HIS109 History of The United States Since 1865 Discussion

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Of the People: A History of the United States since 1865. By Michael McGerr, Jan Ellen Lewis. Volume 2: 4th edition.


Please use your textbook and information form the powerpoints to answer both discussion questions. You are required to solely use your textbook to answer the questions. No other outside sources are required to answer the questions. The more details and examples you use to write your responses, the more points you will likely get. You are graded on the originality of your response, the depth, and critical thinking you bring to the discussion. Be sure responses are in your own words, and your own work. Originality is important, and I implore you not to copy the text verbatim from the text. If you do, please be sure to cite the source and page number from the textbook, as I have done in the Online Discussion sample. Use that as a template how to answer and cite information from a source. If you do not cite sources/textbook, you will get 0 points if you borrowed information form that source. Responses should be at least 300-350 words per question (it’s okay to go over the word limit).

Online Discussion 2:

Chapter 16

  1. A) Industry is starting to take command! Describe the factors that made the U.S. an industrial society during the second half of the 19th In some ways did the industrial revolution create new forms of freedom for some workers while restricting some freedoms for others?
  2. B) Discuss the many obstacles faced by immigrants in the United States in the late nineteenth century (Chinese/Jewish/Birds of Passage). Among the immigrant groups arriving in the United States in the late 19th C . how were arrivals from China singled out for particular discrimination by Americans? Why do you think the Chinese received such unique treatment and what factors played into this (think science)?



**Ways to answer Online Discussions
Question: How profound was the Black Death? How did it impact daily life, dismantle global economies, and weaken political structures?

Discussion Y

Due to the Black Death, “population densities did not recover for 200 years” (Pollard 384). The Black Death caused chaos among communities, trashed economies, and killed millions of people. “25 to 65 percent of infected populations” were killed (Pollard 386).

In China, the Black Death completely devastated the Mongol Empire. This enabled “dissident religious sects” to “undercut” the last Yuan Mongol rulers (Pollard 388). Chinese religious movements such as the Red Turban Movement caused folks to change their everyday lives by abiding to “dietary restrictions, penance, and ceremonial rituals. (please provide an example. Paragraph needs additional info)

In Islam, the plague left the Islamic world in a state of near political and economical collapse. City infrastructure was becoming destroyed, tribes weakened, and livestock perished. (needs more info)

In Europe, all were at risk of disease, from aristocracy to peasants, especially those in crowded cities. 50-80 million of Europe’s population perished in just four years. The Black Death caused Europeans to adopt mischievous habits. “Europeans turned to debauchery, determined to enjoy themselves before they died” (Pollard 388). Others turned to religion outside of church, feeling betrayed. While others turned against themselves, individually. This group of people are known as “Flagellants, who were so convinced that man had incurred God’s wrath that they whipped themselves to atone for human sin” (Primary Source A). Post-plague, many peasants turned against the clergy. Shortages of food led to an inflation of prices as well as an inflation of unrest.

What changed were mainly the political regimes, which took the blame for the catastrophes. The Yuan dynasty collapsed and regimes in the Muslim world and Western Christendom were replaced by new political forms. In contrast, universal religions and cultural systems persisted even though they underwent vast transformations.

What allowed it to facilitate at the speed it did?

What allowed the Black Death to move at the rapid speed it did was “climatic changes” and trade. The Little Ice Age that preceded the Black Death may have weakened populations’ immune systems and made them “vulnerable to the disease” (Primary Source: Letter). This Little Ice Age caused “shortened seasons and ruined harvests.” This famine lasted for seven years and millions died of starvation or were left extremely malnourished, set up for an atrocious plague. The drying up of central Asian steppe borderlands also was a contributing factor of the plague, forcing disease-carrying rodents out of their “dwelling places and into pastoral peoples” backyards. Fleas transferred from rodent-to-victim and sometimes killed victims overnight.

However, it was the prosperous trading networks that really set the Afro Eurasian landmass on fire with disease. “This wider Afro-Eurasian population was vulnerable because its members had no immunities to the disease” (Pollard 405). Starting in rural China in 1320, the disease ravaged through towns, especially seaports, thanks to trading networks. “Many routes terminated at the Italian port cities, where ships with dead and dying people aboard arrived in 1347. From there, what Europeans called the Pestilence or the Great Mortality engulfed the western end of the landmass” (Pollard 407).

Teacher Score: 16/20

Discussion X

How did the Columbian Exchange leave its imprint on world history?

Amidst the European Conquistadors’ settlement of the Americas, they came across agriculture that was foreign to them on the other side of the Atlantic as well as fulfilling their desires of gold and silver. In the process, Europeans introduced “horses, wheat, grapevines, and sugarcane, as well as devastating diseases” throughout their colonization (Pollard 430). This transferring and exchanging of goods is what typified the term Columbian Exchange. “Over time, this exchange transformed environments, economies, and diets in both the new and the old worlds” (Pollard 433). (Teacher Feedback: Could use additional details as to how and why Europeans justified their rule and control, namely that of religion)

The biggest imprint that the Columbian Exchange left on the world was its “decimation of the Amerindian population by diseases” (Pollard430). While the Europeans interacted on their Afro Eurasian landmass with other populations, Amerindians were isolated both regionally and in immunity to disease. (Teacher feedback: Vague, could use more detailed info and evidence)

Knowledge between both worlds was also exchanged on a high level, particularly in agriculture. South Americans taught Europeans how to farm and yield crops such as corn and potatoes, which quickly spread to Afro Eurasia. “Europeans also took away tomatoes, beans, cacao, peanuts, tobacco, and squash” while the Amerindians received livestock in the form of cattle and pigs (Pollard 430). (Teacher Feedback: Follow up with some analysis and insight. Avoid ending a paragraph with a quote or citation)

This introduction of livestock affected the environment of the Americas. Rapid reproduction by these animals led to overpopulation, causing them to destroy landscapes perfected for maize with their hooves and foraging. “As Europeans cleared trees and other vegetation for ranches, mines, or plantations, they undermined the habitats of many indigenous mammals and birds” (Pollard 431). This was displayed with Columbus destroying the forests of the West Indies for sugar plantations.

The Europeans’ presence in the Americas concentrated on three commodities that would “transform Europe’s relationship to the rest of the world: silver, sugar and slaves” (Pollard 439). Silver allowed Europeans something to trade with China, which was a highly coveted item and was what their monetary system was comprised of. This enabled the Chinese to pay their workers with something besides goods, produce, and materials, giving the workforce a newfound enthusiasm. The Spanish opened up mines in the Andes, and during the prime time of exploration, sent over “25,000 to 35,000 tons of silver annually to Spain” which doubled in later years (Pollard 446).

And because the Europeans had control of the entire South American landmass, they also had entire control of the Amerindians. To recruit Amerindian labor, village elders utilized the “mita” system. Disease caught up to the Amerindians and ravaged their population, leading to the shipment of African slaves. As the European demand for sugar expanded, so did the demand for slaves.

This trade of slaves, sugar, and European technology and military power epitomized the Atlantic System.

Teacher Score: 17/20



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