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- How did the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 reflect Americans' self-image? How did it contradict what was actually happening in the U.S. economy?
- Sensationalist journalism, like that practiced at the turn of the century by William Randolph Hearst, is often referred to as "yellow journalism," due to the lemon-colored cartoon strips that made certain newspapers popular. Is yellow journalism practiced today? How does it differ from that practiced in 1898? Does it still influence foreign policy decisions?
- There is a debate among historians whether President McKinley was a decisive leader intent on overseas expansion or a weaker figure guided by public opinion. Which do you think he was and why?
- How did popular music at the turn of the century reflect historical events? How do you think popular music affected Americans' understanding of these events? Name three contemporary songs that reflect current events.
- Do you find it ironic that the explosion aboard the Maine could have been an accident? Do you think that the Spanish-American War would have happened anyway? Why?
- When Theodore Roosevelt was president, he legislated important changes in the training, preparedness, and system of promotions in the U.S. Army. What did he see in the Spanish-American War that made him make these changes?
- Why did some African-Americans not want to fight in the Spanish-American War? Do you think the same issues plague African-American soldiers today?
- Describe the issues at stake in the Senate debate in 1899 over the ratification of the Treaty of Paris. If you were a senator at the time, how would you have voted?
- Compare and contrast the anti-imperialist movement during the Philippine-American War and the anti-war movement during Vietnam.
- How did the Spanish-American War and the events that followed help dictate U.S. policy towards Cuba?