American History Homework Ten Answers - Model

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Lecture - Questions - Student Answers

1. How could you have prepared better for the midterm exam, and which part of American history do you think you could improve most for next time?

I should've paid more attention to the ideas behind the events instead of just learning the events. I also should have remembered the general dates instead of exact dates. It would have been better for me if I studied the Party and beliefs of important people. (Tom H.)
I think that if I had started studying for the midterm earlier, rather than a week before it, I might have done better. I could probably improve more on the presidents and their positions on various subjects. Rereading the lectures might have helped as well, rather than just focusing on the terms. (Natalie D.)
... I also should have spent more time focusing on the details of political parties. (Jenna N.)

2. Which is your favorite question on the midterm exam that you missed, and what do you like about the question or subject matter?

My favorite question on the midterm exam was "He who has gold makes and accomplishes whatever he wishes in the world and finally uses it to send souls to paradise" because you had to use logic to answer it. Christopher Columbus did not have money to try to sail to the Indies a different way so he had to ask the King and Queen of Spain for money and ships. He knew people who have money have power to do what they want and they can chose what to do with it, which is either a gift to other people or a curse. (Veronika F.)

3. Comment on any aspect of the Scopes Trial or the issues leading up to it, and/or can you compare it to any other influential trial in American history?

I absolutely LOVE the Scopes Trial! I found them extremely interesting and admired how William Jennings Bryan defended what he stood for with so much pep, and never gave up. I loved how he allowed himself to be questions, which shows he was confident and knew what he was standing for was the right thing because he wasn't afraid to be put under scrutiny. His answers were honest, and he used good tactics. (Deborah B.)
The Scopes Trial was one of the first times in American history that the reporting was only from one side. The account of H.L. Mencken, who was an atheist and evolutionist, misinformed the American public and the world of the true result: Bryan and creationism had won; Darrow and evolutionism had lost. Throughout all of American history up till about sixty years ago, issues were confronted in the media from both sides. (Duncan B.)
I find interesting how, even though William Jennings Bryan won the case, the evidence is often distorted, not just then, but still today, to make it seem like he suffered a moral defeat. Microsoft Encarta says
"Bryan won the case, and Scopes was found guilty and fined $100, but the humiliating cross-examination to which Bryan was subjected by Darrow, revealing his ignorance of scientific discoveries, probably hurt the fundamentalist cause"
In truth, after the cross-examination, Darrow asked the jury to find his client guilty. (Michelle F.)

4. Do you think the United States should have entered World War I, and why?

I agree with the United States entering World War I because we were telling the world that we were not going to sit around and let innocent American citizens die without a fight (i.e.- the sinking of the Lusitania). (Olivia F.)
The Germans wanted to hurt America, the Zimmermann telegram proves that. Also, American citizens were being killed when Nazi submarines torpedoed cruise ships. That means we might have been attacked if Germany beat the allies. Germany was then stopped by the Allied forces. Did America joining the war prevent an invasion on the U.S.? I do not know, but I would have supported America joining the war if I had been alive at the time. (Cole N.)

5. Your view of Teddy Roosevelt, please.

He was rough, smart, and sure of himself. I love how he loved the wilderness of our land, but having National Parks can be annoying nowadays.
He said "I did not usurp power, but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power." In the U.S., with the series of checks and balances, you're always taking power from somebody. Like Jackson, or perhaps Reagan, I think he did very admirable things in expanding executive power. But inevitably, the authority that was removed from the bottom never made its way back down, and today we live with a government more centralist then Jefferson ever would have wanted. (Steven M.)
He was a man of interesting opinion, that's for sure. When he dealt with foreign policy, he "spoke softly and carried a big stick." ... I really dislike his idea to promote the simplified English. For those who had not yet started reading and writing, or even learning the language, it wouldn't present too much of a problem. But for those that already did and knew these things, it would make everything much more difficult. Even though it's "simple," those who learned the other way would have to spend a good deal of time to relearn everything. Spellings of words shouldn't change. ... Roosevelt was just an ordinary man, who had good ideas and bad, and it's easy enough to see which is which unlike some people where you have to dig to find anything good or bad. (Kara H.)
I have a very poor view of Theodore Roosevelt. While he was officially a Republican when he was president, he was more liberal than he was conservative. For example, he put a lot federal dollars into government programs. Also he supported heavy federal regulations and got involved in things that the government really shouldn’t be involved in, like monopolies and strikes. (Ruth L.)
Teddy Roosevelt is not one of my favorite presidents, but I think he did better than McKinley would have. However Roosevelt had many policies and regulations, etc., that I do not agree with. One that had been misrepresented his use of the Sherman Antitrust Act to prosecute the Great Northern Railway Company in the Northern Securities Case. The owner of this company, James Jerome Hill, had an unusual approach to building his railways. He took time to make sure it was done well, so it would last, he developed the surrounding area, and he did not accept government subsidies. Most transcontinental railways at the time were government subsidized. The subsidies were given based on how many miles the railways covered, so the companies rushed to build as fast and far as possible. At one point, he combined his various companies into one to make management easier. Teddy Roosevelt called this a monopoly and urged the Supreme Court to strike down Northern Securities. Altogether he wasn’t a bad president. He’s just not one of my favorites. (Michelle F.)
Roosevelt was a great president. ... Among his policies I would take special note of his opposition to big business (corporations). Conservatives have always opposed corporations because they centralize economic power. ... (Daniel N.)

6. Pick one of the Constitutional Amendments 16 through 19, and express your understanding and view of it.

The 16th amendment: The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census of enumeration. Congress was wrong to make this amendment. It just gives the government more power. (Nathanael H.)
In 1895, the Supreme Court ruled that The Income Tax Act of 1894 was unconstitutional. The court ruled that the income taxes on interest, dividends and rents were direct taxes and direct taxes could only be assessed if the tax was apportioned. Since this tax was not apportioned, it was found to be unconstitutional. To override this Supreme Court decision, a Constitutional Amendment had to proposed and ratified. ... In 1909, President William Taft proposed a constitutional amendment to permit an income tax. The Sixteenth Amendment was passed by the Sixty-first Congress and submitted to legislatures of the states on July 12, 1909. On February 25, 1913, Secretary of state, Philander Knox, announced that the amendment had been approved and had become part of the U.S. Constitution. Congress then passed the Revenue Act of 1913. ... I recently learned about the Fair Tax. The Fair Tax plan is a proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with a national retail sales tax. Specifically, the Fair Tax plan would abolish all federal personal and corporate income taxes, estate, gift, alternative minimum, capital gains, Social Security, Medicare and self-employment taxes and will put into place one simple retail sales tax. The Fair Tax will tax us only on what we spend on new goods and services, not on what we earn. The Fair Tax would remove the “loopholes” .... (Mark DeJ.)
Amendment 17 was ratified in 1913. It gave the right to elect senators to the people of each state. This replaced Article I, Section 3, Clause 1 of the Constitution, which gave the power to state legislatures to elect senators. This Amendment was proposed to promote democracy and to cut down on corruption. I think it definitely promotes democracy, but I don’t think it necessarily cuts down on corruption. (Nick DeJ.)
I think the 17th Amendment (stating that senators would be elected by a popular vote, not by state legislatures) could have been construed as one of the most influential Amendments in American history. The right of the people to elect their own senators may not seem like much, but it meant that the people had a more direct say in who was running the country, and that's a big deal. (Will M.)
The 18th Amendment established Prohibition, which essentially banned alcohol. This was in response to a movement that had been growing for decades. The Prohibition movement was inspired by Christian women (the involvement of women was probably the main reason it took so long for women to receive the right to vote, as men did not want to lose alcohol).I believe that this amendment was unconstitutional as it inhibited the freedom of religion (many religions, such as Judaism, have religious traditions that involve alcohol). It was also impractical as it increased illegal activity tremendously. This amendment was reversed by the 21st Amendment. (Rachel N.) [But note below re: religious use]
The 18th Amendment along with the Volstead Act which defined "intoxicating liquors" excluding those used for religious purposes and sales throughout the U.S., established Prohibition in the United States. Its ratification was certified on January 29, 1919. The 18th Amendment is the only Amendment to the United States Constitution that has been repealed (by the Twenty-first Amendment). (Matt N.)
My favorite Constitutional Amendment is Amendment 19, which gives women the right to vote. This is my favorite amendment for many reasons. One of them is the people involved in making it. Women like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are women who I look up to as role models. Unlike the feminists of today, these women were not anti-men nor did they consider themselves to be better than men; they just wanted to have a say in their government. (Ruth L.)
The nineteenth amendment, ratified in 1920, supported the right of women to vote. ... [W]omen's support of World War I ... persuade[d] President Woodrow Wilson to change his position from opposing this amendment to supporting it. ... (Bethany S.)
I disagree with the 19th Amendment. I totally disagree with the whole "let everyone vote" thing. I'm with the Articles of Confederation on this: only property owners should vote. If women own property then let them vote. No property, no vote. (Karen N.)

7. Explain the cartoon.

Angel of Peace.jpg
The cartoon shows Teddy Roosevelt depicted as the "Angel of Peace." ... (Laura Grace K.)
The political cartoon shows Theodore Roosevelt breaking up the conflict between the Japanese and the Russians and ending the Russo-Japanese War. It puts Theodore Roosevelt in a good light because he is depicted as an angel. (Leonard G.)
... This cartoon was to be dealing with the Treaty of Portsmouth, which Roosevelt negotiated to end the Russo-Japanese War" in 1905. (Leigh C.)

Honors (pick 3 out of 5)

H1. Write about any military battle or innovation or tactic in World War I.

The introduction of chemical agents in World War I affected tactics and almost changed the outcome of World War I. The overwhelming success of the first use of gas caught both sides by surprise. Fortunately, the Allies managed to develop a suitable defense to German gas attacks and eventually to field a considerable offensive chemical capability. The three main chemicals used in the war were mustard gas, chlorine gas, and phosgene. Phosgene, also known as carbon chloride was deadly in very small amounts. It was a choking agent with an objectionable smell when in high concentration. When inhaled it would cause the lungs to fill with water. Chlorine gas was a greenish-yellow substance with an irritating odor. It would destroy the cells that line the respiratory tract. Another is mustard gas, named for it's mustard-like smell. Mustard gas was more stable than chlorine gas or phosgene, so it was more commonly used. It was a blistering agent, causing damage to any surface it came in contact with. However, using chemical warfare often backfired if a wind cared the chemical gases back to the army who was releasing it. (Natalie D.)
World War One was the first war where the torpedo entered general use. It had been invented in the late 1890s, but it was not generally used for several years. Torpedoes gave a far greater “punch” to smaller vessels. Before the torpedo’s debut, battleships and large cruisers had an incredible advantage; now a single torpedo from a destroyer or submarine could eliminate that benefit. In fact, in the first few months of the war, a single German sub named the U-14 sunk three British armored cruisers—the Aboukir, Cressy, and Hogue—off the Dutch coast. (Duncan B.)
I think that one of the greatest innovations in modern warfare happened near the end of World War I. This innovation was the use of airplanes in warfare. Until the late stages of World War I, wars had always been fought on the ground, and if one army surrounded the other on the ground, then they usually own. However, with the advent of airplanes into war near the end of World War I, another dimension was added to war strategy. With airplanes one side could travel far behind enemy lines and destroy almost any target with only a single man piloting an airplane. ... (Kevin F.)

H2. What is your view of the limitations on free speech during World War I?

The point of limiting free speech was to keep people from being discouraged out of buying war bonds--the effect was good, but the means were off. No one should be denied free speech. (Christina F.)

H3. Write on any debate topic or issue in the lecture.

Was it discrimination to exclude girls and women in this draft? By the definition of the word it was very discriminatory since it divided men and women in consideration of who should be drafted. I, however, don’t think that it was excessive discrimination because the only reason for this division was because firstly, women were needed at home taking care of the children and doing other mandatory jobs, and secondly, most women are physically incapable of performing the strenuous duties a soldier is expected to perform. This is more consideration for the differences between male and female and making use of their faculties in the way it would best profit our country at war. (Katie B.)
Debate: Was Prohibition desirable? Has alcohol caused more harm than good? Alcohol is a drug. It is addicting and dangerous. It can be fatal to both the drinker and the people around him. I don’t think it has any good, and people would be smart to stay away from it. Anything that makes you “forget your troubles” is definitely not a good thing. (Sarah W.)

H4. Please provide your analysis of the midterm exam, in any way. Were the questions challenging? Did it cover the periods and subject matter appropriately? Did you learn from it overall?

I think the midterm was challenging, but not as bad as I thought it would be (which is a good things :-)). It motivated me to study a lot. Overall, it was a good learning experience. (Kara L.)

H5. What is your opinion of Lochner doctrine?

The Lochner Doctrine decided that state laws regulating working hours for men (and later, laws regulating working hours for women) were unconstitutional. Since it involved federal government invalidating state law, it was a use of the Fletcher v. Peck decision. I think it was a bad decision. Federal government probably shouldn’t be deciding specific working times and forcing them on the states, but the government shouldn’t ban states from having their own working hours laws either. (Addison DM)
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