History 206: Final exam

Based on conversations with students and the fact that the exam is scheduled so quickly after the last day of classes, I've decided to modify slightly the format of the final exam.

PART A. IDENTIFICATIONS. (40%, 4 points each)
This part hasn't changed. In 2-3 sentences each,
identify the historical significance of ten terms that will be listed. The ten will be drawn from the list that appears below.

Be sure that not only do you explain what something was but also what its historical significance was. For example, if the term was "Watergate," a concise but complete answer would look something like this: Watergate was a political scandal that began with a break-in at the office of the Democratic party in Washington DC and led eventually to the White House and to Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974. Watergate increased Americans' distrust of government in the 1970s and beyond.

PART B. ESSAY #1 (30%)
The first essay question will be drawn from the six essay questions that appear below. (Please note, because you will have the essay questions in advance, there will be no choice among essay questions on the exam, contrary to the format I announced earlier.)

PART C, ESSAY #2 (30%)
The second essay question you will not be given in advance.

With both essays, the success of your response will depend on your ability to give examples and evidence to support your claims.

  • Immigration Act of 1924
  • A. Philip Randolph
  • Wagner Act
  • Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO)
  • Korematsu v. United States
  • Truman Doctrine
  • Marshall plan
  • Taft-Hartley Act
  • HUAC
  • National Interstate and Defense Highways Act
  • planned obsolescence
  • Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Port Huron Statement
  • Sharon Statement
  • participatory democracy
  • Betty Friedan
  • Tet Offensive
  • Tonkin Gulf Resolution
  • Pentagon Papers
  • Black Panther Party
  • Church Commission
  • deindustrialization
  • Phyllis Schlafly
  • Reaganomics
  • Iran-Contra Affair


1. During what period since the Civil War did the labor movement achieve its greatest successes? What were these? What factors produced these changes at that time? What was the legacy of those achievements?

2. Historian A: “The black freedom struggle of the 1950s and '60s marked a radical break with the past. It was an unprecedented phenomenon that grew out of the particular circumstances of the postwar era.”
Historian B: “No, I don't agree at all. The black freedom struggle of the 1950s and '60s rested on deep historical foundations and grew out of a deep tradition of organizing and protest.”
What do you think? Explain.

3. In what ways were the social and political revolts of the 1960s—for example, the civil rights movement, Black Power, SDS, the antiwar movement, the counterculture, women’s liberation—shaped by, or a reaction to, the Cold War? (You do not need to discuss all of these movements, but you should discuss at least three.)

4. The 1960s gave birth to both the New Left and the New Right. Which do you think has had a greater impact on American society and why?

5.  What factors promoted the surge of consumerism in the U.S. in the decades after World War Two? What groups were most critical of consumerism in the 1950s and ‘60s and why?

6. “The Espionage and Sedition Acts laid the foundation for at least a half-century of suppression of political dissent in the United States.” - Do you agree or disagree? Explain.