History Essay Question
Guidelines for Part 1 of the Unit 3 Exam:
For Part 1 of the Unit 3 Exam, read the four documents attached above. Using the documents and the textbook, write an essay answering the questions listed below. Grades will be based on the content of the answer and must be more than 400 words in length. Direct quotes do not count toward the required word count.
Here is the actual footage of Dwight D. Eisenhower delivering his 1961 “Farewell Address” – https://www.c-span.org/video/?15026-1/president-dwight-eisenhower-farewell-address (Document 4 is a transcript of this speech)
Part 1 Questions:
1. In Document 1, how does Franklin D. Roosevelt characterize World War II and the threat posed by fascism and Nazi Germany? Had he survived, do you think Roosevelt would have characterized the Cold War and the Soviet Union in the same way? Why, or why not?
2. Describe the primary arguments explained in Documents 2 and 3. How does Kennan explain the threat of the Soviet Union and communism? How does he characterize the weaknesses of the Soviet system? How do Kennan and the NSC (Document 3) suggest the United States respond to the perceived threat of the Soviet Union and communism?
3. Using the textbook, provide some specific examples of how the ideas in documents 2 and 3 shaped U.S. foreign policy from 1945-1960.
4. In his farewell speech (video and Document 4), what does Eisenhower say about the Cold War? How does his message reflect the ideas from Documents 2 and 3? What warnings does he give for the future? How does Eisenhower’s speech relate to Roosevelt’s (Document 1)?
Guidelines for Part 2 of the Unit 3 Exam:
For part 2 of the Unit 3 Exam, choose ONLY 1 essay question from the list below. Grades will be based on the content of the answer and must be more than 300 words in length. Direct quotes do not count toward the required word count.
Part 2 Essay Questions:
1 – Describe how government military spending during the war affected the economic development of the West and South.
2 – “World War II reshaped ideas about American nationality.” Assess the validity of this statement by comparing the experiences of first-generation immigrants, second-generation immigrants, and black Americans during World War II.
3 – How did the experiences of African-Americans during World War II lay the foundation for the modern civil rights movement?
4 – World War II is often referred to as the “Good War.” Evaluate that title for the war. Is it appropriate? Why, or why not?
5 – Discuss World War II’s impact on ethnic minorities in America. How did the experiences of Asian-Americans, Native Americans, and Mexican-Americans compare? How did their experiences differ on both the individual and group level? Be sure to consider these experiences in the context of the war on all fronts when composing your response.
6 – Eric Foner wrote, “the language with which World War II was fought helped to lay the foundation for postwar ideals of human rights that extend to all mankind.” Do you agree with that statement? Why, or why not?
7 – Analyze the policy of containment. How did the United States enact this policy?
8 – Describe how the Cold War was fought by each superpower. Be sure to discuss how both the United States and the Soviet Union believed that their social systems were firmly based on principles of freedom and social justice.
9 – The Cold War impacted every aspect of American life. Discuss the domestic implications of the Cold War. Your essay should explain how the Cold War affected higher education, the economy, immigration policy, civil rights, and civil liberties.
10 – By 1952, the Cold War was cast in terms of a worldwide battle between freedom and slavery. Explain (1) how the Cold War had come to be seen in this way, (2) events that illustrate this view, and (3) the historical consequences of such a view.
Guidelines for Part 3 of the Unit 3 Exam:
For part 3 of the Unit 3 Exam, choose ONLY 1 essay question from the list below. Grades will be based on the content of the answer and must be more than 300 words in length. Direct quotes do not count toward the required word count.
Part 3 Essay Questions:
1 – Evaluate Harry Truman’s domestic policies. Which parts reflected the New Deal? Why were they so difficult to implement? How did they expand freedom for Americans? How did they restrict freedom?
2 – Fully discuss and examine the limitations placed on freedom during the Cold War. Then compare those circumstances with those during the Red Scare after World War I. What was the same? What was different? Were restrictions on civil liberties justified in both cases? Why, or why not? How did Americans react in each era?
3 – How did the States Rights’ Democratic Party and the Progressive Party reflect America in the Cold War? Were both parties justified in their definitions of American freedom? Why, or why not? Explain.
4 – Discuss the changes in the American economy during the postwar period. Be sure to discuss the agricultural, industrial, and consumer sectors of the economy.
5 – The Nixon-Khrushchev debate held in the setting of a suburban kitchen illustrated how freedom in America had come to mean economic abundance and consumer choices during the 1950s. How is this new conception of freedom a departure from Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms”?
6 – House Beautiful magazine stated that the country’s most powerful weapon in the Cold War was “the freedom offered by washing machines and dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, automobiles, and refrigerators.” Analyze this statement, explaining how consumerism was used in the 1950s to combat the Cold War. Is consumerism used today as a tool of American foreign policy?
7 – Describe the impact of suburbanization on American women. How did expectations surrounding “the American way of life” affect the lives of women? How were their varied experiences similar? How were they different? Explain.
8 – American foreign policies in Third World countries were determined by Cold War doctrine. Explain American foreign policy in the Third World during the Eisenhower administration. Be sure to discuss Iran, Guatemala, and Vietnam.
9 – The civil rights movement gained momentum in the 1950s, nearly ninety years after Reconstruction. Explain why the movement finally took off in the 1950s. What caused it to do so? Be sure to think back to previous chapters.
10 – Discuss the generational tensions that emerged during the 1950s. How did popular culture reflect a growing sense of discontent among younger Americans? What was the response of older Americans to this trend? Explain.