Affordable Care Act (2010)
Contextualisation: Social Security Act (1935)
Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA, 1933):
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC, 1934):
(3) How did TWO of the following help shape American national culture in the 1920’s?
Advertising Mass Production Entertainment
Synthesis: The 1950s – both periods after World Wars, inventions of new technologies for the common consumer (radios in the 1920s, TV in the 1950s), magazines and media influenced American culture, economies were doing well in both times due to the war
Contextualisation: Advertising – glorified consumer spending, the value of a person depended on what they had: having things were more important that social character, religion, morals; companies wanted to sell more and targeted women (household appliances, makeup, promoted the idea of women drinking and smoking)
(4) Historians have argued that Progressive reform lost momentum in the 1920’s. Evaluate this statement with respect to TWO of the following.
Regulation of business Labor Immigrants
Contextualisation: Immigrants from East Asia came into the US in bigger numbers, prompting backlash because of unfamiliar culture and language barrier.
(5) Compare and contrast the ways that many Americans expressed their opposition to immigrants in the 1840s–1850s with the ways that many Americans expressed their opposition to immigrants in the 1910s–1920s.
Synthesis: BRACERO Program against Mexican immigrants
Contextualisation: Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)
(6) Analyze the origins and outcomes of the intense cultural conflicts of the 1920s. In your response, focus on TWO of the following.
Immigration Prohibition Religion