Background: Too much corporate influence in politics; the specter of socialist policies undermining capitalism and individual freedoms; a middle class in apparent decline; waves of immigration that threatened to alter the character of American society; new technologies that introduced new social problems as well as offering new opportunities; and a general sense that the common people had lost control of their government: To a sometimes surprising degree, the issues that troubled Americans in the last quarter of the nineteenth century resembled our own. The past often loses much of its vigor and tumult as it becomes codified as history, and it can be difficult at times to understand how truly revolutionary— transformative, disruptive, unprecedented, and divisive—an event such as the Industrial Revolution was for the people who lived through it.
Resources: When composing your initial post and your responses to your classmates, draw from the material in AT LEAST TWO of the following primary sources:
Bryan, W. J. (1896, July 8). Cross of gold speech. Retrieved from http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1876-1900/william-jennings-bryan-cross-of-gold-speech-july-8-1896.php
Carnegie, A. (June 1889). Wealth. Retrieved from http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1876-1900/andrew-carnegie-wealth-june-1889.php
Chief Joseph. (1877-1879). Chief Joseph speaks: Selected statements and speeches by the Nez Percé chief. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/resources/archives/six/jospeak.htm
Clark, F. E. (1912). Our immigrants at Ellis Island. Boston, MA: United Society of Christian Endeavor. Retrieved from the Library of Congress at: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/immigration/pdf/our_immigrants.pdf
Gompers, S. (Sept. 1894). Letter on labor in industrial society to Judge Peter Grosscup. Retrieved from http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1876-1900/samuel-gompers-letter-on-labor-in-industrial-society-to-judge-peter-grosscup-september-1894.php
United States Populist Party. (1892, July 4). Populist Party platform. Retrieved from http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1876-1900/populist-party-platform-july-4-1892.php
White, A. W. (1896, Aug. 16). What’s the matter with Kansas?. Retrieved from http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1876-1900/william-allen-white-whats-the-matter-with-kansas-august-16-1896.php
Also draw from the material in ONE of the following videos:
Hawksworth, R. (Producer). (2001). The American industrial revolution [Video]. United States: Media Rich LLC. Retrieved from http://digital.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?Token=47596&aid=18596&Plt=FOD&loid=0&w=640&h=480&ref=
Robbins, A. (Director). (2011). Industrial New York. [Television series episode]. In E. Hardy. (Executive producer), Filthy Cities: A History of Public Sanitation (or Lack Thereof). United Kingdom: BBC Productions. Retrieved from http://digital.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?Token=48012&aid=18596&Plt=FOD&loid=0&w=640&h=480&ref=
Instructions: After reviewing your Instructor’s Guidance and completing the weekly reading assignments (including those in the resource section below), please post a substantive discussion post of at least 200 words that analyzes how the revolutionary nature of this period impacted either Native Americans, Immigrants or Farmers, using the following questions as the basis of your analysis:
What were the most revolutionary social and economic developments of the last quarter of the nineteenth century?
How did different groups of Americans respond to those changes and how effective were their responses?
What role did government play in these developments?
Your initial post should be no fewer than 200 words in length, which does not include works cited or the questions being answered. It should address all of the components of the question in a way that demonstrates independent, critical thought and command of the required material. It should not merely repeat the material in the textbook or other sources, but should use that material as the basis for an idiosyncratic interpretation of the topic. All sources need to be cited using proper APA format. If you borrow wording from a source, the wording absolutely must be marked as a quotation.
In addition to your initial post, you should respond substantially, in posts of no fewer than 100 words, to at least two classmates and contribute to their analysis of the topic. When responding to classmates, you should refer to the material from one of the sources which you did not reference in your initial post. Identify important points which they may have missed which either support or challenge their interpretation. Explain how their views have made you rethink your own conclusions or offer perspectives which might help them regard the topic in a different way. Feel free to ask probing questions of your classmates, but, if you do, offer your own interpretation. That is, don’t just respond, “What do you think of X, Y, and Z?” Instead, respond, “What do you think of X? I think W because of V, U, and T. On the other hand some might point to S and R.” In short, the ideal response to a classmate would involve you encouraging a classmate to see things from a new perspective, even as you clarify and develop your own thoughts as well.