Midterm Exam Questions Essay for Oregon History

Select TWO Essay Topics from the list below, and write a 2 pg. (minimum) essay for EACH one. YOU MUST SELECT ONE ESSAY FROM GROUP A, AND ONE ESSAY FROM GROUP B. Support your arguments with historical evidence; I suggest using the list of “Terms to Know” provided in each Week’s Focus Questions to support your arguments, but you are free to use other examples as well.YOU MUST LIMIT YOUR SOURCES TO CLASS MATERIALS (i.e. lecture, textbook, D2L files, documentaries, and Oregon Encyclopedia). Make sure to cite when appropriate, and please use MLA format when citing (author pg #). For lectures and documentaries, just list the source in parentheses. Plagiarism will lead to an automatic F.


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1. Native Oregon until 1919. Write an essay describing the experiences of Oregon’s indigenous people until 1919. First, describe the traditional lifeways of peoples living in Oregon’s three major culture areas before Europeans arrived. Then, show how native people responded to Euroamerican colonization, and highlight the major changes that impacted native societies until 1919. Some post-contact eras to address include: the fur trade, massive settlement and conflict, and federal policies (i.e. reservation system, education, allotment).

2. Homogeneity and Race. How did non-Native Oregonians in the decades following major American settlement in the 1840s try to create and maintain a homogeneous state? How did such efforts specifically impact the lives of marginalized groups in Oregon? Specifically, address African-American and Chinese communities.


3. Geopolitics, Economics, and the early Oregon Territory (pre-1846). How did geography, politics, and economics influence the race for empire in the Pacific Northwest in the 18th and 19th centuries (among the major imperial rivals of Russia, Great Britain, and the United States)? How and why did power relations shift, and what factors explain the triumph of the United States in securing its claim to the region?

4. Industrialization and the Progressive Era. How did the industrialization of Oregon have both positive and negative impacts? What problems or abuses associated with the industrialization did reformers in Oregon seek to rectify? What were the main accomplishments of the Progressive Era?

Grading Rubric (each essay is worth 25 points)

• A (23-25 points) – Thorough, well-written and clearly organized, logical arguments with ample supporting evidence, displays critical thinking, proper citations
• B (20-22 points) – Mostly thorough, mostly well-written and organized, contains arguments but not always supported with evidence, displays critical thinking, proper citations
• C (17-19 points) – Somewhat thorough, grammatical errors and loosely organized, arguments not supported well with evidence, improper citations
• D (15-16 points) – Incomplete/short, many grammatical errors and poor organization, vague arguments without supporting evidence, improper/lacking citations
• F (less than 15 points) – Extremely short, inaccurate, difficult to read

Submission Instructions
Put both essays in the same document. Do NOT submit two files/documents. Your total page count should be at least 4 pages.
Please use double-spacing, with standard margins and fonts.
Please submit your file into the Midterm Exam Dropbox.
You must submit it by the 11:30 deadline on Sunday, Nov 1. I will ACCEPT NOTHING AFTER THIS TIME, NO EXCEPTIONS. If I do not receive it by this time, you will get a ZERO, making it difficult to pass the class.

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