1990’s to 2000’s and Today


Due: Sunday, December 6, 11:59pm
Points: 250 possible (marked by each section)
Format: Short answer/Essay
Timed?: No
Estimated Time: 2-3 hours. Plan accordingly.

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Answer the questions below in complete sentences, either by editing the attached document or by typing them into the text submission box on Canvas.

Please only upload files as .doc, .docx, or .pdf.

Plagiarism/Academic Dishonesty: All ideas typed below must be your own. Do not copy and paste ideas from textbooks or external sources (the latter of which you should not be using), and quote primary sources when referencing them. Any violation of this policy will be subject to a review by your instructor and, if necessary, review by the Office of Student Affairs, per the Tarleton Academic Conduct policy.

Pt. I: The 90s, 00s, and Today (100 pts)

In two full paragraphs (~300 words each, with a clear topic sentence and analytic treatment of individual primary sources), assess the following questions using the documents assigned for Weeks 14 and 15:

Based on the primary sources assigned, from the early 1990s through the election of Barack Obama in 2008, how did the politics and culture of the United States change? Be sure to consider social tensions, party politics (Republicans vs. Democrats), and America’s role in the broader world.

Consider your Famous Trial. What tensions in American society does it, specifically, show? Use at least one (if not more) quotes from the trial–found in the bullet points on the left, not just the essay on the trial itself–to reveal what values were on debate (beyond the facts of the case) in the trial.

Note that your answer, to receive full credit, must incorporate perspectives, including a short quote or a direct allusion to what the writer says, from the following:

Four of the 5 assigned, bullet-pointed primary sources from weeks 13-14 (Contract with America, Clinton on Deregulation, Bowling Alone, Bush’s 2002 State of the Union, Obama’s 2009 Inaugural)
Examples from the two assigned source repositories — quotes (not the descriptive text of the website, but actual quotes from the trial and examples of Americans in the 9/11 Digital Archive) that you pull directly from a primary source (again, something that is a first-hand account of life in that era):
One of the Famous Trials (Ruby Ridge
(Links to an external site.)
, Simpson
(Links to an external site.)
, Clinton
(Links to an external site.)
, Shepard
(Links to an external site.)
) — using the bullet-point primary source documents found within the trial
At least one quote, document, or source from the 9/11 Digital Archive
(Links to an external site.)
Pt. II: American History, Thematically

Outline a course or exhibit on one aspect of U.S. history you find personally important — western expansion, women’s history, Native Americans, African Americans, organized labor and the working-class, party politics, war and society, or something else! You should have at least four separate “lessons” or “exhibits”, with

At least one primary source from class per “lesson” (again, primary sources are the bullet-pointed readings, expressing a perspective from the actual time of an event, NOT our textbook readings)
A “takeaway point” for each “lesson”, and
A final “summary paragraph” that encapsulates the entire exhibit or course.

This exhibit should cover at least 100 years of American history, draw on at least four primary sources, and conclude with a summation of the entire “exhibit”. The points graded draw heavily on how well the student develops a holistic exhibit connecting the sources, takeaways, and summary. View the rubric for the parts to be graded.

To view an example of what your work should include,

Pt. III: Reflection (50 pts)

In a paragraph of at least 150 words, reflect on the sources and historical topics you read for this class. How have the sources and discussions in this class challenged you to think about history in a new way? Your reflection can cover any topic you find personally relevant but should include at least one primary source or source repository–not your textbook–that you found relevant and engaging, along with how specifically you interacted with that document or resource.


For PART 1:Weeks 14-15 Reading
Week 14: Boom and Bust, Ross and Rachel: The 1990s to 9/11

Reading: American Yawp, Ch. 30
(Links to an external site.)

“The Republican ‘Contract with America,’” 1994 [OUP
(Links to an external site.)
“Bill Clinton on Free Trade and Financial Deregulation (1993-2000)” [AY
(Links to an external site.)

(Links to an external site.)
Putnam, “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital,” Journal of Democracy 6, no. 1 (1995): 65-78. [MUSE via TSU proxy
(Links to an external site.)
Famous Trials: The 1990s: Choose one of these four trials. Part of your final exam will involve explaining the trial and its significance to American history writ large:
Ruby Ridge (1993)
(Links to an external site.)
O.J. Simpson (1994)
(Links to an external site.)
Clinton Impeachment (1998)
(Links to an external site.)
Matthew Shepard (1999)
(Links to an external site.)
Week 15: From “the War on Terror” to “Hope and Change”: America since 9/11
September 11 Digital Archive [http://911digitalarchive.org/
(Links to an external site.)
“Text of President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Address” [WP
(Links to an external site.)
Barack Obama, “Inaugural Address,” January 21, 2009 [Obama WH
(Links to an external site.)


Ronald Reagan TV Ad: "Its morning in america again"
(Links to an external site.)

Minimize Video

Finally, go to the Week 13 Discussion and follow those directions.


Your groups and their assigned documents are found below:

Week 13 readings
African American History
Grandmaster Flash, “The Message” + lyrics
(Links to an external site.)
(Links to an external site.)
“Video of Rodney King Beaten by Police Released” [ABC News
(Links to an external site.)
“Los Angeles Riots”, CNN
(Links to an external site.)
Asian-American History
“Who Killed Vincent Chin?”
Part 1
(Links to an external site.)

Part 2
(Links to an external site.)
Xeng X. Yang Oral History [MNHS
(Links to an external site.)
Latinx History
Cesar Chavez, “Commonwealth Club Address,” 1984 [UCSD
(Links to an external site.)
Interview with Maria Dolores Cruz, Wisconsin Historical Society [Somos Latinas project
(Links to an external site.)
Women and Gender
“Statement on the Equal Rights Amendment”, pp. 1-4 [HathiTrust
(Links to an external site.)
Oral history, Minnesota Lt. Gov. Marlene Johnson [transcript/interview
(Links to an external site.)
] – this document subject to change!
LGBTQ Community:
“Early AIDS Patients Recount Their Experiences with the Disease” [History Matters
(Links to an external site.)
“AIDS is Everyone’s Problem”
(Links to an external site.)
Family Farmers
John Mellencamp, “Rain on the Scarecrow”
John Mellencamp – Rain On The Scarecrow
(Links to an external site.)
Wisconsin Farm Unity Alliance, “National Rural Crisis Action,” c. 1987 [Google Drive
(Links to an external site.)



Example For PArt II on what it should look like:
Stage 1: Native American agriculture (pre-1600)
Legend of the Three Sisters
(Links to an external site.)
: “The little sister in green, now quite grown up, was helping to keep the dinner pot full. The sister in yellow sat on the shelf drying herself, for she planned to fill the dinner pot later. The third sister joined them, ready to grind meal for the Native boy. And the three were never separated again.”

Takeaway: Native Americans had a religious understanding of agriculture that included the “Three Sisters” and led them to rotate crops while tying the harvest into the spiritual success of the family.

Stage 2: Early Colonial Contact (1600s)
Bradford account of the first Thanksgiving
(Links to an external site.)
, 1621: “They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion… And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion.”

Takeaway: Early English settlers followed the example of Native Americans, observing how their diverse agricultural and hunting practices allowed for better health and food security. Following the First Thanksgiving, many adopted their planting methods and began to grow corn and other Native crops.

Stage 3: Colonial Market Economy (1700s)
Sarah Knight, 1704
(Links to an external site.)
: “They give the title of merchant to every trader, who rate their goods according to the time and specie they pay in: for example, pay, money, pay as money, and trusting. Pay is grain, pork, beef, etc at the prices set by the general court that year; money is pieces of eight, reals, or Boston or Bay shillings (as they call them) or good hard money, as sometimes silver coin is termed by them; also wampum Indian beads which serve for change.”
Eliza Lucas, 1740
(Links to an external site.)
: “I make no doubt indigo will prove a very valuable commodity in time if we could have the seed from the West Indies time enough to plant the latter end of March, that the seed might be dry enough to gather before our frost.”

Takeaway: Colonial markets developed that both created a market economy based around trade for consumer goods and supported the growth of a cotton-, rice-, and indigo-based economy in the South that led to the rise of slavery.

Stage 4: Family Farming (Early 1800s)
Land Ordinance of 1785
(Links to an external site.)
: The U.S. government ordered surveyors to divide up land in the Old Northwest into 6×6-mile grids to support the orderly expansion of small family farmers into the West.
Basil Hall on the Erie Canal, 1829
(Links to an external site.)
: “The chief source of the commercial and agricultural prosperity of Rochester is the Erie canal, as that village is made the emporium of the rich agricultural districts bordering on the Genesee river; and its capitalists both send out and import a vast quantity of wheat, flour, beef, and pork, pot and pearl ashes, whiskey, and so on. In return for these articles, Rochester supplies the adjacent country with all kinds of manufactured goods, which are carried up by the canal from New York. In proportion as the soil is brought into cultivation, or subdued, to use the local phrase, the consumers will become more numerous, and their means more extensive.”

Takeaway: The U.S. government organized un-farmed lands in the west and supported orderly westward expansion using roads and canals to help develop the interior of the United States; by the 1830s they had succeeded in moving tens of thousands of people west beyond the Appalachian Mountains into new states from Ohio to Iowa.

Stage 5: The Homestead Act (1862)
Free Homes in Minnesota, 1862
(Links to an external site.)
: “Under the Homestead Law recently passed by Congress, Minnesota offers to free settlement a much larger area of public lands, and better adapted to successful agriculture in soil, climate and situation relatively to the great avenues of inland commerce, than any other Western State.”

Takeaway: During the Civil War, the Republican-controlled federal government passed the Homestead Act to permanently encourage small family farming in Western lands like Minnesota, which were guaranteed by locals to be wildly profitable for farmers.

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