NHD Regional Competitors – Register for the March 5 competition here by February 11 – make sure you follow the directions carefully!

Bring a signed registration page to Taft by Thursday, February 11, first thing in the morning, along with $8 cash.


We can only send in one check for all of our entries (their policy, not mine), so we cannot have separate checks – sorry about that.

Please notice that PAPERS (and annotated bibliographies) will need to be emailed to nhdinwi@gmail.com by February 15, so any modifications and additions MUST BE MADE THIS WEEKEND.

WEBSITES will also be locked on February 15, so any additions will need to be made by then as well.

PERFORMANCES, DOCUMENTARIES, and EXHIBITS can be modified up until the moment of the competition.

It is SUPER DUPER2 IMPORTANT that you register by Thursday, February 11 and bring the signed form (and $8 in cash) to me so I can get the registrations in the mail by the due date. Please help me out – ok?

We will have a few meetings before the competition to let you now what will happen and prepare for judges.


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In class February 8-9 – The Progressives!

Let’s check out how the Progressives tried to solve the problems of society at the turn of the century by completing a Progressive Movement in a Nutshell.  Make some connections too!

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Assignment February 4/5 – Get Progressive!

As you have seen from our investigation of the Gilded Age, there was a lot of progress in the American  economy, industry, urbanization, and immigration during the late 1800s early 1900s. However, progress comes with a price.   Politics were controlled by the wealthy, and political machines were challenging they ideals of democracy in many of the cities. The income gap between the wealthy and the rest of the nation was enormous.  The environment was ignored for industrial growth, and pollution and that is just destruction of resources became problematic. Cities were overcrowded, and tenement living was unhealthy at best, deadly at worst. People didn’t know what was going into their medicine or food. Monopolies were formed with large corporations controlling many of the major industries of the time, and workers’ worries were ignored or opposed by business and government.  Women were second class citizens, lacing political, economic, and social equality.  Who will respond to these problems?


The Progressive Movement emerged in the late 1800s and early 1900s to push for reforms in response to the excesses of the Gilded Age.  We will examine what they did in their attempts to make America a better place on Monday – but you will definitely want to get some background.  So, spend about 27 minutes and 48 seconds this weekend meeting the Progressives (before you watch the Super Bowl). How?  Here you go …

WATCH America in the 20th Century – The Progressive Era.  Use usmstudent, wildcats as your username and password. What should you be looking for?  A general idea of what the Progressive Movement was, an understanding of some of the reforms Progressives pushed for, and some info on the Progressive Presidents (including the big guy – I mean the REALLY big guy). You can the Progressive Era Intro as a guide – but no writing is necessary.

If you WANT to start the class activity for Monday/Tuesday and take some notes on the era, feel free – just follow the directions and use the THE-PROGRESSIVES-IN-A-NUTSHELL-online (1) document.  We will spend all of class to do this, so it;s up to you if you want to get going.  No harm either way!

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QUIZ – The Gilded Age and the Progressive Response

Time for a target quiz, gang – Wednesday and Thursday, before your four day weekend. Here is your fun review guide – we will do some review in the afternoons on Monday and Tuesday.  Don’t forget to make connections to the present as well!

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Assignment February 3 – Big City Life!

Let’s go back in time, shall we?  Imagine taking a stroll in one of the new big cities of the Northeast and upper Midwest in the late 1800s.  You and a friend (maybe it’s a late Valentine … how romantic) spend an entire day in one of these new urban locations that is booming with technology, big business, leisure activities, social experiments, entertainment, and mass culture.  There is a dark side to the city as well, one of political corruption, slums and tenements, child labor, and flight to the suburbs.  What would you notice as you waltz around the city?

Take a look at Big City Life from Creating America, and check out John Green and Crash Course talking about political machines in the video below.  Jot down some of your observations as you read and watch – and  get ready for a major tour of the big cities of the late 1800s in our next class meeting!

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Assignment February 3 – Start looking for some connections!

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.51.05 PMScreen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.51.16 PMOne of the most important reasons we study the past is to understand the present – right, young historians?  You will see incredible connections between the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and our current society, and those connections are part of your major assessment for our current unit in PROGRESS?!  Take a look at the assignment and start making connections between the past and present!

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In class February 2-3 Captains or Robbers? And what about the workers?

Were the great industrialists if the late 1800s positive or negative for America? Captains of Industry or Robber Barons? A little bit of both?

In your small groups, use your document hand outs as well as the materials below to fully explore the two sides to this debate. Add to some notes, and then come to a conclusion amongst your group members – CAPTAINS OR ROBBERS?

Make sure you add some info about Social Darwinism

We have seen the side of the guys making the big bucks … but what about the men (and women and children) that were toiling in the factories during the age of industrial growth? Spend a little time checking out the links below to find out about the positions and actions of the working world in the late 1800s.

Organized Labor and Labor vs. Management from US History, Workers of the World, Unite! (usmstudent, historyrules), Labor in the Age of Industrialization and Sources of Worker Unrest from Digital History

Write a statement from a worker for the time that responds to the following questions:

  • What are your complaints about your status as a worker during the late 1800s?
  • What do you plan to do about your situation?
  • How have the businesses and management responded to your ideas and actions?
  • What has the government said and done (or not done) in response to you?



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Assignment January 29/February 1 – Robber Barons or Captains of Industry?

Big businesses had to have someone at the lead … the major entrepreneurs of the time.  You may have heard of these names – Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Morgan – we will discuss their lives and legacies in the next class and ask the question “Captains of Industry or Robber Barons?” To prepare, use the handout provided in class.  Carefully read and  HIGHLIGHT or UNDERLINE and ANNOTATE all possible positive ideas and comments in one color, and HIGHLIGHT or UNDERLINE and ANNOTATE all possible negative ideas and comments in another color.  You each have a specific individual on the second page – do the same for that person, and check out some of the links below for further information.

Be prepared – you will need to talk!

The links below come from “The Men Who Built America”, a recent History Channel documentary.  Check out more about your individual!

Want more?  Take a lookyloo at = The Wealthiest Americans Ever – New York Times and The 20 Richest People Of All Time

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Assignment January 27/28 – Hello, Industry! Hello, Gilded Age!

It was a quick trip out West – but now it’s time to head to the growing cities of the Northeast and Midwest as we see the boom in industry and big business.  To get some background, spend some time (20-30 minutes) with the materials below and come to class with an idea or two (or four) about the rise of industry after the Civil War AND start making connections between the past and present!

KEY TERMS AND IDEAS - effects of the Civil War, railroads, industrial growth, economic boom, inventions, horizontal and vertical integration,  Captains of Industry or Robber Barons, trusts and combinations, labor movement

A good overview – The Industrial Revolution in America from Sage American History


From John Green and Crash Course (no password, but he rules)

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Reshaping the West Target

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 7.58.28 AMAfter spending some time examining the West and hearing about various perspectives, hit the target by describing at least four (4) different perspectives on the reshaping of the West between the Civil War and 1900. Each perspective should be identified in FIRST PERSON (as if you were the historical person or group), discussed, and supported with historical details. Have fun! Here’s an example from a miner – 

While mining brought settlement to the West and riches to some, it did have a negative impact on the history and landscape of the West.  Most of us miners who went for riches came away with nothing – NOTHING!  Them boomtowns we populated soon turned into ghost towns, remnants of which will dot the landscape for decades.  The huge throngs of people led to conflict with Indians, and the federal government come and intervened on our behalf – almost wiping out the Indians.  Even though I don’t care much in the 1800s, I reckon that our actions and those of them big mining companies will have a detrimental effect on the environment of the West.  Miners stripped the land without any concern, polluted streams, and cut down trees in search for minerals.  I hope the environment doesn’t bust like I did!

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