US History 20th Century

There are two parts for this assignment, please read through it before sending handshake.


Part One


Choose two questions from below, 600-800 words each.


1.        Using the lecture, powerpoint, and assigned readings, please detail the key contextual elements of the Progressive Era.  What were the key changes happening in the United States that led to conflict and the need for reform?  What changes in society, the economy, and politics defined this era?



2.        The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire      

For this discussion I am asking you to use the materials contained in the Cornell Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire collection:



          i.            What caused the fire, who was killed, and what was the reaction in New York City, New York State, and nationally?  What were the results of the fire in terms of labor organization and politics?  Was justice served; why/why not?


        ii.            How does the fire as a specific case illustrate the broader themes of the Progressive Era?


       iii.            Take one of the oral history interviews and summarize it for us–point out details that help us understand who was affected by this fire–who were the workers, why were they doing this work, how did the fire impact their lives?


3.        Muckrakers and Settlement Houses       

          i.            What was Jacob Riis looking to accomplish in his work–what were his main arguments?  How did he use images as tools to shape public opinion?


        ii.            What was Upton Sinclair looking to accomplish–what details in his fiction are most effective in describing immigrant life?


       iii.            What was Jane Addams looking to accomplish?  How were her methods unique, and what was her impact?





4.        The Progressive Party  

After you have read the 1912 Progressive Party platform, and listened to the audio lecture, please answer these questions:


          i.            What were the key planks of the 1912 Progressive Party platform?


        ii.            Choose one of the key themes/ideas of the platform, and please provide historical background to help us understand where thise concern comes from, and what policies were drafted to address this concern.


Part Two

 You will need to read the article and also listen the audio recording.


Use the article links below as your prompts–many questions were raised in the discussion (the audio file)–use some or all of those to structure a 1-2 page (250-500 word) response.




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