The Federal Government and the liberties

Format MLA

Volume of 5 pages (1375 words)

Assignment type : Essay


When you upload your essay, it MUST be in a word document, not a pdf, not a link to Google docs or Microsoft Office or any other platform. Otherwise, I can’t see it and you can’t get the SafeAssign report.

This site uses SafeAssign software to allow you to check for any issues of copying or paraphrasing incorrectly. The software pulls up word groups, and it can’t identify whether those occur in quotations or have proper citations. Make sure that you’ve footnoted or cited material correctly. You’ll have two opportunities to submit and remove your essay; on the third submission, you will not be able to remove it.

Citation Format:

Historians use the Chicago Style for citations, and our department requires all students taking History courses to try to use it as well. You’ll find guidelines under “Course Resources,” but here are a few essentials:

1. Rather than putting the name of the author at the end of the sentence (such as May 2013), Chicago uses Arabic numerals, with the explanation for those numbers at the bottom or the end of your text. (These are sequential – each time you have a citation, it takes a new number –1,2,3, and so on– even it’s the same source you’ve used before.)

2. Citations are in some form of author’s name, book or article, and publisher/journal, year. The reason we have such complete citations is that we use them to follow up on the material other historians have used.

You will find a sample essay which received an A under “Sample History 149 Essay” on the left-side menu bar. Our text, The American Yawp, has citations done in Chicago style, so look at that as well.

Your Directions:

Answer the question below. The essay should be approximately five pages, typed and double-spaced with 10 or 12 point type. Use normal margins, and be sure to spell-check and proofread your essay.

Remember, you must provide a citation for material that is not original to you as a writer. That means (1) a quotation, (2) something that’s paraphrased, or (3) an idea outside of “common knowledge” that is not your own. IF you take material directly from another source, it MUST appear in quotation marks. IF you paraphrase and you’ve included three or more words from the original source in the original sequence, those words should also appear in quotation marks. [If, for example, the Digital Text uses the phrase “dogs, cats, rabbits and pigs” and you write dogs, cats, rabbits and hogs, “dogs, cats, rabbits” should have quotation marks.] You cannot use your own work that has previously been submitted for credit in this or another course.

There are several guides about citations and plagiarism under Course Resources on the content bar at the left of Blackboard. Historians use the Chicago citation style, and the History department requires that all papers written in our courses use that style. You will find a “Quick Guide” to formats on Course Resources, and the Chicago “Quick Guide” as well.

Be sure that your essay is original to you, and that you’ve provided appropriate citations when necessary. The penalty for violations of Academic Honesty is a No Credit on the paper. If you have questions about what or when to provide a citation, please email!

Finally — you CANNOT use material beyond those assigned for this course. Any essay which does will receive a one-letter grade reduction. (The reason for this is to focus you on our readings and making an argument. It should also prevent any time-consuming searches for an answer on the web.)

Some help:

First, think about the question and how you might answer it. You want to make an argument, not simply summarize material from the course. Short history essays such as this can often be written using a simple formula. You should have a thesis (providing the argument and direction for your essay) in the first or second paragraph. Follow that with three examples developing that thesis in subsequent paragraphs. The conclusion should do more than restate your thesis. Explain to the reader why this argument/issue is important. Be sure to read over your paper before you submit it.

Plan ahead to use the Writing Center if you need to – their appointments can be limited by demand.

The Questions: Be Sure to Answer ONLY ONE:

1. What role did the federal government play in defining, protecting, and/or limiting the liberties of Americans in the period between 1867 and 1920? Be sure your essay has a thesis and gives specific examples.

2. You’ve been preparing for weeks for your midterm exam in the U. S. history survey class. What you really need the night before the exam is a break. A friend invites you to dinner, and, much to your dismay, you find the guests are a group of American historians. They had gotten together with the idea of working together on a volume of readings titled The Boundaries of Belonging: Citizenship and Nation in the U. S., 1865-1929. When you arrive they are locked in a heated debate. They all agree that in the decades from the end of the Civil War through the mid-1920s, the U. S. underwent a major transformation. But they are hopelessly divided on what they see as the defining elements of this transformation.

• One group, sees these years in terms of an incredible expansion in the “boundaries of belonging” and new opportunities for those who had been excluded from economic or political rights. Among other things, they point to the end of slavery, the Reconstruction Amendments, the Homestead Act and settlement of the West, the millions of immigrants who settled in America in these years, and woman suffrage.

• A second group argues just the opposite: they argue that the overwhelming tide of this period was a narrowing of the “boundaries of belonging”, privileging the rights of whites, and above all, white men. Among other things, they point to the failure of Reconstruction, American Indian policy in the West, segregation and disfranchisement, lynchings, American empire-building and foreign policy at the turn of the century, and immigration restriction.

• A third group argues that the other two have it all wrong: what really defines these years are the pressures of and response to industrial capitalism. Among other things, they point to railroad expansion and the rise of giant corporations, the expansion of waged labor, the industrialization of agriculture, and the emergence of global markets. In these terms, they say, “boundaries of belonging” as a concept isn’t fully accurate, as some Americans had opportunities and others did not.

Your friend introduces you as an undergraduate at WCSU. When the group hears that you’re taking the U. S. History survey and have been preparing for your midterm exam, they insist that you settle the debate. They promise to accept your written conclusion, but remember this is a tough and knowledgeable crowd: you’re going to need specific evidence to convince them and you’re going to have to deal with evidence that seems to support alternative views. Write an essay that resolves their debate.

Grading criteria:

1. Essay has a clear thesis.

2. Historical facts and information are used to support this thesis.

3. The author considers significant facts or interpretations which may undermine or challenge the thesis. (For instance, if you argue “all Americans are good,” you should think about evidence that contradicts that premise and consider whether and how to include it.)

4. Essay shows evidence of an understanding of the historical changes of the period between 1865 and 1929.

5. Citations are in the Chicago format style.

6. Essay is completed on time.

7. Essay contains no significant errors of spelling, punctuation or grammar.

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