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Assignment 1:  Dealing with Diversity in America from Reconstruction through the 1920s
nDue in Week 3 and worth 120 points
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After the Civil War, the United States had to recover from war, handle western expansion, and grapple with very new economic forms. However, its greatest issues would revolve around the legacies of slavery and increasing diversity in the decades after the Civil War. In the South, former slaves now had freedom and new opportunities but, despite the Reconstruction period, faced old prejudices and rapidly forming new barriers. Immigrants from Europe and Asia came in large numbers but then faced political and social restrictions. Women continued to seek rights. Yet, on the whole, America became increasingly diverse by the 1920s. Consider developments, policies, and laws in that period from 1865 to the 1920s. Examine the statement below and drawing from provided sources, present a paper with specific examples and arguments to demonstrate the validity of your position.

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Statement—in which you can take a pro or con position:

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  • Political policies and movements in the period from 1865 to the 1920s generally promoted diversity and “the melting pot” despite the strong prejudices of a few. (or you can take the position that they did not).  Use specific examples of policies or movements from different decades to support your position.  
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After giving general consideration to your readings so far and any general research, select one of the positions above as your position—your thesis. (Sometimes after doing more thorough research, you might choose the reverse position. This happens with critical thinking and inquiry. Your final paper might end up taking a different position than you originally envisioned.) Organize your paper as follows, handling these issues:  

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  1. The position you choose —or something close to it—will be the thesis statement in your opening paragraph.
  2. To support your position, use three (3) specific examples from different decades between 1865 and 1930. You may narrowly focus on race or gender or immigrant status, or you may use examples relevant to all categories.
  3. Explain why the opposing view is weak in comparison to yours.
  4. Consider your life today: In what way does the history you have shown shape or impact issues in your workplace or desired profession?
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Length: The paper should be 500-to-750 words in length. 

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Research and References: You must use a MINIMUM of three sources; the Schultz textbook must be one of them. Your other two sources should be drawn from the list provided below. This is guided research, not open-ended Googling. 

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Source list for Assignment 1: Some sources are “primary” sources from the time period being studied. Some sources below can be accessed via direct link or through the primary sources links on Blackboard. Each week has a different list of primary sources. For others, they are accessible through the permalink to the source in our online library:  Sources below having libdatab.strayer.edu as part of the URL have a permalink to that source in our university’s online library. 

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SWS Form for the textbook: Kevin M. Schultz. 2018. HIST: Volume 2: U.S. History since 1865.  5th ed.

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Choose sources relevant to the topic and position you are taking:

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Y. Abu-Laban & V. Lamont. 1997. Crossing borders: Interdisciplinary, Immigration and the Melting Pot in the American Cultural Imaginary.  http://libdatab.strayer.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=392542&site=eds-live&scope=site

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Black Testimony on the Aftermath of Enslavement. 1866. Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction. http://college.cengage.com/history/wadsworth_9781133309888/unprotected/ps/black_testimony.htm 

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Chinese Exclusion Act. 1882. http://college.cengage.com/history/wadsworth_9781133309888/unprotected/ps/chinese_exclusion_act.htm

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Civil War Journeys. n.d. The Lost Cause. http://civil-war-journeys.org/the_lost_cause.htm

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J. C. Bancroft Davis. 1896. Plessy vs. Ferguson. http://college.cengage.com/history/wadsworth_9781133309888/unprotected/ps/plessy_ferguson_1896.htm 

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Fitzgerald, M. W. January, 2018. Terrorism and Racial Coexistence in Alabama’s Reconstruction.  http://libdatab.strayer.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edb&AN=127269628&site=eds-live&scope=site  

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G. M. Foster. Feb. 24, 2002. The Lost Cause. http://www.civilwarhome.com/lostcause.html 

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S. S. Harjo. 1996. Now and Then: Native Peoples in the United States. http://libdatab.strayer.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eue&AN=507507152&site=eds-live&scope=site 

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J. Meacham. 2017. Our Historical Ambivalence about Immigrants is a Great American Paradox. http://libdatab.strayer.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edb&AN=121093561&site=eds-live&scope=site  

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Mississippi Black Code. n.d. http://chnm.gmu.edu/courses/122/recon/code.html 

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W. G. Moody. 1883. Bonanza Farming and Its Impact.  http://college.cengage.com/history/wadsworth_9781133309888/unprotected/ps/bonanza_farming_impact.htm 

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Katy Morris. March, 2017. “More reputation than she deserves”. Remembering Suffrage in Wyoming. http://libdatab.strayer.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=120948598&site=eds-live&scope=site

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E. F. Parsons. Feb., 2011. Klan Skepticism and Denial in Reconstruction-Era Public Discourse. http://libdatab.strayer.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=57671212&site=eds-live&scope=site

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Populist Party Platform. 1896. http://college.cengage.com/history/wadsworth_9781133309888/unprotected/ps/populist_partyplatform_1896.htm 

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Kevin M. Schultz. 2018. HIST: Volume 2: U.S. History since 1865.  5th ed.

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Upton Sinclair. 1906. Attack on the Meatpackers. http://college.cengage.com/history/wadsworth_9781133309888/unprotected/ps/attack_meatpackers.htm

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J. D. Zahniser. Dec., 2015.  “How long must we wait?” Alice Paul Wanted Action on Votes for Women. http://libdatab.strayer.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=109513499&site=eds-live&scope=site

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Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

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  • This course requires use of new Strayer Writing Standards (SWS). The format is different than other Strayer University courses. Please take a moment to review the SWS documentation for details.
  • Be typed, double spaced between lines, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow SWS format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the Sources page are not included in the required assignment page length.
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The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

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  • Identify and discuss the different ways that the heritage of slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and segregation have shaped America’s history.
  • Specify ways that women and minorities have responded to challenges and made contributions to American culture.
  • Summarize and discuss the ways that formal policies of government have influenced the direction of historical and social development in the United States.
  • Recognize the major turning points in American history since the Civil War.
  • 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.
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