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Midterm Time!


I’m teaching two courses this term–Civil War and US Labor History. It’s midterm day. Take these midterms. I will be grading them. No curve!

HISTORY 365 MIDTERM, SPRING 2022 (for LGM readers, we are basically at the end of 1863, though there’s a lot of topical lectures within the war section of the course so it’s not strictly chronological when in the 1861-65 period)


Slavery existed to create a permanent, controllable labor force based on racial distinctions. How did slaves themselves respond to this institution that dominated their lives? In what ways did they resist their enslavement and how did that shape history through the early years of the Civil War

The American political system was originally designed so divisive debates over slavery would not come to dominate the nation’s politics. But of course that is what happened. Why? How did the nation come to the place where the South seceded in 1860 and 1861? What were the key political events that led to a civil war?

How did slavery shape the American economy, both in the South and in the North?

At the end of 1863, it was not easy to tell who would win the Civil War. Based upon what we have learned, provide the best argument that the North would win the war and provide the best argument the South would win the war.

HISTORY 349 MIDTERM SPRING 2022 (for LGM readers, we have gotten up to the 1910s)

Answer 2 of the following 4 questions.

How did ideas of race shape the American working class? How did racial ideology form in the working class? How did white workers act on their racial ideology?  

Who were the Progressives? How did they get involved in working class issues during the late 19th and early 20th centuries? Would you say they helped or hurt the cause of workers in these years? Why?

How did the arrival of the Industrial Revolution transform labor systems, both in the North and in the South?

How did American labor respond to the rise of monopoly capitalism after the Civil War? How did their ideas of free labor conflict with the new reality of monopolies and what are the ways in which workers responded to this?

The interesting thing about this to me is that I realized I wrote a Labor History midterm that doesn’t have a single question about unions per se.

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