Discuss the impact of political corruption on the U.S. government and evaluate the effectiveness of political reform.

(please scroll all the way to bottom to see info covered in u3-4 below)

Over the course of the class, you will be retrieving and evaluating current event articles (in the last 5 years); making connections between the units we are currently studying and today. You will be responsible for finding an online article from a reputable news source. For example: Time.com, USA Today, The New York Times, etc.

See the attachment for specific details and grading criteria for the Current Events Journal Assignment for Units 3-4

In Unit 3, we will be focusing on change and reform brought about as a result of the rapid social and economic changes of industrialization and urbanization. While the U.S. looked great from an outside perspective, with its rich flaunting their wealth and industry booming, it was riddled with exploitation of the people and political corruption, thus earning the name the Gilded Age. This brought in a sense of moral obligation and led to a reform movement that swept across the nation, with organization developing locally and nationally. This period of reform is known as the Progressive Era.

It was a time to expose the underlining errors of the U.S. society and to make changes for the good of the people. The Progressive Era would address a variety of issues, including factory and living conditions, agriculture reform, child labor, women’s rights, political reform,  conservation, and other social concerns. While not perfect in its initial steps of change, this period will pave the way for continued social justice in our nation’s history.

Objectives:

  • Discuss the impact of political corruption on the U.S. government and evaluate the effectiveness of political reform.
  • Identify the leading reformers of the Progressive Era and evaluate the effectiveness of the reform movements.
  • Describe the problems facing farmers in the late 19th century and evaluate the effectiveness of the reform movement by the Populists and other farmers’ organizations and alliances.
  • Compare the Progressivism domestic and foreign policies of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and William Howard Taft.

Unit 4 Imperialism and WWI

In Unit 4, we will focus on the role of the United States in World affairs. In the late 19th century, the United States not only sought to redefine itself as American, but also to establish its place in the global political arena. Foreign policies paralleled those of many European nations, with a focus on imperialism and preserving foreign interests and markets, specifically in the Western hemisphere. It will be the United States positioning in the Spanish-American war that marks the beginning of its imperial power, with future expansions and political involvement in Latin America and the Pacific Ocean.

At the turn of the century, the United States will feel the long-term effect of its imperialistic decisions. Being recognized as a World leader, involvement in international affairs now spanned beyond the Western Hemisphere to include China and Europe. Feeling the effect of foreign activities at home, the United States withdraws into a period of isolationism and neutrality, hoping to avoid the growing tensions in Europe. Its efforts are short lived, as the atrocities overseas become too difficult to ignore. The United States formally enters World War I in 1917, proving to be a powerful force for the Allies and aiding in the defeat of Germany and the Central Powers. Showing its dominance over aggressors and an advocate for peace, the United States will take the lead in establishing peace and attempting to create a new international organization.

Objectives:

  • Identify the events associated with U.S. expansionism and imperialism between 1865-1908 and discuss the impact of the events on later domestic and foreign affairs.
  • Describe the events leading up to World War I in Europe and the changing position of the United States’ involvement in the war.
  • Compare the foreign policy ideas and plans of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.

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