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Progressive Era through the Great Depression

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Write a four to five (4) page paper on the period from the Progressive Era through the Great Depression. Your paper should cover the following:

  1. Identify at least (2) two major historical turning points in the period under discussion.
  1. Analyze the impact of the two (2) or more major historical turning points selected on America’s current society, economy, politics, and culture.
  2. Speculate as to why women earned the right to vote in the frontier states of the West before eastern and southern states.
  3. Describe at least two (2) pieces of legislation in the Roosevelt–Taft–Wilson progressive era years that have influenced the conduct of business to this day and what that influence has been.
  4. Explain the role that the Spanish American War played in America’s development of an Empire.Spain, of course, was the first European country to send ships west across the ocean to establish colonies in the Western Hemisphere beginning in 1492. It continued to establish colonies all over the world, wherever and whenever possible. Spain’s empire at one point went from the tip of South America up to Virginia on the eastern coast of North America, including islands in the Caribbean Sea. The exception was the country of Brazil which belonged to Portugal. Spain’s territory went west to California, and included the Philippine Islands and numerous other islands in the Pacific.


Much of this huge flung out empire had been chipped away by other countries, or declared independent by the year 1825. Spain had only Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and a few islands in Micronesia. Within about 40 years, Cuba started its own fight for independence from Spain. From 1868 to 1878 the Cuban guerrilla fighters fought for the country’s independence. That fight ended with a treaty, but it was never really followed. Cubans soon began to fight for their freedom under Jose Marti, the leader of the struggle. He was killed in May of 1895, however, shortly after he made a call for the fighting to begin.


In the Philippines, in the late 1800’s there was considerable political unrest and people dedicated to the violent overthrow of the government. Though the Spanish authorities tried to squelch the instigators one by one, it really did not work.


In the 1880’s and 1890’s numerous political parties sprung up in Puerto Rico, some that wanted independence from Spain, others wanted to become a part of the United States. The United States had been interesting in acquiring Cuba for a very long time. Following the war there, Americans bought up large parts of the island to grow sugar. Trouble with the sugar tariffs made the investors caused trouble in the United States and in Cuba. Growing conflict caused Spanish troops to guard the island in February 1896. President Grover Cleveland said the U.S. might intervene if Spain did not end the trouble in Cuba since Cuba was so close and such a threat to the states. The ship U.S.S. Maine was sunk by a bomb on February 15, 1898 in Havana harbor. On April 21, President McKinley blockaded Cuba and four days later declared war against Spain.


The war did not really begin for the U.S. until the Marines landed 17,000 troops in Cuba, and captured Guantanamo Bay in June of 1898. The U.S. was “out manned” at first and had to call up volunteers to counter the Spanish and Cuban forces. The Spanish-American War on lasted until December 10, 1898 when a peace treaty was signed in Paris. It allowed for the independence of Cuba, Puerto Rico and Guam to the United States and let the U.S. purchase the Philippines for $20 million.


The United States has taken advantage of the Philippines and Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and Guam as Naval bases and especially during World War II, these were crucial to the war effort. Spain had little power in the world after the Spanish American War, but Cuba has been Communist and has been a source of problems over the years, especially in 1962 with the Cuban government building up arms from the U.S.S.R.

  1. Explain at least two (2) ways in which the boom and bust of the Roaring Twenties followed by the Great Depression affected the federal government’s involvement in the national economy.

Industrialization in the U.S. came about very quickly with the growth of industry and manufacturing. Right around the time of the Civil War, the U.S. was into manufacturing of textiles, finished garments, steel, and other things, but by the end of the 1800’s it had moved up to the largest industrial nation in the world. The Civil War, like all wars, spurred people to make profits, build things to sell to the government. After the War, the government was all “pro business” and the new technologies, such as the telephone, sewing machine, and light bulb created the desire for these items in every household, spurring more industry. Prosperity had reached America just short of the 1900’s.

  1. Include at least two (2) references (sources) other than the textbook. At least one (1) of your sources must be obtained from the collection of databases accessible from the Learning Resources Center Web page. Generic encyclopedic Internet resources such as Wikipedia or Answers.com will not be considered acceptable.

Student note: Points one (1) and two (2) above are separate from the rest of the assignment. The paper should follow guidelines for clear and effectively organized writing:


The paper is well organized, and every explanation is both complete and easy to understand.


Include an introductory paragraph and concluding paragraph for the paper.


Main ideas should be addressed in body paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting sentences.


Adhere to standard rules of English grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.


The paper should be checked for spelling and grammatical errors.

The format of the paper is to be as follows:

Typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman font (size 12), one-inch margins on all sides, APA format.

In addition to the four to five (4-5) pages assigned, a title page with the title of the assignment, your name, the instructor’s name, the course title, and the date is to be included, as well as a Reference Page.Sources documented using APA style for in-text citations and listed on the References Page using APA style format.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:


Recognize the major turning points in American history since the Civil War.


Analyze how historical events shape America’s current society, economy, politics, and culture.


Describe ways that women and minorities have responded to challenges and made contributions to American culture.


Recognize and discuss the ways that formal policies of government have influenced the direction of historical and social development in the United States.


Analyze the rise of the United States to a world “superpower” and how that status has shaped its internal developments in recent decades.


Identify how changes in social and economic conditions and technology can cause corresponding changes in the attitudes of the people and policies of the government.


Use technology and information resources to research issues in contemporary U.S. history.


Write clearly and concisely about contemporary U.S. history using proper writing mechanics.

Grading for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic/organization of the paper, and language and writing skills, using the following rubric.

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