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The student understands how new cultural movements at different social levels affected American life


History as Destiny: The Case of New York City
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant interactive tools:
New York Is Old as a Big City
New York Is Old as a Big City

Cholera Epidemic Editorial
Resource Type: Primary Source
As far away as New Hampshire, editorials denounced the New York cholera epidemic of 1832 as divine retribution for decadence and sin.

Annual Report of the Interments
Resource Type: Primary Source
Dr. John Hoskins Griscom (1809–74), a Quaker physician, founded the New York Academy of Medicine and pioneered the field of public health. His advocacy for sanitation, medical care, and adequate housing led to the great reforms of the Progressive Era after the Civil War.

Sunshine and Shadow in New York
Resource Type: Primary Source
Sunshine and Shadow in New York, a mid-nineteenth-century publication, depicts New York City as two polar societies, one affluent and vibrant, and one poor and diseased.

How the Other Half Lives
Resource Type: Primary Source
Newspaper reporters, such as Jacob Riis (1849–1914), played an instrumental role in exposing the destitution and misery of New York's immigrant and working-class neighborhoods.

The Yellow Wall Paper
Resource Type: Primary Source
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a well-educated American woman who became depressed after her marriage in 1884. Diagnosed with neurasthenia and prescribed the "rest-cure,"she later wrote about her experience in The Yellow Wall Paper, published in 1899.

Black Women and the National Council of Women
Resource Type: Primary Source
Adella Hunt Logan, a leading member of the Tuskegee Women's Club, argued on behalf of the National Association of Colored Women that black women should be included in the National Council of Women in the United States.

Letter of a Woman Homesteader
Resource Type: Primary Source
Elinore Pruitt Stewart was one of many female homesteaders. In 1914, her letters were published in Letters of a Woman Homesteader. One letter, dated October 14, 1911, is reproduced below.

Margaret Sanger on Working Women
Resource Type: Primary Source
Margaret Sanger became nationally famous for organizing a birth-control movement. In this 1915 issue of the International Socialist Review, Sanger discusses working women.

Marriage Rates of Alumnae
Resource Type: Primary Source
This table shows the marriage rates of women who graduated from a variety of American colleges during the period of 1820–1930.

Growth of Woman's Christian Temperance Union
Resource Type: Primary Source
This 1959 chart shows the growth in membership of women involved in the movement to prohibit the consumption of alcohol.

The Warfare of Science with Theology
Resource Type: Primary Source
Andrew D. White was an American educator who wrote about the controversial reactions to Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species in his book, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, published in 1896.

Kodak Camera Ad
Resource Type: Primary Source
This advertisement for Kodak cameras appeared in a 1900 issue of the magazine Youth's Companion.

Remington Typewriter Company Ad
Resource Type: Primary Source
In a 1905 advertisement, the Remington Typewriter Company used two letters by Mark Twain to illustrate how his attitude toward the typewriter had changed over a period of thirty years.

Out in the Automobile
Resource Type: Primary Source
The comedian Arthur Collins and the tenor Byron Harlan wrote lyrics for many humorous songs. "Out in the Automobile" pokes fun at early-twentieth-century cars.

Brooklyn Bridge
Resource Type: Primary Source
An important American modernist painter, John Marin (1870–1953) established his reputation with his work in watercolors. Although known for his landscape paintings, Marin expresses his interest in urban life in Brooklyn Bridge, which associates the excitement of New York with the famous bridge. The bridge connects Manhattan to Brooklyn and had been completed about thirty years earlier, in 1883.

Social Darwinism: Its Influence and Legacy
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
Social Darwinism is usually understood as an ideology that justified survival of the fittest, that argued against government intervention or social reform to improve society. The documents in this DBQ, however, point to the complexity of social-Darwinist thought, considering how a progressive version fueled the Progressive Era and how a conservative strand exerted tremendous influence in American political thought.

Sumner on Social Darwinism
Resource Type: Primary Source
William Graham Sumner was an American social scientist influenced by Herbert Spencer and Charles Darwin. Sumner applied Darwin's evolutionary theory to human society.

Exhibition of American Negroes at World's Fair
Resource Type: Primary Source
The Exhibition of American Negroes at the 1900 Paris World's Fair tried to show that blacks in America had become part of the American middle class.

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