Let’s think about the West. The American West. Reconstruction was over by 1877. The United States military pulled the last troops out of the South and essentially abandoned African-Americans to the Ji

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Let’s think about the West. The American West.

Reconstruction was over by 1877. The United States military pulled the last troops out of the South and essentially abandoned African-Americans to the Jim Crow regimes of the former Confederacy (more on this later). The nation’s attention would now turn to settling the North American continent between California and the Mississippi River. Americans (mostly “white” and African-Americans) and European immigrants poured into the West. They built farms and cities. The federal government protected them and established order with a combination of legislation (such as the Homestead and the Morrill Acts) and military power.

However, the West was still inhabited by large numbers of Native-Americans. From 1877 to 1900, the American military and settlers would subdue these native peoples, killing many as they forced indigenous people onto reservations.

The question for the United States was whether to place them on reservations and allow them some degree of autonomy, or take their land and identity outright. What happened was a bit of both. Without input from Indians themselves, the country decided through reservation policies and the Dawes Act that indigenous peoples would be granted allotments of land and receive some education. Americans touted the Dawes Act as an uplifting humanitarian reform, but it upended Native lifestyles and left Native nations without sovereignty.

This is a difficult and upsetting period of history to consider. How did Americans at that time see these policies as humanitarian and progressive?

Overview lecture, John Green’s crash course: Westward Expansion: Crash Course US History #24

Links to an external site.


  1. Chief Joseph: http://www.americanyawp.com/reader/17-conquering-the-west/chief-joseph-on-indian-affairs-1877-1879/
  • Links to an external site.
  • Images of “Manifest Destiny” http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/westward/
  • Links to an external site. (there are a variety of sources here to choose from. Browse and select one or two to use)
  • Tom Torlino: http://www.americanyawp.com/reader/17-conquering-the-west/tom_torlino_1882_to_1885/
  • Links to an external site.
  • President Arthur: http://www.americanyawp.com/reader/17-conquering-the-west/chester-a-arthur-on-american-indian-policy-1881/
  • Links to an external site.
  • Excerpt from An Indigenous Peoples History of the UnitedStates, pp. 185-191 https://nycstandswithstandingrock.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/dunbar-ortiz-great-sioux-nation.pdf
  1. Links to an external site.

Analyze the numbered documents (1-5) according to the example of an evaluation provided.

Follow the example of an evaluation posted in Canvas and refer to the checklist of the requirements as you write up your evaluation. There is no specific word count, rather, focus on analyzing each source and questions with specific details and facts according to the directions.

As you begin this assignment, you should consider time management. Pace your work out over the module period and follow a schedule you set for yourself. For example:

1. Read the assigned textbook section or other materials for context and take notes. Taking notes will help you write up your final draft.

2. Review each source assigned and take notes (like brief summaries of each to help you organize your thoughts).

3. Think about the question(s) to answer and research/review the assigned source materials for evidence.

Let’s think about the West. The American West. Reconstruction was over by 1877. The United States military pulled the last troops out of the South and essentially abandoned African-Americans to the Ji
Why did the Roman Republic fall? This history offer s valuable lessons to ponder today . The evidence suggests that the republic fell because of wealth ine quality, violent political rhetoric and action , the disregard of Rome ’s political t raditions, and the Senate ’ s inability to reform Rome ’s political institutions and laws . There are four documents to analyze . [ NOTE S: t he first paragraph states the question you will answer and your thesis statement. It lays out the outline of your evaluation ] The first is the Twelve Tables, a list of Rome ’s early written laws that dates to about 450BCE. The Twelve Tables are the foundation of Roman law . Rome was a republic of law and these laws stated the rights and duties for the Roman citizen . The law covered important items such as property, contract, trial, and debt collecti on. For example, the law s tates that “ One who has confessed a debt, or against whom judgment has been pronounced, shall have thirty days to pay it in. After that forcible seizure of his person is allowed. The creditor shall bring him before the magistrate. ” This law shows that Rom an were governed by law and t his law shows that debts and contracts protected both the deb tor and lender. Citizens ha d rights in Rome. [ NOTES: the se cond paragraph analyzes the first document or video. It states what the document is, what is says, and you will use one or more quo te s as needed to prove your argument . You should m ention what you lea rned in the textbook and other items nee ded to help you understand the background and historical context of the d ocument. E ach subsequent p aragraph will follow this example. ] The second is “ Rome at the End of the Punic Wars ” by Polyb ius. He examines Rome ’s laws and constitutional development in detail and he tells us of the consequences of the Punic War. As we learned in our textbook, the Punic Wars brought wealth and overseas territory to Rome. Non – Romans came under the rule of Rom a n law. Immigration and the arrival of foreigners changed Rome and presented challenges to Roman law and society. They became lazy citizens. For example, Polybius writes that the “ Romans being now settled in tranquility, and enjoying at their leisure all the fruits of victory, begin to yield to the seduction of ease and plenty, and, as it happens usually in such conjunctures, become haughty and ungovernable . ” This history suggests that Romans preferred wealth to performing their duty as citizens. The third document is Appian ’s “ The Civil Wars ” written in 134 BCE when Rome experienced civil war . We learned in the video by John Green (Crash Course) that Rome had grown wealthy but this we alth went to Rome ’s aristocra tic el ites and not to the people. Also, traditional Romans did not want to include non – Romans, both Italians and those overseas, as citizens . The tension between Rome and those people governed by Roman law was tense and dangerous. As Appian writes, “ As the Romans conquered the Italian tribes, they seized part of the lands and founded towns there … the wealthy, getting hold of most of the unassigned lands, the y added little farms of their poor neighbors to their possessions . Thus the powerful citizens became immensely wealthy and the slave class all over the country multiplied, while the Italian race decreased in numbers and vigor, held down as they were by poverty, taxes, and military service. If they had any rest from these burdens, they wasted their time in idleness, because the land was in the hands of the wealthy, who used slaves instead of free laborers. ” This history shows that wealth inequality was creating tension and the Republic needed reform. The last document Sallust ’s “ Life in Rome in the Late Republic ” written about 63 BCE . As we le arned in our textbook , the late Republic was filled with political violence and conspiracies to over throw the government. For example , the Cataline con spiracy of 63BCE . Sallust writes that “ After Sulla had recovered the governme nt by force of arms, everybody became robbers and plunderers. Some set their hearts on houses, some on lands. His victorious troops knew no restraint, no moderation, but inflicted on the citizens disgraceful and inhumane outrages. The whole period was one of debauched tastes and lawlessness. ” These documents show that the republic fell because of wealth ine quality, violent political rhetoric and action , the disregard of Rome ’s political t raditions, and the inability of the Senate to reform Rome ’s political institutions and laws . Americans today need to examine this history so as our own republic of laws do not befall a similar fate . [NOTES: the final paragraph restates your thesis and your analys is]


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