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Cypress College Gilded Age and Progressive Era in Industrial America Report

Textbook: and the Website for this book is

Historians turn to primary sources to tell us about life in a certain place and time. For this paper analysis, you will identify a TEXTUAL primary source from Chapter 18 (Life in Industrial America (Links to an external site.)) of the assigned primary source reader (YAWP Reader).

Using your chosen source and notes from the primary source analysis worksheet, write an essay (4 pages) on the author’s relationship to the Progressive Era with the following sections:

  1. An introduction that: A) describes what the Gilded Age & Progressive Era/Life in Industrial America entailed, noting three central or important components of the Gilded Age & Progressive Era/Industrialization in U.S. History and B) introduces the primary source and its author.
  2. A section in which, based on your evaluation of the primary source, you indicate the observer’s understanding of living during the age of industrialization in the United States, supporting your assertions with specific paraphrases/quotes of the text.

Questions to Consider for This Section: how does your author view industrialization and its place in American society? Is it a good thing? A bad thing? A complex thing?

  1. A section addressing the author’s view of the Gilded Age & Progressive Era/Industrialization within the larger historical context. Provide three clear and distinct comparisons (commonalities or disconnects) between the author’s particular observation of the Gilded Age & Progressive Era and the “reality” of the Era in U.S. History that we have examined in class. Provide support from the primary source and course content to clarify why you arrived at each conclusion. Note: you will want to clearly point out your three examples of commonalities or disconnects by utilizing such words as first, also, last, etc. Although your three examples may be clear to you, they might not be clear to me.

Questions to Consider for This Section: what material from the Gilded Age & Progressive Era/Industrialization lecture/textbook content does your author reassert/support? What content/problems/people from the Era are off your author’s radar?

  1. A section discussing what larger course theme[s] are prevalent in your primary source. These themes include but are not limited to: Power [who has it?]; Land and Property; Freedom and Liberty; the Power of Place/Region; Individual v. Community v. Nation; Race; Gender; Class; American “Character;” Rhetoric v. Reality. Strong papers will focus on one or two course themes rather than many. Support your assertion with specific paraphrases/quotes from the text.
  2. A conclusion restating the author and source, the three components of the Gilded Age & Progressive Era/Industrialization in America from section 1 and introducing questions the primary source raised for you [Identifying questions for further investigation – you aren’t actually doing further investigation but merely posing the questions].


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