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What factors best explains the post 1960s conservative ascendency?

History 1378 Essay #2

Professor Sbardellati

Spring 2022

Your assignment is to construct a 5-6 page essay in response to one of the following questions. This essay is worth 25% of your overall grade in this course. It is due on Blackboard by 11:59pm on Monday, May 2. Late papers will be docked 1 point (from a max of 25, meaning the penalty is 4%) for each day they are late. Note also that, as with all assignments in this course, no submissions will be accepted beyond a week past their due dates—hence no papers will be accepted after May 9.

Specifications and guidelines:

Your paper must be based entirely on course materials. Therefore, you are expected to utilize the podcasts and course readings (Contending Voices and U.S.: A Narrative History) but forbidden from using any other sources for this assignment. Papers that incorporate outside sources will automatically receive failing grades. Furthermore, you must cite your sources. When citing a podcast, if paraphrasing, a parenthetical reference to the episode number will suffice; for example: (Episode 11). If you are directly quoting a podcast, include the episode number and the time stamp when the quote begins; for example: (Episode 13, 24:30). When citing U.S.: A Narrative History, please use a parenthetical reference with lead author and page number; for example: (Davidson, 411). When citing the essays in Contending Voices, the standard author/page number will suffice; for example: (Hollitz, 199). When citing the primary documents in Contending Voices, please also include the source number; for example (Hollitz, Source 3, 203). You do not need to include a works cited page since you are utilizing only course materials for this assignment. Your paper must be double-spaced, with standard 12-point font and normal margins.

This is a formal essay assignment. It will be marked based on the strength of your argument, your analysis of course materials, and the quality of your writing. The best papers will draw from a variety of course sources, and will incorporate close analysis of at least one or two primary documents. As with any essay you would write in university, we expect to see: a strong thesis statement which communicates your core argument; a well-structured and organized body of the paper that advances your argument via analysis of course materials; and a formal conclusion that not only ties the argument together, but elaborates on its significance.

Questions (choose one):

1. The Cold War looms large in 20th century history, and especially in our understanding of American history. The Cold War impacted both the U.S. approach to the world and America’s domestic politics and culture. Which of these – U.S. foreign policy or U.S. domestic life – do you find were impacted the most by the Cold War? In other words, which changed more because of the Cold War, American foreign policy or American society? In answering this question you may elect to write about just the early Cold War era, to pick and choose other key moments during the Cold War, or to cover the entire Cold War period. Either way, be sure to consider the Cold War both as an international conflict and as a domestic affair, and to incorporate specific examples from the readings and podcasts in order to support your arguments.

2. Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” marked one of the greatest periods of legislative reform in American history, and yet the liberalism that spawned LBJ’s reforms began unraveling even before he left office. What accounts for the demise of the “New Deal Order” and the rise of the “New Right”? In other words, what factors best explain the post-1960s conservative ascendency?

3. One prominent theme in the second half of our course has been the history of American social movements, in particular the post-WWII civil rights and women’s movements. What were the accomplishments of these movements, and in what ways did they fall short of their goals? And what were their greatest obstacles: internal divisions or external opposition?