Mexican American War and the Gold Rush Era Essay

Essay Exam/Journal IV (please do all three parts)

Part I. California Connected. Write an essay of about five paragraphs discussing how California changed, as it became a fully integrated part of the United States. Note how developments in California related to developments in America. Use at least three documents from Connecting California. (In the Second Edition, use Section IV. In the First Edition, use Sections V-VII.)

Part II. Civil War Era. Using Montoya Chapters 12-14, write an essay of about five paragraphs on the causes and consequences of the Civil War. Develop a theme discussing what you think is most important for Americans to understand about this era. Include at least two pictures and at least one primary source document from either Connecting California or Cengage.

Part III. Theme Essay (relates to the whole course). Using one of the themes listed below; write an essay of at least five paragraphs. Use examples from various parts of the course to develop your main points. Include at least two pictures. Include material from at least one source on Cengage and at least one source in Connecting California.

  1. Economy. Why has the economy been such a hot topic throughout our history? How has trade and commerce helped develop the country? How have economic issues divided Americans?
  2. Diversity. In what ways does the early history of our country reflect a richness of cultures, values and lifestyles? How has diversity shaped our nation?
  3. Women. Describe the role of women in various times. What major changes do you see? What events or changes in society had the most impact on women?
  4. Politics. Describe how Americans have debated political issues in various periods. Which era do you think had the liveliest political discourse? How are we similar today?
  5. Values. What values do you see as particularly important in early America? How do values relate to religion and culture? How do they relate to political, economic or social changes? Give examples of how Americans have pursued an idealistic vision in various times.

Keys to Success

  • Explain your points simply, as you would to another student.
  • Write in short to medium-sized paragraphs.
  • Use specific examples from our readings and class discussion. For citations, put the lead author and page or section numbers in parentheses. Example: (Montoya, 4.2)
  • Relate your answers to major concepts and trends we have covered.
  • Tell how the pictures reinforce key points you are making in your essays.
  • Use the essays as an opportunity to show how you have grown as a historical thinker.