Final Exam Essay History 2


The struggle for equal rights has been a dominant theme in this course. From the end of Reconstruction to recent Supreme Court decisions, Americans have struggled to balance the rights of women and minorities against concepts such as State’s Rights, privacy, and individual and religious freedom.

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Using research and content knowledge, write an essay in which you trace the course of one of these:

The African American Civil Rights Movement


The Women’s Movement

in the period from 1877 to the present. Make sure to present both the arguments of supporters and of those who opposed these movements and cite any evidence you use in the form of footnotes.

Note: you do need to look at both sides of the issue you choose. That is, you can’t just say “racists resisted this” (or whatever). You have to explain what the opposition’s arguments were, and at least try to understand where they were coming from or why they thought what they did. I know these are issues where it may be very difficult to see both sides, but as historians, it is important that we try. If you don’t think you can, choose a different topic.

Please note, you are not to write about all of these movements, you should pick one of them and write 3 pages about it.

Your essay should be typed, double-spaced, with 12-point Times News Roman font, normal (default margins). You essay should be 3 pages in length, not counting the works cited page. Be sure you adhere to the Written Assignment Guidelines, and take care to cite all of your information, not just direct quotes, in footnotes.


You will be assessed on the following:

Written Communication Skills: This component includes your ability to write clearly and cogently in order to make a compelling, readable case. 50%

Critical Thinking: This component includes your ability to present and weigh arguments, to consider historical evidence, and to engage critically with your sources. 30%

Social and Personal Responsibility: This component involves your ability to incorporate the context of the development of and conflicts over concepts of freedom, liberty, and justice in American history. Your also must do your own work and where applicable cite the work and ideas of others. 20%

Note: Understanding the difference between content knowledge and research

Content Knowledge is information gained from materials assigned as part of the class (Lecture Notes, specifically-assigned readings from The American Yawp, etc.)

Research is information gained from conducting individual research/readings not assigned as part of the class (such as other readings from The American Yawp not assigned, information from scholarly web sites, etc.) Cliffs Notes, Wikipedia, and television network websites (such as Biography or the History Channel) are not scholarly websites.

If you need additional information on the difference between content knowledge and research, please feel free to ask for assistance .

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