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Ashford 2: – Week 1 – Discussion 2

The Industrial Revolution


Background: Too much corporate influence in politics; the specter of   socialist policies undermining capitalism and individual freedoms; a middle   class in apparent decline; waves of immigration that threatened to alter the   character of American society; new technologies that introduced new social   problems as well as offering new opportunities; and a general sense that the   common people had lost control of their government: To a sometimes surprising   degree, the issues that troubled Americans in the last quarter of the nineteenth   century resembled our own. The past often loses much of its vigor and tumult   as it becomes codified as history, and it can be difficult at times to   understand how truly revolutionary— transformative, disruptive,   unprecedented, and divisive—an event such as the Industrial Revolution was   for the people who lived through it. 

Resources: When composing your initial post and your responses to   your classmates, draw from the material in AT LEAST TWO of the   following primary sources:

  1. Bryan, W. J. (1896, July 8). Cross of gold        speech. Retrieved from        
  2. Carnegie, A. (June 1889). Wealth. Retrieved from         
  3. Chief Joseph. (1877-1879). Chief Joseph speaks: Selected        statements and speeches by the Nez Percé chief. Retrieved        from         
  4. Clark, F. E. (1912). Our immigrants at        Ellis Island.        Boston, MA: United Society of Christian Endeavor. Retrieved from the        Library of Congress at         
  5. Gompers, S. (Sept. 1894). Letter on labor in        industrial society to Judge Peter Grosscup.  Retrieved from        
  6. United States Populist Party.        (1892, July 4).  Populist Party        platform. Retrieved from         
  7. White, A. W. (1896, Aug.        16).  What’s the matter        with Kansas?.  Retrieved        from        

Also draw from the material in ONE   of the following videos:

  1. Hawksworth, R. (Producer).        (2001).  The American industrial revolution         [Video]. United States: Media Rich LLC. Retrieved from        
  2. Robbins, A. (Director).        (2011).  Industrial New York.  [Television        series episode]. In E. Hardy. (Executive producer), Filthy Cities: A        History of Public Sanitation (or Lack Thereof). United Kingdom: BBC        Productions. Retrieved from        

Instructions: After reviewing your Instructor’s Guidance and completing   the weekly reading assignments (including those in the resource section   below), please post a substantive discussion post of at least 200 words that   analyzes how the revolutionary nature of this period impacted either Native   Americans, Immigrants or Farmers, using the following questions as the basis   of your analysis:

  • What were the most        revolutionary social and economic developments of the last quarter of        the nineteenth century?  
  • How did different groups of        Americans respond to those changes and how effective were their        responses?  
  • What role did government play        in these developments? 

Your initial post should be no   fewer than 200 words in length, which does not include works cited or the   questions being answered. It should address all of the components of the   question in a way that demonstrates independent, critical thought and command   of the required material. It should not merely repeat the material in the   textbook or other sources, but should use that material as the basis for an   idiosyncratic interpretation of the topic. All sources need to be cited using   proper APA format. If you borrow wording from a source, the wording   absolutely must be marked as a quotation.

  In addition to your initial post, you should respond substantially, in posts   of no fewer than 100 words, to at least two classmates and contribute to   their analysis of the topic. When responding to classmates, you should refer   to the material from one of the sources which you did not reference in your   initial post. Identify important points which they may have missed which either   support or challenge their interpretation. Explain how their views have made   you rethink your own conclusions or offer perspectives which might help them   regard the topic in a different way. Feel free to ask probing questions of   your classmates, but, if you do, offer your own interpretation. That is,   don’t just respond, “What do you think of X, Y, and Z?” Instead, respond,   “What do you think of X? I think W because of V, U, and T. On the other hand   some might point to S and R.” In short, the ideal response to a classmate   would involve you encouraging a classmate to see things from a new   perspective, even as you clarify and develop your own thoughts as well. 

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