U.S. History 1900-1950


Essential Questions:

  1. How do the historic events of the United States shape our lives today?
  2. What might work and society look like today without the ideas and movements of the Progressive Era?

Task I: Time line Specifics for this Unit

Place on your time line for the years 1890-1928 these events:
Ten major domestic developments, such as Prohibition, women=s right to vote, major acts passed by Congress, etc.
Three revolutions and major wars
Events that fit the theme you selected at the beginning of this course

Task II: Research Diagram

Create a Venn diagram that includes four circles, rather than the traditional two. Each circle will represent one of the following philosophies/movements:
  1. Progressivism
  2. Capitalism
  3. Communism
  4. Socialism

Use words, symbols, pictures or a combination of words, symbols and pictures to answer the following questions about each philosophy. Place the ideas that are the same for all four philosophies in the sections of the diagram that overlap.

  1. Explain the essence of each philosophy. What does each mean?
  2. What were the main values of each philosophy during this time period?
  3. What changes did each movement hope to facilitate?
  4. What changes did the movement actually accomplish?
  5. To what types of people (class, occupation, etc.) did each philosophy appeal?
Make a 5-10 minute presentation to your instructor that interprets and explains your diagram.

Task III: Progress
Select one of the following areas to research:
Food regulation and production (such as migrant labor, use of foreign labor and facilities, meat processing plants, fast food)
Clothing manufacturing
Steel manufacturing
Coal mining
Discover the answers to these questions:

  1. What were the regulations and/or work conditions in this area before the Progressive Era?
  2. What are the regulations and/or work conditions in this area now?
  3. How have the regulations and/or conditions changed? What caused the changes?
  4. Why are so many US manufacturers today using foreign laborers and facilities?

Editorial Reading and Analysis

Find 4 editorials on a topic of interest to you. Make a copy of each editorial to work with. Complete the following activities
  1. Highlight the main point, or thesis, of each editorial. With a different color, highlight each of the supporting points.
  2. Compare the patterns of the editorials. Is each main point in the same place in the editorial (such as in the first paragraph or the last paragraph?)? Which pattern seems most effective to you? Why?
  3. Circle any phrases or words that are particularly powerful or create strong visual images.
  4. Draw a star at the top of the editorial that seems to be the most effective and convincing. How did the author convince you?
Find 2 political cartoons that address the same topic as 2 of the editorials you used for this activity. The Internet, news magazines and newspapers are all good sources.
  1. Briefly explain the point each cartoonist is trying to make.
  2. Is each cartoon effective? Why or why not?

Editorial Column Writing

Now, use your research to write two editorial columns that deal with this area=s current regulations and work conditions. Write one from the viewpoint of someone who is employed as a common laborer in the area you researched. Write the second column from the viewpoint of someone who is an owner in this area. Each editorial should be at least 500 words. Readers should not be able to tell which opinion is closest to yours.

Assessment: Writing Scoring Guide; columns will be scored for:
Ideas and Content

Political Cartoons

Political cartoons became quite popular during the Progressive Era. Find political cartoons topic from the Progressive Era and from current publications that represent national thought on your selected topic. Use the cartoons to support your writing. If you prefer, you may create your own political cartoons to support your writing. Use at least one cartoon to support each view you present.  Assessment: See Scoring Guide

Exhibit Visit

Visit one of the following Tillamook sites:
Pioneer Museum
Latimer Quilt and Textile Center
Tillamook County Creamery
Look at exhibits at this site and answer these questions:
  1. How does the layout enhance or detract from the content of the display?
  2. What is the relationship between text and graphics?
  3. In what ways does color or lack of color affect the display?
  4. How does the sequencing and organization of information help the viewer interpret the display?
  5. Read the labels. What is the average word length of each label?
  6. Do you see any convention errors?   If so, record them.
  7. How do these errors affect your response to the exhibit?