Exam preparation materials

Section II: Essay Questions

Part A

(Suggested writing time — 45 minutes)

Directions: Write an essay based on your analysis of Documents A-G as well as your knowledge of the period covered by the question. It is important for you to include information on the topic not provided in the documents.

1. While President Franklin Roosevelt instituted a major shift in U.S.-Latin American relations, his Good Neighbor Policy was unable to survive in the atmosphere of the cold war.

Using the documents provided and your knowledge of the period from 1933 through 1973, assess the validity of this statement.

Document A

Every observing person must by this time thoroughly understand that under the Roosevelt Administration the United States is as much opposed as any other government to interference with the freedom, sovereignty, or other internal affairs or processes of the governments of other nations. In addition to numerous acts and utterances in connection with the carrying out of these doctrines and policies, President Roosevelt, during recent weeks, gave out a public statement expressing his disposition to open negotiations with the Cuban Government for the purpose of dealing with the treaty which has existed since 1903. I feel safe in undertaking to say that under our support of the general principle of nonintervention, as has been suggested, no government need fear any intervention on the part of the United States under the Roosevelt Administration.

Source: Statement by Secretary of State Cordell Hull to the Seventh Pan-American Conference, December 19, 1933.

Document B

We have negotiated a Pan American convention embodying the principle of nonintervention. We have abandoned the Platt Amendment which gave us the right to intervene in the internal affairs of the Republic of Cuba. We have withdrawn American marines from Haiti. We have signed a new treaty which places our relations with Panama on a mutually satisfactory basis. We have undertaken a series of trade agreements with other American countries to our mutual commercial profit.

Source: Speech by President Franklin Roosevelt, August 14, 1936.

Document C

By the end of the decade. Roosevelt had modified his method of handling Latin American affairs. The change nevertheless came slowly. Bolivia found that out in March 1937, when it annulled the oil concession held by Standard Oil and confiscated the company’s property. The United States supported the firm in two ways. It brought pressure on other Latin American countries to prevent Bolivia from obtaining help in developing or selling its oil. and it refused to give Bolivia any economic aid.

Source: William Applemon Williams, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy (1972).

Document D

The reorganization and proper development of Mexico alone would afford an outlet for our capital and energies for some time to come. And while I think we should try in every way to maintain the friendship of our neighbors to the south. I think we should also make it clearly understood that no government in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean South American countries will be tolerated unless it is friendly to the United States, and that, if necessary, we are prepared to use force to obtain that object.

Source: Speech by General Robert E. Wood of the America First Committee, October 4, 1940.

Document E

The question may be raised as to what attitude this country would take if confronted with a break-down of law and order in any country of this hemisphere. Contemplating that contingency, the President has said: “It is only if and when the failure of orderly processes affects the other nations of the continent that it becomes their joint concern; and the point to stress is that in such an event it becomes the joint concern of a whole continent in which we are all neighbors.”

Source: Speech by Laurence Duggan, Chief of the Division of American Republics, Department of State, April 2, 1938.

Document F

When Franklin Roosevelt became President he had for a long time taken a deep and constructive interest in inter-American affairs. He believed that in its own interest this country should put its relations with its American neighbors upon a new and completely different foundation. He believed primarily that it must abandon its long-standing policy of interference, and above all of military intervention. He was convinced that the juridical equality of all the American nations must be recognized in practice as well as in words. Furthermore, he was persuaded of the necessity for inter-American consultation whenever trouble within one republic threatened to become a source of danger to the others. This would ensure that mediation or any protective measure would be undertaken only by concerted action.

Source: Sumner Welles, The Time for Decision (1944).

Document G

The Government of the United States readily recognizes the right of any sovereign state to expropriate for public purposes. This view has been stated in a number of communications addressed to your Government during the past two years and in conversations had with you during that same period regarding the expropriation by your Government of the property belonging to American nationals.

On each occasion, however, it has been stated with equal emphasis that the right to expropriate property is coupled with and conditioned on the obligation to make adequate, effective and prompt compensation. This legality of an expropriation is in fact dependent upon the observance of this requirement.

Source: Secretory of State Cordell Hull to the Mexican Ambassador to the United States, April 3, 1940.

Part B

(Suggested time — 35 minutes, including a 5-minute planning period)

Directions: Choose ONE question from this part. Cite relevant historical evidence in support of your generalizations and present your arguments clearly and logically.

2. Analyze the ways in which THREE of the following helped shape the economy and social structure of the southern colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The environment The headlight system Indentured servitude Slavery

3. “Any activity that throws woman into the attitude of a combatant, either for herself or others, lies outside her appropriate sphere.” (Catharine Beecher, 1837)

To what extent did women agree with this view in the decades before the Civil War?

Part C

(Suggested time — 35 minutes, including a 5-minute planning period)

Directions: Choose ONE question from this part. Cite relevant historical evidence in support of your generalizations and present your arguments clearly and logically.

4. Identify THREE of the following and evaluate the relative importance of each of the THREE in promoting the growth of the conservation movement.

The Sierra Club

The Newlands Reclamation Act

The Hetch Hetchy controversy

The Pinchot-Ballinger controversy

5. Identify THREE of the following and analyze to what extent each of the THREE accurately reflected the accomplishments with which they were associated.

The Return to Normalcy

The Fair Deal

The New Frontier

The Great Society


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