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Teddy and the Panama Canal

November 13, 2012

Below please find a web question on the Panama Canal, written by your classmate, Rahman Muzaffar. As we recall, the French started this project in 1881, but had to abandon it by the early 1890s because the technology and tropical medicine was not yet up to the task–the effort was proving too costly. But the U.S. took up the effort after Teddy Roosevelt became president in 1901, and it was at last completed in 1914.

Why did Teddy Roosevelt think the completion of the Panama Canal was so important? What purpose did he see it serving?


Imperialism of the Late-Nineteenth Century

November 12, 2012

“From the Cape to Cairo,” Puck, 1902. Library of Congress

Below please find a set of web questions on late-nineteenth century imperialism written by your classmate, Teddy Chattah. Remember to respond to at least one of these with an answer of a paragraph or more.

  • What where some of the reasons that the countries of Europe jumped to colonize other countries? What did the people of “imperialized” countries think about being subjugated to European rule? 
  • What were some of the positive and negative aspects of imperialism? Who ultimately benefited from imperialism? Do you think colonization of other countries at this time was morally right?

China and the Opium Trade

November 4, 2012

Poppy plant diagram

Here are three questions on China and the opium trade written by your classmate, Stephanie Tsoi. Please answer one of these questions with a response of a paragraph or more.

  • How did the cohongs affect the way China traded with European merchants? Were they a good or bad thing?
  • Why did the British East India Company turn to opium in its trade for Chinese goods? What were the long-term effects of this addicting new trade?
  • What happened when the Qing government tried to discontinue the opium trade with Europeans and to enforce strict laws banning sales?

Asian Empires in the Nineteenth Century

November 4, 2012

Sultan Abdülmecid I, leader of the Tanzimat reforms (reigned 1839-1861)

Below please find two web questions on the Ottoman, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese empires during the nineteenth century. These were written by your classmate, Sundes Ambreen. Remember to respond to one of these questions with an answer of a paragraph or more.

  • What factors drove the Ottoman Empire’s decline?
  • This textbook chapter examines four societies in the nineteenth century: the Ottoman, the Russian, the Chinese, and the Japanese. If you had to go back in time, and you were given the choice to live among one of these four, which would you choose and why?

Canada and Latin America in the Nineteenth Century

October 29, 2012

Juan Manuel de la Rosas (1793-1877) who ruled Argentina as a military dictator from 1829 until 1852.

Below please find a set of web questions about the political and economic development of Canada and Latin America in the nineteenth century, written by your classmate, Eymi Escobar. Remember to answer at least one of these questions with a response of a paragraph or more.

  • Why was Canada able to gain independence and become a unified nation without war?
  • Why was it so difficult for countries in Latin America to establish a stable and effective form of government?
  • What effects did foreign investment have on Canada and Latin America?  Why were they different?

U.S. Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny

October 25, 2012

“The Promised Land–The Grayson Family” (1850) by William S. Jewett

Below please find two web questions written by your classmate, Andrew Laperuta, on the westward expansion of the United States in the nineteenth century and the concept of manifest destiny.

  • Why did the French sell the Louisiana Territory to the U.S. in 1803?
  • What did “manifest destiny” mean to U.S. citizens? Do you see any ironies in this idea?

Critics of Industrial Capitalism

October 22, 2012

Below please find some new web questions about industrial capitalism and its socialist critics written by your classmate, Irena Pergjika.

  • What sort of adjustments did workers have to make in the new factory system? How did it differ from earlier forms of labor?
  • Why did the industrial revolution make socialist ideas about the reordering of society seem possible? And how were the ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels different from earlier socialists like Charles Fourier and Robert Owen?