HIST2112 Exam #1

Spring 2022

Below is our first exam. A few things of note:

1) You have one week to complete the exam. It is due on February 10th by 11:59 pm.

2) This is an “open book” test, meaning that you may consult your notes, the textbook, etc. We DO expect you to take advantage of that fact, however, and expect to see lots of quotes and other detailed references to lectures and primary sources. The best answers will a) use lots of evidence and b) take care to contextualize those answers.

3) Please limit the total length of your exam to EIGHT (8) double-spaced pages, using 12-point font and standard margins.

4) Please put your answers in MS Word or some similar format.

5) Full citations are not required – this is not a paper – but make sure that we know which documents, textbook passages, and lectures you are referencing.

6) Upload your answers to the appropriate dropbox on eLC . Please put YOUR TA’S NAME AS WELL AS YOUR OWN in the file name. The exams should automatically be sorted alphabetically, but this is a good backup.

7) We will grade these as quickly as we can, but be ready for possible delays.

PART ONE – Quotation analysis (40 percent, or 20 percent per pair)

For EACH of the TWO (2) pairs of quotes in this section. write a short essay in which you analyze each of them historically. What “big issue” is a quote pair addressing; that is, which conflicts or debates in late 19th-century US history provide its context? What is the “point of view” of the authors? Do they agree or disagree, and why? Be sure to go into some depth and detail, drawing on lecture notes, textbook chapters, documents, and so on – use these to contextualize your answer.

Note: You are not “comparing pairs (e.g. comparing one pair of quotes with another pair of quotes). Instead, you are comparing the two quotes within each respective pair.


  1. Willis B. Bocock and Black Laborers, Sharecropping agreement (1870): “Contract made the 3rd day of January in the year 1870 between us the free people who have signed this paper of one part, and our employer, Willis P. Bocock, of the other part. . . . We are to furnish the necessary labor . . . and are to have all proper work done, ditching, fencing, repairing, etc., as well as cultivating and saving the crops of all kinds, so as to put and keep the land we occupy and tend in good order for cropping, and to make a good crop ourselves; and to do our fair share of job work about the place. . . . We are to be responsible for the good conduct of ourselves, our hands, and families, and agree that all shall be respectful to employer, owners, and manager, honest, industrious, and careful about every thing . . . and then our employer agrees that he and his manager shall treat us kindly, and help us to study our interest and do our duty. If any hand or family proves to be of bad character, or dishonest, or lazy, or disobedient, or any way unsuitable our employer or manager has the right, and we have the right, to have such turned off. . . .For the labor and services of ourselves and hands rendered as above stated, we are to have one third part of all the crops, or their net-proceeds, made and secured, or prepared for market by our force. . . .We are to be furnished by our employer through his manager with provisions if we call for them . . . to be charged to us at fair market prices .And whatever may be due by us, or our hands to our employer for provisions or any thing else, during the year, is to be a lien on our share of the crops, and is to be retained by him out of the same before we receive our part.”
  2. Richard H. Cain, Federal Aid for Land Purchase (1868): “I believe the best measure to be adopted is to bring capital to the State, and instead of causing revenge and unpleasantness, I am for even-handed justice. I am for allowing the parties who own lands to bring them into the market and sell them upon such terms as will be satisfactory to both sides. I believe a measure of this kind has a double effect: first, it brings capital, what the people want; second, it puts the people to work; it gives homesteads, what we need; it relieves the Government and takes away its responsibility of feeding the people; it inspires every man with a noble manfulness, and by the thought that he is the possessor of something in the State; it adds also to the revenue of the country. By these means men become interested in the country as they never were before. . . . I will also guarantee that after one year’s time, the Freedman’s Bureau will not have to give any man having one acre of land anything to eat.”

PAIR # 2

  1. Andrew Carnegie, _The Gospel of Wealth_ (1889):[T]he best means of benefiting the community is to place within its reach the ladders upon which the aspiring can rise—free libraries, parks, and means of recreation, by which men are helped in body and mind; works of art, certain to give pleasure and improve the public taste; and public institutions of various kinds, which will improve the general condition of the people; in this manner returning [wealthy people’s] surplus wealth to the mass of their fellows in the forms best calculated to do them lasting good…Individualism will continue, but the millionaire will be but a trustee for the poor, intrusted for a season with a great part of the increased wealth of the community, but administering it for the community far better than it could or would have done for itself. [T]he day is not far distant when the man who dies leaving behind him millions of available wealth, which was free for him to administer during life, will pass away ‘unwept, unhonored, and unsung,’ no matter to what uses he leaves the dross which he cannot take with him.”
  • William Graham Sumner, A Defense of Laissze-Faire (1883): “The humanitarians, philanthropists, and reformers, looking at the facts of life as they present themselves… see wealth and poverty side by side. They note great inequality of social position and social chances. They eagerly set about the attempt to account for what they see, and to devise schemes for remedying what they do not like. In their eagerness to recommend the less fortunate classes to pity and consideration they forget all about the rights of other classes; they gloss over all the faults of the classes in question, and they exaggerate their misfortunes and their virtues…When I have read certain of these discussions I have thought that it must be quite disreputable to be respectable, quite dishonest to own property, quite unjust to go one’s own way and earn one’s own living, and that the only really admirable person was the good-for-nothing. The man who by his own effort raises himself above poverty appears, in these discussions, to be of no account. The man who has done nothing to raise himself above poverty finds that the social doctors flock about him, bringing the capital which they have collected from the other class…. Here it may suffice to observe that, on the theories of the social philosophers to whom I have referred, we should get a new maxim of judicious living: Poverty is the best policy. If you get wealth, you will have to support other people; if you do not get wealth, it will be the duty of other people to support you.”

PART TWO — Image analysis (20 percent)

Consider the two images above, and discuss their historical context. What is going on here? Specifically, how do these images embody late-nineteenth-century debates over the meaning of “Americanness” and the impacts of westward expansion?

PART THREE – Short Essay (40 points)

Answer the essay question below:

Serious and sometimes violent debates over the implications of industrialism wracked the United States beginning in the 1870s. Factory workers, miners, and farmers in the South and Midwest could be severe critics of the emerging industrial economy of the late 19th century. Discuss their criticism in detail. What did they most object to? What were their solutions? How did they differ among themselves as to those solutions?

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