American History Homework Seven Answers - Student Three

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Katie B

1. The ‘Gilded Age’ is a nickname made up by Mark Twain for the end of the 1880s. It was called this because while it appeared to be prosperous and ‘golden’ underneath it was dark and ugly, tarnished by greed and corrupted internally, causing destitution and affliction.


2. I personally like a great many things about Thomas Edison. I admire his motivation and hard work. It took him over 10,000 tries to ascertain the right filament for his light bulb! I respect his innovative mind and ability to think outside the box; the phonograph was the first invention of its kind. I have a high regard for how he took other people’s inventions and ideas and improved them so that they could be used by the common man and not just the affluent, or made them practical enough for every day use. And, though I don’t always agree that homeschooling especially long ago made a person very different than the rest of the world, I definitely think that Edison wouldn’t have been half the inventor he was (which is still pretty impressive!) if he had continued to have his genius oppressed in the public school.


3. The Americans saw the frontier as a mystery, alluring and attractive, all that land just out there for the taking! The frontier encouraged them to go out and start up a farm, building communities and towns and expanding America. It was the opportunity for them to seize and make use of the freedom granted to them by their citizenship. In a nutshell, it was the American Dream. Sure, they had to kick a couple hundred Indians off the land of their ancestors, but they were American! They didn’t take orders from anybody!

Superb answer, will use as a model.

4. I think America’s freedom is what made its citizens the most innovative. It was a very young country, open to new ideas, and everyone was excited about all of the amazing things the nation was doing. They were encouraged by their freedom to make use of their rights. With a relatively open-minded government, they had the opportunity to make a difference no matter how humble their beginnings, and by golly, they were going to do it!


5. The influence of a political cartoon is probably based on the subject and the audience willing to register what they’re being told. An example of cartoons that DID influence people were ones drawn by Thomas Nast, who illustrated the public’s foolishness for allowing ‘Boss Tweed’ to remain at large. The people took action and Tweed was jailed. However, an example of a political cartoon that probably did NOT have much influence would be one I saw the other day. It showed three children trick-or-treating, and the man at the door saying “Look! Some of you have more candy than the others! Let me just redistribute it so you all have the same amount…” One of the children says “Oh no, a Democrat.” While this is humorous to Republicans and people who see democrats policies for what they are, idiocy, I sincerely doubt many Democrats will revise their views because of it.

Good analysis ... and good point about not influencing Democrats.

6. I don’t believe that there was a single person who was the ‘most influential’ after Edison. However, if I had to narrow it I would say either Grover Cleveland or John D. Rockefeller. Cleveland because of many vetoes on legislation and firm stance against government spending. He also stood firm in the Panic of 1893, refusing to bail out the banks and refused to back down when ‘Coxey’s Army’ was at his doorstep, demanding for him to fix their problems. If he had been a push-over, more easily convinced to ‘help’ the outcome of the depression would have been much different. Rockefeller was significant because he initiated big business in America and harnessed oil and refined it into something useful, a fossil fuel we depend heavily on in our world today.

Excellent choices.

7. The cartoon depicts a cliff of ‘silver’, a stretch of ‘quicksand gold’ and in the distance a sunset labeled ‘prosperity’. Uncle Sam is sinking in the quicksand while apparently trying to get to prosperity. The cartoonist obviously supported bimetallism, given the negative view of gold. It would seem that while gold will ‘sink’ America, silver is a solid route, and between the two is the road to prosperity. The cartoonist was probably a democrat and was an avid supporter of bimetallism, thinking that gold was a quick and sure way of destroying America.

Superb analysis, but mentioning how the sinking can represent deflation.
Terrific answers! Score: 69/70.--Aschlafly 19:11, 30 October 2008 (EDT)