History /America From Many Points of View

History /America From Many Points of View

America From Many Points of View

Liberty Enlightening the World (a public display that we know today as the Statue of Liberty) was dedicated in New York Harbor on October 28, 1886. The promise of liberty along with a rapidly expanding economy drew immigrants to the United States, prompted many settlers to uproot themselves and head for the American West in search of a prosperous life, and perpetrated a belief that American ideals should be spread beyond the national borders. This massive inflow of newcomers to the United States helped fuel the nation’s extraordinary transformations between 1880 and the eve of World War I from a fledgling new country experimenting with a concept called Democracy to a world power that claimed to be dedicated to spreading democracy and freedom all over the world. Yet, freedom did not always translate into equality.

In this forum, we’ll discuss the experiences of individuals whose voices often go unheard in the narratives of America’s past. To prepare, here’s what I’d like you to do:

  1. Read through the following documents and learning materials, and choose two to examine more closely:
  2. Review the collections of primary sources that are in the readers at the end of this module’s assigned chapters from the U.S. History II online textbook and the American Yawp collaborative history text. Again, choose one document from these selections to examine more closely. Please make sure the document you choose from these texts covers a different topic than the documents in part 1 of this assignment
    • Please try to select documents that your classmates have not already selected so that we might receive a large number of differing perspectives. If  you cannot avoid selecting a document that a classmate already has posted on, please post your thoughts as a comment to their thread. Do not start a new thread.
  3. Create two posts, each about 250 words in length, one for each of the documents you have chosen to inspect. In your post, please address the following:
    • The name of the document you are examining.
    • The type of document you are examining (ie, a court case, a song, an advertisement, petition, etc.)
    • The race, ethnicity, gender and/or class of the individuals about whom the document is about.
    • The story being told about the individuals featured in the document.
    • The correlation of the individuals and their narratives with the broader historical context of their time.
    • The changing perception of the United States’ position in the world.
  4. After you have completed this work, please read your classmates’ posts and comment on at least two different posts.


  5. And, finally, compare the people’s histories that we see this forum with the event based collective history in the Re-Thinking U.S. History Timeline. Create a final post, about 300-350 words, that synthesizes the two approaches to examining U.S. History.
  • What do the people’s history examined in this forum tell us that the date based timeline does not?
  • How does timeline help create a stronger understanding of the documents in this forum?
  • What kind of history do we get from bringing these two different ways of documenting history together?

This is a rather lengthy project that might best be completed in weekly components. For instance, you might consider completing Step 1 in the first week of this module, Step 2 in the second week, and so forth. Regardless of your approach, realize that the learning will be strongest if everyone participates at least one or more times a week. Good luck with the project. I look forward to the posts.


Evaluation Criteria

For assistance in completing your assignment utilize the resources available to you in the Library Resources, Academic Integrity and Research Guidelines page of the Course Information documents.

Your discussion will be evaluated using the Discussion Guidelines.

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