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AS and A Level: History of the USA, 1840-1968

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  1. Why did Reagan win by a landslide in 1984?

    I believe this factor largely caused him to win by a landslide in 1984. Although Ronald Reagan was seen as being an attractive personality; some could argue that the Republicans? advantage over the Democrats was mainly due to the poor leadership of Walter Mondale. Mondale, who lacked media presence, was seen as being less attractive than Reagan. His Equal Rights Amendment proposition was deemed unpopular for Middle America, as many believed that Civil Rights had taken up a lot of focus in past presidential terms. Furthermore, Mondale?s female Vice President received negative press after Reagan criticized her with ?what if she is supposed to push the button to fire the missiles and she can?t

    • Word count: 837
  2. How far do you agree that the years 1945-55 saw only limited progress in improving the status of African Americans?

    Truman highlighted the dilemma of segregation in the army in the bill ?To Secure These Rights?. Furthermore it was suggested that only 1 in 70 African American soldiers were able to obtain the position of officer. Truman believed that the inequality in the armed forces had to be combated. By desegregating the armed forces, Truman was able to promote equality of employment in the civil service. From this I can suggest that the desegregation of armed forces was highly significant as it helped improve the status of African Americans. Overall I believe that the desegregation of armed forced overpowered the limited impact of the ?Fair Deal? programme, as it gave people addressed a larger amount of people, and made more difference in the long-term.

    • Word count: 1063
  3. Assess the view that the Supreme Court was the most important branch of the federal government in assisting African Americans achieve their civil rights in the period 1865-1992?

    For example, Garvey suggested that the African Americans should go out and live in Africa. Therefore it is questionable whether the Supreme Court?s ruling was a hindrance to the blacks? social rights at the same time since the popular leaders supported it. This indicates that African Americans? perceptions of social rights were slightly ?blurred? on whether they wanted integration or segregation. However, when it became clear that blacks wanted integration in the 1950s, the Supreme Court did help them in the Linda Brown case where it ruled that admissions of all children to state schools were on equal terms.

    • Word count: 1209
  4. What do the 1824 and 1828 Presidential Elections reveal about Politics in the United States and about the Rise of Jacksonian Democracy?

    Two factors immediately stick out in mind here when investigating Jacksonian Democracy?s rise from 1824 to 1828. First, the fact that voting participation in 1828 being quadruple the size of that in 1824 shows an increasing democratisation and greater political influence being exerted by the common man, a key principle of Jacksonian Democracy. Secondly, and perhaps more obviously, the rise of Jacksonian Democracy is demonstrated in no better way than with the example of Jackson himself ? in 1824 he was snubbed for the presidency and described by the late Jefferson as ?one of the most unfit men I know for such a place?, but by 1828 he had won an electoral majority and was President of the United States.

    • Word count: 717
  5. What was the short term impact of the Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-1957?

    The fact that Rosa Parks decided she did not want to give up her seat for a white man just goes to prove the wrongs in the system as she was a woman who knew her morals and knew right from wrong. So when she was subsequently arrested, her arrest and trial sparked outrage across the black community and there was a call for action, for something direct to be done. As even though she was sat in the ?colored section? not getting up for a white man was breaking the law, which shows the injustice of the system.

    • Word count: 2235
  6. The policies of the Federal Government failed to support the civil rights of Native Americans To what extent do you agree with this view of the period from 1865-1992?

    The Lone Wolf v Hitchcock case concluded in a Supreme Court decision that enabled Federal Government to dispose of Indian land without the need to gain consent of the Indians involved. This makes Federal Government seem unsympathetic to the rights of Native Americans because they are seen not to support Native civil rights as they aim to ensure that Federal Government power and dominative control is maintained. This therefore supports the view that Federal Government failed to support the civil rights of Native Americans as they ensured White Anglo-Saxon Protestant command was their only priority, otherwise they wouldn?t have continued to discriminate Native Americans when they tried to assert their rights.

    • Word count: 750
  7. To what extent did Marcus Garvey improve the situation of African-Americans 1916 1924?

    - Some argue that rather than improving the situation of African Americans, Garvey actually tarnished the reputation of African Americans. Certainly towards his later years in America, Garvey had created for himself an unsavoury image. Garvey would like to present himself as a ?shining example,? but to onlookers, he was the embodiment of all negative stereotypes African Americans were associated with.

    • Word count: 396
  8. Assess the importance of the President in the expansion of the USA from 1815-1917

    There were other factors that led to the USA gaining Florida such as luck. The USA had been interested in the Seminole bands for some time but never had an opportunity to act on it, the issue of the escaped slaves spurred America into action and helped them gain land they had already wanted. Another factor is the strength of the USA compared to Spain. The USA had a stronger navy and more powerful army than Spain and therefore it was easier to defeat them.

    • Word count: 1918
  9. How important was President Roosevelt to the development of America imperialism in the years 1895 to 1912?

    In addition to saving time when travelling from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, the construction of the canal it enabled the U.S. Navy to travel much faster and America could control and expand the naval forces. Roosevelt believed that a great navy was essential to his foreign policy. The US Navy became a major international force at sea, building up the country?s defences with success due to the canal. Roosevelt believed if the rest of the world could see his force they might be deterred to challenge the US military and the threat would stop any conflict.

    • Word count: 1180
  10. In the context of the years 1865 to 1969, to what extent was Federal Legislation the most important factor for improving the Civil Rights of Black Americans in the USA? (Extract)

    However, without the support of other factors, such as Martin Luther King JR and War, the advances made in this period wouldn?t have nearly been as strong. Martin Luther King?s astute media personality meant that he brought more attentions to the Blacks cause, particularly through his speeches, which added further weight to Civil Legislation and more pressure for politicians to take action on the inequalities suffered by Blacks. Civil Legislation were pieces of law passed by Congress which stated how Blacks could and couldn?t be treated, within this context.

    • Word count: 750
  11. To what extent were changes in popular culture responsible for dividing rather than united US society in the years 1968-2001?

    Accordingly, a united American society was one which reflected the ?American Way?(equal opportunities, capacity for hard work and frequent success), one of the prominent popular culture which reflected the ?American Way? in the late twentieth century were sports. Sports were very influential and was seen to reflect the American way but not only was it reflective of the American way, it also reflected ?American Vices?, such as excessive greed, commercialization, violence, drug abuse, r****m and cheating. Los Angeles Times 1980 editorial admitted, ?Sports business is rough-and-tumble competition and business.

    • Word count: 1278
  12. How far was Martin Luther King's leadership responsible for the gains made by the civil rights movement in the years 1955 - 1968?

    Martin Luther King was responsible for the Birmingham campaign that targeted Birmingham for two main reasons. Only 10% of the black population was registered to vote and as the freedom rides had shown that the local police chief Bull Connor would react violently to protests. King saw this as an opportunity to attract media attention that would go on to not only increase support for the movement but also take a step closer to the desegregation of the city. Due to the failure of the Albany movement a couple of year before, King knew his tactics would decide the success

    • Word count: 2330
  13. Why was progress towards racial equality so slow in the period 1945 - 1955?

    Under this structure, it is apparent that the need for support from the south is crucial for any major progress to be made. However, the lack of black voters in these states displayed clearly r****t politicians that had no intention of changing the r****t laws that governed their states. It is clear that this would slow the progress towards racial equality down dramatically as swaying the vote away from these r****t Politicians would prove to be extremely difficult. The strongest example to demonstrate the struggle that the Civil Rights Movement came across was the Southern opposition that President Truman faced and how this hindered his efforts towards racial equality.

    • Word count: 1814
  14. How Far Did Black Power Hinder Civil Rights In The 1960s?

    However the group quickly adopted militant beliefs and began arming its members as they believed they should be able to defend themselves from the brutality of the police, although this undermined the idea of peaceful protest that had already become a focal point of the civil rights movement. This new belief along with events such as the Watts Riots which lasted 6 days and resulted in 34 deaths caused a complete withdrawal of support from the Federal Government, thereby causing a significant delay in any legal changes during the 1960?s which can be seen as civil rights act were only passed in 1964 and 1968 due to increased sympathy after the assassinations of Kennedy and King.

    • Word count: 763
  15. Explain the factors that caused Progressivism in the USA.

    Moreover influential writers such as Henry George and Edward Bellamy exposed corruption and unfair practices in the trusts. Therefore the progressives wanted to regulate the power of trusts. The big businesses were ruling America, and the vast majority of America, except the big executives and the corrupt politicians, was either living poorly, or on the edge of it. Violent strikes became common as people joined militant unions. It was clear that something had to be done to improve a lot of the working class or the US might face violent class struggle.

    • Word count: 938
  16. Describe Wilsons Fourteen points, Why did Congress fail to ratify the Peace Settlement?

    One of the main notions found in Wilson?s Fourteen Points is the idea of ?self-determination?, but this expression has remained unclear. It is hard to judge just what was meant by it. Wilson could have meant an extension of democratic self-government, or he could have meant that any people who called themselves a nation had a right to have their own state (less likely, as Wilson did not sympathize with the Irish Nationalists, rationalizing that they should work it out democratically).

    • Word count: 2298
  17. A contented, successful and united nation. How far is this an accurate comment on the United States of America between 1820 and 1850?

    Tariffs on imports protected the domestic industry and funds were raised for further investment in the infrastructure. The economy was further aided by the American education system which led to high levels of literacy, and the fact that the country had a wealth of natural resources such as wood, coal, iron and gold. The north during this period appear very united in their quest for improvement, for example the development of the factory system made producing goods much more efficient and the ?American System? ? the interchange ability of parts ? made manufacturing cheaper and the country became more capital intensive, encouraging spending to boost the economy.

    • Word count: 1380
  18. Assess the view that Booker T. Washington was the most important leader in the development of African American civil rights in the period of 1865 to 1992.

    Whereas W.E.B Du Bois formed the NAACP ? supported by others who disregarded Washington, and the NAACP was very important, as in comparison to Washington ? the Supreme Court often ruled in black favour, on influence from Du Bois and the NAACP. Therefore, Du Bois was arguably more important a leader than Booker T. Washington, because he was also campaigning under r****t presidencies, yet Du Bois was successful in gaining the support of 90,000 people ? black and white ? and the support of the Supreme Court; Washington failed to secure this.

    • Word count: 1239
  19. I disagree that the decision made by the Supreme Court in the Brown v. Board of Education was a positive development for African-Americans to a large extent.

    This in turn, led to a notable increase in local activism groups, particularly by groups such as NAACP and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), who organised new voter registration campaigns and local protests. Hence, it is evident that many blacks began to believe that the Brown case was the beginning of the end of segregation. Therefore, the Brown decision was a positive development for African-Americans because it not only had shown that equality has started to spread within the society (as the Supreme Court recognised the importance of equality during the Cold War), the Brown decision also in turn boosted

    • Word count: 863
  20. Explain why the Southern Manifesto was issued in 1956

    Plessy v. Ferguson was lead to the build up of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling. Plessy attempted to sit in an all-white railroad car. After refusing to sit in the black railway carriage car, Plessy was arrested for violating an 1890 Louisiana statute that provided for segregated ?separate but equal? railroad accommodations. Those using facilities not designated for their race were criminally liable under the statute. Plessy was found guilty on the grounds that the law was a reasonable exercise of the state?s police powers based upon custom, usage, and tradition in the state. Plessy v.

    • Word count: 521
  21. The Action of President Johnson were far more important to the Civil Rights Movement than that of President Kennedy in the years 1960 to 1965 Explain what you agree or disagree with in this view. (24)

    Civil Rights legislation simply was not part of Kennedy's agenda, he did use the power of the executive to back up Brown v. Board of education, but he supported no legislation to enforce or extend Civil Rights. However Kennedy had been so shocked by the number of blacks employed that he put pressure on the civil service to employ blacks.

    • Word count: 428
  22. The growth of Radicalism among African Americans was important in helping them gain their Civil Rights in the 1960s Why do you agree or disagree with this view? (24 marks)

    Violence acts such as the riots were mostly caused by the constant change of presidents during the 1960?s as there was no sense of leadership for the country although they all wanted the same thing. Therefore the riots were heated and attracted media attention in huge numbers world-spread; putting pressure on the President; especially during the time of the Vietnam War.

    • Word count: 407
  23. 'Johnson alone bears the responsibility for the escalation of war in Vietnam in the years 1965-68.' Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

    The war could have been escalated solely by Johnson. This may have been down to his personality; that he was the wrong man, in the wrong point of time in Vietnam. LBJ was very patriot and thought that the USA was the best and if they got into Vietnam, that it would solve all of its problems. So the USA?s superiority would?ve been able to stop communism from spreading and pump a lot of money into Vietnam. So he thought it would be easy; that the US would only have to show itself in Vietnam for communism to turn around.

    • Word count: 2287
  24. How Successful Was Martin Luther Kings Campaign For Civil Rights Between 1955-68?

    King organised a bus boycott in Montgomery, black citizens would no longer use any public buses instead they started up car pools to get to work. Pressure increased across the country and on June 5, 1956, the federal district court ruled that Alabama's racial segregation laws for buses were unconstitutional. However, an appeal kept the segregation intact, and the boycott continued. On November 13, 1956, the Supreme Court upheld the district court's ruling, leading to a city ordinance that allowed black bus passengers to sit virtually anywhere they wanted.

    • Word count: 1118
  25. The Ku Klux Klan prevented African Americans from gaining civil rights in the years 1960 to 1964. Explain why you agree or disagree with this view. (24)

    The ?KKK? were ruthless in the south at this time as they preformed murders and destroyed black communities in order to install such fear that the blacks would keep quiet. Most black people felt so intimidated they couldn?t even vote because of the almost inevitability that the ?KKK? would find out which would result in murders and firebombing of households. The ?KKK? was such a significant group because of the vast amount of members that belonged to the movement, especially in the southern states.

    • Word count: 1033

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