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Please write a 4-5 page paper answering one of the following questions.  Your paper should be based primarily on Eric Rauchway’s Murdering McKinley, but you may also draw on other course readings and lectures.

1)  In 1894, Theodore Roosevelt mused that:

[t]he time of the great social revolutions has arrived.  We are all peering into the future to try to forecast the act of the great dumb forces set in operation by the stupendous industrial revolution which has taken place during the present century.  We do not know what to make of the vast displacements of population, the expansion of towns, the unrest and discontent of the masses.

How did different Americans grapple with Roosevelt’s question: “What to make” of industrial America?  What, if anything, did they see as wrong with America?  How did they explain the existence of social problems?  What kinds of solutions did they propose—and why?  Your essay must explore the answers offered by Theodore Roosevelt and at least two of the following: conservative Republicans (e.g. William McKinley), anarchists (e.g. Abraham Isaak, Emma Goldman), Populists and their allies (e.g. William Jennings Bryan), followers of Edward Bellamy, and settlement house workers (e.g. Jane Addams).

2)   Historians have long debated how best to characterize the reform movements and reformist policies of the Progressive Era.  In Murdering McKinley, Eric Rauchway argues that Teddy Roosevelt “set himself the task of implementing radical changes for conservative purposes.” (p. 93)  What does Rauchway mean by this?  What problems did Roosevelt see in American society and how did he go about addressing them?  How did he use McKinley’s murder to justify and build support for his political agenda?  What specific arguments did Roosevelt and others make of Leon Czolgosz, his influences, and his motives?

 

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