September 2012 Archives

Week 5 Reading Guide

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Monday Readings: Nothing. Only your Essay #1 is due.

Wednesday Readings:

1. Course Reader document 14, Susan B. Anthony, "Appeal to the National Democratic Convention," (1868)
• To what extent does this document support the racial nation? How are race and gender being pitted against each other in this document?
• Why does Susan B. Anthony turn to the Democratic Party for their support? What reasons does she give in this document? Note that this document was produced right after the end of the Civil War.
• Why does she appeal an international perspective in this document?

2. Course Reader document 15, National Woman Suffrage Association, "Declaration of the Rights of Women" (1876)
• How does this document, like so many appealing for women's suffrage, draw off of discourses of the civic nation?
• This document asserts a variety of ways in which the gender inequality is upheld - what are they? How does this document attempt to argue that the upholding gender inequality is about more than political rights?
• How does this document argue that women's participation in politics will be good for the nation "morally"? How does this document use "moral issues" to argue for the vote? How is this similar to Theodore Roosevelt's perspective?
• As with document 14, this document also brings up race and the racial nation. How does it do so? Is it different than the usage in document 14?

3. Course Reader document 16, Anna Julia Cooper, "Womanhood a Vital Element" (1886)
• In the introduction to this document, the editors assert that it "speaks to the complicated relationship between race and gender in late-nineteenth-century America." Why do they say this? What evidence can you find for this in the document?
• Why does this document take such an internationalist perspective? Why are black women (particularly in the South) paralleled to English girls?
• Why is religion so important in this document? How is it being used to resist both the racial nation and gender inequality?

4. Course Reader document 17, Carrie Chapman Catt, "National Call for a League of Women Voters" (1919)
• In this document, Catt (who was the main older women's activist in the movie you will watch on Tuesday of this week) argues for a League of Women Voters to "finish the fight" after the 19th amendment passed. What does she mean by "finish the fight"?
• How radical of a political view does this document express?

5. Course Reader document 18, Nineteenth Amendment (1920)
• This document obviously speaks for itself, but be sure to read the introduction which accompanies it as it is very informative.

Week 4 Reading Guide

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Monday Reading:

Gerstle, Chapter 2, "Civic Nationalism and Its Contradictions, 1890-1917"

Once again, remember that you always want to think about Gerstle's chapters as evidence for the argument he put forward in the Introduction. That is, how, in the case of Chapter 2, is Gerstle attempting to prove his argument to you? What evidence and historical events does he use to support the book's overall argument? So, you want to recall the key arguments he made in the introduction about civic nationalism, racial nationalism, the "Rooseveltian Nation," and Roosevelt's "New Nationalism." In Chapter 2 he is once again attempting to prove his argument as it relates to these key terms.

These questions are designed to help you think about how the argument and these terms play out in this chapter:

• Gerstle argues that Roosevelt's civic nationalism is "sincere" and rooted primarily in his experience living in New York City. Why does he argue this?
• Once again, we see that Roosevelt's civic nationalism is reserved primarily for white Americans. But, what did these white Americans have to do to get access to civic nationalism? How did they have to "Americanize"? How did Roosevelt, as president, attempt to enforce this "Americanization"?
• What did Roosevelt think of the place of white women in his civic nation? Why was his position somewhat complex? Gerstle argues that Roosevelt was not a feminist - do you agree?
• Why did Roosevelt take a much different position towards the Japanese and Japanese-Americans than he did towards Chinese and Chinese-Americans? How did his feelings towards the former ultimately get separated along class lines?
• Why and how did Roosevelt's feelings towards African-Americans sometimes also get divided along class lines?
• In 1910 and 1912, Roosevelt runs for the presidency again--this time in a third party called the Progressive Party. When he did, he advocated for a program called the "New Nationalism." What was this program? What did it entail? How did it relate to the civic and racial nations?
• How did Roosevelt see his New Nationalism as an alternative to political radicals (anarchists and socialists)? What did conservatives think of this? How did political radicals react to this?
• How (by what means) does Gerstle argue that Roosevelt's Progressive Party ultimately reinforced racial nationalism and the contradictions of the Rooseveltian Nation? What was the justification for this?

Wednesday Readings:

1. Upton Sinclair, The Flivver King: A Story of Ford-America (1937), Introduction to page 25

• This week, you will begin reading The Flivver King. I hope you find this to be an interesting and engaging primary source. Please be sure to read the entire introduction to the book before you start into the actual text. I say this because the book is an interesting blend of fact and fiction. As it says on page v of the introduction: "On the one hand, Sinclair's depiction of Ford's life is quite factual, based on Ford's ghost-written autobiographies, company publications and newspaper accounts. Sinclair the novelist, of course, fleshed out his story of Ford with fictionalized scenes. On the other hand, his description of the Shutt family is purely fictional, but reflects an acute awareness of the character of workingclass life and culture of the period." Be sure to keep this in mind as you read. Also, be sure to keep in mind what you learn about Sinclair himself and why he writes the book when he does (in 1937).
• VERY IMPORTANT: As you read, I suggest you keep a character chart somewhere in the book. There are a lot of characters and you don't want to mix them up. Here are the names that should be on your list: Henry Ford, Abner Shutt, Milly Shutt, Tom Shutt (two different Tom Shutts), Dell Shutt, Daisy Shutt, John Shutt, Annabelle Shutt, Hank (Henry Ford) Shutt
• As you read pages 3 to 25, consider the following: How can this portion of the book be used as evidence in support of the lecture given on Monday this week? That is, how does this section show a shift in power from worker to industrial corporations like Ford? How is this shift achieved? How does the knowledge of work get transferred from the worker to Ford and his managers? What do you make of Abner's reaction to this shift? What is Sinclair trying to convey with this reaction? All of these questions will make more sense after Monday's class.

2. Course Reader document 11, Pullman Workers, "Statement to the American Railway Union," (1894)

• What are the Pullman Workers' grievances with their employer? Why did they join the American Railway Union?
• What is a "company town"? How does this document illustrate what a "company town" is?

3. Course Reader document 12, Socialist Labor Party, "Declaration of Interdependence" (1895)

• Why does this document attempt to follow some of the rhetoric of the Declaration of Independence? Why the change in its title? Why does it employ the Constitution as well?
• Why does the document contrast private enterprise with public services?
• Is the document nationalist, internationalist or both?

4. Course Reader document 13, The Industrial Workers of the World, "Manifesto and Preamble," (1905 and 1908)

• In the Manifesto, there is a great worry over mechanization of factories - why? What does the IWW argue mechanization does to work?
• How do employers unite against workers? What does the IWW claim employers do to organize themselves?
• How should workers unite against this employer organization? Why are past modes of organization outdated and why does the IWW argue it has the solution?
• What does socialism look like for the IWW?

Essay #1 Prompt

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Due: October 1st at the beginning of class

Length: A typed, double-spaced essay of 3-4 pages.


Although I discuss the essay in terms of "sections" do not actually have section headings. Instead, I want you to write the paper as a cohesive whole which transitions from section to section using the topic sentences of paragraphs, not section headings. Here are the requirements for each section of the paper:

• In the first section of the essay, identify the argument of Gary Gerstle's book as conveyed in his Introduction. What, specifically, is the argument he is attempting to convey? What sources of primary evidence will he be using to prove his argument? All of Gerstle's major terms and the role they play in his argument should be addressed in this section.

• In the second section summarize Chapters 1 and 2 of the book. In your summary, it is most important that you address how the chapters flow from the argument the author is making. That is, how do the contents of each chapter work to prove the overall argument of the book?

• In the third section, choose two primary documents that we read during weeks 2 to 4 of class. The only stipulation is that you may not choose Flivver King as a document. How specifically, and to what extent, do the documents you've chosen attempt to resist racial nationalism in the time they were produced?

It is always best, when writing these sections (especially 1 and 3), to use direct textual quotes. For instance, when conveying what an author of a secondary source (Gerstle) is writing/arguing, using direct quotes helps to ensure that intent and clarity is not lost. When directly quoting from primary sources in section 3, you help to better convince me of your own interpretation by marshalling direct textual evidence.

When directly quoting from the text, simply use parenthetical page numbers as citations. A fake example: Smith argues that, "The Civil War was fought primarily over the issue of slavery as it related to westward expansion" (12). If you're quoting from the course reader, just give me the reader page number. When quoting from Gerstle, obviously use his page numbers.

Sections 1 and 2 will be evaluated on how well you have understood the material in Gerstle as well as how well you have communicated that understanding. Section 3 will be evaluated on how well you have interpreted the primary documents you have chosen. Have you marshaled the best evidence from your sources and convinced me as to how, specifically and to what extent, they resisted racial nationalism. I do not grade on grammar, only clarity. That is, I do not look at things like correct comma placement and semicolon usage but rather on whether your writing is clear enough to accurately communicate the three sections of the essay.

Week 3 Reading Guide

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This week in class is entitled, "Encountering 'Foreign Peoples' at Home and Abroad." So, in our classes this week, we will be discussing how Americans in the late nineteenth century encountered both Native Americans and Chinese immigrants in the Western United States and also how they encountered different nationalities through war in the same period.

Monday Reading - Gerstle Chapter 1: "Theodore Roosevelt's Racialized Nation, 1890-1900"

A couple things to keep in mind as you read Chapter 1 in Gerstle. First, remember that you always want to think about Gerstle's chapters as evidence for the argument he put forward in the Introduction. That is, how, in the case of Chapter 1, is Gerstle attempting to prove his argument to you? What evidence and historical events does he use to support the book's overall argument? So, you want to recall the key arguments he made in the introduction about civic nationalism, racial nationalism, war, and the "Rooseveltian Nation." In Chapter 1 he is now attempting to prove his argument as it relates to these key terms for the period 1890-1900.

Second, as you read, remember that Gerstle is employing language used at the time that we have problems with in the present. He talks about race using terms like "savage," "civilized," "Negro," and others that we would not employ in the present. When he does this, he does it as a historian using the terms that were used at the time. So, be sure to note that he would not use these terms in the present, but is using them to show you how people like Roosevelt spoke at the time.

With all of this said, here are some questions for you to think about as you read:

1. How was Theodore Roosevelt's view of the racial nation informed by European history?
2. How was Roosevelt's view of the racial nation informed by encounters with Native Americans in the western United States? How, in Roosevelt's eyes, did westward expansion work to create a certain conception of America?
3. What was Roosevelt's view of African Americans and their role in creating the American nation?
4. What did Roosevelt think of the Chinese? Why?
5. What, for Roosevelt, was the "problem" with the "winning of the west"? Why was this a problem for forming an idea of the American nation? How could war "solve" the problem?
6. Gerstle argues that there were two ways that the Spanish-American War helped Roosevelt form his racial nationalism--through the composition of the Army itself and through "racializing" the foreign enemy. How did each of these work? How was the army composed and how was the enemy "racialized"?
7. Why does African American participation in the war effort trouble Roosevelt? How does he deal with this "problem"? How do African Americans themselves see the war as an opportunity to expand the civic nation and break down the racial nation?
8. Gerstle argues on page 38, "As a result of the Spanish-American War, efforts to recreate America as a white nation had borne fruit." Why does he write this?

Wednesday Reading - Primary source documents

As with last week's primary sources, you want to read these as a historian. That is, you want to read them and analyze them, seeking to determine what they tell us about the past. Also, be sure to consider how they work with and against Gerstle's argument.

1. Course Reader Document 6: William Apess's "An Indian's Looking-Glass for the White Man" (1836)
• What does Apess argue happens to Native Americans on reservations? Why?
• There are multiple ways Apess uses to rhetorically undermine the racial nation and argue for their inclusion in the civic nation. What are these multiple ways? What reasons does he use?
• Does Apess argue for assimilation of Native Americans? Why or why not?

2. Course Reader Document 7: "Chinese Equal Rights League Appeal" (1892)
• Is this document a full-throated defense of civic nationalism over racial nationalism? To what extent does it challenge racial nationalism?
• How does the document defend Chinese-American citizens? What reasons does it use?

3. Course Reader Document 8: Capt. Richard C. Pratt, "Kill the Indian, and Save the Man," (1892)
• Why, for Pratt have treaties been a problem for "civilizing" Native Americans? What does he mean by "civilizing"?
• How does Pratt equate Native Americans and slaves? He even goes so far as to say slavery was a "blessing" in disguise - why?
• He talks at one point about the "Land in Severalty Bill." This is the Dawes Act that I will talk about in lecture on Tuesday. It was designed to break up Native American reservations into private property. Why does Pratt argue that this bill doesn't go far enough? What "advances" does he argue could be made on this bill?
• What, according to Pratt, is the problem with tribal schools? How are they like Catholic schools? Why, for him, have missionaries been a problem as well?
• He proposes public "boarding schools" as the "solution" to the "problem" he describes. What is the ultimate "problem" for Pratt? How are the public boarding schools seen by him as a "solution"?
• How does Pratt see his project as being relatable to the immigrant experience in the United States?

4. Course Reader Document 9: Rudyard Kipling, "The White Man's Burden" (1899)
• There is a good introduction to this document before the start of this poem. Note this poem was often used as a justification for "civilizing" other countries through military force. Note that Gerstle in Chapter 1 talks about Roosevelt's response to the poem.
• Why, according to Kipling, should the "white man's burden" be taken up? What, for Kipling, is the white man's burden?
• How, according to Kipling, will colonized people react to this "burden"?
• If you were a citizen of a colonized territory, how would you respond to Kipling's poem?

5. Course Reader Document 10: H.T. Johnson, "The Black Man's Burden,": A Response to Kipling (1899)
• How is this poem a response to Kipling? What, specifically, is the argument being made in the poem?

Week 2 Reading Guide

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Monday Readings:

As I suggested in our first class, Monday's class in week 2 will be my attempt to provide some necessary background before we dive into Gerstle's book. The readings for Monday will thus be from an earlier time period than Gerstle deals with in his book. Gerstle starts his narrative in 1890 whereas the primary sources you are reading for Monday fall in the year range 1852-1895. In class on Monday, I will be making the argument that that we need to understand quite a bit about the period before 1890 if we are to truly understand where Gerstle is coming from in his book. So, my choice of the primary sources that you are reading for Monday reflect much about what I think you need to understand about this earlier period. With all of this in mind, let me briefly introduce your readings and offer up some questions on them. Notice that many of the readings contain introductions within the course reader itself. You should absolutely read these introductions in combination with what I offer below. Finally, remember that for readings like those for Monday, I am asking you to read them and effectively become the historian. That is, with the primary sources for Monday, I will be asking you how you would interpret the past through the documents you have been given. Consider primary sources like the ones for Monday to be the "raw materials" that historians use to construct their arguments.

1) Document #1 in the course reader - Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address (1864): Delivered in the midst of the American Civil War (1861-1865) President Lincoln attempts in this document to try and grapple with how the issue of racial slavery relates to the war. Even more importantly, he attempts to address what the postwar period will look like and how the nation itself will be reconstructed.
• How does Lincoln situate slavery within the narrative of the Civil War? Why do you think he makes the argument in the way that he does?
• Why is the invocation of God important in the arguments Lincoln is making? How does he use God to frame his arguments?

2) Document #2 in the course reader - Frederick Douglass's, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July" (1852):
Delivered 9 years before the start of the American Civil War, Douglass (a former slave) here attempts to advance the cause of the abolition of slavery in a public speech.
• What arguments does Douglass make for the abolition of slavery? Why does he choose the setting that he does to make such an argument?

3) Document #3 in the course reader - the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution:
Passed in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, these amendments to the U.S. Constitution attempted to address the plight of former slaves and their role in American society.
• How, specifically, did the amendments attempt to address the plight of former slaves? How did these amendments attempt to deal with the slaveholding U.S. South which had seceded from the United States at the beginning of the Civil War?
• Can you see any "loopholes" in these amendments? That is, in setting up protections for former slaves, what avenues did the amendments leave open which would allow for the continued denial of rights to former slaves?

4) Document #4 in the course reader - Ida B. Wells-Barnett, "A Red Record," (1895):
As we will discuss in the next few weeks, by the 1890s (25 years after the end of the Civil War),) it had become common in the South for terror to be used against former slaves to keep them from gaining their full rights as citizens. Ida B. Wells-Barnett was one of the foremost journalists involved in exposing this terror to the wider public. As she says in this document, public executions (lynchings) became common in instituting new forms of control in the absence of slavery.
• Why does Ida B. Wells argue that lynching didn't happen before the Civil War but that it did happen afterwards? Why did the reasoning for lynching continually evolve for white southerners?

5) Document #5 in the course reader - Reconstruction narratives from the book The Trouble They Seen, Chapter III, "The Spokesmen":
The period from 1865 to 1877 in American History is usually given the label "Reconstruction" by historians. This was a time period where African Americans in the former slaveholding South attempted to create, with the help of allies in the federal government, new free lives. Many of these former slaves were elected to office and worked to create institutions which would help African Americans in their transition out of racial slavery. The multiple readings in this document are some of those who worked in this struggle.
• What motives led former slaves to fight for their freedom? What did they consider "freedom" now that slavery was legally abolished?

Wednesday Reading:

1) The Introduction to Gary Gerstle's American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century. As I said during the first week of class, Gerstle's book is classified as a "secondary source," which is distinctly different than the primary sources you read for Monday of this week. Gerstle is a practicing historian in the present who looked at a bunch of primary sources, interpreted them, and then wrote this book where he advances an argument about the past. So, remember as you read the Introduction to Gerstle's book that you want to read it differently than you did the sources for Monday. As with the Introduction to any good secondary source, the historian lays out in concise terms what his or her argument is in that Introduction. So, as you read the intro, this is what you want to be looking for--the specifics of Gerstle's argument. The following questions are designed to help you do that:

• How does Gerstle define his paradigm of "civic nationalism"?
• How does Gerstle define his paradigm of "racial nationalism"? What does he mean by the term "ethnoracial"?
• What do the "founding documents" of the United States have to do with the nationalisms he is trying to define?
• Why and how does he argue that racial nationalism has been elastic and exclusionary in the twentieth century?
• Why does his book primarily focus on American liberals for his evidence? Why will he not be looking at obviously racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan?
• What does war have to do with the argument he is making about his nationalisms? Why does he argue for the centrality of war in his argument?
• Why and how does he argue that civic nationalism has been elastic and exclusionary in the twentieth century? What does this fluidity have to do with economic opportunity and Theodore Roosevelt's "New Nationalism."? What does this fluidity have to do with political radicals (socialists/communists)?
• What is the Rooseveltian nation? When does Gerstle argue this nation was firmly in place?
• When and why did the Rooseveltian nation fall apart?
• How might you relate this primary source documents you read for Monday to Gerstle's argument? In other words, how might you use the documents as evidence for Gerstle's argument or against it?

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