writer’s choice

Our textbook is The American Promise Vol. II. We are to site our text references within the paper as follows: (Roark et al pg. ???).
Please pick ONE of the following to answer. Your essay should be at least 800 words (roughly three typed, double-spaced pages) but it should not exceed 900 words. Please see the specific instructions in the syllabus, and remember that you will need to include the feedback you got from Smarthinking AND your final version (with changes based on the feedback you get) through Turnitin.com by the due date on the calendar. LATE FINALS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. This portion of the final is worth a total of 150 points and the final quiz (the Course Assessment) is also worth 100 points.

Obviously, you will have access to your textbook and many other sources of information in completing this exam, but your exam must be your work alone. You must do more than prove that you can summarize information in your textbook, though. You must prove that you understand it, can synthesize and analyze it, and that you can reach your own conclusions. Focus on key themes and ideas and support your ideas with specific historical examples. You should quote only when absolutely necessary, keep your quotes short, and mark them as quotations with a citation of the source. Failure to do so is plagiarism and will at minimum result in a zero for the exam and probably an ‘F’ for this course. Summarizing and regurgitating the textbook will not earn you a good grade. Building your exam out of long block quotes is unacceptable and will be harshly penalized. But do remember that you need to have at least one citation per page from your textbook.

Best of luck, and please let me know if you have any questions over the next two weeks before the essay is due!


1) Compare and contrast the New Deal and the Great Society. Under what conditions did the two reform efforts take place and how did these conditions influence them? What were the key pieces of legislation of each? What were the intentions of the supporters of each of these programs and the presidents who articulated them? Overall, did they have a positive or negative effect on U. S. society?

2) Describe and explain the origins and conduct of the Cold War between the aftermath of World War II and the end of the Vietnam War (1975) concentrating on the key events and disputes between the super powers. What were the long term and short term ramifications of the Cold War both at home (in the United States) and abroad? Was the Cold War inevitable or could the Soviet Union and the United States have continued their friendly wartime (WWII) relations?

3) Many Americans look back on the 1950s with nostalgia and see it as America at its best, the norm to which we should strive to return. What characterized American society in those years? In what way were the years between 1945 and 1960 unusual? What realities were hidden behind those years of optimism and prosperity? Were the 1950s a positive or negative period in U.S. history?

4) Compare and contrast the experience of African-Americans, women, and one other ethnic or minority group in their pursuit of civil rights, suffrage, equality, etc. after 1920. In what ways were these various movements, and their organizations, tactics, and leaders different? In what ways were they similar? Be sure to mention key events, leaders, and organizations! Were these movements successful, or do they still have unfinished business?

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