Two of the following essay questions will appear on the final; you will be asked to answer both of them. Be sure to read each question carefully and answer all parts of the question. While there is no required length for your responses, a general guideline would be something in the range of approximately 3-5 paragraphs or 300-500 words in length. I will grade primarily on the content of your short essays, but this is a college-level writing assignment and essays not written in college-level English will be graded down. (10 points each)
1. Discuss three events in the period from 1945-1949 that led to the development of what came to be known as “McCarthyism” in 1950. Then discuss what impact this red scare had on American life.
2. Describe the events of the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Do you think there was anything the U.S. could have done to handle these two events better?
3. Describe three events of the civil rights movement that you think are most important and justify your choices. What was significant about these events?
4. Choose three of the following events and explain why they were important turning points in the Vietnam War: Geneva accords of 1954, Tet offensive, Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, My Lai, Kent State. What would you describe as the major legacy (positive or negative) of the Vietnam War?
5. Beginning in the late1960’s, conservative politicians and thinkers began to become more and more important in U.S. society. Describe the rise of the new conservatism, concentrating on at least three of the following: the reaction to the Great Society and cultural upheavals of the 1960’s and 1970’s, Richard Nixon, the Religious Right, “Reaganomics,” and Ronald Reagan. What were the main economic and political theories of the new right?