Questions on the American Dream

What really went on with John Smith and Pocahontas?
2. Why did it take so long for the North’s numerical and industrial superiority to take effect in the Civil War?
3. What brought about the Panic of 1837, and what were its effects?
4. Why did the Spanish penetration of what became the United States stall after its early success?
5. Jay Gould: the “American Dream”?
6. How influential was tobacco in establishing and shaping the Colonies?
7.How were native societies affected by the introduction of the horse?
8. American railroading and land development: who was taken for a ride?
9. How did the social and political ideals of the revolutionaries of Virginia and Massachusetts compare?
10. Was the Mormon religion a product of its place and time?
11. Was Abraham Lincoln’s humour an asset or liability, politically?
12. How much was George McClellan’s prosecution of the war with the South affected by his political opposition to Lincoln?
13. The “Great Awakening”: who awakened and what was the result?
14. How did the West Coast respond to the Civil War, and why?
15. How did the “Regulators” of the Carolinas and other frontier protesters see their relationship with the seaboard centres?
16. Did the conflict between Hamilton and Jefferson cause the creation of the two-party system?
17. What did the response to Shay’s Rebellion say about the new United States?
18. Was slavery essential to the establishment of the American colonies?
19. Why did the witch-hunt of Salem grow so large and so rapidly?
20. Is it accurate to call the “Trail of Tears” genocide by the U.S. government?
21. How was the Mexican War justified?
22. John Brown: madman or martyr? 23. Was the secession of the South legal? 5
24. Why did the Roanoke colony fail? Was this inevitable?
25. Did the Puritan settlements develop in the way their founders intended? Why or why not?
26. Why was the concept of “militia” so important to Americans? Did the militia in practise live up to expectations?
27. Why did the Tea Act provoke such violent response, when it actually lowered the cost of tea to the American public?
28. Could Britain have won the Revolutionary War?
29. The War of 1812 has been called the “second war of American independence”. Is this a fair description?
30. Abolitionism and anti-abortionism are both intense campaigns based on morality; how comparable are the two movements?
31. Why were patent medicines and alternative medical systems so popular in the United States before the Civil War?
32. Why did the United States become such a center of technological innovation as the nineteenth century progressed?
33. Was slavery cost-effective?
34. Why did Benedict Arnold change sides?
35. Compare the revolutionaries of Virginia and Massachusetts. How were they different?
36. How did the campaign against slavery lead to the women’s rights movement?
37. Was Benjamin Franklin the quintessential American? 38. What education was available to women before 1865?

You may choose to discuss both stories or only one; I think the ideal Post would closely analyze onlyone of the stories, but end with some concluding thoughts that touch on both stories together–though you don’t have to try and make them mean the same thing (they surely don’t mean the exact same thing).
You have to Post before you can read other students’ Posts, but then be sure you do read them, since all our ideas together will help us learn about these two stories and help us practice literary criticism–and, of course, so you can make a meaningful Formal Replythat contributes to the discussion–these also need to do some original work with the language of the literature.

Leave a Reply