In 1941 the United States was drawn into the Second World War when the Empire of Japan attacked the American naval and air bases in Hawai’i and the Philippines

Option 1           In 1941 the United States was drawn into the Second World War when the Empire of Japan attacked the American naval and air bases in Hawai’i and the Philippines.  Was it inevitable for the United States to be drawn into the war?  Could the United States have avoided being pulled into the War?  Why or why not?

Option 2           You will examine the effects of McCarthyism on American society with a focus on women.  The question that you need to answer is: How do you feel about informing on people and their political activities or affiliations in the context of McCarthyism and the people’s constitutional guarantees?  In examining this question, you will need to look at the social and political climate of the United States in the post-Second World War period and the Cold War (1946-1955).  What was happening in American society?  Look at Chapter 35 and specifically Chapter 36 section A for some basic documents to frame your question and develop your thesis.

Option 3:           You will examine the issue of the Internment of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War.  The question that you need to answer is: Was the internment of Japanese-Americans during the Second World War (1941-1945) justifiable.  In examining the questions, you should look at the security issues and concerns, the difference in the treatment of the Japanese-Americans in Hawai’i versus the mainland (California, Oregon, Washington), and the treatment of Italian-Americans and German-Americans.  

Option 4:           The history of the United States has been one of expansion of freedoms for Americans.  Following the Civil War, the 13-15thAmendments to the Constitution which were ratified between 1865-1870 were the first step towards expanded liberties.  The 19th amendment ratified in 1920, included women in this every increasing expansion of rights. The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Acts which were established in the mid-1960s reinforced freedoms that were granted under the 14-15th Amendments.  The 26th amendment ratified in 1971 extended to younger people the rights afforded United States citizens under the 15th and 19th amendments.  What were the effects of these constitutional amendments and congressional acts on American society?  Has the Civil Rights Movement ended or is it continuing?  What groups are covered or affected by the Civil Rights Movement?  Look at events in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and now.

            In making your choice please consider the intellectual, social, and/or economic developments leading to the Second World War or to the movement(s) for expanded civil rights.  In answering your question, you will be interpreting the reading found in The American Spirit.  Most of your research for the Second World War paper will be found in chapters 32, 33, 34 and 35.  Most of your research for the Civil Rights paper will be found in chapters 37, 38, 39 and 42.  For either option, you may also find useful information in Of the People book.  Other readings in the book may be used if you find them relevant.  You must use The American Spirit book for evidence to support your argument.

            Explain your choices, backing up your points with quotes and examples from the primary documents found in The American Spirit textbook as well as from the lectures any relevant reading from the Oakes book Of the People.  To write this paper, you should only use the two textbooks from the class.  Using other books and media are not necessary, but OK so long as you use the textbooks.

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