February 9

Blog #142 – En-Gendering the Spanish American War

Throughout the year, we use different lens with which to analyze certain events – we can analyze events or people’s actions through an economic lens or a political lens or a social / cultural lens.  During our Reconstruction unit, we used a racial lens to look at how Reconstruction policies affected free Blacks.  Now, we turn to American imperialism and instead of analyzing American foreign policy, or our relationship with other nations, through a diplomatic lens or a commercial lens, we are using the lens of gender to explore the Spanish American War.  This angle was originally presented by historian Kristin Hoganson in 1998.  To help you answer the questions raised by this blog, you’ll need to have read the article, “En-Gendering the Spanish American War”.

The Image-Makers' Arsenal in an Age of War and Empire, 1898–1899: A Cartoon Essay, Featuring the Work of Charles Bartholomew (of the Minneapolis Journal) and Albert Wilbur Steele (of the Denver Post) |

The question that this gender lens attempts to ask is, is there another way of looking at the causes of the Spanish-American War?

First, some context for Teddy Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba during the war.  He was part of a generation of Americans who were raised on glorious tales of Civil War gallantry told by the veterans of the war.  His generation of men aspired to have their own fight where they could test their courage and honor, and the Spanish American War provided such a chance without the grizzly slaughter of four years of a civil war.  Also, TR’s father had not fought in the Civil War being too busy making money.  Furthermore, TR grew up as a very sickly, asthmatic child who was very fragile until he reinvented himself in his 20s out on the Great Plains in North Dakota raising cattle in the summers.  It’s likely he never thought that when he was a boy listening to stories of valor at Gettysburg would he get a chance to do the same thing and face an enemy with bullets flying at him.  Lastly, when the war started, TR resigned his post in the McKinley administration as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to form his own militia unit for the war which was dubbed by the press, “the Rough Riders” but he called this militia unit the Children of the Dragon’s Blood.  TR would also later go on to defend what he would call “the strenuous life” which included playing manly sports, continual exertion, challenging nature through hunting and exploration, cleaning up corruption, busting trusts, and waving the ultimate symbol of his manhood, his “big stick” in the international arena.

So why did America come to the defense of the Cubans in 1898? The article lists the following possible reasons:

  • commercial rewards of empire
  • an extension of a global Manifest Destiny
  • a quest for naval bases
  • humanitarian concerns for the Cubans
  • a chance to enact some Christian “uplift”
  • glory
  • revenge for the destruction of the Maine
  • motivated by yellow journalism

The World from New York, New York on March 9, 1898 · Page 1

But the article proposed another cause – a crisis of upper and middle class white manhood.  There seemed to be threats to traditional notions of manhood all around – the creature comforts of an industrial America were making men “soft” and “sluggish”; making money no matter what seemed to corrode the manly sense of honor and integrity; men lost their jobs, their self-respect, and their independence and vitality because of the Depression of 1893; but possibly most shocking was the rise of the “New Woman” who wanted the right to vote and participate in politics.  In this new era, women’s virtue was superior to men’s because look at all of the economic, social, and political problems that men’s “virtue” had caused from 1865-1898 that the Progressive Era would try to solve when it occurred a few years later.   I mean, let’s remember that women were leading the reformist charge during that era.

Let’s take a look at another cartoon from this time period.  Here’s a cartoon from Puck.

Amazon.com: Spanish-American War 1898 Namerican Cartoon By Louis Dalrymple From Puck 1898 Urging War With Spain To Save Cuba Poster Print by (18 x 24): Posters & Prints

The caption reads, “The duty of the hour – to save her not only from Spain but from a worse fate.”  After reading this article, I’d like you to interpret this cartoon through the gendered lens mentioned in the article.

Your job – answer the following questions:

  1. Do you agree with this gendered interpretation of the causes of the Spanish American War?  Why or why not?
  2. What is a strength of using this lens?  What is a weakness?  Explain.
  3. Interpret the cartoon above of the Cuban woman in a frying pan (or the one below of the Rough Riders) using the gender lens.   Describe in detail how you can use gender to interpret different aspects of the cartoon.

A minimum of 400 words total for all three answers.  Due by class on Friday, February 11.

Spanish American War Political Cartoon High Resolution Stock Photography and Images - Alamy

An article on how the Span-Am War led to American empire – https://www.bunkhistory.org/resources/1785

An analysis of the American / British alliance that grew out of the Span-Am War as shown in cartoons – https://visualizingcultures.mit.edu/civilization_and_barbarism/cb_essay02.html

April 23

Blog #96 – Imperialism Debate (1898)

Before, during, and after the Spanish-American War in 1898, Americans were debating whether or not America should go beyond its borders and become an imperial empire, much like the European countries had done during the 19th Century w/ Asia and Africa.  Below are the arguments for and against imperialism and some of its proponents and opponents.

For Imperialism

People for it: Assistant Secretary of the Navy Teddy Roosevelt, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Alfred T. Mahan, President William McKinley, Judge William Howard Taft, Admiral George Dewey, Reverend Josiah Strong, former Secretary of State William Seward, and Senator Albert Beveridge.

Arguments for imperialism:

  1. To give back the Philippines to Spain would be cowardly and dishonorable.
  2. To let other imperial powers have the Philippines was bad business and discreditable.
  3. Granting the Filipinos their independence was irresponsible because they are unfit to rule themselves.  They need America to civilize, uplift, and Christianize them.
  4. Imperialism is good for America.  It invigorates a nation and keeps it healthy.  A slothful nation will victim to those countries that maintain soldierly virtues.
  5. Annexation of the Philippines would put America into a position to dominate trade with China and the rest of Asia.
  6. We need the markets and raw materials now.  It doesn’t matter that the Philippines are non-contiguous.  We didn’t need the purchases and additional areas in the continental U.S., but look at us now!  We produce more than we can consume.
  7. Annexation would be so easy because we already control the islands.
  8. Filipinos don’t  have to become citizens of the U.S., we will treat them as dependents (like we do with the Native Americans).  The 14th Amendment won’t apply to them.
  9. Republicans favored annexation because it made the party look good after winning the war.

Against Imperialism

People against it: Author Mark Twain, former president Grover Cleveland, Speaker of the House Thomas “Czar” Reed, journalist Lincoln Steffens, Jane Addams, former Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, AFL chief Samuel Gompers, industrialist Andrew Carnegie, Harvard professor William James.

Arguments against imperialism

  1. Imperialism is immoral.  It repudiates our commitment to human freedom and liberty.  We instead think we know what is best for the Filipinos, and that is wrong.
  2. Nativists fear the pollution of the white American population with inferior Asian races, especially when they are allowed to move to the U.S.  Acquisition of the Philippines may require that they become citizens.
  3. Industrial workers feared the flood of additional cheap labor which would further undercut job opportunities.
  4. Imperialism puts us in the international stage of world politics and is a constant menace for war.  War carries off the physically and mentally fit and leaves behind the lesser fit.  It threatens our security, internally and externally.
  5. The “civilizing” mission some claim is really a cover for a desire to loot the colonies and their natural resources.  This misson is self-righteous and pretentious.
  6. We will inherit Spain’s task of suppressing the native peoples when they rebel.  They will NOT want our cultural ways.  We will end up like Spain – a shriveling power.
  7. Can’t we just trade without having to annex other territories?
  8. Imperialism would involve the need for a large standing army which would become a heavy tax burden.

The country chose imperialism, and the Senate voted for the Treaty of Paris, 1898, 57 to 27, one more vote needed for the 2/3 approval.

Your job:

Pretend you are a senator back in 1898 (yes, you have to do this even if you’re female – we’re time traveling, so you can pretend to be a different gender).  Pick a region of the country and a party (both parties were for expansion, especially Southern Democrats).  Which arguments hold more sway with you and why?  Explain.

300 words minimum.  Due Tuesday, April 25 by class. 

March 1

Blog #73 – Defending the Spanish American War

I would like to welcome guest columnist, former President and Rough Rider, Theodore Roosevelt.

I’d like to take this opportunity to address the next generation of future leaders who are enrolled in AP U.S. History, and remind them of their obligations towards this great nation we live in. We have to be men of action.  “The worst lesson that can be taught a man is to rely upon others and to whine over his sufferings.” 1  Sitting on our duff waiting for others to help or lead is practically a sin. “To sit home, read one’s favorite paper, and scoff at the misdeeds of the men who do things is easy, but it is markedly ineffective. It is what evil men count upon the good men’s doing.” 2   We must remember that we are the greatest nation, the greatest race on all the earth, and that “Greatness means strife for nation and man alike. A soft, easy life is not worth living, if it impairs the fibre of brain and heart and muscle. We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage… We are face to face with our destiny and we must meet it with a high and resolute courage. For us is the life of action, of strenuous performance of duty; let us live in the harness, striving mightily; let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.” 3   Keep these thoughts in mind when choosing a career, when facing your own destiny.  Don’t back down.  Grab it and never let it go.  

A few years ago, quite a few now, I must say, I was involved in fighting the Imperial Spanish Empire and freeing the Cuban people.  It was the greatest time of my life.  But the naysayers and the weak-willed looked upon America’s victory in 1898 as a betrayal of American values.  To them, I say, you are wrong.  “If we are to be a really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world.  We cannot avoid meeting great issues.  All that we can determine is whether we will meet them well or ill.  [In 1898] we could not help being brought face to face with the problem of the war with Spain.  All we could decide was whether we should shrink like cowards from the contest or enter into it as beseemed a brave and high-spirited people; and once in, whether failure or success should crown our banners.” 4  And as you can see, we had prevailed mightily as a people.  

As for the territories we have won, questions arise as to who will govern them.  “We cannot avoid the responsibilities that confront us in Hawaii, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines… I have scant patience with those who fear to undertake to govern the Philippines, and who openly avow that they do fear to undertake it or that they shrink from the expense and trouble of it.  But I have even scanter patience with those who make a pretense of humanitarianism to hide their timidity, and who care about “liberty” and “consent of the governed” in order to excuse themselves for their unwillingness to play the part of men…if we shrink from the hard contests where men must win at hazard of their lives and at risk of all they hold dear, then the bolder  and stronger peoples will pass us by and will win for themselves the domination of the world.” 5  

I hope that I have set the record straight with regards as to our entry into the arena of the world.  You may not agree with what was done but look at all that has been accomplished since this time.  Americans have not shrunk from their duty.  They have fought tyranny around the globe and won.  I am proud of what we have started.  


Your job:  Take a look at the Imperialism debate handout (on the back of the notes why we got into the Span-Am War + vocab), read over both sides of the debate, and respond to President Roosevelt’s brief address here as to whether you agree with him or not.  Please keep in mind the context of the time period (1899-1901).

Due Wednesday, March 4, by class.  300 words minimum.  


1. http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/images/research/speeches/trhnthopb.pdf

2. http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/images/research/treditorials/o151.pdf

3. Address at the opening of the gubernatorial campaign, New York City (October 5, 1898)

4. “Governor Roosevelt Praises the Manly Virtues of Imperialism, 1899” Major Problems in American History.

5. Ibid.

April 14

Blog #16 – The New Deal and its Legacy

The main thing that I want to address is the New Deal and its legacy – how Americans changed their views about government, from being laissez-faire about many things (including help during tough economic times to regulating businesses) to lending a helping hand and keeping big business under control/ intruding in private lives and hindering businesses


The reason I wrote this new outlook as two different things is b/c there has been a on-going fight ever since the New Deal began in 1933 (and probably even before that if you want to go back as far as the Progressive Era) as to how much power the federal, state and local governments should have.  Teddy Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson all increased the power of the federal government with their anti-trust lawsuits, union and worker protections, business regulations, progressive income tax, and political reforms.  Harding, Coolidge and to a much lesser extent Hoover (along with the Supreme Court at the time) worked to lessen the power of the federal government or return it back to the laissez-faire times of the late 19th Century.  As we know, Treasury Secretary Mellon decreased taxes on the rich, banks and stock market trading were unregulated, farmers floundered in an economic depression during the 1920s, and people had to rely on private charities, etc. for relief when they were hungry or out of work.  “Hoover’s belief in the power of volunteerism and reliance on the “wisdom of the market” simply didn’t work.”

Since the 1930s, there has been a constant struggle over how much control the government will have over businesses and wages with regulation, and how big the size of the social programs will be that are created to be used as a safety net for the poor. 

Starting with FDR’s New Deal programs that limited insider trading with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to the Fair Labor Standards Act which set a national minimum wage at 25 cents an hour, to the Wagner Act which for the first time ever in American history guaranteed union rights and created a commission to examine unfair labor practices, to the Social Security Act which created 1.) an old-age pension; 2.) unemployment insurance; 3.) disability insurance for those who can’t work, the size and scope of the American government ballooned like never before. 

Yet, FDR’s critics felt that either he wasn’t doing enough to help the poor (like Upton Sinclair, Huey Long, and others) or that the President was a traitor to his upbringing or upper class (literally the title of a book, Traitor to His Class by H.W. Brands) like the Liberty League.   Many of FDR’s strongest and most vocal critics have lately been champions of the free market or deregulation, laissez-faire business policies, cut taxes on the rich, and reducing or destroying the “American welfare state.”   They accuse FDR’s New Dealers as having Socialist ties or taking their inspiration from Soviet Russia (he had 2), and also opposed President Johnson’s expansion of the New Deal in his Great Society programs like Medicare, food stamps, the creation of PBS and NPR, Head Start education programs, and other government programs created in the 1960s. 


During the past 30 years or so, especially since the election of President Reagan, some New Deal and Great Society programs have been reduced or dismantled.   During the 1980 campaign, Reagan campaigned against big government and promised to reduce the size of it “Government is not the solution to the problem.  Government IS the problem”  – Reagan’s inaugural address, Jan. 20, 1981.   With the size of the government increasing, we were at risk of losing our liberties, something that former president Hoover warned about in his 1934 book, A Challenge to Liberty.  A quote from the book:

“We have to determine,” Hoover wrote with surprising heat, “whether under the pressure of the hour, we must cripple or abandon the heritage of liberty for some new philosophy which must mark the passing of freedom.”

Welfare was reduced by a Republican Congress and a centrist Democratic president, Bill Clinton in 1995.  President George W. Bush tried to privatize Social Security in 2005 by allowing younger workers to invest small portions in the stock market, but that idea was shot down.  And currently, the Republican House wants to cut funding for social welfare programs. 

On the other hand, President Obama and the 2010 Democratic Congress expanded the size and cost of the government dramatically by creating a health insurance program for all Americans who might need it (something President Clinton attempted in 1993 but failed).  Also, President Bush and the Republican Congress of 2005 expanded prescription drug coverage for seniors. 

 And, though President Reagan railed against the size of the government, he along with Congress added $3 trillion to the National Debt during his 2 terms in office, mainly from tax cuts for the wealthy and increased military spending. 

So, what gives?  Is this New Deal legacy just about Republicans vs. Democrats?  Or is it about who has the power in government?   When the government creates spending programs, sometimes these programs don’t just help out the poor and needy; they help out the middle-class and wealthy too (who soon become dependent on the government $$).   Maybe President Hoover was right about the government not giving handouts to anybody – people or businesses.  

And if government leaves businesses and banks alone in a free-market atmosphere, what keeps them from bankrupting the system like they did in 2008?   How can we trust businesses to be honest when we have seen a legacy of greed and corruption in the past few decades? 

My questions: Where is there a perfect balance between government taxing and spending and regulation?  Explain.  Is a perfect balance even possible?   Why or why not? 

250 words total.  Due Friday, April 15


Inequality in America: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph

Why is it so hard to raise taxes on the rich?  http://www.salon.com/news/politics/barack_obama/index.html?story=/politics/war_room/2011/04/14/obama_budget_income_inequality

The fight that just won’t die: http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/04/10/hoover_roosevelt_rapaport/index.html

March 3

Blog #13 – Kids Taking Over the Blog – Part 2

Pick one question from the following choices below and submit your answer by class on Monday, March 7.   Let’s shoot for 300 words minimum.  Dig deep! 


 1. During the suffragist movement, many women were arrested while demonstrating in front of the White House on charges of “obstructing traffic.”  Do you think that this charge legitimate? Why or why not?  Also, is it possible that by arresting these women that the government was violating their First Amendment rights (i.e. freedom of speech)? Why or why not?  – Ellen


2. Do you believe it was right for Roosevelt to take advantage of the revolution in Panama to get the Canal. Was it worth to help this country? Would you have done the same if you were in Roosevelt’s position?  Why or why not?  – Brendan


3. Consider the following scenario:  It is 2008; John McCain and Barack Obama are the two main party candidates and you can vote.  A Rooseveltian candidate created a third party with a platform similar yet more drastic than the one you had planned on supporting much like what had happened in 1912.  Who would you vote for?  Why?  – Saul


4. Today, there is a little known world-wide company called Unilever. Unilever is a British/Dutch company that owns most of the world’s home, beauty and food brands. They control more than 400 brands and millions of popular products like Axe deodorent, Dove soap, Pond’s cold cream, Suave shampoo, Vaseline petroleum jelly, Signal toothpaste, Surf laundry soap, Slim Fast weight loss foods, Lipton tea, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Breyers ice cream, and Country Crock margarine. With all this success they take advantage, just like the monopolies and trusts that Teddy Roosevelt busted. They have been proven to use child labor, (what we would consider) racist ad campaigns in foreign countries, degrading ad campaigns in America and animal testing. They have been accused ounilverf being a monopoly multiple times but have also been defended because they have “competitors” like Procter and Gamble and Nestle.

Do you think Unilever is a monopoly? Why or why not?

Do you think it is dangerous to have this big of a company with this many popular products? Why or why not?

Supposing Unilever is a monopoly, what can we do to fix it today? Explain.  – Riley


5. Woodrow Wilson’s campaign slogan in 1916 was “He kept us out of war.” However, less than half a year after he was elected on this mantra, Wilson asked Congress to declare war, and on April 6, 1917, they obliged. Although he didn’t want to, Wilson broke his campaign promise, similar to many politicians today. What could Wilson have done differently so that the United States wasn’t forced into war?

 – Also, do you think that modern-day politicians make promises just to get elected, knowing that they will break them later on? Or do they whole-heartedly support these causes and are prevented from following their planned course of action as Wilson was? Are both plausible or is there an additional explanation?  Please explain.  – Andrew


6. During the Gilded Age, powerful men dominated American business. They built huge companies and helped the society with its outcome. Carnegie’s Steel Company was created in 1870 and soon became the one of the largest and most profitable industrial enterprises in the world.  The company was sold in 1901 to J.P Morgan for $480 millions. Did these decisions change our society as we know it?  If you could be any important figure at the time, what would you have changed ? Would you have done more or less than what the person originally had done?  Why?  – Ophelie


7. If you were a Cuban during the Spanish-American war, would you have trusted America’s motives?  Why or why not?  How would you have reacted to the Platt and Teller Amendments?  Explain. – Philip


8.   As we have all seen in the news lately there are many protests and revolts in Middle Eastern countries. Egypt just successfully overthrew its leader Hosni Mubarak. There are now protests in Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, and the ongoing struggle in Israel. The U.S. has been very active in this area of the world, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. But we did this to take out Al-Qaeda and others “terrorists”. This new development of people over throwing their governments is very different than American imperialism.   Americans believe that we should have the right to over throw our own government if it becomes tyranical – it’s written into the Declaration of Independence.Picture1


Do you believe that we should help these rebels to overthrow their oppressive governments, or should we leave them alone and see what happens?  Why or why not?  Or is there a different approach? – Sam


There are a ton of great links on the North

Newsweek’s “Why Americans Love Revolutions” – http://www.newsweek.com/2011/02/27/un-american-revolutions.html#


9. Do you agree with TR’s assessment of Taft when TR said that Taft was a status quo president who went along with what Congress said?  Why or why not?  Also, do you agree with TR running for a 3rd term to spite Taft even if they both lost?  Why or why not?  – Dorian


10. For a long time, the iPhone was only available on AT&T, raking in massive fortunes for both companies.  Many phones are only available on certain networks, many clothing brands are only available at certain stores–do these arrangements/exclusive rights resemble trusts?   Why or why not?  Should any product be able to be sold by any company to prevent this?  Or if a company invented a popular product, do you think that company should at least be able to sell the product for a few years without competition?  Why or why not?  – Calvin



11.  Back during the Imperialism era and even today, most of the important decisions that occur in the United States, are debated in Congress. 

Even though we [citizens] think we have a say in what goes on in Washington, many times, the final decision is made by politicians.  In many cases during imperialism in America, such as when the U.S. liberated Cuba of Spanish rule, and when the Philippines were liberated, do you think that there should be a vote to invade or not and the flat results are the one and only deciding factor whether to invade or not?  Also, do you feel like there should be a system in place, today, where the people have more say on issues in Congress?  Please explain.  – Brad


12.  Do you think the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 where necessary during America’s first major war since 1865 or were they pointless breaches of 1st Amendment rights?  Why?  Could there have been a middle ground somewhere?  If so, what?  If not, why not?   – Michael


13.  If you lived back before the passage of the 19th Amendment, would you ever become a women suffaragist? If so, why? If not, why?   Also, what organization (National Woman’s Party, or NAWSA) would you join and why?  – Cierra

uss maine

This really isn't a photo but a photo of a drawing.

14.  What do you think was the real reason that America went to war in 1898 with the Spanish?  Was it either a general desire for war (to avenge the bombing of the Maine)?   Were there humanitarian reasons?   “Large Policy” or “Formal” Imperialism?  Or was it to expand and meet our economic needs?  Choose one of the four and explain why. – Devon


15.   Why do you think the American people were so against America’s involvement in the Great War in 1917?   If you were alive back then, would you have been against it?  Why or why not?  – Drew H.


16.  Who are some examples of women activists in today’s society?   Have we (women) truly acheived equality after all these years?  Why or why not?  – Emily


17.  Compare the labor riots of 1919-1920 in America and the riots / protests occurring in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia going on today and how the government responded to both.  Why did both the Middle Easterners and laborers rebel against conditions and treatment?  – Lenny


18.  Though President Wilson was quite the “timid” pacifist, he often went over senators’ heads to ask for the opinion of the sovereign people.  Why do you think he did this repeatedly?  Do you think going over the senators’ heads contributed to his fall from grace in Paris and during the League of Nations rallies?  Explain.  – Erin


19. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, and Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.  Can you name 2 other inventors whose inventions have greatly impacted life in America?    Please name both inventors, what he/she had invented, and how it has impacted America.  – Brittany

February 15

Blog #12 – 1st Rotation – APUSH students take over the blog!


This is a fake picture, but I still thought it was pretty cool.

Please choose one of the following questions to answer for your blog.  These questions come from your colleagues, so enjoy. 

1. Do you feel that Theodore Roosevelt’s plan of consumer protection is American or anti-American? Teddy passed various laws such as the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. The government took on a new role, becoming more involved in people’s lives. But does more government ‘interference’, as some would call it (others have called it socialism!), represent American values? Would you have done anything differently?  – Fred A.


2. Muckrakers played in big role in politics when they began to write in the early 1900s.  Today, journalists also find sources of corruption and abuse to publicize – 60 Minutes, Dateline, regular newspapers and magazines + bloggers.  Identify sources of muckraking today and compare reactions and effects of the writing with the previous generation of muckrakers.

– Also, TR did not like the muckrakers because he felt that they just talked trash and didn’t make any suggestions or try to help fix things and were just critical and negative. Do you believe that today’s muckrakers are just a negative source like TR did or do they do a good job of exposing corruption and abuses?  – Eleanor C.


3. Nike is like Standard Oil in how they monopolize the shoe and clothing  industry. But Nike is also like any other type of monopolistic business in the Progressive Era. Nike pays young kids in Asia to do very hard labor for very low wagesjust do it. It is much like how things used to be here.  Do you belive it is ethical what Nike is doing to young kids in Asia? Why or why not?  – Declan G.


4. Do you think that the reasons America began imperializing overseas in the 1890s (new markets, manifest destiny, naval power, and Anglo-Saxon superiority) are legitimate reasons to expand?  Why or why not?   If not, why do you think more people weren’t protesting America’s imperialist policies?  – Claire F.


5.  If you were going to cast a movie about the late 1800s business tycoons like Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan, who would you cast and why?  – Patrice B.andrew_carnegie

6.  Compare our federal government today to the federal government during the progressive era.  Do you feel the (federal) government should be more or less involved in social issues such as the Headstart Plan* and environmental regulations**?  If more, what else do you suggest the government do? If less, what do you suggest the government not do?  – Lucy B.

*A simple summary of the Headstart Plan can be found by clicking the link.

**There have been environmental regulations proposed such as the US federal government forcing every citizen to have only fluorescent lightbulbs in their homes in two years (fluorescent lightbulbs, the ones with mercury in them, conserve energy, but are a health and environmental risk)

7. Teddy Roosevelt had a strong sense of conserving the environment for future generations before he became president and enacted laws during his tenure.  Today, when we talk about saving the environment, people mention global warming and debate whether or not it’s a hoax.  It seems to me that this debate just distracts from the overall point that we could be doing more, like TR, to help conserve natural resources since as Americans, we consume more energy and stuff, per capita, than other people in the world.  What can we do to help make the planet a better place to live in?  – Elizabeth B.


8. James Cameron’s Avatar was a tremendous hit last year, but it also had amazing plot similarities to the 1990 Western, Dances With Wolves.  Both are sagas about Americans imperializing another land and shoving people off of it, regardless of the consequences to the native (Navi) people.   If you’ve seen either movie, can you view either one as a critique of American imperialism?  Why or why not?  – David B.avatar-dances

9. If you could go back in time and decide whether America would go to war against the Spanish in 1898, would you?  Why or why not? Please explain.  – Raven G.

10.  Imperialism is a form of government that Americans shunned. We have stood and fought against it in World Wars 1 and 2, yet we are imperialists ourselves and are dependent on other countries for our personal comfort and economy. Would you be true to America’s democratic roots and fight imperialism?  Or would you be an imperialist that  conquers and controls other countries? Why do you believe so?  – Braxton A.


 11. After the Spanish American War, America liberated the Philippines from Spain, but didn’t grant them independence.  If you had to decide back then, would you rather see America as a laid-back nation that watched over the world, or would it be better to become an active world power, helping other nations (which sometimes came under the banner of imperialism)?  Why? – Larry G.


12. What do you think the implications of the US foreign policy are now that Egypt’s old president, Hosni Mubarek, is out of office?  Remember that Egypt has control of 5% of the flow of oil through the Suez Canal and because we are allies w/ Egypt.  – Kaylee B. Banner seen in Egypt recently.

13.  What business/society problems are around today that muckrakers would or should attack?   How would they attack them- would it be through articles still? What results might these exposes bring?  Explain.  – Lizzie D.

 14.  In the last half century, the US has entered many countries under the mission of “spreading democracy”.  Do you think this is a form of imperialism and is it fair for us to force our values on other countries?  Why or why not?  – Cameron

15.   In 1960 during the height of the Cold War, the United States placed a partial embargo on newly-communist Cuba.  Then, after the Cuban Missile Crisis in the fall of 1962, President Kennedy enacted a travel ban to Cuba for US citizens. The ban, currently the world’s longest-standing embargo, still allows us to export goods to Cuba, but we can’t get bring anything back.  Since the Cold War is over and Castro is almost dead, should the US lift the embargo with Cuba?  Why or why not?  – Evan D.What is "the irresponsible vote"?  Is that kinda like the voters who call in on American Idol?


16. The Women’s Suffrage movement took a long time to impact national laws to get women the right to vote.  Do you think if this would have taken place in current times that the suffrage amendment would have been easier or harder to pass?   Would current events overpower the suffrage movement or would the Women’s Suffrage movement be at the top of the list?  Why?  – Stephanie D.

From Britain's The Daily Mirror in 1904

From Britain's The Daily Mirror in 1904

17.  How do you think American life would be different if President McKinley hadn’t been shot in 1901? Would Teddy Roosevelt ever have become president? Would we still have national parks?  Explain.  – Katie D.

18.  What are some of the problems of our progressive income tax (where the rich pay a higher tax rate than the middle class or poor)?   Do they outweigh the benefits?  Why or why not?  – Ben C.


19. There were three main candidates during the election of 1912: Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and William H. Taft. Each president had many views and approaches to the United States problems. Some were different from one another, and some were shared by two or all three. If you lived back in 1912 and were eligible to vote, which candidate would you have chosen and why?  – Erick D.

20. Why would U.S. companies outsource jobs back in the early 1900s and now if so many people here need jobs here?  – Alex C.how-theyre-acting

21. If Teddy Roosevelt was magically transported to the present day, what do you think his opinions would be of today’s politics, policies, and the wars in Iraq and Afganistan?  Why?  – Rachel G.

Blog #12 is due Monday, February 28 before class.

250 words minimum.

January 31

FYI – Note cards and big questions

Ch. 28 – The Progressive Era (pgs. 656-678)


Elkins Act of 1903/ Hepburn Act of 1906                                       Gifford Pinchot

Initiative / referendum / recall                         17th Amendment                                  Robert LaFollette                 William H. Taft

Florence Kelley                                                    Muller v. Oregon (1908)                    Square Deal                          Northern Securities case


Big Questions

–          How did women impact the progressive movement?  

–          How did TR exemplify the Square Deal while dealing with the coal strike of 1902 (665-6)?

–          How did TR differentiate between good and bad trusts?

–          Why did TR’s opponents call the Panic of 1907 the “Roosevelt Panic”?  How did it actually benefit the nation in the long run?

–          What were some of TR’s more important contributions (674-675)?

–          How did some of Taft’s initiatives tend to backfire on him (Payne-Aldrich Bill, trust busting, conservation)? 


Ch. 29 – Wilson’s Progressive Era (pgs. 679-685)

Woodrow Wilson                                                 New Freedom                                       New Nationalism

Underwood Tariff Act                                         Federal Reserve Act of 1913             Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914

Clayton Anti-Trust Act of 1914                         


Big Questions

–          How do New Freedom and New Nationalism differ and how are they similar? 

–          What was Wilson’s personality like and how did he differ from TR?

–          How else did Wilson attack the “triple wall of privilege” and defend the working class (p. 685)?

Due on the day we take the Free Response Essay Test – Friday?  / Monday?