American History Homework Seven Answers - Student 32

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Mark DeJ American History Homework Seven

1. Mark Twain named the post-Reconstruction era, which was the time period from approximately 1877 – 1890; the “Gilded Age” because what appeared to be a golden age was in reality was an age of greed and corruption.

In many ways, this era was golden. Great inventions came from this time period. Industries, such as the steel industry, grew. Many men became extremely wealthy. However, there were people who became wealthy using unscrupulous methods. These people were referred to as “robber-barons”.


2. The characteristic I like most about Thomas Edison is that he was a man who believed in hard work and never gave up even though he was deaf. I think homeschooling gave Thomas Edison the drive he needed to make all the great inventions he has given the world. These inventions made him a very wealthy man. Had he remained in school, I believe that he would have been left behind. His public school teacher thought, because of his behavior compared to other children, that he was stupid.

Excellent. May use as a model answer.

3. I agree with Frederick Jackson Turner, who in 1893 wrote The Significance of the Frontier in American History. He believed that the frontier experience had promoted individualistic democracy. The people who settled the frontier were forced to think for themselves and to be resourceful. This influenced the views of a good portion of Americans. Many enjoyed this independence and did not want a government that controlled everything.

Will use this as a model answer instead. Terrific.

4. I think what makes America the leading country in inventions is “Yankee Ingenuity”. Ingenuity is the quality of being creative. Americans are known for their creativity, their imagination, and their resourcefulness. I also think that patents helped this cause. The U.S. Constitution has a clause that allows people who invent something to obtain a patent, which means that person has special rights of ownership for a specific number of years. Patents exclude other people from making, using, selling or importing the invention so the patent holder can make it, sell it, and reap the profit.

Excellent indeed. Might use as a model answer.

5. I think that political cartoons may or may not have an impact depending on whether or not people can do something about the problem shown in the cartoon.

I have found a cartoon that portrays John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company as being monopolizing and controlling other companies, such as the bank, the railroads, and other small oil companies. This cartoon had no impact because a large number of people were employed by Standard Oil Company and did not want to get on Rockefeller’s bad side, out of fear of possibly having no oil and/or losing their jobs.

I have found another number of cartoons created by a cartoonist named John Nast. These cartoons depict William Marcy Tweed or “Boss” Tweed, a New York politician as a criminal, who ran a fraudulent and corrupt ring that was pillaging New York City and creating an excessive amount of debt for the city. This had a huge impact on people. Ultimately, Tweed was arrested, tried and convicted.

Terrific answer, one of the best in the class.

6. I think one of the most influential people between 1877 and 1896 was Thomas Nast, a German immigrant who is famous for his political cartoons. Thomas Nast was very influential through his cartoons. He was the artist of one of our recent political cartoon homework questions, “The Chinese Question”. That cartoon showed that if America were really a free place for all men then Chinese people would be treated no differently. This cartoon either made people think about the injustice being done to the Chinese or made people more Anti-Chinese. Thomas Nast also created many cartoons about the corrupt New York politician, “Boss” Tweed. “Boss” Tweed’s actions were brought out in the open and angered many citizens of New York. Tweed was eventually brought to justice and thrown in jail. Lastly, Nast also used his cartoons to illustrate his strong Anti-Catholic views. This widely appealed to fellow Catholic-hating Americans and caused problems between Catholics and Protestants.

Will use this as a model answer. Superb.

7. This cartoon appeared in William H. Harvey’s famous pamphlet, Coin’s Financial School. It depicts Uncle Sam sinking in gold quicksand, unable to reach prosperity, because the U.S. was relying on gold instead of on gold and silver. This reliance on gold made the money supply tight and lowered prices. The author/cartoonist obviously favors bimetallism, which is a monetary system which uses more than one commodity, such as gold and silver. The artist believed that both gold and silver should be coined without limit at a fixed price ratio set by legislation.


Honors Questions

H1. I believe that Grover Cleveland was a conservative. Many of his ideas are in line with those of conservatives. For example, he had an extreme dislike of paternalism, a system under which an authority figure treats those under his control paternally by regulating their conduct and taking care of their needs. Because of this belief, he opposed the idea of a social service state. He felt that Americans should have economy, purity and justice in their government, but nothing else.

Also, like conservatives, Grover Cleveland was fiscally frugal. He opposed tariff favors for businesses, pensions for Civil War veterans, land favors for railroads, and “pork barrel spending” by the government.

Lastly, conservatives oppose high taxes. So did Grover Cleveland. Here is one of his most famous quotes: “When more of the people's substance is exacted through the form of taxation than is necessary to meet the just obligations of the Government and the expense of its economical administration, such exaction becomes ruthless extortion and a violation of the fundamental principles of a free government."

Superb. May use this as a model answer instead of one of the answers above.

H2. James Blaine was a Senator from Maine from 1863 to 1876. He is known for his opposition to granting state funds to religiously affiliated schools. He felt so strongly about this issue that he wrote “The Blaine Amendment” and tried to have it be incorporated into the U.S. Constitution. This amendment did not pass. However, The Blaine Amendment did become part of 37 State Constitutions.

The Blaine Amendments are good, bad and bigoted. I believe the Amendments are good because often times when you let the government get involved, the government becomes too controlling. I believe the Amendments are bad because they prevent school voucher programs and I think school vouchers are necessary, especially in poor areas. I think these Amendments are bigoted because I believe James Blaine proposed the original amendment and the states followed his lead as a direct result of the anti-Catholic bigotry that was prevalent in American politics during this time period.


H4. I do support unions, to a certain extent. In the late 1800’s, workers began to unite to fight poor working conditions. Unions were created. These unions brought about many needed reforms such as limiting the workday, better wages and ending child labor. Groups such as the National Labor Union of the Knights of Labor brought about changes through non-violent strikes & peaceful negotiations. In today’s age, unions help negotiate decent wages and good benefit packages.

However, sometimes unions just make things worse. In the late 1800’s, some of the strikes became violent. For example, the Knights of Labor Union at the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company went out on a strike, which ended in violence. This strike became known as the Haymarket Square Riot. It ended up injuring workers, policemen, and citizens. As more riots erupted during strikes, many Americans lost faith in unions. Nowadays, some unions have become so strong, they negotiate deals that end up putting the business in jeopardy.

In conclusion, I believe unions can work if the people and the company they work for can come to agreements that are fair to both parties.

Perfect paper. One of the best in the entire class all year. Score: 100/100. Congratulations.