Describe some of the challenges facing working people in the late 1800s.

Essay Exam I (Chapters 16-20)

Part I.  Key Terms.  Write short essays (about 2/3 of a page each, double spaced) on two of the following key terms.  Tell why the key term is important to our understanding of America in the late 1800s.  Show how each key term relates to major ideas and historical trends we have discussed.  Include at least one picture for each essay, and note how the picture helps us understand the topic. You do not need footnotes or references; I know you are using the textbook and class notes.


Freedmen’s Bureau




Andrew Carnegie

Spoils System

New South/Ida B. Wells

Knights of Labor

Family Economy


Pullman Strike

Spanish-American War



Part II.  Longer Essays.  Write longer essays (about one and one half pages each, double spaced) on two of the topics below.  Include one or two pictures with each essay and tell how the pictures help us.  Please make sure the topics you cover in Part II are different from what you discuss in Part I.


  1. Describe how the federal government attempted to change the South following the Civil War.  Was Reconstruction a success or a failure?


  1. The Gilded Age. Describe the relationship between politics and business in the late 1800s.  Who had the most power at this time?  How did they gain so much power?


  1. The West. What was so special about the West in the late 1800s?  Describe some of the different types of people who lived in the West and the challenges they faced.  Explain how the West was changing rapidly in this time period.


  1. Describe some of the challenges facing working people in the late 1800s.  What did workers do to improve their situation?  How successful were they?


  1. The 1890s. Why was there so much conflict within the country in the 1890s?  How was this conflict related to changes going on in the economy?  What ideas came out of this era that would affect the twentieth century


Keys for Success:

  1. Explain your points simply, like you would to another student.
  2. Organize your essays with short paragraphs.

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