American History Homework Nine Answers - Model

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Lecture - Questions - Student Answers

1. In your opinion, the 2008 election that concluded on Tuesday is most similar to which election in history, and why?

I think the 2008 election is very similar to the Jackson election of 1824. His landslide victory in the presidential election of 1828 is similar to the landslide that Obama won over McCain. Also, the middle and lower class voters loved Jackson as much as the upper class disliked him. This is very similar, as many lower class, uneducated, and young people support Obama, while those who are educated and know what he really is strongly dislike him. (Natalie D.)
The recent election between Barack Obama and John McCain is, in my opinion, most similar to the election of 1932 between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover. I know we haven’t learned about this one yet, but I think it fits very well. This election was during the Depression, and the economy was bad, and FDR was elected a lot in part because he promised to fix the economy. Our economy is doing bad now as well, and Obama promised to fix it. As you’ve said, when the economy is bad, the incumbent usually isn’t reelected, and that is the case in 1932. Now, McCain wasn’t the incumbent, but he was associated a lot with Bush, and that might be a reason for why he wasn’t elected. (Sarah W.)
I think it bears much similarity to the election of Adolf Hitler. He appealed to the common people in Germany, he was a powerful and convincing speaker, and he promised change. (Michelle F.)

2. Imperialism: a good or bad thing?

Imperialism was a good thing because by controlling other territories surrounded by water the Americans could have better control over the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. If America did not reach out and use this power Europe would start taking possession of the many islands near America, which would have given them an advantage against the American Navy if they went into battle. The USA was right to help Cuba gain independence from Spain, which drove Spain back to Europe where they belonged. Later on, America gave Cuba their independence with some consequences. America became even more dominant in the world when they obtained Hawaii and Cuba. (Veronika F.)
I think that imperialism has its positives and negatives. It can be used irresponsibly and illegitimately and the country’s only excuse is ‘because we can’ but it also can be a positive thing. If a big country is picking on a smaller, less powerful country, a larger country’s duty is to step in and ‘speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves’ (Proverbs 31:8-9) like we did for Cuba and the Philippines. (Danielle R.)
... the larger country might actually want to help the smaller country, which they often do. Many people do not know that President Theodore Roosevelt added a corollary (an addition) to the Monroe Doctrine. In it he stated that the United States, because it was a “civilized nation,” had the right to stop “chronic wrongdoing” throughout the Western Hemisphere. (Nick DeJ.)
... Americans should remember that we are not on earth to take over the world, but to instead, because of America's rich heritage, be a light to it. (Laura Grace K.)
... you can have a larger country pushing around the smaller countries and being a bad role model to them with communism, just like a bully at school bossing the weaker, younger kids around. (Leonard G.)

3. Your thoughts on the progressive movement, please.

In the 1800s the progressive movement was very effective. However, today the progressive movement will not be influential in American politics. As President Reagan strongly emphasized, we need less government. This is what will help lower taxes and pick our economy back up. (Jenna N.)
The Progressive Movement is a good idea in theory. However, some in government will see progressivism as an excuse to expand government. The only better government is less government. (Zach C.)
I don’t agree with many of the goals of the progressive movement. Many of them sound good on paper, but in reality will just lead to higher taxes. For example giving aid to farmers and protecting labor unions’ rights. (Ruth L.)
The Progressive movement was something that was quite effective in the 1800’s, however, nowadays it could be an excuse for the government to expand and we really need less government. (Victoria N.)
The lecture states that the progressive movement is explained in two words, “better government.” Better government is always a good thing to strive for. You can have the best government in the world and still look for ways to improve it. This idea is just like running a business; there are always ways to increase sales. The progressive movement has many great points that have greatly improved our country. Some of these points were suffrage for all women, the direct election of senators, laws against “sweat shops,” and safety improvements of work places. (Leonard G.)
Progressive movement advocates want a government that protects its citizens. I think all countries have a need for better government. Haiti needs better government to make the lives of the people safer and better. For example, there was a school and the roof collapsed and 94 children died because the owner didn't have it inspected for safety. There there were a better government, there would have been a law that states you must have a building inspected for safety in order to be used. Many lives might have been saved. (Steven H.)
... We need less government, not more or smarter government. (Tom H.)
I agree with them on some issues like the laws against sweat shops but some of their ideas I don't agree with like granting women suffrage. Personally I'd rather have it so only property-owning citizens could vote .... (Karen N.)
The progressive movement was good and bad. All in all, it isn't a bad theory, except for a few of the points it included. ... monopolies ... are not as bad as they are made out to be ... unions ... destroy jobs, the economy, companies and technological advances ... anti-war ... sometimes [war] is completely necessary .... (Anna M.)

4. Please explain the cartoon in the Minnesota Tribune, having the caption at top, "WHAT WILL HE DO!" and the caption at the bottom, "The eyes of the world are upon him." Include your description of the point of view of the cartoonist.

Spanish American War cartoon.jpg
The cartoon depicts President McKinley's choice about what to do with the Philippines, after America won the Spanish-American war. American newspapers opposed the return of the Philippines to Spain, because they feared the mistreatment of the Filipino people. It shows a man with earth as his head watching. This depicts the phrase, 'wht whole world is watching.' Whether from peer pressure or personal opinion, McKinley decided to keep the Philippines as an American territory. I believe the cartoonist believed that McKinley would give the Philippines back to Spain. I draw this conclusion from the way McKinley appears: with a frown and a tight grip on the Filipino child's neck. He appears especially sinister next to the child's terrified face. He is also standing next to a cliff with a sign that says, to Spain. If the cartoonist viewpoint was that McKinley would shield the Filipino people, he probably would not have drawn the cartoon in this manner. Perhaps he would have shown a 'kind' McKinley shielding the child and leading the child away from the cliff. (Bethany S.)
The man in this cartoon is President McKinley, and the child is a Filipino boy, presumably representing the Filipino people as a whole. This cartoon was draw after the fighting in the Philippians between the Unites States and Spain (during the Spanish-American War of the early 20th century) had ceased and President McKinley had to decide whether to keep the Philippians as a US territory or to return them to Spain. Like most all of the media at this time, this cartoonist supported keeping the Philippians as a US territory. This is demonstrated in that Spain is portrayed as in the same “direction” as a cliff. This was meant to communicate that McKinley giving the Philippians to Spain would be like him throwing them off a cliff. This reflected the popular view that the Spanish would mistreat the Filipinos. The world was watching to see what McKinley would decide in this matter as Spain and America were both world powers, so hence the man with a globe as a head looking on in the background. (Rachel N.)
... The Philippines are represented as a child. The common view was that they were equal to a child, that they were mentally inferior, that they wouldn’t know what to do with independence or know how to rule themselves. The cartoonists favors keeping the Philippines. (Michelle F.)
... It was very popular for big countries to interfere with the governments of smaller countries, so maybe everyone wanted to know if America "had the guts" to bully others. Absurd, or childish, playground principles often go into adulthood and beyond into the forum of international politics. (Steven M.)
... And the view of the cartoonist, I’m going to say is Democratic. (Jonathan R.)
... However, the third option available to McKinley, which would be to grant the Philippines independence, is not an option to this cartoonist. I think this is shown by the cartoonist because the boy is depicted as a savage, not yet ready to take care of himself. (Nick DeJ.)
... The Philippines being portrayed as a small heathen boy shows that the cartoonist thinks they are not worthy to govern themselves, therefore they must be "civilized and Christianized." (Will M.)

Honors (pick 2 out of 3)

H1. Do you agree with how the United States finally ended the fighting in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War?

There is really no other way to end insurgency in an area than to simply kill or capture all rebels. Insurgents are not dependent on things which regular troops need: a structured command, logistics, and expensive equipment. In fact, with the support of the population, it is virtually impossible to conquer them. In the words of one American soldier in Vietnam, “... [I]t became necessary to destroy the town to capture it.” The Americans took the only way out: kill all the insurgents in the Philippines. (Duncan B.)

H2. How do you think the role of newspapers in the recent election compares with the "yellow journalism" of the 1890s?

Yellow journalism was probably worse than the election coverage. The New York Times has occasionally printed false or exaggerated headlines or stories which they had to retract (I’m losing count of how many stories they’ve pulled!), but I don’t think this is as bad, or as common as similar practices during Yellow journalism. That said, there are some similarities, the greatest being that the media obviously had an agenda. There was a bad double standard in the election coverage, and the media completely ignored many questionable associations, gaffes, and backtracks by Obama as if they never happened, whereas they pounced on any little thing John McCain or Sarah Palin said. (Addison DM)

H3. Write about any issue you like relating to 1896-1920, or the recent election.

What caused the USS Maine to explode? The USS Maine was a second-class armored battleship that was destroyed in Havana Harbor, Cuba in February of 1898. After an investigation by a US naval court it was determined that a mine had exploded under the ship killing 260 men and injuring 6 others. The newspapers sensationalized this event and reported that Spain was responsible for the explosion. Many people believed this report to be true. This event contributed to the decision of the United States Congress to declare war on Spain. War was declared at the end of April.
In 1910, the Army Corps of Engineers raised the USS Maine. The ship was believed to be a hazard to navigating the waters. She needed to be moved. Before the ship was moved to the deeper waters of the Gulf of Mexico, another court convened to examine (the remains of) the vessel. This court determined that the explosion was from the ship’s magazines, which were triggered by an external blast.
In 1976 Admiral Hyman Rickover and a group of naval officers reviewed the evidence from the previous investigations. They concluded that a coal fire started aboard the Maine and caused the magazine explosion. They found no support for the “mine theory”.
More recently, in 1999, National Geographic did an analysis of the explosion based on computer modeling. They concluded that an inward bend to the hole in the bottom of the hull pointed to an external explosion.
The exact cause of the explosion still remains a mystery to this day. (Nick DeJ.)