Brief Review in United States History and Government

Industrialization of the United States

Document-Based Essay

This task is designed to test your ability to work with historical documents and is based on the accompanying documents (1–6). Some of the documents have been edited for the purposes of this question. As you analyze the documents, take into account both the source of each document and any point of view that may be presented in the document.

Directions: This document-based question consists of two parts: Part A and Part B. In Part A, you are to read each document and answer the question or questions that follow the document. In Part B, you are to write an essay based on the information in the documents and your knowledge of United States history.

Your first name only:

Your teacher's e-mail address:

Obtain the correct e-mail address from your teacher
(e.g., "teachers_name@somewhere.com")

Historical Context: After the Civil War, America faced new challenges including the rebuilding of the South and the rise of big business. These events changed American society.

Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of United States history and government, answer the questions that follow each document in Part A. Your answers to the questions will help you write the Part B essay in which you will be asked to discuss whether or not the changes that occurred after the Civil War created a more democratic America with greater opportunities for all.

PART A: SHORT ANSWER

Document #1

"This case turns upon the constitutionality of an act of the General Assembly of the State of Louisiana, passed in 1890, providing for separate railway carriages for the white and colored races. …
     "We consider the underlying fallacy [error in reasoning] of the plaintiff's argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is … solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it. … The argument also assumes that social prejudices may be overcome by legislation, and that equal rights cannot be secured … except by an enforced commingling [mixing] of the two races. We cannot accept this proposition. … If the civil and political rights of both races be equal, one cannot be inferior to the other civilly or politically. If one race be inferior to the other socially, the Constitution of the United States cannot put them upon the same plane. …"
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

1. State one reason why the Supreme Court ruled in 1896 that separate railroad cars for African Americans and white Americans were constitutional.

Document #2

"In piecework they would reduce the time, requiring the same work in a shorter time, and paying the same wages. … They would start work every morning at seven, and eat their dinners at noon, and then work until ten or eleven at night without another mouthful of food."
—Upton Sinclair, The Jungle

2. What conditions would a labor union leader want to change in the factory described?

Document #3

"Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal. Every person who shall make any contract or engage in any combination or conspiracy hereby declared to be illegal shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $10,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $350,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding three years…"
—Sherman Antitrust Act (1890)

3. How did the Sherman Antitrust Act restrict monopolies?

Document #4

number of immigrants in 1800s

number of immigrants in 1900s

4. What effect did the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) and the Gentleman's Agreement (1907) have on immigration?

Document #5

DATE LEGISLATION PURPOSE
1865 13th Amendment
  • Abolishes slavery
1865, 1866 Freedman's Bureau
  • Provides services for newly freed people
1867 Reconstruction Acts
  • Establishes Republican Reconstruction program
1868 14th Amendment
  • Defines citizenship to include African Americans
  • Guarantees equal protection under the law
1870 15th Amendment
  • Guarantees voting rights
1875 Civil Rights Act
  • Protects rights of African Americans in public places
5. Based on the chart, what are two rights that were given to African Americans during Reconstruction?

Document #6

"American social development has been continually beginning over again on the frontier. This perennial [lasting for a long time] rebirth, this fluidity of American life, this expansion westward with its new opportunities, … furnished the forces dominating American character. The true point of view in the history of this nation is not the Atlantic Coast, it is the Great West. The frontier is the line of most rapid and effective Americanization. The wilderness masters the colonists."
—Frederick Jackson Turner, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" (1893)

6. According to Frederick Jackson Turner, why was the frontier significant in the development of America?

PART B: ESSAY

Directions: Using information from the documents provided, and your knowledge of United States history, write a well-organized essay that includes an introduction, several paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Historical Context: After the Civil War, America faced new challenges including the rebuilding of the South and the rise of big business. These events changed American society.

Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of United States history and government, write an essay in which you:

Discuss whether or not the changes that occurred after the Civil War created a more democratic America with greater opportunities for all.

Guidelines: When writing your essay, be sure to

  • address all aspects of the Task by accurately analyzing and interpreting at least four documents.
  • incorporate information from the documents in the body of the essay.
  • incorporate relevant outside information throughout the essay.
  • richly support the theme with relevant facts, examples, and details.
  • write a well-developed essay that consistently demonstrates a logical and clean plan of organization.
  • introduce the theme by establishing a framework that is beyond a simple restatement of the Task or Historical Context and conclude the essay with a summation of the theme.

When you're done, your answers to your teacher.