The late nineteenth century must have been a great

Essay Question:

“The late nineteenth century must have been a great time to be alive,” declared an unemployed historian. “Business and agriculture were booming, government stayed off your back, and there was plenty of opportunity for anyone willing to work for it.” Assess the accuracy of this statement by describing the urban and rural conditions of late nineteenth-century America. How did business and agriculture develop after the Civil War and how much opportunity was there for ordinary Americans? What were working conditions like for industrial workers and farmers? Is the historian correct? Why or why not?

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Guidelines for Essay-writing The essay should be at least 4 paragraphs long. Spelling, grammar, sentence structure, organization, creativity, and the essay’s overall persuasiveness are all important. I recommend outlining answers to each question ahead of time.

make a clear argument, or thesis statement, in the first paragraph that will serve as the central point of your entire essay. What is a thesis? A thesis is an interpretive statement, not merely a factual one. It offers an explanation for why events occurred, not merely a description of what happened. Consider the difference between the following two statements. (a) “Comanches raided for horses and cattle on the Texas frontier.” (an indisputable fact) (b) “Although Comanches had a variety of motives for raiding for horses and cattle on the Texas frontier, their principal purpose was to exchange them for other trade goods.” (an interpretation that requires evidence to support it) 2. Back up your thesis with persuasive evidence from the textbook, the primary sources, and your class notes. Remember, the point is not to spew forth a list of every fact that you remember about a given topic, but to clearly state your thesis and support it with historical evidence.

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