1. There are two parts in the document. In the first part, there are two questions, each with 800-1000 words. Write about 600 words in the second part.2. please use simple grammar.
draft_final_study_questions_2019.pdf

draft_final_study_questions_2019.pdf

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Draft Final Study Questions
On the day of the final, one of the questions below will be chosen at random from Part I, and you will be asked
to write on it and Part II. Plan on taking three hours for the entire exam. Please be bold and creative! We want to hear
your interpretations, and we want you to support your essays with specific and relevant evidence drawn from the readings
(Fault Lines and the readings on the syllabus), clips/documentaries, and lectures. Do NOT limit yourself to what has
been said in lecture! Be sure to incorporate the readings and documentaries, where relevant, too, as well as your
own interpretations! The trick is to make an argument that includes a thesis in your introduction and to support your
argument with evidence.
Please be sure to address every issue raised by each “prompt”! You may wish to form study groups, but if you
do, please use your own words in answering the prompt. Whether or not you do, please keep asking yourself as you study
if you are considering every issue raised by each prompt.
Feel free to inject your own politics into your answer, but be as fair as you can be, and support your opinions
and interpretations with evidence from the course. For example, you may believe that Ronald Reagan should have
been impeached for Iran/Contra and/or that Bill Clinton should not have been impeached for his affair with
Monica Lewinsky. We want you to acknowledge opposing viewpoints, and indicate why you come out as you do.
Your exam will be read as a whole. Please don’t repeat yourself. Feel free to refer back to something you said in
Part I without reiterating your argument at length..
Part I. (One question will be chosen at random) (50%)
1. According to one historian: “Like him or hate him, the funeral coverage confirmed that Ronald Reagan was the
greatest American President of the post-Watergate era—using the Time ‘man of the year standard of the person who
most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill.'” Compare and contrast the leadership and
accomplishments of the four two-term Presidents since 1980— Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W.
Bush, and Barack Obama, and rank them from best to worst. (Hint: Be sure to explain the criteria by
which you rank them!)
2. In 1903, the great African American thinker and leader, W.E.B. Du Bois said “the problem of the
Twentieth-Century is the problem of the color-line,” by which he meant the issues of race and racism.
Discussing the United States between 1980 and Charlottesville, some have maintained that the most
important issue in the United States “is the one no one really wants to talk about,” i.e. race and racism.
Are they right? Why or why not?
Part II
1. A recent New York Times editorial observed, “Political scientists have found that our nation is more
polarized than it has been at any time since the Civil War. One in six Americans has stopped talking to a
family member or close friend because of the 2016 election. Millions of people organize their social lives
and their news exposure along ideological lines to avoid people with opposing viewpoints. What’s our
problem?” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/02/opinion/sunday/political-polarization.htm. And some
historians see the period since 1974 as witnessing a “clash of cultures” in which Americans stopped
speaking the same language and became polarized. They maintain that during this period “traditionalists,”
who favored cultural conservatism (on issues such as abortion, gay rights, busing and affirmative action,
for example.–just to raise a few issues that emerged before the midterm!) engaged in pitched battle with
“non-traditionalists” who embraced the expansion of all Americans’ rights and sought to update lifestyles.
How well does the “clash of cultures” theme describe the period from 1974 to the present? If the “clash
of cultures” theme is apt, have Americans become increasingly polarized over time? Or has the degree of
polarization waxed and waned and, if so, why? And is there any theme that would better describe the
period than the “clash of cultures”? If so, why is it superior? (Hint: To indicate why you consider another
theme better, you would have to explain why the “clash of cultures” theme does not help us to understand
this period as well as the theme you have chosen does.)
Draft Final Study Questions
On the day of the final, one of the questions below will be chosen at random from Part I, and you will be asked
to write on it and Part II. Plan on taking three hours for the entire exam. Please be bold and creative! We want to hear
your interpretations, and we want you to support your essays with specific and relevant evidence drawn from the readings
(Fault Lines and the readings on the syllabus), clips/documentaries, and lectures. Do NOT limit yourself to what has
been said in lecture! Be sure to incorporate the readings and documentaries, where relevant, too, as well as your
own interpretations! The trick is to make an argument that includes a thesis in your introduction and to support your
argument with evidence.
Please be sure to address every issue raised by each “prompt”! You may wish to form study groups, but if you
do, please use your own words in answering the prompt. Whether or not you do, please keep asking yourself as you study
if you are considering every issue raised by each prompt.
Feel free to inject your own politics into your answer, but be as fair as you can be, and support your opinions
and interpretations with evidence from the course. For example, you may believe that Ronald Reagan should have
been impeached for Iran/Contra and/or that Bill Clinton should not have been impeached for his affair with
Monica Lewinsky. We want you to acknowledge opposing viewpoints, and indicate why you come out as you do.
Your exam will be read as a whole. Please don’t repeat yourself. Feel free to refer back to something you said in
Part I without reiterating your argument at length..
Part I.
1. According to one historian: “Like him or hate him, the funeral coverage confirmed that Ronald Reagan was the
greatest American President of the post-Watergate era—using the Time ‘man of the year standard of the person who
most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill.'” Compare and contrast the leadership and
accomplishments of the four two-term Presidents since 1980— Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W.
Bush, and Barack Obama, and rank them from best to worst. (Hint: Be sure to explain the criteria by
which you rank them!)
2. In 1903, the great African American thinker and leader, W.E.B. Du Bois said “the problem of the
Twentieth-Century is the problem of the color-line,” by which he meant the issues of race and racism.
Discussing the United States between 1980 and Charlottesville, some have maintained that the most
important issue in the United States “is the one no one really wants to talk about,” i.e. race and racism.
Are they right? Why or why not?
Part II
1. A recent New York Times editorial observed, “Political scientists have found that our nation is more
polarized than it has been at any time since the Civil War. One in six Americans has stopped talking to a
family member or close friend because of the 2016 election. Millions of people organize their social lives
and their news exposure along ideological lines to avoid people with opposing viewpoints. What’s our
problem?” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/02/opinion/sunday/political-polarization.htm. And some
historians see the period since 1974 as witnessing a “clash of cultures” in which Americans stopped
speaking the same language and became polarized. They maintain that during this period “traditionalists,”
who favored cultural conservatism (on issues such as abortion, gay rights, busing and affirmative action,
for example.–just to raise a few issues that emerged before the midterm!) engaged in pitched battle with
“non-traditionalists” who embraced the expansion of all Americans’ rights and sought to update lifestyles.
How well does the “clash of cultures” theme describe the period from 1974 to the present? If the “clash
of cultures” theme is apt, have Americans become increasingly polarized over time? Or has the degree of
polarization waxed and waned and, if so, why? And is there any theme that would better describe the
period than the “clash of cultures”? If so, why is it superior? (Hint: To indicate why you consider another
theme better, you would have to explain why the “clash of cultures” theme does not help us to understand
this period as well as the theme you have chosen does.)

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