APUSH Early America Timelines

*Credit goes to one particular Coach Nance :D*

APUSH Discussion Groups: Was MLK essential to the success of the Civil Rights Movement? (No)

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.


  • Rise to fame
    • Montgomery speech
    • Arranged by Rosa Parks and EB Nixon
    • Was chosen to give speech
    • Became famous for it
  • Social Factors
    • The counterculture of the 1950s and 60s were ripe for change
    • Protests as early as the 1930s gave black community the foundation for further change
      • They knew that organised protest often worked to get legislation passed faster
      • Ex. Brown v Board of Education: segregated but not equal
  • Not well-liked by everyone
    • People thought he was working too slow due his insistence on nonviolent protest and some started their own militant group in opposition to this
    • Even to his supporters, he was seen more as a role model rather than a leader
      • They were determined to make their own efforts for the Movement and not to rely on MLK, therefore the Movement was less about MLK and more about the grassroots nature of locally-based protests nationwide
  • Nonviolent Protest
    • Used as a PR tactic to garner sympathy
    • Gave the Movement good press
    • More of a strategy rather than a moral decision
  • Wasn’t only a spiritual and moral leader
    • He was an intellectual who knew that just moving oratory wasn’t going to change anything
    • He didn’t rely just on emotional appeal, he was highly practical and was involved in organising community efforts through “black community institutions, financial resources and grassroots leaders”
  • Wasn’t as magnanimous or as omnipotent as he’s shown to be
    • Admitted his own limitations multiple times throughout the duration of Movement
    • Was initially fearful of harm being done to his family for being a prominent figure of the Movement
    • Encouraged local leaders to take their own initiatives
  • Concluding statement: King didn’t make the Civil Rights Movement; the Civil Rights Movement made him.

APUSH Discussion Groups: Did Yellow Journalism cause the Spanish-American War? (Yes)

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.


  • Background-
    • Main players involved Hearst & Pulitzer, together had millions of readers
    • Penny newspaper means customers who are mid-lower class = less interested in mundane news = a lucrative business selling sensational headlines
    • Pulitzer and Hearst were rivals in the business
      • Pulitzer was against war but printed pro-war to increase circulation
  •  Incidents and Effects
    • De Lome’s Letter- construed as “the worse insult in American history”
    • He had to resign and it wasn’t much of a big deal if not for…
  •  Maine in Cuba
    • Was in Cuba on the pretense of being “a friendly act of courtesy”, the Vizcaya was sent to the US in return
    • Was hailed as the first “offensive” of the United States into Cuba by media
    • Was blown up, media blamed it on Spanish gov’t and spread the news that the Maine was blown up by mines planted by the Spanish government
  •  Vizcaya
    • Vizcaya arrived just after the Maine explosion
      • Front-page news for weeks, all spewing pro-war headlines of course
      • Suspected Vizcaya of ulterior motives– offended, Spanish officials barred Hearst’s men from boarding which caused more suspicious rumors
      • moon w/ two rings = sign from heaven
      • testimonials of wretched mothers (even made up a quote from Roosevelt), people volunteering to fight and condemned peace attempts as twaddle, whipping people up to a war-ready frenzy — revenge

APUSH Discussion Groups: Was Lincoln the best president? (No)

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.


  • “Hamiltonian Economy”- favored the rich and powerful (and the North)
    • Raised tariffs 18.84% to 47.56% from 1861-5, would continue till after the War, will especially devastate the South
    • Return to National Bank and greenbacks
      • National Banking Acts of 1863 & 4, Legal Tender Act
      • caused massive inflation
    • brought back self-perpetuating debt (war bonds)
    • investments in farms, small businesses discouraged
    • overturned bank laws that kept the balance of wealth
    • banks, internal improvements and protective tariffs otherwise known as the “American System”
  • raised heavy taxes
    • used by gov’t in war efforts and well as not-so-war-efforts
      • ex: granted to Union Pacific Railway a huge swathe of land and $
      • ensured favors among big businesses with the Republican Party
  • contradicting economic policies
    • undermined the Homestead Act of 1862 by encouraging land speculation
      • <19% of land went to homesteaders
    • “spoils system”
      • allowed trade with South (cotton) for “special friends”
      • funnelled $10 million into Republican organisations

APUSH Discussion Groups: Was Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Policy Motivated by Humanitarian Impulses? (Yes)

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


  • Relationships with Indians already bad
    • Past history
    • Indians refuse to cooperate and prez can’t force states to back down (GA)
    • States want power over Indians, removal solves that problem
    • Previous prez ignored the problem
  • Jackson: nationalist, states’ rights, experienced with frontier and expansionist
    • GA trouble w/ Cherokees, solved that w/o aggravating either
    • Offered exemption from Plan if Indians converted
    • Removal of Indians: saves state from rebelling and Indians from dying
    • Satisfied public & saved Indians
  • Bloodshed
    • Example: Black Hawk War cuz whites and NAs were close to each other
    • Would have more if not for removal
  • Jackson’s connection to NA
    • Has fought by and against them (ex: War of 1812)
    • Adopted NA child, Lyncoya
  • No other options
    • Assimilation: racism, NA won’t cooperate
    • Sovereignty: threatens US gov’t and state power
    • Removal more acceptable by both, prevented total annihilation

APUSH Discussion Groups: Was the American Revolution a Conservative Movement? (Yes)

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.



  • Main reason for War: to regain traditional British rights and preserve their motives in colonising (RI, Mass.) (conservative)
    • Violated by:
      • Intolerable Acts- (punishment for BTP)
      • Sugar Acts-(searches and seizures)
      • Fewer rights than British counterparts
        • Declaratory Act
  • Leaders were of the ruling class
    • All either rich or had high political offices
      • Examples: Washington richest, Ben Frank well-established and popular, Hancock a wealthy merchant
    • had the most benefits and retained/improved status, didn’t suffer any inconvenience after War, merely shifted alliance
      • Stat: 95% of signers of the Declaration held office before and after, 40% high education (rare)
  • No social or political upheaval after War, returning to life before the war
    • Slavery, an institution acknowledged by the Constit.
      • 3/5th Compromise (Art. 1 Sect. 2), Slave Trade Clause (Art. 1 Sect. 9), Fugitive-Slave Clause (Art. 4 Sect. 2)
      • Preserved slave-holding traditions in face of Declaration
    • Similar gov’t structure with Great Brit.
      • Rejected Articles in favor of centralized Constitution
      • Bicameral legislature with similar memberships
      • Voting restricted: white males over a certain age with significant land holdings
      • Took ideas from the Magna Carta (trial by jury) and English Bill of Rights (quartering and 2nd Adm)

APUSH Essay Prep Unit X: Late 1900s

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


  • Origins and Goals
    • Both were passed in a situation where Congress would be hard-pressed to fail them
    • Helped the poor and unfortunate.
    • New Deal
      • Response to Great Depression
      • Expanded federal power dramatically (usually not something appreciated)
        • supported by the fact that Hoover did nothing about the situation
      • Provided jobs, made farming somewhat profitable again, stabilised prices
      • Advocated for by Roosevelt in his Fireside chats
      • The promise of it was so popular that FDR carried all but 6 states
    • Great Society
      • “War on Poverty” and also racial inequality (with the various 1960s movements in full swing, especially civil rights)
      • LBJ used Kennedy’s name to provide sympathy for his cause
      • LBJ’s insider status in Congress
      • Democratic majorities in both chambers
    • Both were made when their president was insanely popular, the national situation wasn’t so good and their presidents were really good at manipulating the public in favor of their programs.
  • Social Legacies
    • FDR and New Deal
      • 1st female cabinet member, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins as well as more than 100 women in other federal positions
      • FDR’s Black Cabinet
      • As a result of ND, by 1935, 25% of blacks were provided assistance
      • By 1936, 90% of black voters were voting Democrat, opposite from before
      • Indian Reorganisation Act(‘34)- collective land ownership for Indian tribes
      • TVA-targeted poor areas for improvement
    • LBJ and Great Society
      • Apps Development Act- like TVA
      • Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966
        • Similar to TVA except for urban areas
      • Medicare (‘65) for the elderly
      • Economic Opportunities Act (‘64)- to provide education and eliminate poverty by giving people the opportunity to get better jobs
      • Although not really part of the GS, the Civil Rights Act (‘64 and ‘68) and the Voting Rights Act (‘65) both expanded civilian rights for minorities
    • Both tried to improve the lives of minorities and the poor
    • LBJ actively wanted to leave the GS as his legacy and wanted to mirror FDR’s ND, becoming the next FDR
  • Political Legacies
    • In both, the federal gov’t expanded its power over the economy considerably
      • Both FDR and LBJ ran up the deficit by their spending on new programs
      • GS expanded on and continued ND’s healthcare legacy (not very successful as both the Wagner National Health Act of 1939 and the Wagner-Murray-Dingell Bill died in committee) with Medicaid and Medicare, making the GS one of the only successes in US history in getting healthcare legislation passed (does SS count? It’s not exclusively reserved for medical purposes so…)
    • The failure of either of them to keep their influence is an ever continuing fight even to today between progressivism, war and conservatism
      • Like I said with the Wagner healthcare legislations I mentioned above)
      • Conservative Supreme Court vs New Deal
      • Vietnam eating into Great Society
    • Even through the failures, though, both expanded what the gov’t is capable of and could provide the precedent for future attempts and social and economic reforms like Obamacare 

(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.


  • Kennedy
    • Power of president increased under Kennedy
      • Cold War required a strong leader (Castro in Cuba, Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam)
      • Increased size of federal gov’t (continuation of prior legislation like New Deal as well as his own New Frontier)
      • Democratic majorities in Congress allowed for easier passage of laws
    • Media strengthened Kennedy’s image
      • Appeared youthful, energetic and “glamorous” on TV (can be seen in the post-debate polls in 1960)
      • The image of the “perfect Kennedy family”
      • His death was used to cement his legacy by the media (and Johnson)
  • Johnson
    • Presidential power peaked but then declined
      • Good at “twisting arms” in Congress to get what he wants passed
      • Continuation of Cold War, again, strong leader needed
      • However, backlash came from people who didn’t like his policies (civil rights, GS, Vietnam etc) and his power declined after that
    • LBJ less successful than Kennedy in maintaining his public image
      • Not as good-looking on TV
      • Loss of trust due to credibility gap between his report of Vietnam War vs what the media reported
      • Bad atmosphere (riots and domestic disturbances) in the 60s and extensive coverage of it showed Johnson as someone ineffectual and out-of-touch
  • Nixon
    • Contrary to his “Imperial Presidency”, presidential power actually decreased
      • Democratic control of Congress made it hard for him to fulfill his agenda
      • Slow to disengage from Vietnam when anti-war sentiments were high
      • Used executive action against his enemies, real or perceived (his enemy list)
      • Watergate… Oh, Watergate. Pretty much all of it was propagated by the media (Woodward and Bernstein) and “…I am not a crook.”
      • Increased Congressional oversight of president through the investigation of Watergate
    • Media and Nixon administration hostile towards each other
      • His appeal to the “silent majority” saw his 50% approval rating go up to the 80s
      • Vietnam (invasion of Cambodia, 1970) and unrest at home (Kent State, also 1970) covered by media, bad for Nixon
      • His paranoia about his enemies put the media on the list when they started digging into Watergate and only made suspicions worse

(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.



  • Causes:
    • Lifting of restrictive immigration laws pre-WWII
    • Refugees from the War, Korean, Vietnam, Cuba etc
    • Immigration Act (‘65)- opened immigration quotas to non-Europeans
    • Post-war prosperity
    • BRACERO program
    • Influx of immigrants led to:
    • Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (McCarran–Walter Immigration Act)
      • Reestablished national origins quotas
      • Repealed Chinese Exclusion Act
      • Barred LGBT and other “subversive persons” from entering the country
    • Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
      • Abolished national origins quotas
      • Preferred immigration of professionals and skilled workers
    • Refugees Act of 1980- limit of 270K immigrants
    • Decreases in the cost of travel also contributed to the increase in immigration
  • Consequences:
    • Before the 60s, mostly white immigration– by 80s, more than three-quarters were from Latin America or Asia
    • Post-WWII immigrants include more women and skilled workers
    • Steady increase of immigrants since 45
    • Public concern about amount of immigrants (the classic stuff)
      • Anti-Immigrant sentiments build, especially against Latinos because of illegal immigration
      • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (Simpson–Rodino):
        • Granted amnesty to illegal immigrants arriving before 1982.
        • Penalised employers for hiring illegal immigrants.   
    • Added to cultural diversity of US


  • Causes:
    • 1944: GI Bill (loans for houses to veterans)
      • Also the need to build houses to house returning veterans
    • Demographic Trends: Marriage, Childbirth, ”the perfect family” (TV shows)
    • Levittown!!
    • Riots due to racial tensions increased white exodus from the cities
      • An unintended consequence of Brown v Board
    • Housing Acts of ‘49 and ’54
    • Federal Highway Act of 1956 boosted suburban growth
    • 1965: Department of Housing and Urban Development created.
    • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured mortgage loans
  • Consequences:
    • FHA policies led to discrimination against racially and economically mixed communities
    • A majority of middle-class Americans moved to suburbs within a generation
    • Loss of population in cities led to loss of business and public institutions
      • Due to lower tax base -> cities became poorer
    • Federal Highway Act of 1956 accelerated the decline of mass transit in older cities
    • Suburbs encouraged individual car use leading to things like drive-in theaters and drive-throughs
    • Gentrification of old urban parts by remaining high-income families (outed the poor)
    • Post-WWII conformity
      • People wanted to have the perfect family as shown in TV shows
      • focus on middle-class ideals
      • Reinvigoration of religion
    • More mobility=more house-moving
    • New Infrastructure like malls, parks, new schools etc for suburbs

APUSH Essay Prep Unit IX: Cold War

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.

  • American efforts to prevent a civil war in China and the expansion of communism failed.
  • In 1949 the Communists won the battle against the Nationalists and Mao Zedong declared the existence of the People’s Republic of China, showing how he would align the country with the Soviet Union.
  • On February 15, 1950 a treaty of alliance between the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union was signed. It was called the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance. – The Soviet Union recognised the People’s Republic of China while the United States did not as easily want to recognise the new regime.
  • The Communist Revolution in China affected Soviet-American relations seeing as though there was another communist world power when America was trying to obstruct the expansion of communism


Yalta Conference —

  • Stalin wanted postwar economic assistance for Russia and British and U.S. recognition of a Soviet sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. Churchill wanted the protection of the British Empire but also clarify what would happen to Germany after the war. The United States wanted an agreement on the United Nations and Soviet agreement to enter the war on the Pacific Theatre after Hitler was defeated.
    • Churchill and Roosevelt promised the Soviet Union concessions in Manchuria and the territories it had lost in the Russo-Japanese War.
    • They also accepted Stalin’s pledge to include pro-westerners in the new Polish government and to allow elections as soon as possible. (in reality, Stalin installed a pro-communist regime and brutally subdued the anti-communist Poles)
  • The outcome of the Yalta conference did not satisfy all three leaders. None were able to reach an agreement on the future of Germany, but Stalin vowed to declare war on Japan after Germany’s surrender.
  • After Germany was defeated, Truman grew tired of waiting for the Russians to allow free elections in Poland and threatened to cut off lend-and-lease aid; on the other hand, Stalin strengthened his grip on Eastern Europe, ignoring the promises he made at Yalta.
  • The Yalta Conference brought to light the issue of postwar Poland. The Poland issue created mistrust and animosity between the Soviet Union and the United States. Roosevelt was later accused of “giving away” Eastern Europe to Stalin. (Very important)
  • The lack of peaceful agreements that satisfied all three Allied leaders during the Second World War led to Soviet-American relations suffering, which would eventually lead to the Cold War.

Korean War —

  • After WWII, U.S. and the Soviet Union temporarily divided Korea.
  • America supported South Korea and the Soviet Union supported North Korea; both wanting the sole right to rule all of Korea.
  • North Korean troops attacked South Korea, so Truman fought back seeing the attack as a Soviet test of U.S. will and containment
  • Truman did not want to be accused of “selling out” Eastern Europe as FDR had been before. He needed to stand up to the Russians and prevent the spread of communism.
  • As U.N. forces were crossing the 38th parallel, the Chinese intervened and at the end of the war, Korea had the same boundary as before. The war caused 800,000 Chinese casualties, more than 50,000 American lives along with thousands of U.N. troops, and the death of millions of Koreans.
  • The Korean War further showed how the United States had a commitment to prevent the spread of communism, further angering the Russians and causing American-Soviet relations to worsen.
  • Added “fuel to the fire” during the Cold 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.


Europe —

  • Stalin broke the promise he made at the Yalta Conference of 1945 that he would let Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria have democratic elections by establishing Communist governments in all three. This was the beginning of tensions between the USSR and the US through the lens of communism and democracy.
  • There was an “Iron Curtain” as termed by Churchill which divided Europe in two
  • We joined the UN in 1945 to be active in world affairs, especially to combat Communism
  • In the Truman Doctrine of 1947, it was established that the United States would support democracies in order to deter the Communism that the Soviet Union was spreading in Europe. Although it began by referring only to Greece and Turkey, it was later accepted generally and became the basis for the American containment policy.
  • The Marshall Plan (1948) later passed to help economies of countries in Europe in order to fend off the Soviet Union’s potential attempts to spread Communism
  • We believed that a European country with a stronger economy was less likely to fall under the communist pressures exerted by the USSR
  • There were two Germanys divided both physically as well as ideologically, which was made a physical division by the Berlin Wall in 1961; the West was democratic and had American support
    • Blockade and airlift
      • “The Berlin Blockade was an attempt in 1948 by the Soviet Union to limit the ability of France, Great Britain and the United States to travel to their sectors of Berlin, which lay within Russian-occupied East Germany.”
      • US Response: “Berlin airlift, 1948–49, supply of vital necessities to West Berlin by air transport primarily under U.S. auspices. It was initiated in response to a land and water blockade of the city that had been instituted by the Soviet Union in the hope that the Allies would be forced to abandon West Berlin.”
    • Led to NATO to establish collective security
  • We signed NATO in 1949 with Canada, Great Britain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and Portugal
    • Greece, Turkey, and West Germany later joined
    • The alliance successfully strengthened defences against the Soviet Union
    • Strengthened our security and prevented us from reverting to being isolationist
    • Therefore, it was a success

Southeast Asia —

  • Much of SE Asia was becoming Communist-for example, Mao Zedong led the Chinese Revolution and turned it “red”. As Communism grew, we became more and more vigilant and anxious to deter it.
    • We sent the Nationalists 2 billion dollars to support their cause
    • No avail
  • We demilitarised/disarmed Japan
  • Korean War
    • Americans saw the North Korean attack as a Communist campaign that could continue all over the world, and thought to help to fight against them was to prevent the spread of Communism
    • “If we let Korea down, the Soviet[s] will keep right on going and swallow up one [place] after another.” –President Truman
    • Our war aims were that we wanted to free North Korea of Communism as well
    • In the end, there we were not able to make any gains for South Korea and the communist North stayed communist, and there was status antebellum, but we did succeed in stopping possible spread of communism from North Korea at the expense of countless lives
  • Vietnam War
    • North Vietnam was Communist, unlike South Vietnam, and so we entered on the side of the South
    • Domino Theory
    • Involvement seemed logical and there did not seem to be any reason to think we could not “win”. That we did not was a consequence of overestimating what U.S. power could accomplish and underestimating the will of the Vietnamese communists.
    • Was generally unpopular among the public, and we withdrew troops in 1973 (effectively surrendering)
    • 58,000 Americans were killed and South Vietnam lost, so the Communist North Korea (with support of the Viet Cong) took over and united Vietnam
    • Was a failure

Analysis —

  • There were better results in Europe than in Southeast Asia: rather than losing innumerable lives only to bear little fruit, we strengthened ties with other democracies and supported them so that USSR efforts would not be effective.
  • In Southeast Asia, there was more violence involved whereas European dealings are mostly treaties, agreements, and support networks (though there were still some conflicts). In both major wars in Southeast Asia, we did not emerge as clear winners although the loss of life and other costs were enormous.
  • In Southeast Asia, we overestimated our military power
  • For these reasons, it can be said that we succeeded in our policy of containment in Europe but failed in 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 —

  • Jackie Robinson (first black MLB player) broke race barrier and triumphed despite racial abuse.
  • Truman, pressured by African-American supporters, ordered Executive Order 9981 which banned racial discrimination in the military and thus went against “Solid South’s” insistence on white supremacy.
  • Activists demanded perm FEPC (Fair Employment Practices Commission), outlawing of lynching, and poll tax
  • The FEPC was established in 1941 to enforce the order signed by Franklin Roosevelt that banned “discrimination in the employment of workers in defence industries or government because of race, creed, colour, or national origin.”
  • Thurgood Marshall helped end segregation in schools as Supreme Court ruled “separate but equal” (Plessy v Ferguson) unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. began civil rights crusade and advocated for justice but through nonviolent means in order to demonstrate evils of racism.
  • African Americans followed Dr. King and Rosa Park’s lead and boycotted segregated Montgomery buses and Supreme Court agreed by outlawing segregation on buses.

Youth —

  • Juvenile delinquency skyrocketed and embraced other “scandalous” activities like rock n’ roll.
  • Yet youth continued to listen to music and rock n’ roll sales skyrocketed thanks to the rise of Elvis Presley.
    • Rock and roll music dropped allusions to ideas such as disobedience and crime and was met with much opposition from older generations, calling the genre anything from “a plot to corrupt the youth” to “the devil’s music”
  • Beats (nonconformist writers) expressed revolt against middle-class society by scorning materialism and conformity.
  • Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road showed disdain towards the conformity and materialism seen in the United States. They mocked the “square” America.
  • Students protested capital punishment and demonstrated against HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee). Others decried nuclear-arms race. (i.e.: in ’58-59, thousands participated in Youth Marches for Integrated Schools in Washington).
  • Salinger wrote “Catcher in the Rye”, a prominent book that was controversial due to it involving vulgar language, discussing sexuality in an open way, etc and thus sparked debate over censorship. However, it was applauded for showing a teenager’s alienation from the world and thus many saw Holden as a symbol of pure individuality in face of conformity imposed by society.

Because this is a complex theme, I will break away from the usual points system and just provide context and events in which case you need to determine what you need to write your essay.

(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.


  • Origins
    • Red Scare
      • Reaction to the Bolshevik Revolution in the USSR and the emergence of Communism
      • Suspicions of leftist movements b/c of labor unrest, bombings attributed to unions and anarchists, and the incoming immigrants with socialist and anarchist ideas
      • Resulted in “aggressive Justice Department investigations, severe violations of civil liberties [Espionage and Sedition Acts], mass arrests and deportations, and several high-profile convictions”
  • Key Perpetrators
    • Dems vs Repubs
      • Dems have been in power for over a decade under FDR and the Repubs tried to link his New Deal with communist ideas while Dems fired back that the Repubs were linked with fascism. But during 1946 midterm elections, fascism is no longer a threat and by “red-baiting”, the Repubs managed to start winning back seats in Congress and also in the White House
    • FBI Under pressure for being soft on Communism, Prez Truman initiated a loyalty review program that FBI director J. Edgar Hoover presided over. With strong anti-communist views and loose standards of evidence, many people were accused without sufficient evidence. Hoover’s insistence on keeping sources secret meant that there was no way to verify the integrity of accusations and many didn’t know what they were being accused of or by whom. This apparent abundance of Communist sympathisers in the gov’t only fed into the fear of a Communist takeover of America.
    • HUAC (House Un-American Committee) conducted an investigation into Hollywood to see if their films secretly endorse communist ideas. The Hollywood elites have been supporting liberal policies and this was a way for conservatives to discredit them. Ten were singled out for resisting investigation by HUAC and tried before the House (the Hollywood Ten). All ten of them were cited for contempt of Congress and were either fired or suspended without pay (effectively blacklisted from Hollywood) by their company and jailed for one year.
      • This sort of attack on media figures saw the arrest of many writers, broadcast journalists, musicians, actors etc later on. It only intensified with the advent of Red Channels, a rightwing journal, that listed names of entertainers that were supposingly Communist. Red Channels had a lot of influence. People who were named lost their jobs and no one dared to hire them.
    • Sen. Richard Nixon Played a large role in the Alger Hiss Trial that helped reinstate the Republican majority in Congress that they had lost by 1948. The trial involved a gov’t official named Alger Hiss whose work primarily concerned liberal causes. A guy named Whittaker Chambers accused him of being a Communist. The HUAC held a hearing for Hiss and was satisfied with his presentation but Nixon pushed for deeper investigation. Information afterwards came out that Hiss had copies of official papers and in a later court case, he was convicted, giving Nixon and the Republican agenda a huge boost. With the success of the Alger Hiss Trial, Republicans pressured Truman and other Democrat officials into cracking down on communist sympathisers in the gov’t and suggested that Democrats were in league with Communists
    • Sen. Joseph McCarthy McCarthy gave his fateful speech Feb 9th 1950, where he claimed to have over 200 names of people who were “bad risks” working in the State Dept. When the gov’t denied such charges and demanded to see McCarthy’s source, McCarthy told them that he would let them see his list of names if they opened their loyalty files. In reality, he had an outdated list of names from previous investigations that were already known to the public but the public ate it up and bought into it, really believing that the State Dept had been filled with Communists. He used more outdated, biased and outright made-up information to sway people to his side and used his influence and his all-powerful list of names to get himself and his party more power by accusing more people. The media gobbled it up and printed headlines. This continued for four years.
      • Both Nixon and McCarthy were paranoid and insecure. They loved power and was very afraid that someone would take it away from them. These attributes would be part of the reason why they were driven to do all this.
  • Outside Threat
  • The military threat of the USSR along with the hostility between the US and the USSR meant that war had to be prepared for and the shoring up of the military, as a result, threatened the US
  • The takeover of western Europe by the USSR meant that people were disillusioned about the result of WWII, that is, the freeing of the people of Europe and this made people angry and afraid at the same time
  • The news of Russian spies surfaced (eg Elizabeth Bentley, who gave American intel to the USSR about Germany & Claus Fuchs, who leaked details of the Manhattan Project which helped to make the USSR a nuclear nation) to obvious result
  • Within months, the USSR successfully tested an atomic bomb (Aug 1949), the Chinese communists won their Civil War, forcing the (US-backed) Guomindang into modern Taiwan and instituted a communist gov’t in China (late 1949) and communist North Korea invaded South Korea (June 1950).
  • People feared the worst, that communism was spreading and can threaten their “democracy” or worse, their capitalism and contributed to the appeal of McCarthyism by giving them a physical enemy in front of them that they can accuse and attack for why Communism is spreading
  • Political Gain
    • The Republican party, though not as severe or flippant as McCarthy, nevertheless did nothing to stop his tirade. They allowed McCarthy to do their dirty work for them and they themselves took the high road and benefitted from the political gain.
    • The Democrats had both the presidency and Congress since 1930 and Republicans wanted a way to weaken them so the best way at the time was to sow suspicions that their more liberal policies meant that they sympathised with Communists.
    • This also gave Republicans the ground to attack progressive policies like the New Deal and connected them to Communism, also Truman’s various internal improvement plans were struck down in the same way

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. 

Not much to compare so I chose to just say straight out that foreign policy changed a lot between the two time periods and focused on the changes.

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 — 

  • Neutrality and Isolationism during the 20s and 30s – Americans had felt like WWI had been a mistake
  • International financing (Dawes and Young Plan for Germany)
  • Washington Naval Conference with Japan, Great Britain and France and Italy- an attempt to keep some power since the US was not part of the League of Nations
  • Kellogg-Briand Pact – wanted US help if Germany attacked France but the US didn’t want that. This act took 60 nations to not turn to war as a solution.

After WWII —

  • US becomes more involved in world affairs after WWII – as the founding member of the UN and participating in the Yalta Conference
  • More aggressive and intrusive
  • Truman Doctrine – the US would provide political, military, and economic assistance to other democratic countries that were threatened by communism
  • Cold War, Korean War – US supports democracy and comes to South Korea’s aid when North Korea invades (The US is an interventionist)
  • Marshall Plan (European Recovery Program)-try to keep countries from falling to Communism

APUSH Unit VII Key Terms

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

18. Protectorate

19. Commonwealth

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

27. “jingoism”

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.

40. “trust-busting”

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)

48. militarism

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

59. Propaganda

60. ACLU

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”

APUSH Unit VIII Essay Prep: Early 1900s up to the Great Depression

(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.

  • This Side of Paradise
  • The Great Gatsby is a literary novel that captures the glamorous party-filled life of the wealthy, but also how they tended to disregard those they considered below them on the social scale.

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.

  • Main Street, Babbitt, Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, and Dodsworth


  • Mencken attacked American values and considered them to be fools and stupid. Traditional Americans opposed his work.  
  • Hemingway’s work was about the war and the materialistic culture of the postwar years, love, struggle, courage, and loss.


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):

  • Protected farmers from price drops by providing crop subsidies in hopes of reducing production and educational programs to teach methods of preventing soil erosion
    • Subsidy came from a tax that was later declared unconstitutional, resulting in the second act
    • Evens balance of supply and demand
      • So that farmers only produce what the consumers can buy and not excess
  • Second Act set a parity price, and the government pays the difference if the farmers did not make at least that much
    • Essentially (in both) the government was paying farmers not to grow crops on a part of their land (the Domestic Allotment Plan)
      • Solves deflation caused by surplus of products
  • Improved economy:
    • solving deflation (see above)
    • Farmers would use their higher wages to buy consumer goods, which helps the economy overall
  • Improved society:  farming is now profitable
    • Makes society fairer because people have an equal opportunity

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC, 1934):

  • Regulated stock market and restricted margin buying
  • Protects people from fraud in stock market
  • Wanted accurate financial statements→ FASB
    • Financial Accounting Standards Board
  • Improved economy: curtailed dangerous practices like buying on margin
  • Improved society: helped to start to regain people’s confidence in the stock market, and makes it safer for consumers to buy stock

(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)



  • Movies: silent films, Nickelodeon (Clara Bow – The “It” Girl, Charlie Chaplin)
  • Radio – radio shows – “Amos ‘n Andy”, Presidents could address the American audience directly over radio, 60% of American families had radios
  • Jazz Age & Harlem Renaissance – help establish the African American identity in America. (Louis Armstrong, Jacob Lawrence, Alain Locke’s The New Negro)
  • Literary works by Fitzgerald, Sinclair, Hemingway, Stein (The Lost Generation) – commentary on life in the 20s (America’s materialism and modernism), post-war cynicism
  • Impacts:
  • changing views of women (flappers, smoking, drinking, open sexuality)
  • deviation from the secular, traditional lifestyle;
  • promoted a culture of consumption and buying (after WWI where people willingly rationed)

Mass Production

  • Consumer products became more widely available and more affordable – changed home life (refrigerators, washing machines, cars)
  • Changed the household life with labor saving machines doing work which allowed more leisure time
  • Impact on Workers:
  • They became less skilled, with more machines being able to do the work and assembly lines requiring they do one task.
  • Decline of labor union membership and the need for cheap labor

(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

Synthesis:  Reconstruction

Contextualisation: Immigrants from East Asia came into the US in bigger numbers, prompting backlash because of unfamiliar culture and language barrier.


  • Regulation of Business:
    • Reforms before the 1920s
      • Trust-breaking (Clayton Anti-Trust Act)
      • Quality Regulation (Pure Food & Drug, Meat Inspection etc)
      • Reduction of Tariffs (notably Underwood Tariff), less protection for US companies
      • WWI wartime regulation of businesses (War Industries Board)
    • After 1920s
      • Implication of regulating businesses as being communist or socialist (in light of the Red Scare and WWI)
      • Economic boom discouraged any sort of checking power (Calvin Coolidge:“The business of America is business. The man who builds a factory builds a temple. The man who works there worships there.”)
      • Inventions (assembly line) exploded production and lowered prices and encouraged consumerism meaning businesses grew even bigger than what they were before therefore harder to control
      • Harding, Coolidge and Hoover were all hands-off presidents (Hoover himself was a businessman, owning silver mines. Fun fact: He and wife spoke Mandarin if they didn’t want to get eavesdropped on.)
      • Harding Administration’s corruption (Teapot Dome) meant that gov’t officials were often willing to look the other way if they got a little something under the table in return
      • Skyrocketing tariffs (eg Hawley-Smoot Tariff; highest peacetime tariff ever)
  • Labor:
    • Before 1920s
      • Regulation of wages, hours and condition by state governments
      • Incidents like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire brought awareness to both the long hours and unsafe conditions
        • Prompted the creation of regulatory institutions (New York State Factory Commision etc)
      • Stopped the use of Sherman Anti-Trust against strikers
      • Roosevelt performed the first go-between to resolve issues between owner and workers
      • Roosevelt and Wilson made their own headways into the issue
      • Headed by socialist-leaning reformers like Eugene Debs (who was a socialist)
      • Unions with widespread influence (Gomper’s AFL)
    • After 1920s
      • Renewed image of labor unions as communist and socialist, were seen as un-American
      • “Welfare Capitalism”, providing services to employees to stop the formation of independent labor unions (notable example being Henry Ford taking advantage of this by sponsoring stuff like sports teams, cafeterias, glee clubs and formed groups representing women, blacks and immigrants)
      • Open-shop movement- required people to work in nonunion places
      • Yellow dog contract–where the worker has to agree not to join a union
      • Gov’t started trying to break up unions again and struck down labor laws
        • 1922-federal troops broke up a railroad strike (The Great Railroad Strike of 1922)
        • Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Company (1922) struck down federal law regulating child labor  
        • Adkins v. Children’s Hospital (1923) struck down minimum wage law for women in Washington D.C.
        • Supreme Court weakened labor provisions of Clayton Anti-Trust Act (1914) in 1921 and 1927

(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)



  • Anti-immigration Attitudes
    • Ethnic neighbourhoods were seen with suspicion, poverty, crime
    • Immigrants inherently inferior to “real” Americans
    • Immigrants steal jobs from honest Americans
    • Whigs complained that immigrants (who were overwhelmingly Dems) would corrupt the political process
    • Taxpayers would have to pay for programs that would support immigrants and that wasn’t fair because the immigrants aren’t paying for themselves.
  • The Irish were targeted (in particular in Boston where some places put up “No Irish Need Apply” signs, seen as non-white, were looked down on for being a drinking culture
  • A lot of immigrant groups were Catholic and anti-Catholic views mixed with anti-immigrant prejudice
  • Nativism
    • 1850s-The American Party
      • 1854-membership at one-and-a-half million
      • Supported extension of period for naturalisation from 5 to 21 years; ban on naturalised citizens’ holding of public office
      • Declined in 1856 when divided over slavery question
      • Accused immigrants of plotting with Catholics to overthrow U.S. democracy
  • Germans were better off being better educated, financially stable and settled further West in more sparsely populated areas
  • Chinese
    • 1854 People vs. Hall (California Supreme Court)- extended a previous law saying non-whites can’t testify against whites to the Chinese
    • 1855 & 8-California passed laws stopping Chinese immigration, overturned by SCOTUS
  • Mexicans also saw discrimination, especially as more Anglos moved into the annexed Texas and the far West


  • Progressives did not want more immigrants as they thought  that would increase economic problems  
  • World War I propaganda influenced American’s views on Germans that they were barbaric. (anti-German and anti-Irish)
  • Red Scare – linked socialism and radicalism with immigrants (Palmer Raids – revealed the fear for foreign ideas and immigrants in the government)
  • Sacco and Vanzetti – foreign-born anarchists (reinforced the idea that immigrants were radicals), they were executed despite little proof for their crimes.
  • The KKK came back – reinforced the ideas of white supremacy; had power in the Democratic Party; supported violence against Jews, Blacks, and other immigrants who got jobs or didn’t assimilate to American culture
  • Ozawa v US (1922) and US v Thind (1923) – Japanese, Indian, and Asian immigrants couldn’t assimilate and were unable to obtain citizenship
  • Hidemitsu v. the US — Japanese were rejected naturalisation for being “alien” racially and ethnically
  • National Origins Act of 1924- showing discrimination toward immigrants from southern and eastern Europe and excluded Asians.- Coolidge said America must be kept American.

(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

Synthesis: 1960s

Contextualisation: Prohibition

  • Temperance movement originally began with the 2nd Great Awakening but there was revival of its importance now
  • WCTU was part of the temperance movement
  • Anti-Saloon League
  • However, in 1920s culture, there was much bootlegging and illegal acts and the Amendment did not stop it — impossible to enforce


Immigration conflict

  • Origins
    • Increase in immigration before 1920
    • Generally poor
    • Prior nativism
    • Progressives thought that fewer immigrants means better off public
  • Outcomes
    • Discrimination continues
    • KKK expanded
      • Wants 100% Americanism
      • Violence
      • Preserve America as a “white” nation
    • Emergency Quota Act
      • 35700 immigrants/year is maximum
    • Ozawa v. the US — Japanese so racially different/inferior that they cannot get citizenship
    • Hidemitsu v US- Japanese cannot be naturalised
    • US Border Patrol was established in 1925 to decrease Mexican immigration too

Religion conflict

  • Origins
    • The Fundamentals – influenced people to return to literal interpretations while others persisted with metaphorical interpretations
    • More against Catholics and Jews
  • Outcomes
  • Fundamentalism movement
    • Literal interpretation
    • Response to beliefs during changes in 1920s lifestyle
    • William Jennings Bryan was leader of it
  • Some Southern states don’t want to teach evolution
    • Scopes Trial
    • Shows general discontent about religion