World War 2 National Socialism and the Holocaust

Chapter 18: The Land of the Setting Sun :: The Storm of War by Andrew Roberts

Note: This unfortunately is a very “thin” chapter. It really should have been three chapters – The end of the Pacific war, the war against the Japanese islands and the Atomic Bombing and surrender. See the further reading below for more information about the end of the Pacific War. Very unfortunately issues surrounding the air war against Japanese cities and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are not explored in any meaningful depth.

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Armchair strategists can look at the last stages of a campaign and say there’s nothing left but mopping up, but if you’re holding the mop it’s different. The last Jap in the last bunker on the last day can be as fatal to you personally as the biggest battle at the height of the campaign, and you don’t look or think much beyond him – wherever he is.”
  • “As the seconds ticked slowly toward 09.00, our artillery and ships’ guns increased their rate of fire. The rain poured down, and the Japanese took up the challenge from our artillery. They started throwing more shells our way . . . The shells whistled, whined and rumbled overhead, ours bursting out in front of the ridge and the enemy’s exploding in our area and to the rear. The noise increased all along the line. Rain fell in torrents, and the soil became muddy and slippery wherever we hurried around the gun pit to break out and stack our ammo. I looked at my watch. It was 0900. I gulped and prayed for my buddies.”
  • “because our German scientists were better than their German scientists”
  • “We were of a generation to whom Coventry and the London Blitz and Clydebank and Liverpool and Plymouth were more than just names; our country had been hammered mercilessly from the sky, and so had Germany; we had seen the pictures of Belsen and of the frozen horror of the Russian Front; part of our higher education had been dedicated to techniques of killing and destruction; we were not going to lose sleep because the Japanese homeland had taken its turn. If anything, at the time, remembering the kind of war it had been, and the kind of people we, personally, had been up against, we probably felt that justice had been done. But it was of small importance when weighed against the glorious fact that the war was over at last.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the progress of Americans in the Pacific and the recession of the Japanese in the last 18 months of the war
  • Compare and Contrast: Arguments for a “Germany First” policy and arguments for a “Pacific First” policy
  • Explain and Expand: The strategic tensions between the United States Army and Navy over the direction of the war
  • What was the American goal for the Pacific while the fight against Germany was ongoing?
  • How did the war in the Pacific change the nature of future naval warfare
  • What role did air power play in the war for the Pacific? The war for Japan?
  • In what ways were American soldiers drawn into the barbarization of warfare?
  • In what ways did American soldiers resist the barbarization of warfare?
  • Who was William Slim and what role did he play in the liberation of Burma?
  • What was the strategic value of Iwo Jima and Okinawa in American plans?
  • Why did Japan “fight on”? Why did the Japanese people “fight on”?
  • Describe the Tokyo firebombing, the goal of the action and what it achieved
  • Compare and Contrast: The battle of Iwo Jima and the battle of Okinawa
  • Describe the events of August 1945 in the Pacific

Primary Sources

Further Reading

 

 

Colonial American History - The Atlantic and Pacific Worlds - New Spain and New France - British America

Chapter 19: The Pacific (Part 2: The Islands and the Northwest Coast) :: The American Colonies by Alan Taylor

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Cook ruefully discovered that “there was not a blade of grass that had not a separate owner.” He concluded that “no people had higher ideas of exclusive property.””

Thought Questions

  • Describe the 17-18th century European mythology about the Pacific
  • Who was Ferdinand Megellan
  • Describe the colonization of the Philippines
  • Where did the Philippines fit into the Spanish colonial trade system?
  • Who was Captain James Cook?
  • Explain and Expand: “Although serving an imperial agenda, the sojourning scientists were also observant and often sympathetic men affected by their encounters with new cultures.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The Hawaiian people were the farthest extension of the great northeastward migration of the Polynesians, which began in Indonesia about two thousand years ago.”
  • Describe Pre-Contact Hawaiian culture and the post contact transformation
  • Who were the “Raincoast Natives” and how and why were they culturally different from most Native Americans?
  • Describe the scientific, geographic and cultural knowledge that James Cook documented
  • In what ways did the natural abundance of the Pacific Northwest positively and negatively impact Native Americans?
  • How did the Hawaiian islands become a nexus for Pacific trade?

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

Colonial American History - The Atlantic and Pacific Worlds - New Spain and New France - British America

Chapter 18: Imperial Wars :: American Colonies by Alan Taylor

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The importance of the Indians is now generally known and understood. A Doubt remains not, that the prosperity of our Colonies on the Continent will stand or fall with our Interest and favour among them. While they are our Friends, they are the Cheapest and Strongest Barrier for the Protection of our Settlements; when Enemies, they are capable of ravaging in their method of War, in spite of all we can do, to render those Possessions almost useless.”
  • “They are really better to us than we are to them. They always give us food at their quarters, and take care we are armed against Hunger and Thirst. We do not do so by them, but let them walk by our Doors hungry, and do not often relieve them. We look upon them with scorn and disdain, and think them little better than Beasts in human shape, though, if well examined, we shall find that, for all our religion and education, we possess more moral deformities and evils than these savages do, or are acquainted with.”
  • “Persuaded of their usefulness to the colony (which is true), more often than not they are so boastful as to greet our hospitable treatment with complaints. … Indeed, I could carry on forever were I to convey the ceaseless importunities with which they try us. … Still, one has to admit that their continued forays against the enemy have bred such horror as to prevent—for the time being—plots against the colony from bearing fruit.”
  • “Brethren, are you ignorant of the difference between our Father [the French] and the English? Go and see the forts our Father has created, and you will see that the land beneath their walls is still hunting ground, … whilst the English, on the contrary, no sooner get possession of a country than the game is forced to leave; the trees fall down before them, the earth becomes bare.”
  • “We tell you now [that] the French never conquered us, neither did they purchase a foot of our Country, nor have they a right to give it to you. We gave them liberty to settle for which they always rewarded us & treated us with great Civility. … [I]f you expect to keep these Posts, we will expect to have proper returns from you.”
  • “Safe from the Enemy of the Wilderness, safe from the griping Hand of arbitrary Sway and cruel Superstition; Here shall be the late founded Seat of Peace and Freedom. Here shall our indulgent Mother [Country], who has most generously rescued and protected us, be served and honoured by growing Numbers, with all Duty, Love, and Gratitude, till Time shall be no more.”
  • “This we apprehend annihilates our charter right to govern and tax ourselves. It strikes at our British privileges which, as we have never forfeited them, we hold in common with our fellow subjects who are natives of Britain. If taxes are laid upon us in any shape without ever having a legal representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the character of free subjects to the miserable state of tributary slaves?”
  • “Let them with three-fourths of the People of Ireland, live the Year round on Potatoes and Butter Milk, without Shirts, then may their Merchants export Beef, Butter, and Linnen. Let them with the Generality of the Common People of Scotland go Barefoot, then may they make large Exports in Shoes and Stockings. And if they will be content to wear Rags like the Spinners and Weavers of England, they may make Cloths and Stuffs for all Parts of the World.”
  • “As soon as the time stipulated in their indentures is expired, they immediately quit their masters and get a small tract of land, in settling which for the first three or four years they lead miserable lives, and in the most abject poverty. But all this is patiently borne and submitted to with the greatest cheerfulness, the satisfaction of being land holders smooths every difficulty and makes them prefer this manner of living to that comfortable subsistence which they could procure for themselves and their families by working at the trades in which they were brought up.”

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The American Early Republic and Frontier Era History

Part 2: The Widening Frontier :: Trans-Appalachian Frontier, People, Societies, and Institutions, 1775-1850 by Malcolm J. Rohrbough

Note: These questions will be explored in this entire section, not just this introduction.

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The government’s impact on families, communities, and businesses west of the mountains had far exceeded issues of relations with Indian peoples, significant as those were.”
  • “This portion of the story opens on a world of a vast open and varied landscape; it closes on the increasing presence on the land of numbers of small settlements that represented the harbingers of American presence.”
  • “Yet over the next decade, the influence of the federal government intruded into a wide range of areas that no one (least of all the Jeffersonians) could have anticipated at the turn of the century.”
  • “As the influence of the federal government moved well beyond the issues of the Northwest and Land Ordinances, a curious contradiction emerged.”

Thought Questions

  • In what ways did the trans-Appalachian frontier “widen” in the period from 1795 to 1815?
  • Compare and Contrast: Northern population growth and Southern population growth in the trans-Appalachian frontier in this period
  • What was the defining characteristic(s) that separated northern and southern trans-Appalachia?
  • Describe the trans-Appalachian river system and the role it played in migration and American development
  • Affirm or Refute: “This portion of the story opens on a world of a vast open and varied landscape; it closes on the increasing presence on the land of numbers of small settlements that represented the harbingers of American presence.”
  • Describe the process of expanding federal powers in the territories
  • What influenced the Federal government when deciding to be either a “mediator” or an “advocate” in state / territory – tribal relationships?
  • Describe the provisions, impact and unintended consequences of the Northwest Ordinance, The Southwest Ordinance and the Land Ordinance of 1784 and 1785

The Indiana Terrtory

  • In what ways did international affairs impact trans-Appalachian development?
  • Who was General Anthony Wayne? Describe the Northwest Indian War and the significance of the Battle of Fallen Timbers
  • Who was John Jay? Describe the Jay Treaty and the role he played in the settlement of the trans-Appalachian frontier
  • Who was Thomas Pinkney? Describe the Pinckney’s Treaty / Treaty of San Lorenzo and the role Pinkney played in the settlement of the trans-Appalachian frontier
  • Explain and Expand: “This confrontation over land began with words and by the end of the decade had moved to violence.”
  • Compare and Contrast: The Native American tribes of the Northwest and Southwest territories
  • Who was William Henry Harrison?
  • Describe the evolution of the area of the Indiana Territory from 1795-1815
  • Describe the Haitian Revolution?
  • In what ways did the Haitian Revolution impact the trans-Appalachian frontier?
  • How did the immediate presence of slavery impact the characteristics of southern trans-Appalachia?
  • How did the lack of an immediate presence of slavery impact the characteristics of northern trans-Appalachia?
  • What were the advances in transportation and communication that continued to fuel trans-Appalachian migration?

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

Colonial American History - The Atlantic and Pacific Worlds - New Spain and New France - British America

Chapter 17: The Great Plains 1680–1800 :: The American Colonies by Alan Taylor

Notes: This chapter is effectively a continuation of Chapters 3-5, 16 and the material from there should be considered while reading this chapter.

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “In sum, the Great Plains exacerbated the paradoxical impact of colonialism so manifest throughout North America. In general, the effects of colonial intrusion—germs, weeds, livestock, soldiers, missionaries, and trade—spread far and wide, extending beyond imperial control and affecting native peoples in wildly unanticipated ways.”
  • “Their own word lakota means “allies,” but their foes, including the French, called them the Sioux, which meant “enemies.”
  • “The warriors rode three times round the village; and as each noted champion passed, the old women would scream out his name, to honor his bravery, and excite the emulation of the younger warriors. Little urchins, not two years old, followed the warlike pageant with glittering eyes, and gazed with eager admiration at the heroes of their tribe.”
  • “Holding a bow in one hand and an arrow in the other, [the mothers] sang near the bodies of their sons an air both gay and martial, thanking them for having given them the satisfaction of seeing them die at the hands of the enemy while fighting valiantly for the defense of their country, a death a thousand times preferable to the fate of him who on a wretched mat expires consumed by some deadly disease.”
  • “They told me this Reason for it, that they had lost the Use of their Bows and Arrows by having Guns so long amongst them, and when they were disappointed of Powder [&] Shott, … their Enemies found They had no Guns to Defend themselves with [and] made Warr Upon them & Destr[o]y[e]d above 100 Tents [of] Men, Women, and Children.”
  • “By combining Hispanic horses with French guns, many native bands reinvented themselves as buffalo-hunting nomads, which brought them unprecedented prosperity and power.”
  • “Possessing a spiritual rather than a scientific imagination, the natives believed that the buffalo swarmed like bees from subterranean hives every spring, and that their annual numbers depended primarily upon human rituals that managed their relationship with the supernatural.”
  • “As with all Native American religions, the villagers subscribed to a profound dualism that reflected upon the alternation of death and life, construction and destruction, reproduction and disintegration in their nature”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “As with all Native American religions, the villagers subscribed to a profound dualism that reflected upon the alternation of death and life, construction and destruction, reproduction and disintegration in their nature”
  • React and Respond: “Here in short, is gathered everything possible for trade and barter with these barbarians in exchange for deer and buffalo hides, and what is saddest, in exchange for Indian slaves, men and women, small and large, a great multitude of both sexes, for they are gold and silver and the richest treasure for the governors, who gorge themselves first with the largest mouthfuls from this table, while the rest eat the crumbs.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Hispanic New Mexico depended for survival upon both alliance with the Pueblo peoples of the Rio Grande and war with the nomads of the western Great Plains and southern Rocky Mountains.”
  • In what ways did the oppression of Native Americans impact Hispanic New Mexico?
  • What was the nature and purpose of the settlements at El Paso and Santa Fe?
  • How did the Spanish view their settlements in El Norte and the Southern plains?
  • Describe the three-way competition between the British, French and Spanish to exploit Native Americans
  • Compare and Contrast: The French and British interaction with Native Americans in the Northern Plains
  • Compare and Contrast: The French and Spanish interaction with Native Americans in the Southern Plains and El Norte
  • Describe how the manipulations of Native Americans by European settlements impacted their societies?
  • Describe the role firearms, horses and alcohol played in the destruction of pre contact Native American society?
  • Describe the purposes Europeans had in introducing firearms into Native American society?
  • What policies in New Spain made El Norte and the Southern Plains a trade “backwater” in the Spanish Empire.
  • What role did Vera Cruz play in Spanish Mexico?
  • Explain and Expand: “the Great Plains exacerbated the paradoxical impact of colonialism so manifest throughout North America”
  • Compare and Contrast: The Southern Great Plains and the Northern Plains
  • Compare and Contrast: The Eastern Great Plains and the Western Plains
  • Compare and Contrast: Nomadic Native Americans and stationary Native Americans
  • Describe the river systems of the Great Plains
  • Compare and Contrast: the role of the Missouri River and the role of the Mississippi River in European settlement
  • Who were the Genízaros and what role did they play in relations between Native Americans and Europeans on the Great Plains and El Norte?
  • Compare and Contrast: African Slavery with Native American Slavery
  • Compare and Contrast: French Native American slavery and Spanish Native American slavery
  • How did Hispanic peoples develop in El Norte and the Great Plains?
  • Compare and Contrast: Relations between Europeans and the Pueblo and the Apache
  • Explain and Expand: “Two horses and a few knives could usually purchase an adolescent Indian girl—the preferred commodity of the slave trade. Male captives were worth half as much.”
  • Compare and Contrast: How gender impacted Native American slavery and African American slavery
  • React and Respond: “Their own word lakota means “allies,” but their foes, including the French, called them the Sioux, which meant “enemies.””
  • Explain and Expand: “The horse-centered way of life proved a mixed blessing for women.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Environmentally, the horse-centered way of life was highly unstable.”
  • Compare and Contrast: The Spanish Mission system in California, New Mexico and Texas
  • Describe “Missions”, “Presidios” and “Pueblos”
  • How did Spanish colonialism change in Alta California, El Norte and the Southern Plains after the 1770s?
  • Explain and Expand: “In contrast to the aggressive French traders, who ventured deep into Indian country, the British factors cautiously stuck to their posts beside the bay”

Articles and Resources

The Cold War and Post War European History

Chapter 5 – The Coming of the Cold War :: Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “This war is not as in the past; whoever occupies a territory also imposes upon it his own social system. Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach. It cannot be otherwise.”
  • “It’s quite clear— it’s got to look democratic, but we must have everything in our control.”
  • “On September 15th the Bulgarian Peace Treaty officially came into force and four days later the USA offered to extend diplomatic recognition to the government in Sofia. Within 96 hours Petkov was executed, his sentence having been delayed until the official American announcement. With Petkov judicially murdered, the Bulgarian Communists need fear no further impediments.”
  • “For many months, based on logical analysis, I have felt and held that war was unlikely for at least ten years. Within the last few weeks I have felt a subtle change in Soviet attitude which I cannot define, but which now gives me a feeling it may come with dramatic suddenness.”
  • “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.”
  • “If you open that Pandora’s Box, you never know what Trojan ’orses will jump out”
  • “Here the ego is at half- pressure; most of us are not men and women but members of a vast, seedy, overworked, over- legislated neuter class, with our drab clothes, our ration books and murder stories, our envious, strict, old- world apathies— a care- worn people. And the symbol of this mood is London, now the largest, saddest and dirtiest of great cities, with its miles of unpainted, half- inhabited houses, its chopless chop- houses, its beerless pubs, its once vivid quarters losing all personality, its squares bereft of elegance . . . its crowds mooning around the stained green wicker of the cafeterias in their shabby raincoats, under a sky permanently dull and lowering like a metal dish- cover.”
  • ‘‘it is rarely possible for the English, in their parliamentary debates, to give utterance to a principle. They discuss only the utility or disutility of a thing, and produce facts, for and against.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the events the Eastern European nations experienced during the consolidation of Soviet power
  • How did the Soviet strategy succeed and fail in Western Europe and Greece regarding working with local Communists? and Socialists?
  • What were the main reasons the Soviets were unable to successfully work with local Communists and Socialists in Western Europe and Greece
  • Compare and Contrast: The relationship between Eastern European nations and Russia in Pre-War Europe and Post War Soviet Occupied Europe
  • In what ways did the Soviets use pre-war and wartime allies in post-war Soviet occupied Europe?
  • Why did the Soviets reject existing Communist / Socialist leadership and structures in Eastern Europe?
  • Who was Mátyás Rákosi and how was he representative of and dissimilar from other leaders in Soviet occupied Europe
  • Explain and Expand: “it is perhaps worth emphasizing that neither Stalin nor his local representatives were in any doubt as to their long- term goal. Coalitions were the route to power for Communist parties in a region where they were historically weak; they were only ever a means to this end.”
  • Explain and Expand: ” The Communists’ stated objective in 1945 and 1946 was to ‘complete’ the unfinished bourgeois revolutions of 1848”
  • Affirm or Refute: “The result was that Communist parties adopted instead a strategy of covert pressure, followed by open terror and repression. In the course of 1946 and into 1947 electoral opponents were maligned, threatened, beaten up, arrested, tried as ‘Fascists’ or ‘collaborators’ and imprisoned or even shot. ‘Popular’ militias helped create a climate of fear and insecurity which Communist spokesmen then blamed on their political critics.”
  • Explain and Expand: “overwhelmingly rural eastern Europe, its allegiance was traditionally Socialist, not Communist. Thus since the Socialists could not easily be beaten, the Communists chose instead to join them.”
  • Define: “Socialist”, “Communist”, “Stalinist”, “Leninist”, “Marxist”
  • Compare and Contrast: “Socialist”, “Communist”, “Stalinist”, “Leninist”, “Marx”
  • In light of pre-war Nazi appeasement, React and Respond: “either in the innocent belief that everyone would benefit, or else in the hope of moderating Communist behavior.”
  • In light of the pre-war Nazi takeover of power, React and Respond: “with some help from violent assaults on their remaining opponents, intimidation at polling stations and blatantly abusive vote counts.”
  • Compare and Contrast: “Communism” and “Fascism”
  • Compare and Contrast: “Socialism” and “Fascism”
  • In what ways did post war Soviet occupation government define themselves in relation to Fascism? How did they use this to assume legitimacy?
  • In what ways were Finland and Yugoslavia exceptional in their post war relations with the Soviet Union?
  • React and Respond: “Communism had lost its revolutionary edge and become, deliberately, part of a broad anti- Fascist coalition.”
  • Describe the process that established West Germany and the reaction in the Soviet Union
  • Explain and Expand: “Accordingly, when the blockade failed, the Soviet leader changed tack.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The Berlin crisis had three significant outcomes”
  • What was “The Brussels Pact”? What was the “1951 Paris Treaty”? How did these form the first stage of NATO and the EU?
  • Describe the process that established NATO
  • React and Respond: “Hence the famous bon mot of Lord Ismay, who took up his post as NATO’s first Secretary General in 1952: the purpose of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was ‘to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.’”
  • How did the option of German neutrality impact the formation of post war Europe?
  • In what ways did domestic politics in post- war Britain impact the formation of post-war Europe?
  • React and Respond: “It was queues for everything, you know, even if you didn’t know what you were queuing for . . . you joined it because you knew there was something at the end of it.”
  • Explain and Expand: “This is something which we know, in our bones, we cannot do.”
  • What were the priorities of France in post war Europe?
  • React and Respond: “The French duly did what the British might have done in other circumstances and made ‘Europe’ in their own image, eventually casting its institutions and policies in a mould familiar from French precedent. At the time it was the continental Europeans, not the British, who expressed regret at the course of events. Many prominent European leaders deeply wanted Britain to join them.”
Colonial American History - The Atlantic and Pacific Worlds - New Spain and New France - British America

Week 6 :: American Nations By Colin Woodard Chapter 6: The Colonies’ First Revolt

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Puritan property titles were declared null and void, forcing landowners to buy new ones from the crown and to pay feudal rents to the king in perpetuity.”
  • “All of this was done without the consent of the governed, in violation of the rights granted all Englishmen under the Magna Carta.”
  • “no more privileges left . . . [other] than not to be sold for slaves.”
  • “a conquered people could not expect the same rights as English people.”

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Colonial American History - The Atlantic and Pacific Worlds - New Spain and New France - British America

Week 2 :: Pacific Worlds By Matt K. Matsuda – Chapter 1: Civilization without a center

The Pacific Worlds

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “What is clear is that once established in the central Pacific, Polynesians created a distinctive culture that extended by seafaring from New Zealand to Easter Island to Hawai‘i, an immense triangle encompassing the northern and southern Pacific, from the equator to Antarctica to the near coast of South America.”
  • “Journeying among multitudes of islands large and small, and astonished by the presence of peoples everywhere, Europeans arriving in the sixteenth century puzzled over a water world of such remarkably diverse yet apparently related civilizations. Perhaps these were land dwellers now inhabiting islands that were in fact the mountain summits of lands that had sunk beneath the waves.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “Civilization without a center”
  • In what ways do physical, linguistic and cultural anthropology impact our understanding of the history of peoples of the Pacific?
  • In what ways does climate science impact our understanding of the peoples of the Pacific?
  • Describe the Sundaland theory
  • Compare and Contrast the development of the Southwest Pacific, Central Pacific and the Northwest (Arctic) Pacific
  • Describe “Lapita culture”

Articles and Resources

 

Colonial American History - The Atlantic and Pacific Worlds - New Spain and New France - British America

Week 19 :: The American Colonies By Alan Taylor Chapter 16: French America (Part 2)

Settlers and Native Americas

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “A man with his wife or his partner clears a little ground, builds himself a house on four piles, covers it with sheets of bark, and plants corn and rice for his provisions; the next year he raises a little more for food, and has also a field of tobacco; if at last he succeeds in having three or four Negroes, then he is out of his difficulties.”
  • “Louisiana officials routinely used torture to execute white soldiers and indentured servants.”
  • “It is known that this country … was formerly the most densely populated with Indians, but at present of these prodigious quantities of different nations one sees only pitiful remnants … which are diminishing every day because of the different diseases that the Europeans have brought into the country and which were formerly unknown to the Indians.”
  • “Why did the French come into our country? Before they came, did we not live better than we do [now], seeing we deprive ourselves of a part of our corn, our game, and fish, to give a part to them? … In fine, before the arrival of the French, we lived like men who can be satisfied with what they have; whereas at this day we are like slaves, who are not suffered to do as they please.”
  • “As long as the Chickasaws exist we shall always have to fear that they shall entice away the others from us in favor of the English. The entire destruction of this hostile nation therefore becomes every day more necessary to our interests, and I am going to exert all diligence to accomplish it.”
  • “The Trade with the Indians is a necessary commerce; and even if the colonists were able to manage without it, the State is virtually forced to maintain it, if it wishes to maintain Peace. … There is no middle course; one must have the natives either as friend or foe; and whoever wants him as friend, must furnish him with his necessities at conditions which allow him to procure them.”

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World War 2 National Socialism and the Holocaust

The Storm of War by Andrew Roberts – Chapter 17 – Eastern Approaches: August 1943–May 1945

World War 2 Eastern Front Troops Advancing

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “We no longer fought for Hitler, or National Socialism, or for the Third Reich, or even our fiancées or mothers or families trapped in bomb-ravaged towns. We fought from simple fear. We fought for ourselves, so that we didn’t die in holes filled with mud and snow. We fought like rats.”
  • “Human pity was now beside the point.”
  • “The root cause of German defeat was the way her forces were wasted in fruitless efforts, and above all, fruitless resistance at the wrong time and place.”
  • “During the Second World War the German Supreme Command could never decide on a withdrawal when the going was good. It either made up its mind too late, or when a retreat had been forced upon our armies and was already in full swing.”
  • “‘Towards the end of 1943 at the latest it had become unmistakably clear that the war had been lost,’ wrote General Halder. ‘Would it not have been possible even so to beat off the invasion and thus provide the basis for a tolerable peace? Had the ‘‘Fortress Germany’’ no hope of consuming the enemy’s strength on its walls? No! Let us once and for all have done with these fairy tales.’. He was right; having taken on four of the world’s six greatest powers, Germany was doomed.”
  • “‘If you talked for two hours and you thought that finally you had convinced him of something, he began where you started just as if you had never said a word.’”
  • “‘It may well be that the Russian success has been somewhat aided by the strategy of Herr Hitler – of Corporal Hitler. Even military idiots find it difficult not to see some faults in some of his actions . . . Altogether, I think it is much better to let officers rise up in the proper way.’”
  • “A: Hold your position! B: I am finished. A: Reinforcements are moving up. B: To hell with your reinforcement. I am cut off. Your reinforcement won’t find me here any more. A: For the last time, I forbid you to speak openly over the wireless. I would prefer you to shoot your own people than allow the enemy to shoot them. B: Comrade No. 54, perhaps you will grasp the situation when I tell you that I have nobody left I can shoot, apart from my wireless operator.”
  • “Not to trust anybody was very typical of Josef Stalin. All the years of his life did he trust one man only, and that was Adolf Hitler.”
  • “If the war should be lost, then the Volk will also be lost. This fate is unavoidable. It is not necessary to take into consideration the bases the Volk needs for the continuation of its most primitive existence. On the contrary, it is better to destroy these things yourself. After all, the Volk would then have proved the weaker nation, and the future would exclusively belong to the stronger nation of the east. What would remain after this fight would in any event be inferior subjects, since all the good ones would have fallen.”
  • “19 March, entitled ‘Demolitions on Reich Territory’, in which he commanded that ‘All military transport, communication facilities, industrial establishments, and supply depots, as well as anything else of value within Reich territory that could in any way be used by the enemy immediately or within the foreseeable future for the continuation of the war, be destroyed.’”
  • “‘I think the Wagner ideology of Götterdämmerung [Twilight of the Gods] had an influence on Hitler during the last few months,’ Walther Funk told his Nuremberg psychiatrist in May 1946, ‘and everything had to go down in ruins with Hitler himself, as a sort of false Götterdämmerung.’”
  • “Officers were reduced to telephoning numbers taken at random from the Berlin telephone directory, the Soviet advance being plotted by how many times the calls were answered in Russian rather than German.”
  • “The Red Army had long been shooting anyone captured in SS uniform, and those SS men who had discarded it nonetheless could not escape the fact that their blood group was tattooed on their left arms, one inch below the armpit.”
  • “’What is so awful in his having fun with a woman, after such horrors?’ Stalin asked Marshal Tito about the ordinary Russian soldier in April 1945. ‘You have imagined the Red Army to be ideal. And it is not ideal, nor can it be . . . The important thing is that it fights Germans.’”
  • “All sorts of complications ensue as soon as you admit a fair trial. I agree with the Home Secretary that they should be treated as outlaws. We should however seek agreement of our Allies . . . I would take no responsibility for a trial – even though the United States wants to do it. Execute the principal criminals as outlaws – if no Ally wants them.”

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The Jazz Age Great Depression New Deal Era and World War 2 America

The Perils Of Prosperity, 1914-1932 By William E. Leuchtenburg :: Chapter 10: The Second Industrial Revolution

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Machinery,” declared Ford solemnly, “is the new Messiah.”
  • “Many industries— textiles, clothing, and bituminous coal, in particular— remained boisterously competitive, however, and the growth of oligopoly— domination of an industry by a few firms— often meant more rather than less competition.”
  • “To staff the agencies of distribution and the “service” industries, a new white- collar class emerged in the cities. Together with the civil servant, the salesman, and the salaried manager, these white- collar employees constituted a “new middle class.” This shift in emphasis produced important changes in the national character. In place of the idea that saving was a virtue, an article of faith as old as the first colonial settlements and the talisman of Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard, a conviction developed that thrift could be socially harmful and spending a virtue. “We’re too poor to economize,” wrote Scott Fitzgerald jauntily. “Economy is a luxury.””
  • “Our future,” wrote Walter Weyl in 1919, “may depend less on the hours that we work today than on the words or the smile we exchange with some anonymous fellow- passenger in the office- building elevator.”
  • “The customer,” he snapped, “can have a Ford any color he wants— so long as it’s black.” But by the mid- 1920s the country had less interest in price than in style and comfort.
  • “We are reaching and maintaining the position,” declared Coolidge as early as 1919, “where the property class and the employed class are not separate, but identical.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the American The Second Industrial Revolution
  • Compare and Contrast how workers were impacted by the First and Second American Industrial Revolutions
  • Who was Frederick W Taylor and what is the theory of scientific management
  • React and Respond: “machine power replaced human labor at a startling rate”
  • Explain and Expand: “Since labor came out of the postwar depression with higher real wages— employers feared a new strike wave if they cut wages as sharply as prices fell— business was stimulated to lower production costs.”
  • In what ways did the Second Industrial revolution center around the “home” and “family”
  • Describe how the new chemical and synthetics industries contributed to the Second Industrial Revolution
  • Describe how infrastructure development was both a part of and necessary for the Second Industrial Revolution
  • What was the significance of The Federal Aid Road Act of 1916
  • React and Respond: “Without the new automobile industry, the prosperity of the Roaring Twenties would scarcely have been possible; the development of the industry in a single generation was the greatest achievement of modern technology.”
  • Who was Bruce Barton why was his work “The Man Nobody Knows” significant?
  • Who was Samuel Insull
  • What impact did Chain and Department stores have on America?
  • Explain and Expand: “Critics of big business in the 1920s emphasized not only the increase in concentration, but also the fact that the benefits of technological innovation were by no means evenly distributed.”
  • React and Respond: “Still, if one focuses exclusively on farm poverty or on depressed West Virginia coal towns, it is easy to distort the experience of the 1920s.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The growth of popular culture and consumerism reflected economic changes that had important consequences for class structure and life style.”
  • How did popular entertainment evolve in this era?
  • Who were Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll?
  • What were the common themes and prominent features of “blackface” comedy (radio, live performance and visual imagery)?
  • What role did “blackface” entertainment play in white culture?
  • React and Respond: “Whereas the nineteenth- century man wanted to make it on his own, the twentieth- century man sought a place for himself in the corporate bureaucracy”
  • In what ways did Irish immigrants impact the Second Industrial Revolution and how did the revolution change Irish immigrants?
  • How does the author incorporate the experience of colonialism into his narrative about the Second Industrial Revolution?
  • How does the author incorporate the experience of women into his narrative about the Second Industrial Revolution?
  • How does the author’s gender bias impact his analysis and conclusions?
  • How does the author incorporate the experiences of non-white communities into his narrative about the Second Industrial Revolution?
  • In what ways does the author’s bias and perspective impact his analysis and conclusions?
  • What year was this book written and how does the period of writing impact the author’s analysis and conclusions?
  • Taking the above few questions into consideration, why is it important to read this volume?
  • React and Respond: “Although the new prosperity fostered an exceptionally materialistic view of life, it resulted in more than just increased sales of gadgets. The country spent more than twice as much as it had before the war on libraries, almost three times as much for hospitals.”

Primary Sources

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Further Reading

 

The Gilded Age, Populist and Progressive Era Reading Group

Chapter 17: Affairs of the Heartland :: American Colossus by H.W. Brands

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The fire from the guns raked the camp, ripping through tepees and cutting down men, women, and children indiscriminately.”
  • “Strange news had come from the West,” the Sioux seer recalled. “It was hard to believe, and when I first heard of it, I thought it was only foolish talk that somebody had started somewhere. This news said that out yonder in the West at a place near where the great mountains”—the Sierra Nevada—“stand before you come to the big water”—the Pacific—“there was a sacred man among the Paiutes who had talked to the Great Spirit in a vision, and the Great Spirit had told him how to save the Indian peoples and make the Wasichus disappear and bring back all the bison and the people who were dead and how there would be a new earth.”
  • “I should let the dance continue,” McGillycuddy said. “If the Seventh Day Adventists prepare their ascension robes for the second coming of the Savior, the United States Army is not put in motion to prevent them. Why should not the Indians have the same privilege? If the troops remain, trouble is sure to come.”
  • “Stand at Cumberland Gap and watch the procession of civilization, marching single file—the buffalo following the trail to the salt springs, the Indian, the fur-trader and hunter, the cattle-raiser, the pioneer farmer—and the frontier has passed by. Stand at South Pass in the Rockies a century later and see the same procession with wider intervals between. The unequal rate of advance compels us to distinguish the frontier into the trader’s frontier, the rancher’s frontier, or the miner’s frontier, and the farmer’s frontier. When the mines and the cow pens were still near the fall line the traders’ pack trains were tinkling across the Alleghenies, and the French on the Great Lakes were fortifying their posts, alarmed by the British trader’s birch canoe. When the trappers scaled the Rockies, the farmer was still near the mouth of the Missouri.”
  • “Since the days when the fleet of Columbus sailed into the waters of the New World, America has been another name for opportunity, and the people of the United States have taken their tone from the incessant expansion which has not only been open but has even been forced upon them. He would be a rash prophet who should assert that the expansive character of American life has now entirely ceased. Movement has been its dominant fact, and, unless this training has no effect upon a people, the American energy will continually demand a wider field for its exercise. But never again will such gifts of free land offer themselves. For a moment, at the frontier, the bonds of custom are broken and unrestraint is triumphant.”
  • “There is something radically wrong in our industrial system. There is a screw loose. The wheels have dropped out of balance. The railroads have never been so prosperous, and yet agriculture languishes. The banks have never done a better or more profitable business, and yet agriculture languishes. Manufacturing enterprises never made more money or were in a more flourishing condition, and yet agriculture languishes. Towns and cities flourish and “boom” and grow and “boom,” and yet agriculture languishes. Salaries and fees were never so temptingly high and desirable, and yet agriculture languishes.”
  • “We want money, land, and transportation. We want the abolition of national banks, and we want the power to make loans direct from the government. We want the accursed foreclosure system wiped out. Land equal to a tract thirty miles wide and ninety miles long has been foreclosed and bought in by loan companies of Kansas in a year. We will stand by our homes and stay by our firesides by force if necessary, and we will not pay our debts to the loan-shark companies until the government pays its debts to us. The people are at bay; let the bloodhounds of money who have dogged us thus far beware.”
  • “Drop the old, worn nickel of the “party slogan” into the slot, and the machine does the rest. You might beseech a Southern white tenant to listen to you upon questions of finance, taxation, and transportation; you might demonstrate with mathematical precision that herein lay his way out of poverty into comfort; you might have him almost persuaded to the truth. But if the merchant who furnished his farm supplies (at tremendous usury) or the town politician (who never spoke to him except at election times) came along and cried “Negro rule!” the entire fabric of reason and common sense which you had patiently constructed would fall, and the poor tenant would joyously hug the chains of an actual wretchedness rather than do any experimenting on a question of mere sentiment.”
  • ““A war with England would be the most popular war ever waged on the face of the earth!” The audience cheered louder. “If it is true that she can dictate the money of the world and thereby create world-wide misery, it would be the most just war ever waged by man!””
  • “The integrity of the government has been violated. A Financial Trust has control of your money, and with it, is robbing you of your property. Vampires feed upon your commercial blood.… This is a struggle for humanity. For our homes and firesides. For the purity and integrity of our government.… Go among the people and awake them to the situation of peril in which they are placed. Awake them as you would with startling cries at the coming of flood and fires. Arouse them as did Paul Revere as he rode through the streets shouting: “The British are on our shores!””
  • “Oh, this is a state to be proud of! We are a people who can hold up our heads! What we need is not more money, but less capital, fewer white shirts and brains, fewer men with business judgment, and more of those fellows who boast that they are “just ordinary clodhoppers but they know more in a minute about finance than John Sherman.”… We don’t need population, we don’t need wealth, we don’t need well-dressed men on the streets, we don’t need standing in the nation, we don’t need cities on the fertile prairies; you bet we don’t! What we are after is the money power. Because we have become poorer and ornerier and meaner than a spavined, distempered mule, we, the people of Kansas, propose to kick; we don’t care to build up, we wish to tear down.”
  • “What’s the matter with Kansas? Nothing under the shining sun. She is losing wealth, population and standing. She has got her statesmen, and the money power is afraid of her. Kansas is all right. She has started in to raise hell, as Mrs. Lease advised, and she seems to have an over-production. But that doesn’t matter. Kansas never did believe in diversified crops.”

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American Frontier

The Trans-Appalachian Frontier :: Chapter 3: Security and Stability in the Territory Northwest of the Ohio

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “neither did he care from whom they came, for he was determined to hold his possession.” The reporting officer continued, “And if I should destroy his house he would build six more in the course of a week.”
  • “When thus far removed from the country, that gave us birth, from our friends and from the influence of the government of any state,” they declared, “we esteem it one of the greatest blessings, that we can have civil government established among us, which is the only foundation for the enjoyment of life, of liberty and of property.”

Thought Questions

  • What was the region known as “The Ohio Country”? What were the significant geographic features of this region?
  • Compare and Contrast the European search for security and stability in the Ohio Country with the process in Kentucky and Tennessee
  • Describe the impact European settlement had on Native Americans in the Ohio Country
  • Why was settlement slowed in the Ohio Country compared with Kentucky and Tennessee?
  • Who were the Native Americans that inhabited the Ohio Country around 1790?
  • Define the regions known commonly as “The Old Northwest” and “The Old Southwest”
  • Who was Arthur St. Clair and what were his functions over time in the Ohio Country?
  • What were the “two pressing problems” Arthur St. Clair needed to address?
  • What role did the French play in the American occupation of the Ohio Country and the Southwest?
  • How did the Northwest Ordinance facilitate settlement in the Ohio Country?
  • How did the Northwest Ordinance facilitate the establishment of government in the Ohio Country?
  • Describe the evolution of government (executive, judicial and legislative) in the Ohio country
  • How did British-American relations impact American – Native American relations?
  • What was the Ohio Company? Compare and Contrast the Ohio Country with the early colonial settlements such as Jamestown and Maryland
  • Compare and Contrast the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 with the Southwest Ordinance of 1790. How did they address the issue of slavery in the territories? How did they address the issue of Native Americans in the territories?
  • Describe the process of agricultural and commercial development in the Ohio Country? What role did Native Americans, African Slaves and French colonials play in this development?

Primary Sources

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Further Reading

The Jazz Age Great Depression New Deal Era and World War 2 America

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg :: Chapter 9: The Revolution in Morals

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The right of women to vote should have required no special justification, but to overcome resistance to approval of the Nineteenth Amendment suffragists, accepting the traditional view of woman’s nature, had argued that giving women the ballot would purify politics and initiate a new era of universal peace and benevolence.” 
  • “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take anyone at random and train him to become any specialist I might select— doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief, and yes, even beggarman and thief, regardless of his talents, tendencies, abilities, vocations and race of his ancestor.”
  • “The hedonism of the period was less a remedy than a symptom of what Walter Lippmann called a “vast dissolution of ancient habits,” and rarely did it prove as satisfying as people hoped.” 

Thought Questions

  • Describe the progress towards female suffrage? How did World War I impact the campaign?
  • How did moral norms and boundaries change in the post World War I era?
  • What role did the decline in religion play in changing values?
  • React and Respond: “The “new woman” revolted against masculine possessiveness, against “over-evaluation” of women “as love objects,” against being treated, at worst, as a species of property. The new woman wanted the same freedom of movement that men had and the same economic and political rights.” 
  • Describe the evolution in the attitudes of women in the post war period?
  • Describe the evolution in the attitudes towards women in the post war period?
  • Compare and Contrast the struggle for women’s suffrage in the North, South and West
  • Compare and Contrast the role Evangelical Christianity and Progressive Christianity played in the struggle for women’s rights in general and suffrage specifically
  • What was the Sheppard-Towner Act? 
  • How did female suffrage impact the economics of family and single life for women?
  • In what ways did men react to the change in the roles of women in society and the home? 
  • How were children and children’s rights impacted by the women’s rights movement?
  • In what ways did the field of psychology impact women and the family in the progressive era?
  • How was Eugene O’Neill significant in the social development of the United States?
  • Expand and Explain: “In the attempt to work out a new standard of relations between men and women, Americans in the 1920s became obsessed with the subject of sex.” 
  • Who were the “Flappers” and what impact did they have on urban American culture?
  • In what ways was the new status and circumstances of women reflected in the arts and how did the arts impact the role of women?
  • “None of the Victorian mothers had any idea how casually their daughters were accustomed to be kissed.”
  • Explain and Expand “The Gibson girl was the embodiment of stability. The flapper’s aesthetic ideal was motion, her characteristics were intensity, energy, volatility. While the Gibson girl seems incapable of an immodest thought or deed, the flapper strikes us as brazen and at least capable of sin if not actually guilty of it. She refused to recognize the traditional moral code of American civilization, while the Gibson girl had been its guardian.” 
  • React and Respond: “Instead of youth emulating age, age imitated youth. Scott Fitzgerald, looking back on the years of which he was the chief chronicler, recalled: “May one offer in exhibit the year 1922! That was the peak of the younger generation, for though the Jazz Age continued, it became less and less an affair of youth. The sequel was a children’s party taken over by elders.” “Oh, yes, we are collegiate” 
  • React and Respond: “Abandoning the notion of saving income or goods or capital over time, the country insisted on immediate gratification … The preoccupation with living in the present had problematic consequences.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 8: A Botched Civilization

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “One’s first strong impression,” recalled Malcolm Cowley, “is of the bustle and hopefulness that filled the early years from 1911– 1916…. Everywhere new institutions were being founded— magazines, clubs, little theatres, art or freelove or singletax colonies, experimental schools, picture galleries. Everywhere was a sense of secret comradeship and immense potentialities for change.” 
  • “you may be sure that an era is dying. It is a law of literary history that these spectacular outbursts which look as if they were ushering in a new epoch are in truth ushering out an old one.”
  • “so gives away the whole long age during which we have supposed the world to be, with whatever abatement, gradually bettering, that to have to take it all now for what the treacherous years were really making for and meaning is too tragic for any words.” 
  • “There died a myriad, And of the best, among them, For an old bitch gone in the teeth, For a botched civilization”
  • “shape without form, shade without color, paralyzed force, gesture without motion.” 
  • “Above all, they loathed the “Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls,” that vast middle class which sought “culture” as it would shop for furniture, which measured everything in money. … They despised capitalism as the foul offspring of Puritanism. They rebelled against what Waldo Frank called the “cold lethal simplicities of American business culture.””
  • “We had begun to develop an idea common to nineteenth century romantics and twentieth century bohemians, the idea that success was synonymous with philistinism,” wrote Joseph Freeman. Quite “unable to distinguish between success and conventional standards of success, we made a cult of failure.” The novelist Scott Fitzgerald, in particular, was fascinated by “the beautiful and damned.” “All the stories that came into my head,” he recalled, “had a touch of disaster in them.” 
  • “What will you say to a man who believes in hell, or that the Pope of Rome wants to run this country, or that the Jews caused the war?” asked Ludwig Lewisohn. “How would you argue with a Methodist minister from an Arkansas village, with a Kleagle of the Klan, with a ‘thisisawhiteman’scountry’ politician from central Georgia?”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “A few years before World War I, the only literary tradition America had ever known came to an end.”
  • Explain and Expand: “[Continued from previous quote] At the time it seemed less like a death than a beginning.”
  • What impact did the end of the Progressive Era have on the static visual arts? 
  • What impact did the end of the Progressive Era have on the performance arts?
  • What impact did the end of the Progressive Era have on the literary arts?
  • In what ways did the 1912 Wilson campaign slogan “The New Freedom” reflect changing social climate in America? 
  • Who was Ezra Pound and what did his writing express about changing American culture and society?
  • Who was Henry James and how did his writing express the schism in American society and culture?
  • What does T.S. Elliot express about American life in his work “The Waste Lands”? 
  • Compare and Contrast: seventeenth century Puritanism and nineteenth century Victorianism in America
  • Compare and Contrast “The Mysterious Stranger” with Twain’s work “The Gilded Age”
  • Who was F. Scott Fitzgerald and what did his writing express about American life? 
  • What was the “Harlem Renaissance” and how did African American gender and sexuality find expression within the movement?
  • Who was Zora Neale Hurston?
  • Explain and Expand: “It is not easy to explain the negativism of the artists of the 1920s in relation to their creativity”

Primary Sources

American Literature

American Visual Art

Articles and Resources

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 7: Tired Radicals

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “his enemies in office and his friends in jail.”
  • “This thing has got to come to an end. New York invited you people here as guests, not to live.”
  • “that the Democratic Party could be relied upon at the right time to do the wrong thing!”
  • “get the viewpoint of the broad prairie farmer. Don’t be a narrow minded hill billy from Vermont dominated by selfish money and manufacturing and union labor interests all your life.”
  • “The 1920s did, though, mark a time of transition within progressivism from the oldstyle evangelical reformism, under leaders like La Follette and Bryan, to a newstyle urban progressivism, which would call itself liberalism.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the circumstances that created the fourparty contest in 1912
  • In what ways did World War I have an impact on American Progressivism?
  • Who was Robert M. La Follette and why was he a polarizing figure?
  • How did Nationalism and Progressivism become linked and what impact did it have on each?
  • What were the issues the parties faced internally and in regards to national foreign and local domestic circumstances in 1916? How did this evolve into 1920 and 1924?
  • Describe the post war Progressive Party 
  • Who was Herbert Croly and what was the significance of “The Promise of American Life” (1909)?
  • Who was Walter Lippmann and what was the significance of “Public Opinion” and “The Phantom Public”?
  • Who were John Dewey, Charles Beard, Thorstein Veblen and how did they seek to impact American Society? 
  • What was the Nonpartisan League and how did it evolve from the Farmer Labor movement?
  • Why does the author mention “George Babbitt”? 
  • How did the mid western farm belt respond to political circumstances in the 1920s?
  • Who was General Jacob Coxey? 
  • How did the sectional divide between East, South and West shape parties in the 1920s?
  • How did Calvin Coolidge fit into the mix of parties?
  • Describe the relationship between Calvin Coolidge and the American Farm Belt
  • Expand and Explain: “The 1920s did, though, mark a time of transition within progressivism from the oldstyle evangelical reformism, under leaders like La Follette and Bryan, to a newstyle urban progressivism, which would call itself liberalism.” 
  • Who was Fiorello La Guardia?

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 6: The Reluctant Giant

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The Kellogg Pact, as Frank Simonds observed, was “the high water mark of American endeavors for world peace which consisted in undertaking to combine the idea of political and military isolation with that of moral and material involvement.””
  • “I can’t explain it but I’ll never put a uniform on again.” 
  • “Instead, the United States under Harding and Coolidge made an exceptionally difficult situation far worse. If the United States was to function as a creditor nation, it had to import more than it exported. But the country moved in precisely the opposite direction. By an emergency tariff in 1921 and the Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act of 1922, the United States drowned any hope that it would be more receptive to European goods. The Fordney-McCumber Tariff restored the high prewar rates and added a few new tolls of its own, especially on “infant industries” such as chemicals.” 

Thought Questions

  • Explain the debt cycle through Germany France / Britain / Belgium United States that emerged after World War I
  • Haw was American foreign policy in the 1920s built on disillusionment with World War I?
  • Compare and Contrast how the United States and Europe viewed war debt and reparations differently?
  • What were the Dawes and Young Plans? What was their goal and why did they fail? 
  • How did the Europeans naval rearmament impact their ability to fund post war reconstruction, reparations and debt? 
  • Describe the efforts at arms control and disarmament after World War I? 
  • What was the The Kellogg–Briand Pact (General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy)? What impact did it have on international relations?
  • How did belief in American innocence and European wickedness impact attitudes in the United States after World War I? What factors led to a return to anti-Europeanism after the war? Why didn’t the shared war experiences bind the American and Western European public together?
  • What was the The Geneva Protocol of 1924 and how did it impact American Asian European relations? What attitudes and circumstances impacted it? How was China a factor?
  • Explain and Expand: “peace was seen as merely the avoidance of war rather than as a continuous process of political accommodation” 
  • What was the “Good Neighbor Policy” and how did Mexican relations with the United States impact post war security arrangements? 
  • What were the Fordney-McCumber Tariff and the Hawley-Smoot Tariff what impact did it have on the United States and World economies? 
  • Summarize American foreign policy in the 1920s 

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 5: The Politics of Normalcy 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The moralist unquestionably secures wide popular support; but he also wearies his audience,” pointed out the historian Charles Seymour, “and many a voter has turned from Wilson in the spirit that led the Athenian to vote for the ostracism of Aristides, because he was tired of hearing him called ‘The Just.’” Wilson had become, in Mark Sullivan’s words, “the symbol of the exaltation that had turned sour, personification of the rapture that had now become gall, sacrificial whipping boy for the present bitterness.””
  • ““My God, this is a hell of a job!” he told William Allen White before leaving. “I have no trouble with my enemies…. But my damned friends, my God-damn friends, White, they’re the ones that keep me walking the floor nights!”” 
  • “What was of “real importance to wage-earners,” he wrote, “was not how they might conduct a quarrel with their employers but how the business of the country might be so organized as to insure steady employment at a fair rate of pay. If that were done there would be no occasion for a quarrel, and if it were not done a quarrel would do no good.”” 

Thought Questions

  • What was “Muckraking”?
  • Why was Wilson a “man with no friends” at the end of his term?
  • In what ways does Wilson embody the stereotype of the moralist and preacher? 
  • What is the “Social Gospel” and how is it anchored in this period? 
  • In what ways did the end of the Wilson administration begin an “era of business supremacy”?
  • What impact did Democratic political weakness have on the Republican Party?
  • Who is Warren G. Harding and how did he become synonymous with “back-room politics / smoke filled rooms”?
  • Compare and Contrast the “Ohio Gang” with the Tammany Democrats 
  • How was the election a referendum about pre-war nostalgia of an imaginary “Gilded Age”?
  • What role did Herbert Hoover play in the Harding administration and what impact did he have on American business? 
  • In what ways did Harding and Debs have similar goals but different perspectives?
  • Compare and Contrast the administrations of Grant and Harding
  • What was the Teapot Dome scandal?
  • Compare and Contrast Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge
  • How did Calvin Coolidge impact post war Germany? Britain? 
  • What was a “Businessman’s Government”?
  • Explain what is intended by the expression: “the Babbitts’ awe of the Dodsworths” 
  • In what ways was the administration of Calvin Coolidge (and Herbert Hoover) a return to the puritanical idealism of the Wilson administration? 
  • In what ways was the administration of Calvin Coolidge (and Herbert Hoover) a continuation of a chastened Harding Republicanism? 
  • What was the “Farm Bloc” and why did they come into existence?
  • In what ways did the existence of the “Farm Bloc” reflect Gilded Age agrarian populism?
  • Describe the Urban-Rural divide in the 1920s
  • How did the Urban-Rural divide of the 1920s impact the racial divide?
  • How did the Urban-Rural divide of the 1920s impact the tripartite sectionalism of East / South / West?
  • Why was Coolidge outraged at the McNary-Haugen bill in 1927? 
  • When was “Perils of Prosperity” first written? 
  • How does the author’s contemporary circumstances and perspective impact this (and others) chapter?

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 4: Red Scare

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “General Leonard Wood, the Army Chief of Staff, noted his approval of a minister’s call for the deportation of Bolshevists “in ships of stone with sails of lead, with the wrath of God for a breeze and with hell for their first port.” “If I had my way with these ornery wild-eyed Socialists and I. W. W.’s,” shouted the evangelist Billy Sunday, “I would stand them up before a firing squad and save space on our ships.” In Indiana a jury deliberated two minutes before acquitting Frank Petroni, who had shot and killed a man for yelling, “To hell with the United States!””
  • “… the Third International, boasted that money sent to Germany for the Spartacist uprising “was as nothing compared to the funds transmitted to New York for the purpose of spreading bolshevism in the United States.”” 
  • ““Don’t you see the glory of this case,” remarked a character in Upton Sinclair’s Boston (1928). “It kills off the liberals.” In the 1920s, most intellectuals were too non-political for radicalism to make much impact. “It was characteristic of the Jazz Age,” recorded Scott Fitzgerald, “that it had no interest in politics at all.” “Politics and voting,” pontificated Gertrude Stein, “do not make any difference.”” 

Thought Questions

  • What was the “Red Scare”?
  • How and Why did the United States become involved in the Russian Revolution? 
  • How did the Harding and Coolidge administrations react during the Red Scare?
  • What were some of the demands of striking workers before and during the Red Scare?
  • In what ways were Unions pushed towards socialist and radical organizations?
  • Describe the Anarchist terrorism during this period
  • Why were pacifists and peace activists targeted in the Red Scare?
  • How were American Jehovah’s Witnesses persecuted during and after World War I? 
  • Who were Leon Trotsky (Lev Davidovich Bronstein) and Nikolai Bukharin?
  • Why and How was Trotsky more influential in the United States than other Bolsheviks such as Lenin, Mensheviks such as Zhordania and Polish/German Communists such as Luksemburg?
  • In what ways was Trotsky influenced by the United States?
  • In what ways did Russian Communists misunderstand the structure of government in the United States? 
  • In what ways did misunderstanding about American Federalism by Bolsheviks influence the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics? 
  • What was the Comintern and why was the Third Comintern important in American history?
  • What was the Red Terror and how did it impact Russian and Georgian immigrants to the United States? 
  • What were the most significant “class” of Georgian immigrants to the United States and how did this impact American reaction to the Russian Revolution and Civil War? 
  • Who was Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild Congress of Rough Riders?
  • How did the New Economic Policy (NEP) impact Russian relations with the United States?
  • How and Why were Slavic Americans targeted during the Red Scare? (beyond obvious national identification)
  • In what ways did Anarchism impact the United States?
  • What factors led to Anarchism, Socialism and Communism being lumped together in the Untied States? 
  • How was the Red Scare a reality and an illusion? 
  • In what ways did business interests and the middle class influence the Red Scare? 
  • What made Bolshevism distinct among Communist ideologies?
  • What made Trotskyism distinct among Communist ideologies?
  • Compare and Contrast European Social Democrats and Russian Bolshevism 
  • How did Russian Bolshevism impact politics in the United States?
  • Describe the evolution of the American Communist Party between 1917 and 1932
  • Compare and Contrast Communism with Socialism 
  • Why did Russian Bolshevism focus attention on Germany and the United States? 
  • Compare and Contrast Leninism and Trotskyism in the United States 
  • What circumstances in the United States provided ground for the development of Socialism
  • How were the working poor and unions impacted by the Red Scare?
  • Why were the working poor and unions targeted by the Red Scare?
  • Who was Eugene Debs?
  • How did conflict over American involvement in World War I influence the development of radical ideologies? 
  • Ultimately what impact did Communism and Anarchism have on the United States
  • Ultimately what impact did Socialism have on the United States?
  • Ultimately what impact did the Red Scare have on the United States? 

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 3: The Fourteenth Point

Thought Questions

  • Who was George Clemenceau and David Lloyd George?
  • Compare and Contrast the perspectives and issues of the Untied States, France and Great Britain?
  • What were Wilson’s Fourteen Points and how was the League of Nations a part of it?
  • In what ways was Wilson’s Fourteen Points selectively applied to different nations / peoples?
  • What as Wilson’s intentions with the Fourteen Points and the League of Nations?
  • Describe the domestic opposition groups to the League of Nations? 
  • Who was Henry Cabot Lodge?
  • How did Wilson’s final speaking tour to support the League impact his life? 
  • In what ways did the points of domestic opposition to the League turn our to be correct?
  • In what ways was Woodrow Wilson’s warnings about the League turn out to be correct? 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “In the final analysis the treaty was slain in the house of its friends rather than in the house of its enemies. In the final analysis it was not the two-thirds rule, or the ‘irreconcilables,’ or Lodge, or the ‘strong’ and ‘mild reservationists,’ but Wilson and his docile following who delivered the fatal stab…. This was the supreme act of infanticide. With his own sickly hands Wilson slew his own brain child.”
  • On November 27, 1918, Theodore Roosevelt issued a statement which was duly noted in the capitals of Europe: “Our allies and our enemies and Mr. Wilson himself should all understand that Mr. Wilson has no authority whatever to speak for the American people at this time. His leadership has just been emphatically repudiated by them. The newly elected Congress comes far nearer than Mr. Wilson to having a right to speak the purposes of the American people at this moment. Mr. Wilson and his Fourteen Points and his four supplementary points and his five complementary points and all his utterances every which way have ceased to have any shadow of right to be accepted as expressive of the will of the American people.” 

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 2: Innocents Abroad

Thought Questions

  • What does the author mean by the title “Innocents Abroad”?
  • What did Churchill mean when he said “Events passed very largely outside the scope of conscious choice”? 
  • Why was the timing of American intervention in World War I important?
  • Who was General John J. Pershing? 
  • Describe the events and significance of The Battle of Château-Thierry
  • Describe the events and significance of The Battle of Belleau Wood 
  • Describe the events and significance of The Battle of the Meuse-Argonne Forest
  • How did the United States Navy impact World War I?
  • What role did federal government planning and coordination play in World War I?
  • How did the role of the federal government in American life change as a result of World War I?
  • Who was Food Administrator Herbert Hoover and what was his contribution to World War I relief?
  • What did John Dewey mean by “the social possibilities of war”?
  • What was the War Revenue Act of 1917?
  • What was the National War Labor Board and how did it impact post World War I history?
  • In what ways did World War I effect citizens’ relationship to the federal government?
  • How did opportunities created by World War I impact African Americans?
  • How did opportunities created by World War I impact American women?
  • In what ways was the military draft in World War I different from the draft during the Civil War?
  • How did immigrants react to the World War I draft? 
  • Why did World War I open a new chapter for the temperance movement?
  • In what ways did the federal government engage in the suppression of war dissenters?
  • Describe the Socialist candidates and the movement they represented? 
  • In what ways was the Socialist movement in the United States different from the movement in Europe? Why did this difference emerge?
  • Who was Eugene Debs? 
  • What were the provisions of the Espionage Act of 1917?
  • What were the provisions of the Sedition law of 1918? 
  • What was the Schenck v. U.S. (1919) Supreme Court decision?
  • What did Walter Lippmann mean by: “leadership passes from statesmanship to virulent jingoism”? 
  • Who was Robert La Follette?
  • Who was Frank Little and what was the International Workers of the World? 
  • What were Wilson’s Fourteen Points?
  • How did the United States, Germany, Russia and the western Europeans interpret the Fourteen Points differently? 
  • Describe the evolution of the idea of an international body?
  • How did the idealism of Wilson impact Theodore Roosevelt and Senator Henry Cabot Lodge?

Response / Thought Quotes

  • ““Events,” wrote Winston Churchill in 1929, “passed very largely outside the scope of conscious choice. Governments and individuals conformed to the rhythm of the tragedy, and swayed and staggered forward in helpless violence, slaughtering and squandering on ever-increasing scales, till injuries were wrought to the structure of human society which a century will not efface, and which may conceivably prove fatal to the present civilization.””
  • ““Sure we paid,” replied Charles G. Dawes when his fellow Republicans were unfairly censuring Democratic officials after the war. “We would have paid horse prices for sheep if sheep could have pulled artillery to the front…. Damn it all, the business of an army is to win the war, not to quibble around with a lot of cheap buying. Hell and Maria, we weren’t trying to keep a set of books, we were trying to win the war!””
  • “Since coming to Philadelphia, one migrant reported: “Don’t have to mister every little white boy comes along…. I can ride in the electric street and steam cars any where I can get a seat…and if you are first in a place here [shopping] you don’t have to wait until the white folks get thro tradeing.” “I should have a been here 20 years ago,” a Chicago newcomer wrote back home. “It’s a great deal of pleasure in knowing that you have got some privilege. My children are going to the same school with whites and I dont have to umble to no one. I have registered—Will vote the next election and there isnt any ‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir’—its all yes and no and Sam and Bill.””
  • “Wilson and his circle transmuted the war into a crusade, in which were invoked the old theme of the church militant and the more modern one of the secular religion of democracy. Secretary Baker wrote of America’s “high and holy mission”; Secretary Lane spoke of “the world of Christ” coming face to face with the world of force; while a government pamphleteer noted the conviction of the American people that the “war across the sea was no mere conflict between dynasties, but a stupendous civil war of all the world.” The war, declared the Creel Committee, was “a Crusade not merely to re-win the tomb of Christ, but to bring back to earth the rule of right, the peace, goodwill to men and gentleness he taught.”” 
  • “We should not ask about the sincerity of such a man. If he puts his belief into practice, we should either put him to death or shut up in an asylum as a madman.” 

Primary Sources

American Literature

Articles

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Chapter 1: Armageddon 

Thought Questions

  • How did American views on Europe change between 1913 and 1918?
  • How did American views on Europe change between 1919 and 1920? (keep reading)
  • How did American views on Europe change after 1920? (keep reading)
  • How did Woodrow Wilson’s views on Europe change between 1914 and The Treaty of Versailles? (keep reading)
  • How did Woodrow Wilson’s views on Europe change during and after The Treaty of Versailles negotiations? (keep reading)
  • What were the factors that influenced evolving American views on the war in Europe?
  • What role did the rights of neutrals play in American views on the war in Europe?
  • How did Irish and German immigrant communities react to the war in Europe?

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “’Never since Christ was born in the Manger,’ wrote a Maine newspaperman as late as July 30, ‘was the outlook for the universal brotherhood of man brighter than it is today.’”
  • “In Harper’s Weekly, Norman Hapgood wrote, “For Germans and French, with a whole complex and delicate civilization in common to be using death engines to mow down men and cities is so unthinkable that we go about in a daze.” People, commented Jane Addams afterwards, “went about day after day with an oppressive sense of the horrible disaster which had befallen the world and woke up many times during the night,” and in the first year of the European conflict, Henry James told a friend, “It’s vain to speak as if one were not’t living in a nightmare of the deepest dye.””
  • “If the war had any rational basis, Americans thought, it could be found in the imperialist lust for markets. “Do you want to know the cause of the war?” asked Henry Ford. “It is capitalism, greed, the dirty hunger for dollars.” “Take away the capitalist,” Ford asserted, “and you will sweep war from the earth.” Americans rejoiced in their isolation from Old World lunacy. “We never appreciated so keenly as now,” wrote an Indiana editor, “the foresight exercised by our forefathers in emigrating from Europe.””

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

 

The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-1932 by William E. Leuchtenburg – Prologue

Thought Questions

  • In what ways does the author compare and contrast 1932 with 1914?
  • What aspects of American life does the author omit from his discussion of 1914 and 1932?
  • How did differences between urban and rural America change in this period?
  • In what ways did the experience of World War I impact the American homefront and post war society?
  • What does the author see as the failures and successes of this period?
  • How did the motivation and reasoning behind the antisemitism of Henry Ford mirror motivation and reasoning of antisemitism in Europe?
  • How did the consequences and intended impact of Henry Ford’s antisemitism differ from the antisemitism in Europe?
  • Watch for the pattern of Motivation > Reasoning > Intentions > Consequences as you read.

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Beneath the complacency of the age lay a grave disquiet. “We are unsettled to the very roots of our being,” wrote Walter Lippmann in 1914. “There isn’t a human relation, whether of parent and child, husband and wife, worker and employer, that doesn’t move in a strange situation.””
  • “Over the life of all classes, especially in the areas of rural Protestantism, hung the pall of Puritanism, “the haunting fear,” as H. L. Mencken wrote, “that someone, somewhere, may be happy.””

 

Week 15 :: A World Undone by G.J. Meyer Chapter 15: Ypres Again

 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Just rat holes! One hell of accommodation! Got to the trenches as a fatigue party with stake & sandbags, and though they were reserve trenches, they were so rotten. No trenches at all in parts, just isolated mounds. Found German’s feet sticking up through the ground. The Gurkhas had actually used human bodies instead of sandbags. Right beside the stream where we were working were the bodies of two dead, since November last, one face downward in full marching order, with his kit on his back. He died game! Stench something awful and dead all round. Water rats had made a home of their decomposed bodies. Visited the barbed wire with Rae—ordinary wire strung across. Quit about 1 A.M., came back to our dugouts and found them on fire. Had to march out to St. Julien, & put up in a roofless house—not a roof left on anything in the whole place. Found our sack of food had been stolen and we were famished. Certainly a most unlucky day, for I lost my cherished pipe. Bed at 4 A.M.”
  • “The advancing Germans were shocked by what they found: five thousand enemy soldiers on their backs, struggling for breath, suffocating in agony and terror.”
  • “There is nothing more bizarre about the great war than the way in which, for four years, millions of citizens of Europe’s most advanced nations lived in holes in the ground. The Western Front was unlike anything the world had seen before or has seen since.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the events around the Second Battle of Ypres
  • What was the end result of the Second Battle of Ypres for the Germany, France and Britain?
  • What was the condition of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time of the Second Battle of Ypres
  • What was the position of Italy in Europe before the war and how did they use their position to their national advantage?
  • What was the course of events that led to Italy joining the Entente?
  • Describe the Battle of Saint-Mihiel and its impact on the participants
  • What was Hill 60?
  • How was chlorine gas used in the Second Battle of Ypres
  • What role did Indian troops play in the Second Battle of Ypres?
  • What impact did the use of poison gas at the Second Battle of Ypres have on German American relations?
  • Describe the trench warfare system for the Western Allies and Germany
  • What was Trench Foot? What was Trench Mouth? How was it a life long injury?
  • How does the cliché about war: “it is tedium punctuated by eruptions of sheer terror” expressed in Trench warfare?. 

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

 

Week 12 :: A World Undone by G.J. Meyer, Chapter 12: Flanders Fields

Thought Questions

  • How did the First Battle of Ypres unfold? 
  • What was accomplished by the different sides in the First Battle of Ypres?
  • What lessons did the different sides learn in the First Battle of Ypres? 
  • How did the Battle of the Yser fit into the First Battle of Ypres
  • How did the Battle of Langemarck fit into the First Battle of Ypres
  • How did the Battle of Gheluvelt fit into the First Battle of Ypres
  • How did the Battle of Nonne Bosschen fit into the First Battle of Ypres
  • How did terrain and geography effect the First Battle of Ypres? 
  • How did communication, information and transportation effect the the First Battle of Ypres?
  • What were the two goals that the German forces needed to accomplish in the eastern theater as the First Battle of Ypres unfolded? 
  • How did the 1914 First Battle of Warsaw (the 1914 Battle of the Vistula River) unfold? 
  • What was accomplished by the different sides in the Battle of Warsaw and contemporaneous engagements?
  • What was the state of Austro-Hungarian forces at the end of 1914? 

Note: There are a multitude of Battles of Warsaw in history. Warsaw is grievously a necropolis that people live on top of and nations fight over.

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Thousands of schoolboy recruits, many of them as young as sixteen, followed almost equally inexperienced reserve sergeants and officers in heavily massed formations directly at the waiting BEF. They formed a wall of flesh—British soldiers recalled them advancing arm in arm, singing as they came, wearing their fraternity caps and carrying flowers—that blind men could hardly have missed. They were mowed down in rows. Where they somehow succeeded in driving back their enemies, they often didn’t know what to do next and so milled around aimlessly until hit with a counterattack. Many thousands of these youngsters lie in a single mass grave a short distance north of Ypres. At the site is a sculpture, the figures of a pair of parents kneeling in grief, created after the war by the mother of one of them.”
  • “Even the barest chronology of how the villages near Ypres were taken and surrendered and taken again is enough to show why, in the end, hardly a stone was left standing upon a stone. Lombartzyde was captured by the Germans on October 23, retaken by the French a day later, recaptured by the Germans on October 28, taken yet again by the British and French on November 4, recaptured by the Germans on November 7, only to change hands twice more before finally and permanently ending up in the possession of the Germans.” 

Articles and Resources

 

 

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