U.S. Labor and Work
Part 1: Short answers. Please write a one-paragraph explanation for any 3 out of the 6 key
terms or people listed below. Your answers need to define and discuss the key terms or people
in the historical context of the topics we have covered in this course. Each answer is worth up to
40 points (120 points total).
1. Financial Crisis of 1837
2. The Gold Rush
3. The Fugitive Slave Law
4. John Brown
5. The Civil War
6. National Labor Union (NLU)
Part 2: Please answer any 1 out of the 3 questions below in a 2-to-2.5-page (500 to
700 words), double-spaced in 12-point font (80 points total).
1. What was Radical Reconstruction? What promises did it hold for freed African
Americans in the south? In what ways did white southerners resist Radical
Reconstruction and how did this resistance contribute to its failure? What were the
consequences for African Americans? Use evidence from Who Built America? Vol. 1 to
support your answers.
2. What actions did Susan B. Anthony and other women’s rights activists take to pursue
universal suffrage, along with other political, legal, and economic opportunities in the
1860s and 1870s? What kind of opposition did they face and why? Use evidence from
Who Built America? Vol. 1 to support your answers.
3. How do the events of 1877—including the end of Reconstruction and the Great Railroad
Uprising—relate to themes about race relations, social class and labor relations, and the
possibilities for collective action in earlier moments in American history that we have
discussed in this course? Are these themes still relevant today? Use evidence from 1877:
The Grand Army of Starvation and Who Built America? Vol. 1 to support your answers.
Part 3: Extra Credit (worth up to 20 extra points).
Write a 1-to-2 page double-spaced response based on your viewing
of Paul Robeson: Here I Stand that answers these questions: why did Paul Robeson (Rutgers
College, class of 1919) become a civil rights leader and a labor activist? How did communism
shape his politics? Why did Robeson remain steadfast in his beliefs despite his career suffering
by the late 1940s and 1950s? Are there other current actors, musicians, artists, or other
celebrities who are politically engaged like Robeson was?
Click here to watch the documentary film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUki-v-