The US Expands its Reach, 1890s to 1920s

2nd Discussion Essay Prompt- “The U.S. Expands its Reach, 1890s to the 1920s”

Analysis of one primary source from Schaller’s ch. 19 and one major film theme from our film “To Conquer or Redeem: Manifest Destiny,” Acts I and III

You’ve read all of your required readings from Schaller, American Horizons, chapter 19-20, our primary sources at the end of chapter, and are our articles listed on our syllabus:

Your primary sources- read all and focus your analysis on one of the following:

*19.2 Andrew Carnegie, Excerpt, “Distant Possessions (1898) and Albert

Beveridge, Excerpt, “The March of the Flag (1898)

*19.3 Richmond Planet and Wisconsin Weekly Advocate, Excerpts from Letters

from African American Soldiers in the Philippines” (1899; 1900)

*“The Roosevelt Corollary,” 1904 (primary source in Canvas)

*“The Platt Amendment,”1901 (primary source in Canvas)

These are very important required readings (in addition to our text) that provide important historical context and are important for your analysis of your primary sources and film:

*Contreras, U.S. Policy Toward Latin America Since the end of the Nineteenth Century, pp. 1-21 (in Canvas),

*Contreras, The Monroe Doctrine, up to p. 4 (in Canvas)

*Schaller’s “Global Passages” pp. 760-761: “Fordlandia: Small Town America in the Amazon”

*Kinzer, Overthrow, ch. 1, “A Hell of a Time at the Palace” (US & Hawaii) and

  1. 2, “Bound for Goo Goo Land” (US & Cuba and Philippines)

ch 3, “From a Whorehouse to a White House” (US&Nicaragua, Panama)

  1. 4 “A Break in the History of the World (US & Caribbean, Philippines, 1920s)

You’ve also seen and taken notes on the following very important films in Blackboard-these important historical context:

“The Splendid Little War”

“‘Spoils’ of Spanish American War Extend Beyond Caribbean”

“The Diplomacy of Imperialism”

“Business Interests Push US Involvement Overseas”

“The Panama Canal”

*“To Conquer or Redeem: Manifest Destiny” (all parts, to the end, 1:29:00)

Now, for your two-part discussion board essay: after having carefully read all of the primary sources, choose ONE primary source from those listed above as well as ONE major theme from film “To Conquer or Redeem: Manifest Destiny,” Acts I and III to analyze. You will be placing the primary source and the film into historical context, addressing the following questions about each primary source as well as discussing the importance of each primary source, as well as making connections to the rest of our readings and films on this topic. (each part of the essay is just as important and equally weighted)

Essay directions, Part I (Deep analysis of a primary source):

Write a well-developed and well-supported essay in which you analyze the importance of that primary source you chose (you’re carefully reading all of them and focusing your analysis on those listed above), and discuss the multiple ways that that document is important for the study of the United States and its relationship to the world during the latter part of the 19thcentury and the first decades of the 20th century.

First, provide us the historical context necessary to understand our primary source- situate it historically, telling us what is going on in the United States and abroad at the time the document is written. (Use our Schaller chapters, our articles and our films). Show that you’re making connections to our readings and the films that you’re viewing and taking notes on. Providing historical context is absolutely essential to this essay.

Next, tell us all about that primary source and everything that document tells us about that historic moment it deals with.

*Address all of the questions in the “Working With Sources” section in our text following each document. What are some of the strengths of this document? What are some limitations? What assumptions does it make? Does it have biases and/or peddle in stereotypes? If so, explain that.

Lastly, discuss all of the ways that that primary source is important for our understanding of the United States and its relationship to the world during the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century (up to the 1920s).

[About three well developed paragraphs with specific examples for this part of the essay]

Essay directions, Part II (Deep analysis of “To Conquer or Redeem”): After you’ve seen and taken notes on all of our films on this important topic, choose one major theme from “To Conquer or Redeem: Manifest Destiny” Acts I and III and discuss in detail all of the ways this film is important to our understanding of the United States and its relationship to the world, especially to the U.S.-Latin America relationship, during the latter part of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century.

*”Manifest Destiny: to Conquer or Redeem”: Act I (especially this section, or Act III)

  1. a) The role of violence
  2. b) Frederick Jackson Turner’s “Frontier Thesis”
  3. c) 1893 Economic Collapse
  4. d) The navy and U.S. power
  5. e) The role of the U.S. media
  6. f) Cuba, a canal and coaling stations
  7. g) The U.S. and the Philippines

Act II “An Empire of Liberty”

  1. a) Manifest Destiny
  2. b) the U.S. acquisition of the Mexican territories that are now the U.S. southwest (California, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona…)
  3. c) how policymakers rationalize acquiring the territories of others

*”Manifest Destiny: to Conquer or Redeem”, Act III, “Benevolent Assimilation”(especially this section or Act I)

  1. a) Race and U.S. economic expansion
  2. b) US and Cuba and the Platt Amendment
  3. c) 1898
  4. d) The US and the Philippines
  5. e) Ideology: Christianity
  6. f) Ideology: “Benevolent Assimilation”
  7. g) What does “Benevolent Assimilation” mean for the Filipinos? Consequences?
  8. h) U.S. “Informal Empire”, U.S. Hegemony

(At least two well developed paragraphs with specific examples for this part of your essay )

Be sure to bring in material from Schaller’s chapters 19-20, our important articles “The United States and Latin America” and “The Monroe Doctrine”, and our films on this topic to develop this part of your essay.

LENGTH: Total length of the entire essay should be at about five well developed and well argued paragraphs (900-1200 words)

Citing evidence: Because we are all reading the same documents from the same books, when citing a document you can just give us the title of the document and then the page number in parenthesis. When bringing in a quote from Schaller, you can simply cite it as: (Schaller, p. 744), for example. When bringing in a quote from one of our required films, you can simply cite it as: (“To Conquer or Redeem: Manifest Destiny, Act III Benevolent Assimilation”), for example.

Write your essay in a word processing program so you can always have a copy. After you’ve proofread it and spell-checked it (this is formal writing- please no “text-ese” and capitalize when appropriate), select all of your text, “copy” it, then click “create thread” in the appropriate Discussion Board forum, paste your essay in there, and click “submit”. (Use a 12 pt font). Discussion Forums do not accept attachments so that everyone can read each other’s essays seamlessly without downloading files.

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