Farmers’ Misery (AP US History)
In the period of 1865 to 1900, American farmers experienced numerous problems in their lifestyle and capabilities to prosper. In some situations, the potential to survive declined to almost none, as the profits earned by American farmers were insufficient and lacking. Two key factors that contributed to these problems include big business and government policy, and the decisions of the farmers themselves. I believe that although some were obvious and some were less apparent, both had an equal impact on the depression and misery of the farmers.
To begin, big business had the most resounding influence on the abilities farmers had access to to make a living. This time period being the time after industrialization and countless new inventions, farmers that could afford them could use machines to speed up the process of harvesting, cultivating, and other tedious tasks. As a result, a handful of wealthy farmers were able to produce and export crops at a much faster rate than a majority of their competitors who did not possess the machinery they did. With the money they acquired, they were able to expand their farm by purchasing more land. In some instances, farmers bought land near railroads from railway companies. The companies were eager to sell because they would make a profit off of land gifted to them by the government, and farmers were eager to buy because with the railroads next to their farms, they were able to export and transport their goods more quickly. By expanding their farms and producing a multiplicative amount of everyone else, they were able to increase the ratio of their sales to competitor’s sales, thus making a much greater profit. Other smaller farmers were, as a result, put out of business, with the cause being bigger businesses.
Moving on, the government, their decisions, and their policies made the overall profits of any one particular farmer in specific decline. The main situation that made this occur was the Homestead Act, where farmers would receive 160 acres of land for free if they were to live on it, farm on it, produce on it, and make the area livable. With this new act, want-to-be farmers with no money got something they could only dream of – plenty of land to live on. The excessive amount one person got allowed them to join the farming industry and become a competitor to other farmers. More crops were being produced by the day, but the number of consumers stayed the same or inclined at a much lower rate. The amount of competition rose drastically by every additional farmer joining the race to prosperity, and the amount of money one farmer earned slowly but surely declined. In essence, more farmers producing resulted in more income problems for the already existing farmers.
Finally, the farmers’ own decisions were a key component in the downfall of many. Similar to the Civil War, farmers produced many of only one crop, instead of creating a variety. Resembling exactly the death of King Cotton in the South during the Civil War, the farmers of the period had an overproduced and overinflated product that was underconsumed and not necessarily in such abundance. The choice of farming only one crop made income problems for all the farmers producing that crop. With insufficient profits coming in, the problem caused by the farmers’ choices caused their own demise.
Conclusively, between 1865 and 1900, the farmers were faced with problems that caused them to lose profits and potential earnings from products they produced. Out of many, the two key factors rooting the issues were higher authority, such as bigger businesses and the acts of the government; and the farmers choices such as what they chose to grow or do with their land that they were gifted with.
World War I (AP US History)
When the Senate defeated the Treaty of Versailles, there were two key influences that resulted in the final decision: the opposing forces, and President Woodrow Wilson. Although it is stated that liberal and conservative opposing forces were mostly responsible for this turnaround, I believe President Wilson deserves as much credit for the act. Wilson was responsible for speaking to the country and engraving in the citizens’ minds that the Treaty of Versailles was not a positive change for America. The strength of both opposing forces and President Wilson made the defeat of the Treaty of Versailles possible.
To begin, the liberal opposing forces discovered that the Treaty of Versailles does not meet their expectations. They hoped that the war "would end in a peace which would moralize nationalism by releasing it from class bondage and exclusive ambitions" (Document B). However, after analyzing the resulting effects and consequences of the Treaty of Versailles, they concluded "the Treaty of Versailles does not even try to satisfy these aspirations" (Document B). Instead, the liberals uncovered, "it does… nothing to heal the old and ugly dissensions" (Document B). It was this conflict in belief and viewpoint that caused uproar among the liberals, and it was this disagreement that caused action to be taken. The power of these liberal forces and their uprisings helped and contributed towards a favorable decision from the Senate.
On the other hand, President Wilson spoke to the American people to inform them that the treaty was not a desirable thing. For those unable to do it themselves, Wilson analyzes the implications of the treaty and concludes the consequences of following through with it. During a speech on September 5, 1919, Wilson bluntly declares to America, "You are betrayed. You have fought for something that you did not get" (Document C). By making the distinct past-to-present connection, those who are observing are able to think back to what happened in the recent past, and compare it to what is happening at the direct present. The people of the United States are able to see that all the effort they put in fighting, arguing, debating, and protesting was no good. All the struggles they went through were put to waste, with no desirable outcome. President Wilson inducing these thoughts brought rage and fury into the public’s minds, which aided them in gaining power and possessing a strong, unmoving viewpoint.
Furthermore, in another address to the country, Wilson aggravates their emotions by tagging the Treaty of Versailles as something that would lower the global position and capability. Wilson believes America should be "the light of the world as created to lead the world in the assertion of the rights of peoples and the rights of free nations…" (Document G). Afterward, Wilson sets up a contradictory scenario with the Treaty of Versailles being passed: "Do you in particular approve of the League of Nations as organized and empowered in that treaty? And do you wish to see the United States play its responsible part in it?" (Document G). By seeing the drastic difference between the two different cases, Americans are angry that their high standing rank in the world could be brought down to rubble. This not only enrages liberal and conservative opposition, but the population of the entire country as a whole. By working as one, the country combined powers, under Wilson’s and persistent encouragement, to defeat the treaty.
Conclusively, not only just opposition or the president was responsible for the defeat of the Treaty of Versailles. The combined efforts of the country, being pushed by the support and encouragement of the nation’s great leaders, overcame their obstacles and yielded victory when the Senate defeated the Treaty of Versailles.
Industrial Robbers (AP US History)
Industrialism spurred in the late 19th century from mechanization, immigration, natural resources, and inventions. During this time, a handful of leaders took advantage of their opportunities and monopolized industries. As a result, massive profits were accrued, and the first billion-dollar industry of America was formed. Critics of the time said these industrial leaders were robbers. I believe the prior statement is only medially true; although it was commonly accepted that industrial leaders were thieves and hoarders, it is justifiable in both directions. For example, some leaders completely ignored the public and did not feel for them, while others donated massive amounts to social development and philanthropic causes. Overall, I believe it is impossible and unjustifiable to make a general statement about all industrial leaders.
To begin, there is sufficient evidence to prove that the claim of leaders being greedy is legitimate. For example, William H. Vanderbilt did not support the public at all, and did not care about what happened to them.When asked if he is servicing the public during an interview, Vanderbilt responded, "The public be damned" (Document A). This reinforced the fact that Vanderbilt was careless about the public and did not mind what happened to them. He continued: "I don’t take any stock in this silly nonsense about working for anybody’s good but our own" (Document A). Thus, Vanderbilt did not run his industry to make the world a better place, but instead did so only to make massive profits to keep for himself.
On the other hand, there is also sufficient evidence to prove that claiming the leaders were corrupt and hoardy was untrue. The best example is the legend of steel, Andrew Carnegie. After having his industry surpass a billion dollars in profit. Carnegie realized the unequal balance of wealth in his time’s society. He concluded, "The problem of our age is the proper administration of wealth so that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmony" (Document C). This was used as the survival-of-the-fittest method. Although Carnegie did not provide for or donate to the public, he was not selfish. He merely encourages the public that this is the way of life and it will eventually be beneficial to the public as a whole. Instead of neglecting or making fun of the citizens, he aids them in realizing his views and business plans.
Moving on, there were industrialist leaders that did not act as "robber barons" at all, but instead gave much of what they earned back to the public. For example, John D. Rockefeller gave over $500 million in donations during his lifetime from money that he earned from his oil industry. By donating an amount multiple times larger than modern-day lottery, Rockefeller displayed a resounding act of respect, kindness, and gratitude to the public (Document H). These donations and contributions were made to various societies, foundations, boards, memorials, and universities. By utilizing this money, the public benefited with the money they had spent to purchase oil. Rockefeller became viewed as one of the most influential positive leaders of America that literally gave back to the public.
Finally, Russell H. Conwell summarized this overall issue with his precise input. Conwell said, "Ninety-eight out of one hundred of the rich men in America are honest. That is why they are rich. That is why they are trusted with money" (Document E). Essentially, he is saying that very few rich industrial leaders are corrupt or dishonest. There are hundreds and thousands of rich people that are capable of maintaining an honest business. These trustworthy leaders are not well-known because they abide by the law. The corrupt leaders are constantly accused and nabbed at by the public and the media, which is why they are well-known. The honest ones who stay under the radar have no reason to be in the news for wrongdoings because they have none.
Conclusively, there were a wide variety of industrial leaders in the 19th century, some corrupt and some honest. There were some who stole from the public, while others gave immensely. Although it is not possible to generalize about the nature of these wealthy men, they brought uniqueness and flavor to the society of their time.
Sense of Urgency (AP English Language)
The following letter, addressed to Dr. Lanyon, is urging him to the aid of his friend, Henry Jekyll. Read the letter carefully. Then, in a well-organized essay, explain how various rhetorical devices such as tone, word choice, imagery, and syntax create the letter’s overwhelming sense of urgency.
10th December, 18–
Dear Lanyon, You are one of my oldest friends; and although we may have differed at times on scientific questions, I cannot remember, at least on my side, any break in our affection. There was never a day when, if you had said to me, ‘Jekyll, my life, my honour, my reason, depend upon you,’ I would not have sacrificed my left hand to help you. Lanyon, my life, my honour my reason, are all at your mercy; if you fail me to-night I am lost. You might suppose, after this preface, that I am going to ask you for something dishonourable to grant. Judge for yourself.
I want you to postpone all other engagements for to-night – ay, even if you were summoned to the bedside of an emperor; to take a cab, unless your carriage should be actually at the door; and with this letter in your hand for consultation, to drive straight to my house. Poole, my butler, has his orders; you will find, him waiting your arrival with a locksmith. The door of my cabinet is then to be forced: and you are to go in alone; to open the glazed press (letter E) on the left hand, breaking the lock if it be shut; and to draw out, with all its contents as they stand, the fourth drawer from the bottom. In my extreme distress of wind, I have a morbid fear of misdirecting you; but even if I am in error, you may know the right drawer by its contents: some powders, a phial and a paper book. This drawer I beg of you to carry back with you to Cavendish Square exactly as it stands.
That is the first part of the service: now for the second. You should be back, if you set out at once on the receipt of this, long before midnight; but I will leave you that amount of margin, not only in the fear of one of those obstacles that can neither be prevented nor foreseen, but because an hour when your servants are in bed is to be preferred for what will then remain to do. At midnight, then I have to ask you to be alone in your consulting room, to admit with your own hand into the house a man who will present himself in my name, and to place in his hands the drawer that you will have brought with you from my cabinet. Then you will have played your part and earned my gratitude completely. Five minutes afterwards, if you insist upon an explanation, you will have understood that these arrangements are of capital importance; and that by the neglect of one of them, fantastic as they must appear, you might have charged your conscience with my death or the shipwreck of my reason.
Confident as I am that you will not trifle with this appeal, my heart sinks and my hand trembles at the bare thought of such a possibility. Think of me at this hour, in a strange place, labouring under a blackness of distress that no fancy can exaggerate, and yet well aware that, if you will but punctually serve me, my troubles will roll away like a story that is told.
Serve me, my dear Lanyon, and save, Your friend, H.J.
P.S. I had already sealed this up when a fresh terror struck upon my soul. It is possible that the postoffice may fail me, and this letter not come into your hands until to-morrow morning. In that case, dear Lanyon, do my errand when it shall be most convenient for you in the course of the day; and once more expect my messenger at midnight. It may then already be too late; and if that night passes without event, you will know that you have seen the last of Henry Jekyll.
Many people say that the only person you can really depend on is yourself. However, we all have instances where we are unable to help ourselves, and we need someone else to come to our aid. In the provided letter, from Henry Jekyll, addressed to Dr. Lanyon, a sense of urgency drifts throughout the context of the letter as Jekyll pleads for assistance. The effective use of rhetorical devices helps add to the sense of urgency and makes the reader feel obliged and rushed.
In the beginning of the letter, Jekyll clearly defines the importance and time-sensitivity of the included information. Jekyll uses powerful words in the opening to communicate his point: "If you fail me to-night I am lost." Then, when concluding his letter, he states again: "and that by the neglect of one of them, … you might have charged your conscience with my death or the shipwreck of my reason." These two sentences link the thought of failure and incompletion to death and demise. By utilizing words with intense meaning, Jekyll proves that a single error, which may include being late or ignorant, could have destructive consequences. The reader receives this message and feels cautions and alert of the content of the message and specific procedure.
When the instructions begin, Jekyll’s tone portrays a sense of urgency by providing specific commands instead of requests. For example, Jekyll states at the beginning of the body of his letter to "postpone all other engagements for to-night." Although Lanyon’s plans may be unknown, Jekyll makes the assumption, and suggests that the reader should assume the same, that whatever he is about to present now is far more important than what Lanyon may have had planned. This gives the impression that what Jekyll requires is top priority, and thus must be completed first in a roster of chores.
Additionally, when Jekyll is explaining what he needs to be done, he continues using commands instead of bothering to be polite. An excerpt of his instructions are as follows: "You are to go alone, to open the glazed press; … and to draw out …" The nature of the commands are not that of a friend asking another friend of a favor, but of a superior assigning tasks to an employee or follower that must be completed by a deadline. A time limit is implied in a different command: "… drive straight to my house." The reader knows to do this first thing when he receives the letter, even if he is unavailable.
Building off the prior, Jekyll not only forms a sense of urgency but also makes it work effectively. The majority of the letter consists of demands, with a condescending, brutal tone. However, because most people prefer not to be "bossed around," Jekyll begins the piece in a friendly tone, seemingly apologetic for what he is about to unravel: "Dear Lanyon, You are one of my oldest friends; … I cannot remember, at least on my side, any break in our affection." By treating a person with respect and kindness, the target will psychologically tend to return teh favor. In order to neutralize the demands in the remainder of the letter, Jekyll begins his composition in a peaceful, comforting, but seemingly pleading way. Thus, the sense of urgency will not only be picked up, but also be taken to heart.
Conclusively, the letter addressed to Dr. Lanyon from Henry Jekyll consists of powerful, meaningful language and effective, manipulative syntax. These rhetorical devices help Jekyll deliver his sense of urgency, and more importantly, have his urgency accepted by whom the message is directed at.
Controversy and Challenge (AP English Language)
Few leaders have had as much impact upon the American consciousness as the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was, perhaps, the major influence on the Civil Rights movement of the late ’50s and ’60s. Tragically assassinated in 1968, his legacy lives on. the following is one of many of King’s strong beliefs: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy." In a well-organized essay, defend, challenge, or qualify King’s beliefs that controversy and/or challenge are what bring out the true side of us. Base your response on your reading, experience, or observations.
When a man is attacked by a lion, the event can be perceived from two different aspects: the first is from the man actually being mauled by the beast, and the second is from another man outside the cage observing the assault. The man on the outside could be known as a brave, daring, undertaking man. However, the actions he shows from the position of safety are nothing like a man who may be less acknowledged in his tough-mindedness, but experiences and fights through a life-or-death situation. This all ties in with a belief of a powerful, influential American leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. He spoke once, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy" (King). I wholeheartedly agree with King from a logical and psychological viewpoint. The things a human does and can do in times of distress is what the particular person is really capable of.
Primarily, interpreting the sense of self-pride and confidence a majority of people possess explains why their actions during relaxation do not necessarily represent what a man can actually reach. Excluding outliers in statistical data, all humans wish to give a particular impression on other humans for who they are and what they are like. This is the root of basis for the variety of people we have in the population today; people choose their "style" in modern day culture by themselves, such as prep, punk, emo, or goth, some out of many. However, these external styles do not always represent the inner emotions of the humans themselves. For example, a local teen may not be punk because he likes doing things his own way, but because he feels isolated or segregated. Additionally, an adolescent girl may not be goth because she is cold and heartless and violent, but because she recently had a death in the family or a family tragedy. This idea of masking one’s emotions and not displaying their true characteristics ties in with the misrepresentation of potential one may display when at peace. Because they are not pushed or pressured, they may extensively plan their actions before performing them to maintain and support their external appeal.
On the contrary, discomfort in a (wo)man induces impulsive and on-the-spot behavior; things that would represent their true feelings shine through and beyond their mask like a light bulb is able to shine through its lamp shade. As King stated, during "times of challenge and controversy," one is put to the test and forced to act on instinct. This type of behavior closely relates to a concept better known as Ethics of Individualism. Although not true for everyone, most people feel more comfortable and less withdrawn when they are alone. A mask or "fake public version" of the person lacks necessity, because it is obvious that one does not need to hide oneself from oneself. Progressively, this idea can be implemented to the time spent alone. Most people are alone for a good number of hours per day, may it be during sleep or studying. Even further, a human will prefer this state of actualization because it is more relaxing to act in this manner. With all this in mind, conclusively, a human will resort to more satisfactory and comforting behavior as their natural behavior, and act in this manner when pushed and not given enough time to apply their mask. Thus, this natural state shows the true extent of a man’s behavior and potential, and supports King’s belief.
In summary, humans can be partionally analyzed with respect to their daily lives, and the waves of their behavior is found to be sinusoidal. By applying these findings, one may conclude that a man’s most genuine capabilities will show when they are put to the test without being given time to filter their actions.