HIS 200 SNHU Boolean Operations Questions

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I’m trying to learn for my History class and I’m stuck. Can you help?

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Week 2 Short Responses – Question 1
What types of primary and secondary sources will you need to use to support the topic you
are examining in your essay? You don’t need the actual sources yet, but you should have an
idea of what they might be (such as an eyewitness account of an event, for example).
Week 2 Short Responses – Question 2
What are two or three keywords you could use to look for sources to answer this question?
Week 2 Short Responses – Question 3
What subject terms can you use to continue your search?
Week 2 Short Responses – Question 4
When you search for “construction,” you get a lot of extraneous answers. What [?]Boolean
operators[/?] and corresponding search terms could you use to narrow your search?
Week 2 Short Responses – Question 1
What types of primary and secondary sources will you need to use to support the topic you
are examining in your essay? You don’t need the actual sources yet, but you should have an
idea of what they might be (such as an eyewitness account of an event, for example).
Week 2 Short Responses – Question 2
What are two or three keywords you could use to look for sources to answer this question?
Week 2 Short Responses – Question 3
What subject terms can you use to continue your search?
Week 2 Short Responses – Question 4
When you search for “construction,” you get a lot of extraneous answers. What [?]Boolean
operators[/?] and corresponding search terms could you use to narrow your search?
Theme: Approaches to History
How can thinking like a historian be useful even if you’re not looking to become a historian yourself?
This course will show you how applying historical thinking skills can benefit you, no matter what you’re
looking to learn at SNHU. In this course, we’ll show you the value of historical thinking across
(Click icon for citation)
To start, we’ll explore the ways in which
historians typically approach understanding
historical events in the eight learning blocks that
make up Theme: Approaches to History. In order
to understand how historians think, we’ll first
establish why historians look at historical events:
they identify historically significant events of
interest to them and choose a specific historical
lens they will use to analyze those events. Next,
we’ll establish what historians do to analyze
historical events: they develop and refine a
research question to focus their analysis, develop
search terms based on their research question, and
locate primary and secondary sources to
determine the context of their historical event.
Finally, we’ll close Theme: Approaches to History by walking you through the process of drafting a
writing plan. Even if they don’t write a formal writing plan like you will be doing, all historians begin to
write a historical event analysis with some kind of strategy in mind—a plan for finding information in
primary and secondary sources that will help them answer their research questions and enhance their
understanding of the topic at hand.
This approach is actually pretty similar to approaches used in different fields, if you think about it. In
drafting a proposal for a business plan, an entrepreneur would identify a gap in the market for a new
good or service, research what evidence could help make a case for this gap, and develop an argument to
a potential investor in order to secure funding. This approach might also remind you of the scientific
method used in the physical sciences in which a natural phenomenon is observed, investigated, and
tested in order to draw a conclusion.
Although we’re looking at history in this course, keep in mind that the skills you are refining here are
also relevant in other, sometimes unexpected, fields of study at the university.
Course Outcomes
After completing this theme, you should be able to:
Apply key approaches to studying history in addressing critical questions related to historical
narratives and perspectives
Select appropriate and relevant primary and secondary sources in investigating foundational historic
Copyright © 2017 MindEdge Inc. All rights reserved. Duplication prohibited.
Theme: Approaches to History | Learning Block 1-1: The Rights of
Over the centuries, millions of immigrants have journeyed to America. Most sought to fit into American
society, yet most also sought to hold onto certain aspects of their native lands. The experience of
different immigrant groups illustrates the difficulty of “fitting in” and attaining the full range of rights
that the Constitution guarantees to all citizens, when one is perceived as somehow different from native­
born Americans.
In this theme, we will look at the experiences of two different immigrant groups—the Irish and the
Québécois, French­speaking immigrants from Quebec—who came to America in large numbers during
the 19th century. Looking at the experiences of these two groups will help us learn how to begin to think
like historians: to assess the historical significance of events, to place them in context, and to understand
the different perspectives, or lenses, through which we can view these events. You will begin developing
the historical thinking skills necessary to ask questions, investigate sources, and begin outlining your
historical analysis essay, using these two immigrant groups as backdrops.
Learning Objectives
In this learning block, you will:
Be introduced to the core concept of this theme: the rights of immigrants
Learn about the concept of historical significance
Apply the concept of historical significance to your own experience
The Rights of Immigrants
The United States, as the saying goes, is a nation of immigrants. In 2014, according to the U.S. Census
Bureau, 13.3 percent of all Americans were foreign­born (U.S. Census Bureau, 2014), while everyone
else—including Native Americans—was descended from someone who, however long ago, came here
from somewhere else.
That simple fact defines America as something different from most other countries: a place whose
national identity is not rooted solely in geography or ethnicity but which comprises such shared values as
democracy, liberty, opportunity, and upward mobility.
Ellis Island was the main entry facility for immigrants entering the United
States between 1892 and 1954. (Click icon for citation)
But it is also a fact that America, as a nation, has not always embraced newcomers to its shores. For
many immigrant groups, the path to acceptance—and the ability to exercise the full panoply of rights
enjoyed by native­born Americans—has been a tortuous one.
There is a strong strain of nativism that runs through American culture and society. Especially in times
of economic hardship, immigrants have been demonized for “taking American jobs”; at other times they
have been victims of religious or racial/ethnic discrimination. The struggle of different immigrant groups
to overcome these obstacles, and to be incorporated fully into American society and economic life, is a
crucial element of the American story. (Schrag, 2010)
Immigrants came here from many countries, and they entered the country through many different ports.
Perhaps the most famous gateway was Ellis Island in New York Harbor—the first federal immigration
station, through which 12 million immigrants passed. Today, Ellis Island, as part of the Statue of Liberty
National Monument, stands as a symbol of the American immigrant experience.
Kimball, A. (1997, March 31). Ways of Seeing History. Retrieved from pages.uoregon.edu/kimball/ways.htm
Schrag, P. (2010, September 13). The Unwanted: Immigration and Nativism in America. Retrieved from
U.S. Census Bureau (2014). American FactFinder fact sheet: Selected Characteristics of the Native and Foreign­
Historical Significance
Significance is one of the most important concepts in the study of history. Historical significance is
closely related to the concept of importance, but it implies a higher standard: lots of events may seem
important at the time they take place, but how many are historically significant? Historical significance
can help us understand the experience of immigrant groups in the United States.
Historians generally rate historical significance by asking four key questions:
How notable, or important, was the event at the time it occurred?
Did the event affect a great many people?
Were the consequences of the event extensive and enduring?
Does the event symbolize or relate to broader historical trends? (Phillips, 2002)
To gain a better understanding of the concept of historical significance, watch the video below:
Video Transcript: Historical Significance
From the historian’s standpoint, significance is a measure of whether an event or person is worth
remembering, worth teaching about, and worth being the subject of historical research. Human
history consists of every event that’s ever happened, but only a few are remembered and taught
about many years later. Those are the events with historical significance. Think about your own
personal history. You’ve probably done a lot of different things today: eat lunch, worked out, drove
to work, walked the dog. Maybe you’ve done something genuinely important, such as paying your
mortgage or calling your mother on her birthday. Thirty years from now, when you’re writing your
autobiography, would you write about any of the things you did today? If not, then those events are
not historically significant moments in your life. An individual might be considered historically
significant if he or she is connected in some way to a larger historical event or trend. John F.
Kennedy, the great grandson of Irish immigrants, was a historically significant figure because of his
close involvement in many momentous events: the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the
Space Race, and the American involvement in Vietnam, to name just a few. Other individuals may
be considered more or less historically significant through their connection to historically
significant events. Let’s say your grandfather was an immigrant from Ireland who enlisted in the US
army and fought in World War II. That fact alone lends him some degree of historical significance.
He would be seen as a more historically significant figure if he had a direct impact on the course of
events during the war, say, as a battlefield commander or as a participant in a major turning point in
the war, such as the D­Day invasion. Similarly, if your great grandmother emigrated from Quebec
at the turn of the last century, and then sang in a radio program broadcast by radio station KDKA in
Pittsburgh, one of the first regularly scheduled radio stations in the nation, she would have had
some measure of historical significance. She would be seen as a more significant figure if she had
gone onto a career as a radio network personality in New York, say, or if she had become an
official of AFTRA, the labor union for radio and later television performers. By this measure, most
people can claim some measure of historical significance. The task of the historian, however, is to
make a judgement about which events and people are significant enough to write about and to
teach. Historians make those judgments after looking at evidence and considering events and
individuals in light of the historical context. It’s important to remember that historical significance
is not an absolute. One group of people might consider an event or person to be historically
significant while other groups may not. An event may be significant to people in one part of the
world or one region of the country, but not to those who live elsewhere. But it remains the job of
the historian to judge which events and individuals are so historically significant that they merit
being written about and studied by future generations.
Kimball, A. (1997, March 31). “Ways of Seeing History.” Retrieved from pages.uoregon.edu/kimball/ways.htm
Phillips, R. (2002). Historical Significance – The Forgotten “Key Element?” Teaching History (106) (March 2002)
14­19. Retrieved from search.proquest.com/openview/535c4fbce3194b0a79d80f3f6dea5f7f/1?pq­
The process by which immigrant communities, over time, integrate themselves into their host society is
known as assimilation. In America, this process generally involves the gradual adoption of the English
language, along with American culture and values, by the immigrant group. Full assimilation is said to
occur when members of a particular group are indistinguishable from the rest of American society.
(Brown and Bean, 2006)
Throughout American history, assimilation has generally been assumed to be the logical and desired end
result for any immigrant group coming to America. This assumption is not universally shared, however,
and some immigrant groups have resisted assimilation by holding on to their native language, food, and
cultural practices. Other immigrants saw themselves as “birds of passage,” coming to America to take
advantage of the greater economic opportunities here but returning home after they’d earned enough
money to live comfortably in their native lands.
Sociologists measure assimilation by the extent to which members of an immigrant group:
Improve their socioeconomic status, making it comparable to national norms;
Increase geographic mobility, moving beyond the ethnic enclaves in which many immigrants
first settle;
Adopt English as a second and, eventually, first language; and
Intermarry—that is, marry people from outside their ethnic group or community. (Waters and
Jiménez, 2005)
Barriers to Assimilation
The classic theory of assimilation holds that immigrants inevitably become more “Americanized” with
the passage of time. But there are many barriers to assimilation that can delay or even prevent a group’s
full assimilation. (Brown and Bean, 2006)
Language is one of the primary barriers to assimilation. Immigrant groups whose members speak
English may find it easier to assimilate than members of other groups, though this is not always the case.
Race may also block a group’s assimilation into American society. The nation’s tragic history of racial
division has had a long­lasting impact on American society; the simple fact is that having a darker skin
color undeniably marks a person as different from the majority of white Americans. For that reason
alone, an English­speaking immigrant from Nigeria, for example, might find it harder to “blend in” than
an English­speaking immigrant from Scotland.
Finally, religion has historically been a major barrier to assimilation. From the earliest colonial days,
religious minorities have often faced prejudice and discrimination in America. From the anti­Catholic
riots of the 19th century to the widespread anti­Semitism of the 20th century to the anti­Muslim
sentiment of the post­9/11 era, religious prejudices have proven to be a powerful impediment to
Brown, S. and Bean, F. (2006, October 1) Assimilation Models, Old and New: Explaining a Long­Term Process.
Retrieved from www.migrationpolicy.org/article/assimilation­models­old­and­new­explaining­long­term­
Kimball, A. (1997, March 31). Ways of Seeing History. Retrieved from pages.uoregon.edu/kimball/ways.htm
Phillips, R. (2002). Historical Significance—The Forgotten “Key Element?” Teaching History (106) 14­19.
Schrag, P. (2010, September 13). The Unwanted: Immigration and Nativism in America. Retrieved from
U.S. Census Bureau (2014). American FactFinder fact sheet: Selected Characteristics of the Native and Foreign­
Waters, M. and Jiménez, T. (2005). Assessing Immigrant Assimilation: New Empirical and Theoretical Challenges.
Annual Review of Sociology 31 (1): 105 ­ 125. DOI:10.1146/annurev.soc.29.010202.100026
Theme: Approaches to History | Learning Block 1-2: Historical Thinking
Studying history is not a matter of memorizing names and dates. Studying history is an effort to make
sense of the past—to understand why certain events took place and to draw from that understanding
larger conclusions about human society.
To do all that requires a particular mindset, a way of looking at the events of the past that allows us to
see connections and causalities that may elude the casual observer. Thinking like a historian is a vital
skill, and learning that skill is one of the central goals of this course. The skills you learn in this course
will be useful both in completing your historical analysis essay and in your future studies at SNHU.
Learning Objectives
In this learning block, you will:
Be introduced to the concept of historical lenses
Learn to look at historical events through different lenses
Thinking Like a Historian
For too many people, history is an unconnected list of names and dates—a litany of people and events
that needs to be memorized but not necessarily understood.
Needless to say, that’s not the way historians think about history. They know that history, in the most
fundamental sense, is a story: a complex narrative with lots of moving, interdependent parts, all of which
inform and instruct us about the past. And historical thinking is a way to think about the world that helps
us understand not only the past, but the present. (Wineburg, 2010)
The first step toward thinking like a historian is to understand that there is no single, “right” way to look
at history. Studying history is all about interpretation—how we try to make sense of events and
individuals from the past. Different historians may have different interpretations of the same event, but
neither one is necessarily right or wrong. What matters is how well each interpretation meshes with the
historical evidence. (Cohen, 2011)
There are many different kinds of historical evidence: documents, artifacts, buildings, paintings or
photographs, and oral histories, to name just a few. But it’s also important to realize the many things that
are not historical evidence: opinion, rumor, propaganda, and political rhetoric, among many others.
Example: Thinking Historically by Examining the Impact of Irish Immigration
The Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s led to an enormous movement of Irish immigrants to the United
States. But what were the most important effects of this historical event?
One historian might argue that the vast influx of Irish immigrants was good for the American economy
because it contributed to the rapid industrialization of the American North, providing a large pool of
cheap factory labor in the major coastal cities where most of the immigrant Irish settled. Another
historian might argue that Irish immigration, regardless of its effects on industrialization, had a
destabilizing effect on American society because it led to urban overcrowding, public health problems
caused by slum­like conditions, and social conflict arising from religious differences.
Neither interpretation is necessarily right or wrong. And it’s entirely possible that both could be justified
by the historical evidence, which in this case would include the number of industrial jobs created in
Northern cities in the 1840s and 1850s; statistics on housing and infectious diseases; and contemporary
accounts of anti­Catholic discrimination and violence.
Historical Lenses
Different historians can develop different interpretations of the same event because they are looking at
that event from different perspectives and emphasizing some pieces of historical evidence more than
The different perspectives from which historians approach the task of historical research are known as
historical lenses. More generally, the study of historical methods, and of the techniques for researching
and writing history, is known as historiography.
Historical lenses are often referred to as categories of history or approaches to history. This is not meant
to be an exhaustive list of the way historians examine different aspects of history, however. (Endy, 2015)
As you begin to think about what topic you would like to explore further for your historical analysis
essay, you will want to consider through which historical lens (or lenses) you will examine the different
aspects of the event.
Political history
political events, parties, elections, voters, and government actions
Social history
social structures and processes and, more generally, the conditions that prevail in an entire society at
a particular point in history
Military history
military leaders, battles, and strategy
Economic history
economies or economic phenomena of the past
Religious history
religious ideas, movements, and institutions
Cultural history
culture and the arts at a particular moment in history
History of science
the development of science, scientific knowledge, and technology
These are only a few examples. Historical lenses can also represent certain theories of history, such as
the Great Man Theory, which holds that history can be explained mainly by studying the actions and
motivations of highly influential leaders or heroes, or Marxism, which argues that social class conflict
and related economic forces determine historical outcomes. (Tosh, 1984)
Theories of history are sometimes referred to as schools of historiography. Some other notable schools of
historiography include the Annales School, a theory of French history that emphasizes long­term social
history and the use of social science methodology; psychohistory, which studies the psychological
motivations behind historical events; and the cyclical theory of history, which holds that history can be
defined in terms of repeating cycles of events.
Looking once more at the two different interpretations of Irish immigration to the U.S., it’s clear that the
first historian looked at the issue through the lens of economic history, while the second used the lens of
social history.
Other lenses offer the possibility of still more interpretations: a political historian, for instance, might
focus on the role that Irish immigration played in building the Democratic political machines in such
cities as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. A religious historian, on the other hand, might study the
influence of Irish Catholic immigrants on the rise of America’s major Catholic universities, including
Georgetown, Fordham, and the University of Notre Dame.
The point is that whatever approach you take to history—whatever lens you apply to any historical event
—your choice will affect what you see and the conclusions that you draw from the historical evidence.
Endy, C. (2015) Glossary of Historical Terms. Retrieved from web.calstatela.edu/faculty/cendy/glossary.pdf
Tosh, J. (1984) In Pursuit of History. New York: Longman.
Theme: Approaches to History | Learning Block 1-3: Research
In this learning block, we are going to shift our focus away from the immigrant experience in America
for the moment and begin to look at the historical research that you will be asked to undertake for your
course assessment.
At the conclusion of Theme: Thinking About History, you will be required to submit a historical event
analysis—a four­ to six­page essay that analyzes a particular historical event. Before writing your essay,
you will be required to submit a writing plan—a one­ to two­page document that describes the event
you have chosen to analyze, the resources you plan to use in your research, and the particular audience
for your essay. You will be required to submit your writing plan at the conclusion of Theme:
Communicating Historical Ideas.
Learning Objectives
In this learning block, you will:
Begin choosing the research topic for your historical event analysis
Learn how to ask a critical research question
Better understand how historical thinking can be applied to parts of your life
Practice developing research questions
Choosing a Research Topic
As you get ready to start your own historical research, you should know that the first step in any
historical analysis is the most basic: choosing a topic to research. In this course, you will be required to
submit your research topic for approval at the end of Theme: Approaches to History, Learning Block
The topic must be an event in American history. You may choose a topic that is related to any of the case
studies contained in this course, or you may choose your own topic, with the approval of your instructor.
Here are a few pointers to help you choose your topic:
1. Pick a topic that interests you. You’re likely to do more research, and do it faster, when
you’re genuinely engaged by your topic.
2. Pick a topic that is credible and relevant. Avoid sensationalism; don’t waste your time trying
to research the history of alien abductions or Elvis sightings. And make sure your topic is
historically relevant—that is, a topic that requires you to do real historical research, not just
express your opinions.
3. Narrow it down. A topic that’s too broad will require you to sift through too much information
and make it hard for you to focus.
4. Ask your instructor for ideas. Your instructor can also help you decide what topics are
credible and relevant and how to narrow down an overly broad topic.
5. Make sure you can find the needed resources. If your topic is too obscure or too narrow, you
might have trouble finding enough relevant sources.
Sample Topics
The case studies in this course cover the following issues. Click on each tab to learn more about the
topic, which will help you decide if it might be something you are interested in researching.
Irish Immigrant Experience
In Theme: Approaches to History, you will learn more about the struggle of immigrants to win equal
rights in American society. Our first case study will look at the experience of Irish immigrants in the
United States in the 19th century.
Between 1820 and 1860, more than one third of all immigrants to the United States came from
Ireland. This wave of majority Catholic immigrants reached its peak during the failure of the potato
crop, known as “the Great Hunger.”
Many Irish immigrants were poor and uneducated, making them initially ill­equipped for the
emerging industrial economy of America. These immigrants experienced religious discrimination
and backlash against their presence in major industrial centers like New York, Boston, and
Québécois Immigrant Experience
The second case study in Theme: Approaches to History explores the experience of Québécois
immigrants in the northeastern United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
From the late 19th century until the beginning of the Great Depression in 1929, close to one million
French­speaking Canadians are estimated to have come to America is search of jobs. This event is
sometimes referred to as the Quebec diaspora.
The rural areas of Quebec were overpopulated, and many families did not have sufficient land to
continue farming. Despite their agrarian background, these French­speakers were primarily drawn to
industrial jobs in New England, because they needed work so badly. Quebeckers became the
primary source of labor in the textile and shoe factories in New England.
The Woman Suffrage Movement and the Nineteenth Amendment
In Theme: Communicating Historical Ideas, you will learn more about the extended fight to win
equal rights for American women—at the ballot box, in the workplace, and in society at large. Our
first case study looks at the woman suffrage movement (1850­1920) and the passage of the
Nineteenth Amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote.
The fight to secure the right to vote for American women was a long and bitter one. Rebuffed by
Congress, which refused to include women in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments’ guarantee
of voting rights for freed slaves, and by the Supreme Court, which ruled in Minor v. Happersett
(1875) that women did not have a constitutionally guaranteed right to vote, advocates for woman
suffrage divided sharply over strategy and tactics. Some chose to fight for an amendment to the
federal constitution, while others looked to win voting rights, one state at a time.
The two approaches merged in the aftermath of World War I. After more than a dozen states had
granted women the right to vote in state and local elections, political pressure for a national
amendment began to build. The fight for woman suffrage came to a successful conclusion in 1920,
when the Nineteenth Amendment won ratification, and all American women finally gained full
voting rights.
The Equal Rights Amendment
The second case study in Theme: Communicating Historical Ideas examines the extended national
debate over the Equal Rights Amendment and its ultimate failure to win ratification.
In 1923, Alice Paul, a prominent feminist and advocate for women’s rights, announced that she
would propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ensure the same rights to women
and men. This seemingly simple proposition nonetheless engendered decades of controversy and
heated debate, and it was not until 1972 that a version of Paul’s Equal Rights Amendment was
finally approved by Congress and sent to the states for ratification.
The debate over ratification played out at a time of tumultuous social change: women entered the
workforce in record numbers, women’s­rights advocates challenged centuries­old symbols of male
privilege, and the Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade (1973), affirmed women’s right to reproductive
choice. While the path to ratification at first seemed clear, ERA opponents, led by conservative
activist Phyllis Schlafly, fought back. Their essential argument—that granting women equal rights
would deprive them of important benefits, including workplace protections—was embraced by
organized labor and by many working­class women.
As national support for the ERA began to flag, Congress extended the deadline for ratification by
three years, but it was not enough. In 1982, the deadline ran out, with the ERA still three states shy
of the 38 needed for ratification. The fight for equal rights had, at least for the time being, fallen
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
The first case study in Theme: Analyzing History looks at the passage of the Voting Rights Act of
1965 and its impact on African­American political participation.
While the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed overt discrimination in public accommodations and
government services, it did not directly address the most fundamental denial of African­American
rights: the concerted effort to prevent African Americans from exercising their right to vote.
President Lyndon Johnson’s landslide election victory in 1964 emboldened him to seek voting­rights
legislation, despite concerns that this would alienate conservative Southern Democrats whose
support was needed to pass Johnson’s Great Society social programs. Television coverage of the
brutal police response to peaceful voting­rights protesters in the South—most notably, the attack on
protesters at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama—galvanized public support for a bill.
Southern opposition in Congress was fierce: opponents waged a 24­day filibuster in the Senate, and
Southerners in the House used every parliamentary tactic they could find to block the legislation.
But it eventually passed and was signed into law on August 6, 1965, with both Martin Luther King
Jr. and Rosa Parks in attendance.
The immediate impact of the Voting Rights Act was a dramatic surge in African­American political
participation, with a commensurate increase in the number of African Americans elected to public
office. In the longer term, the Voting Rights Act contributed to a historic realignment of the two
political parties that has had a profound impact on American politics and society.
School Desegregation in Boston
The second case study in Theme: Analyzing History looks at the issue of school desegregation.
Securing equal educational opportunity was a central goal of the civil rights movement, which
counted its first major victory in Brown v. Board of Education (1954). But translating legal victories
into better and more equal public schools proved to be a painfully difficult task.
In 1974, when federal judge W. Arthur Garrity ordered the Boston public schools to begin the forced
busing of students to achieve racial desegregation, he triggered a wrenching and sometimes violent
public controversy that exposed the racial and class divisions in Boston society. State police and
National Guardsmen were called out to escort African­American students into the previously all­
white high schools in Charlestown and South Boston, setting off a decades­long debate about the
wisdom and efficacy of school busing.
The Cherokee “Trail of Tears”
In Theme: Thinking About History, you will learn more about the long struggle to win equal rights
and equal economic opportunity for Native Americans. Our first case study looks at the forced
relocation of tens of thousands of Cherokee and other Natives from the southeastern U.S. to
Oklahoma in the late 1830s.
In 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, which authorized the federal government to
abrogate the land claims of many Native tribes in the southeastern U.S. Over the next decade the
government removed more than 45,000 Natives to new reservations in Indian Territory, now known
as Oklahoma.
The Cherokee were the last tribe to face removal. Under the Treaty of New Echota (1836), Cherokee
who relocated willingly received payment for their land; about 2,000 took the government up on the
offer. But more than 10,000 others refused, and beginning in 1838, U.S. troops led them on a brutal,
year­long forced march to Oklahoma in which more than 4,000 died.
The Creation of Alaska Native Corporations
The second case study in Theme: Thinking About History examines the creation of Alaska Native
corporations and their impact on the economic development of Alaska’s Native population.
In 1968, oil was discovered at Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s Arctic coast. To move this oil down to
markets in the Lower 48 states, a consortium of oil companies proposed building the Trans­Alaska
Pipeline System, which would carry the oil from Prudhoe Bay to the port of Valdez.
The pipeline would need to traverse land whose ownership was in dispute: Native land claims, many
of them dating back to Alaska’s purchase in 1867, had to be settled before any pipe could be laid.
That urgent economic necessity triggered one of the most innovative economic development efforts
in American history.
To ensure that the pipeline would be built, Congress in 1971 passed the Alaska Native Claims
Settlement Act (ANCSA), which granted Natives $963 million and up to 44 million acres of federal
land, in return for ending their claims on the land where the pipeline was to be built. To administer
these grants, the law set up 12 regional corporations (a 13th was added later) and more than 200
local corporations, which would develop their land and run their own businesses for the benefit of
their Native shareholders.
The express goal of the corporations was to improve the economic well­being of Alaska Natives,
whose living conditions were arguably the worst of any Native group in the country. To date, the
corporations’ record has been mixed: some of the corporations have been highly successful, while
others have performed poorly. But the use of corporations to foster Native economic development
remains one of the nation’s most innovative attempts to improve the lot of Native peoples.
Asking a Research Question
Once you have chosen a basic topic for your historical analysis, you will need to ask a question about
what it is you want to research. A research question is more than an opinion—as the name implies, it
requires a certain amount of research to answer.
How to ask a good question:
1. Conduct preliminary research: You need to have a
certain basis of knowledge about a historical topic
before you ask a question about it. And a good way to
frame your research question is to draw from facts
about the historical event and base your question on
historical premises and things you already know about
the event. From there, you can prove the premises in
your analysis—or attempt to disprove them.
Your first stop as you conduct your preliminary
research should be Shapiro Library. A good place to
Immigrants arriving in the United States.
conduct initial research to choose a topic you are
(Click icon for citation)
interested in, or to narrow down a topic you have in
mind, is with an encyclopedia. Through the Shapiro
Library, you have access to the Credo Reference encyclopedia. This is a great way to get started
with your research, but Credo should not constitute your entire research for your essay.
2. Explore the historical premise and make it explicit: When asking a research question, don’t
assume the audience will take the next logical leap with you. State any assumptions that you might
be including in your research.
3. Break it down into further questions: Yes, you are asking a research question, but it will consist
of many questions that add to your argument.
Example of Forming a Research Question
Consider the following research question:
Did Irish immigration in the 1840s have a positive impact on the U.S.
This question is flawed in many different ways. To begin, it is overly broad: researching the impact of
Irish immigration on the entire U.S. economy could take years. A somewhat better question might be:
Did Irish immigration in the 1840s have a positive impact on the economy of
New York City?
That narrows things down a bit, but it’s still too vague. What does it mean to have a positive impact on
the economy? Let’s be more specific:
Did Irish immigration in the 1840s contribute to the growth of manufacturing
industries in New York City?
We’re getting there, but there are still a few problems. For starters, we’re making an assumption about the
link between immigration and manufacturing; let’s state that assumption, or historical premise, explicitly:
Did the availability of cheap labor, brought about by Irish immigration in the
1840s, contribute to the growth of manufacturing industries in New York City?
A good research question also requires analyzing texts and thinking critically. Your question should have
more than a simple “yes” or “no” answer. If your question can only be answered by a series of facts, then
it is not critical enough.
Critical questions:
Lead to more questions
Require further analysis of text
Provoke further discussion
Moves you outside of your own frame of reference in order to understand issues on a larger scale
Focus on the audience and the message (which you will learn more about later in this course)
The research question we developed above is still one that requires a simple, yes­or­no answer. We need
a question that requires critical thinking—a question that can’t be answered simply:
How did the availability of cheap labor, brought about by Irish immigration in
the 1840s, affect the growth of manufacturing industries in New York City?
This question leads to further questions, such as:
What industries might have benefited from the low­skilled Irish immigrant
labor pool? How did employers’ desire for cheap labor play off against
prevailing anti­Catholic, anti­Irish attitudes?
Video: Historical Thinking
As you consider the topic you would like to research and the question you would like to ask for your
historical analysis essay, you are beginning to think like an historian. As you think critically and ask
critical questions, you are developing skills that will be useful in this course as well as in your future
Thinking historically will not only be important in this course, but it can also be applied to many other
aspects of your life.
Video Transcript: Historical Thinking
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, the philosopher George Santayana
wrote. Well, ok, maybe that’s true, but what does that mean for you? Not repeating the mistakes of
the past is really important if you’re president of the US, or the chancellor of Germany, or a
billionaire technology mogul. But most people aren’t. Why is history important for them? History is
important because it shows us a way of thinking, not only about the past, but about the world
around us. Historical thinking means understanding that the world is complex and there are no
simple answers, that events are interrelated, and changing one thing over here can lead to dozens of
changes over there. That way of thinking will come in handy if you pursue a career in business
consulting on organizational changes, or technology, designing products that solve problems.
Historical thinking means knowing how to find or evaluate different sources of information, and
draw conclusions based on sometimes conflicting evidence. That’s a valuable skill to have for a
lawyer, gathering evidence to defend a client, or a scientist, interpreting the results of an
experiment. Historical thinking means understanding how to look at the world from more than one
perspective, to try on different historical lenses and see how the picture can change when you adjust
your frame of reference. This is important if you’re a novelist or a movie director recounting
multiple perspectives of the same event, or even a counselor mediating a family conflict. Historical
thinking means knowing how to synthesize large amounts of complex information and present it in
a cogent and compelling manner. And that’s a pretty good job description for a journalist reporting
on a breaking news event, or an investment strategist explaining a client’s financial outlook. Long
story short, studying history prepares us to make sense of what’s complicated, to research what we
don’t know and to explain what we do know. It’s not about learning names and dates. It’s about
learning how to think. And knowing how to think is something that will help you achieve your
personal and professional goals.
Framing Research Questions
By now, you should have a general idea of what topic you would like to research. The next step will be
to formulate a research question about your topic. Below are two sample topics. You will begin the
process of conducting an historical event analysis by considering research questions for the sample
topics below.
As you work on this exercise, keep in mind the aspects of a successful research question:
It leads to more questions.
It requires further analysis of text.
It provokes further discussion.
It moves you outside of your own frame of reference in order to understand issues on a larger scale.
It focuses on the audience and the message (which you will learn more about later in this course).
Read the summary of each sample topic carefully and consider what you would like to learn more about
if you were going to write a paper on that topic.
Sample Topic #1: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
On April 14, 1865, five days after the Confederate surrender at Appomattox effectively ended the Civil
War, President Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot as he and his wife were watching a play at Ford’s
Theatre in Washington, DC.
Lincoln’s assassin was John Wilkes Booth, a well­known
actor and Confederate sympathizer. Booth headed a
conspiracy that aimed to decapitate the Union government;
Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State
William Seward, the next two figures in the line of
Presidential succession, were also marked for death that
night, but both survived.
Lincoln’s death had profound implications for post­Civil
War America. In elevating to the Presidency Andrew
Johnson, a poorly educated Southern populist Democrat
who clashed repeatedly with Congressional Republicans
over the course of Reconstruction, it set the stage for
another century of political and legal conflicts over the civil
rights of African Americans.
Sample Topic #2: The Passage of Title IX
Depiction of John Wilkes Booth leaning
forward to shoot President Abraham Lincoln
as he watches Our American Cousin at
Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. (Click
icon for citation)
On June 23, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon signed into law a bill called the Education Amendments
of 1972. One little­noticed section of that bill—called, in accordance with standard legislative
terminology, Title IX (Nine)—addressed the issue of gender discrimination in higher education:
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be
excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or
be subjected to discrimination under any education program
or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Although hardly anyone foresaw it at the time, those 37
words would trigger a revolution in women’s athletics. The
principal intent of Title IX’s sponsors was to prohibit sex
discrimination in programs and activities at any college or
university that received federal funds, but the law’s long­
term effect has been to foster the explosive growth of
women’s sports.
Senator Birch Bayh exercises with Title IX
athletes at Purdue University. (Click icon for
Back in 1972, only about 300,000 girls played high­school and college sports; in 2010, more than three
million did. The clear reason: Title IX and the dramatic expansion of college­level athletic opportunities
that it brought about.
The law has created its share of controversy. Critics claim that, by requiring a proportional increase in
the number of women’s sports programs, the law has forced some schools to compensate by eliminating
non­revenue producing men’s programs, such as wrestling and swimming. Others argue that, as women’s
sports have “gone big time,” more coaching positions have gone to men rather than to women.
What cannot be argued is that Title IX radically changed the nature of women’s athletics in America.
Theme: Approaches to History | Learning Block 1-4: The Irish
Immigrant Experience
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Irish Americans make up the third largest “ancestry group” in the
United States. As of 2014, roughly 33.1 million Americans claimed Irish ancestry—almost eight times
the current population of the Republic of Ireland. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2014)
This learning block uses the Irish immigrant experience as a way to develop historical thinking skills and
further refine your approach to framing a research question.
Learning Objectives
In this learning block, you will:
Analyze how historical events change over time
Develop narrower and more specific research questions
Start the process of asking your research question for your historical essay
U.S. Census Bureau (2014). American FactFinder fact sheet: Selected Social Characteristics in the United States.
Retrieved March 31, 2016 from factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?
Coming to America: The Irish
Most of the Irish who journeyed to America during the colonial era were Protestants from Ulster, the
province (now known as Northern Ireland) that has remained a part of the United Kingdom. These Scots­
Irish immigrants differed in many respects from immigrants from the other Irish provinces, who were
mainly Catholic.
Scots­Irish immigrants in the 18th century were
much like other British colonists: they were not
well­to­do, but most were skilled and fairly well­
educated, and of course, they were Protestant. For
that reason, they had little difficulty assimilating
into American society.
Philadelphia was the major port of entry for the
Scots­Irish, but many eventually settled in the
western territories as frontiersmen. (McCaffrey,
2004) President Andrew Jackson was the child of
Scots­Irish immigrants, and many later Presidents
claimed Scots­Irish ancestry.
(Click icon for citation)
Starting around 1820, however, the nature of Irish immigration to America changed dramatically, as
unprecedented numbers of Catholics from rural Ireland began to make their way across the Atlantic. This
video tells their story:
Video Transcript: Irish Immigration
While some Irish Catholics immigrated to America in the colonial era, the 19th century brought
them in unprecedented numbers. From 1820, the beginning of a huge migration of Irish Catholics
fleeing poverty and religious persecution, through 1860, more than a third of all immigrants to the
US came from Ireland.
The wave or Irish Catholics reached its peak when a catastrophic failure of the potato crop
beginning in 1845 precipitated years of famine that the Irish called the Great Hunger. During the
decade of the 1840s, almost half of all immigrants to America were Irish. All told, an estimated
total of 4.5 million Irish, the great majority of them Catholics, arrived in America between 1820
and 1930.
Unlike the early Scots Irish settlers, many of whom were skilled workers and fairly well­educated,
most Irish Catholic immigrants were desperately poor and had little formal education. Coming from
the most part from rural areas, they were unprepared for urban life and, at least initially, had few
skills suitable for America’s emerging industrial economy.
All of these factors marked the Irish immigrants as different from native­born Americans and
subjected them to prejudice and discrimination. Much of the prejudice directed against the Irish was
rooted in economic and social tensions. Like other immigrant groups before and since, the Irish
competed with native­born Americans for jobs. Their poverty and lack of skill made them willing to
work for low pay, which in turn drove down wages for all workers at the lower end of the economic
A large measure of anti­Irish feeling was also based in religious prejudice. Since early colonial
days, American society had featured a strong anti­Catholic streak. Most of the British colonies had
been founded by dissenting Protestants of various denominations. And most of them enacted laws
limiting the religious freedom and civil rights of Catholics. George Washington, as commanding
general during the revolution, and later as president, strongly promoted religious tolerance for all
But anti­Catholic attitudes persisted and they came to the fore in the 1830s and 1840s, as large
numbers of Irish and German Catholics entered the country. Anti­Catholicism plus nativist
sentiment proved to be a volatile mixture. Protestant mobs burned St. Mary’s church in New York
in 1831 and the Ursuline Convent outside Boston in 1834 and the Philadelphia Bible Riots of 1844
left almost 20 people, both Protestants and Catholics, dead. And prominent Protestant clergymen,
such as Lyman Beecher and Horace Bushnell, attacked the Catholic church as anti­American.
In the mid­1840s anti­immigrant groups began to organize at the local level under a variety of
different names, including the Native American Party, the American Republican Party, and the
Order of the Star Spangled Banner. Nativist supported candidates won city elections in New York
and Philadelphia in 1844. Similar political groups soon formed in other states. Local party
membership was to be kept secret and party members were told to say, “I know nothing” when
asked about the party’s activities. As a result, members came to be known as Know­Nothings.
Know­Nothing candidates were victorious in several northeastern cities, including Boston and
Philadelphia in early 1854. In the fall, Know­Nothings won control of the Governor’s office and
state legislature in Massachusetts. And in 1855, they elected a Know­Nothing mayor in Chicago.
The movement organized itself as a national political party named the American Party in 1855. In
1856 it chose former president Millard Fillmore as its presidential nominee. By then, however, the
Know­Nothing movement was already losing steam. The American Party soon fractured over the
issue of slavery and by 1860 it had ceased to be a political force.
Still, anti­Catholic and nativist sentiment continued to exert a strong influence on American society.
The Ku Klux Klan led a resurgence of anti­Catholic feeling in the 1920s, and it was not until 1960
that an Irish Catholic, John F. Kennedy, would win the presidency.
The Irish and the Civil War
Much of the anti­Catholic bias that confronted Irish­American immigrants focused on the figure of
the Pope. To many nativist Americans, the idea that Catholic immigrants professed allegiance to a
foreign­born religious leader raised serious doubts about whether they could ever be “truly”
American. The advent of the War Between the States created an opportunity for the Irish immigrant
community to “prove” its Americanism—to demonstrate loyalty to its adopted country, and by so
doing, put the lie to the assertions of Know­Nothings and other nativists, who saw the Irish as unfit
to be called American.
Most Irish Catholics had settled in the industrial North, and many were quick to express their
support for the Union cause. Barely a week after the attack on Fort Sumter that sparked the
hostilities, thousands of Irish Americans gathered at a rally in New York’s Union Square, cheering
on Major Robert Anderson and other Union defenders of Sumter. Urged on by Catholic bishops
such as New York’s John Hughes and Boston’s John Fitzpatrick, thousands of Irish enlisted in the
Union Army. (Samito, 2011)
Many of these enlistees joined all­Irish “heritage
units” led by Irish­American officers. The Army’s
“Irish Brigade” included New York’s Famous
“Fighting 69th” Regiment, which distinguished
itself during the Seven Days Battles, and the
Massachusetts Ninth Volunteers, which fought at
Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. The well­
publicized heroics of these and other all­Irish units
helped establish the “Americanism” of the Irish­
American community and contributed significantly
to the process of Irish assimilation. (Samito, 2011)
Some Irish­American soldiers segued naturally into
politics after the war; Brigadier General Thomas
Francis Meagher, commander of the Irish Brigade,
was later governor of the Montana Territory.
Depiction of the aftermath of the New York
Draft Riots. (Click icon for citation)
But even as the Irish were fighting to preserve the Union, many balked at the goal of abolishing
slavery. Since first arriving in America in great numbers, Irish immigrants had frequently found
themselves competing economically with free African Americans. Tensions between the two
communities, both struggling on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder, had flared into
violence on several occasions before the war, including the Cincinnati riots of 1829 and 1841.
(Osofsky, 1975)
The New York Draft Riots
In 1863, economic tensions were exacerbated by the fear, common among Irish immigrants and
other working­class whites, that President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation would lead many
freed African Americans to move to the North and compete with them for jobs. At the same time,
resentment over the newly instituted military draft—from which African Americans were exempt,
and which wealthy whites could avoid by paying a $300 fee—festered among the Irish working
The drawing of draft numbers was scheduled to take place in New York City in July. On July 13—
less than two weeks after the Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg—rioters attacked the
building where the drawing was taking place. Police were unable to restore order, and what began
as a protest against the draft quickly turned into a four­day race riot. Federal troops, coupled with
the state militia, eventually quelled the mob, but the “Draft Riots” left an estimated 120 people dead
and another 2,000 injured.
Even as the Civil War provided the Irish­American community with an avenue toward assimilation,
the Draft Riots and their aftermath led to lingering tension and distrust between the Irish and
African American communities. (Hauptman, 2003)
Political Mobilization
Even before the Civil War, Irish Catholics sought to protect their community and assert their strength by
organizing politically. Most Irish identified with the Democratic Party, and their growing numbers
allowed Democratic political machines to dominate many major cities, including New York, Boston,
Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco, in the late 1800s. Irish­American political bosses retained
power in many cities through the Great Depression of the 1930s, and in some cases, well beyond that.
These local political machines provided many valuable social services
at a time when state and local governments did not. They helped
immigrants—originally mostly Irish, but as time passed, newcomers
from many other lands as well—become citizens and find jobs, and
they would often help out with money or food in times of need.
But many of the political machines of the late 19th and early 20th
centuries were notorious—and rightly so—as hotbeds of graft and
corruption. In New York City, the Democratic machine led by Boss
William M. Tweed embezzled between $40 million and $100 million
in just five years, and similar (though smaller­scale) corruption
flourished in many other cities.
The emergence of government­provided social services, beginning in
the Great Depression, displaced the local machines and helped
contribute to their eventual demise. Still, the big­city political
machines of the late 19th and early 20th centuries unquestionably
eased the burdens for millions of immigrants and helped them find
their place in American society.
New York’s “Boss” Tweed was
depicted as a vulture in this
cartoon by Thomas Nast. (Click
icon for citation)
With the passage of time, the Irish have assimilated fully into American society and culture. While the
Irish immigrants of the 19th century were poor and ill­educated, today’s Irish Americans as a group rank
well above the national averages for household income and educational attainment. (U.S. Census Bureau,
Ackerman, K. (2005) Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New
York. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers.
Cook, A. (1974) The Armies of the Streets: The New York City Draft Riots of 1863. Lexington, KY: University Press
of Kentucky.
Hauptman, L. (2003) “John E. Wool and the New York City Draft Riots of 1863: A Reassessment.” Civil War
History Vol. 49, Issue 4, 370 ­ 87.
McCaffrey, L. (2004) “Ireland and Irish America: Connections and Disconnections.” U.S Catholic Historian Vol.
22, No. 3, 1 ­ 18 Retrieved from www.jstor.org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/stable/pdf/25154917.pdf?
Mulkern, J. (1990). The Know­Nothing Party in Massachusetts: The Rise and Fall of a People’s Movement.Boston:
Northeastern University Press.
Ososfsky, G. (1975). “Abolitionists, Irish Immigrants, and the Dilemmas of Romantic Nationalism.” The American
Historical Review, Vol. 80, No. 4 (Oct., 1975), 889­912.
Samito, C. (2011). Becoming American under Fire: Irish Americans, African Americans, and the Politics of
Citizenship During the Civil War Era. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Schrag, P. (2010, September 13). The Unwanted: Immigration and Nativism in America. Retrieved from
U.S. Census Bureau (2014). American FactFinder fact sheet: Selected Population Profile in the United States.
Retrieved April 8, 2016 from factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?
Exercise: Further Readings
As you begin research for your historical analysis essay, you will encounter secondary sources, such as
scholarly journals and periodicals. The following passage is from a scholarly journal article that looks at
possible job discrimination against the Irish in Major League Baseball during the 1880s. Read the
passage and then answer the question following it, keeping in mind the historical concept of change over
The passage below is excerpted from “Anti­Irish Job Discrimination circa 1880: Evidence from Major
League Baseball”, pages 409 to 410 and 415 to 416. Click on the title of the article to read, download,
and print a copy of the text. These readings are provided by the Shapiro Library. This reading is
required. You will have to log into Shapiro Library with your SNHU credentials to access this article.
The Famine Irish
From about 1846 to the early 1850s Ireland was beset by a series of disastrous failures of the potato
crop, a staple for poor peasants in the rural western and southern counties. One outcome was an
estimated 1.1 to 1.5 million deaths from starvation and related diseases, roughly 15 percent of the
country’s pre­ famine population (Kenny 2000: 89). Another was a mass exodus, primarily to the
United States. About 1.5 million Irish entered the United States from 1846 to 1855, by far the
largest immigrant wave up to that time. This was 45.6 percent of total U.S. immigration in the
1840s and 35.2 percent in the 1850s (ibid.: 90). The wave subsided after the mid­1850s (Hatton and
Williamson 1993: 596).
The famine immigrants tended to settle in large northeastern cities, often the ports where their
transporting ships landed. In 1850, 37 percent of the U.S. Irish­born population lived in cities of
25,000 or more, compared to just under 9 percent of the general population (Kenny 2000: 105). In
1870, 44.5 percent of the Irish­born lived in the 50 largest cities (ibid.). They remained in these
alien urban environments partly because they had no money to move inland and partly because their
experience back home as farm laborers and small­scale tenant farmers had not prepared them for
success in American agriculture. Once settled, Irish immigrants quickly discovered that their rural,
underdeveloped homeland had provided very little in the way of industrial experience or skill,
forcing them to the bottom of the occupational hierarchy (Laurie et al. 1975: 240). The result was a
concentration of the Irish in big­city tenement slums.
All these circumstances made the Irish quite conspicuous and worked against their rapid
assimilation. William H. A. Williams (1996: 1) writes: “Irish Catholics were in many respects the
first ‘ethnic’ group in America . . . the first immigrant group to arrive in extremely large numbers, to
gain high visibility by clustering in cities . . . , and to appear sufficiently ‘different’ in religion and
culture so that acceptance by native­born Americans was not automatic, and assimilation was,
therefore, prolonged.” Although most spoke English in addition to their native Irish (Gaelic), this
was insufficient to overcome their various disadvantages.
The native­born U.S. population reacted in part by developing negative Irish stereotypes similar to
those associated with bigotry toward African Americans. The long history of English domination of
Ireland already had planted notions of Irish inferiority that English immigrants had brought with
them in the two centuries before the famine exodus. In fact, the Irish generally were viewed as a
separate “race,” although the term would hardly be applied to Irish Americans today. The basic
elements of the stereotype were innate low intelligence, unreliability, laziness, and (for males) a
penchant for drunkenness and fighting. Newspaper and magazine cartoonists of the era often
portrayed the Irish with simian features. They were regularly characterized as racially inferior to
Americans of Anglo­Saxon origin, even in the pages of respectable intellectual periodicals (Kenny
2006: 366; Lee 2006: 25).
In contrast, the other main non­English immigrant group of the period, the Germans (Cohn 1995),
assimilated much more easily. While language was a problem, they were more highly educated and
skilled than the Irish. In 1860 German men were most highly concentrated in skilled crafts, in
contrast to the Irish, who were disproportionately made up of unskilled laborers (Conley and
Galenson 1998: 471). Also, German immigrants had been preceded by numerous fellow
“countrymen” during the previous century who had paved the way by establishing themselves
economically and socially in America. The stereotypical German was hardworking, disciplined,
earnest, and frugal (Gerlach 2002: 39). While the famine Irish had been preceded by a steady
stream of Scots­Irish, starting in the early 1700s these non­Gaelic Protestants from the north of
Ireland were a distinct group (Chepesiuk 2000). They generally settled in inland rural areas (e.g.,
Appalachia and the southern Piedmont), and where the two groups coexisted, the Scots­Irish were
often antagonistic toward the new immigrants.
The Irish ballplayers circa 1880, during our study period, were mainly the sons of the famine
immigrants. While assimilation had clearly begun by this time, it was hardly complete. For
example, Kerby A. Miller (1985: 492) notes: “Between 1870 and 1921 Irish­Americans emerged
from the near ubiquitous poverty and crippling prejudice of the Famine decades. The process was
slow, halting, and incomplete even by 1921.” Negative stereotypes lingered after the turn of the
twentieth century, and the popular press continued to portray the Irish with simian features at least
into the 1890s.
Early Professional Baseball
The origin of major­league baseball is usually identified with the 1876 founding of the National
League (NL), which has operated continuously to the present day. It joined with the American
League in 1903 to form modern Major League Baseball (MLB). The NL’s basic business model and
operating format at its inception were essentially the same as those of modern professional baseball,
as were most playing rules.
There were, however, some important differences circa 1880. First, league membership typically
changed from year to year (see Eckard 2005). For example, by 1881 only Boston and Chicago
remained of the original eight NL clubs. During 1876­83, 18 cities were represented. The NL had
eight teams in each of these years except 1877 and 1878, when it had six.
A second difference was the entry of independent major leagues. In 1882 the American Association
(AA) began play, recognized then and now as a second major league. The AA fielded six teams in
its first year and eight in its second. It lasted for a decade before merging with the NL in 1892. In
1884 the Union Association (UA) claimed major status, although it lasted but a single season. It
was highly unstable with several midseason failures. Including replacements, 13 cities were
involved in its eight­team circuit. In response to this entry, the AA expanded to 12 teams for 1884
but with one failure and replacement also included 13 cities. Thus the total number of major­league
teams more than doubled from 16 in 1883 to a still record 34 in 1884, with a concurrent significant
dilution of player quality.
The season lasted from April to October, nearly as long as today, but fewer games were scheduled.
During 1876­83 the number varied from only 60 (1877 and 1878) to 98 (1883), spread more or less
evenly over the six­month season. Major­league clubs augmented their “championship” schedule
with exhibition games against independent teams. An important difference in playing rules is that
midgame player substitutions were allowed only in the case of injury. Thus there was no pinch­
hitting, pinch­running, or late­game defensive substitution. Nor was there relief pitching as we
know it today. A pitcher removed for poor performance had to trade positions with another player
already in the game who could also pitch (called a “change” pitcher). But this seldom occurred;
pitchers usually completed over 90 percent of their starts. Partly for this reason, circa 1880 pitchers
were used much more intensively than today, with teams relying primarily on only one or two
pitchers for the entire season. Also, pitchers often played in the field in games in which they did not
For all these reasons, rosters seldom had more than a dozen players at any one time, fewer than half
the number on modern MLB teams. Clubs often took only 10 men on road trips plus a nonplaying
agent of the owners responsible for general supervision and business matters. Player salaries circa
1880 varied roughly from $500 to $2,500, comparable to the wages of skilled craftsmen and many
white­collar workers (see Voigt 1983: 56­57, 81). Contracts were typically for a single year, and
contrary to myth, “revolving” or contract jumping among major­league teams was virtually
nonexistent (Eckard 2001).
The first successful attempt by NL owners to limit competition for players was the partial reserve
system introduced in 1880, applying to five players per team. Owners agreed among themselves not
to bid for players reserved by other teams. But in 1880 and 1881 a few significant independent
clubs still competed for top players (Eckard 2005: 127­28), undermining the resulting monopsony
power. The nascent reserve system collapsed in 1882, when the entry of the AA caused a bidding
war for players. In 1883 the AA and the NL agreed on a joint system, although it worked
imperfectly before collapsing again with the 1884 entry of the UA.
If you’re interested in reading more about the Irish immigrant experience on your own, you might also be
interested in these optional readings:
Abolitionists, Irish Immigrants, and the Dilemmas of Romantic Nationalism: An article on the
frictions between Irish immigrants and African Americans and the reluctance of many Irish to
support the abolition of slavery. You can read it at this link.
Ethnic Diversity and Democratic Stability: The Case of Irish Americans: An analysis of the
involvement of Irish immigrants in 19th­century Democratic machine politics. You can read it at this
Theme: Approaches to History | Learning Block 2-1: The Québécois
Immigrant Experience
Historical context helps students of history understand the importance
of an event and the relationship of that event to other parts of history.
Context can often be the most engaging part of studying history,
because it tells a certain narrative. In order to gain a better
understanding of one event, you have to know more about the time and
place in which it occurred.
Before moving forward in this learning block, refresh your memory
about the aspects of historical thinking that you were introduced to in
Learning Block 1­2.
This learning block uses the experience and context of French­
Canadian (or Québécois) immigrants in the United States to explore
the importance of cultural context and the challenges of maintaining a
cultural identity in spite of outside resistance.
Learning Objectives
(Click icon for citation)
In this learning block, you will:
Learn more about historical context through the case study of Québécois immigrants in the late 19th
and early 20th centuries
Practice studying a historical event through different historical lenses
Match research questions with specific historical lenses
Coming to America: The Québécois
From the late 19th century until the beginning of the
Great Depression in 1929, an estimated one million
French­speaking Canadians came to America in search
of jobs, an event sometimes referred to as the Quebec
diaspora. Also known as Québécois (or Quebeckers, in
English), this population of French­speaking people
was drawn to America by the promise of industrial
jobs in New England. This group was initially slow to
assimilate because of the language barrier and the fact
that most of them were Catholic, in contrast to the
predominantly Protestant populations of Maine,
Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
A Québécois family arriving from Montreal, 1913.
(Click icon for citation)
Québécois were able to enter the United States easily
during this time period because the border was open.
Before 1895, immigration officials did not even monitor the border between the United States and
Canada, so numbers of Québécois immigrants during this period are only estimates. When the U.S.
imposed immigration quotas in 1921, Canadians were exempt. It was not until the system changed
almost half a century later that Canadians would be subject to immigration quotas; 1968 was the first
year in which Canadians were required to get visas in order to permanently relocate to this country.
(Kelly, 2013)
Historical Context
In 1870, the city of Lowell, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, was the second largest textile
manufacturing city in the United States. Three out of four working people in Lowell earned a living in
the textile factories. At that time, six percent of the population of the city was Canadian. By 1900, that
number jumped to 16 percent, because of the increased immigration of Québécois to the area. (Early,
Lowell is just one example of the rapid migration of
Québécois from Quebec to the northeastern United States.
This migration was spurred in part because of the
overpopulation of rural areas in Quebec, high birthrates, and
poverty in the rural farming areas of Quebec. All of these
changes meant that participants in the older, rural economies
and social structures did not have sufficient land to continue
that way of life as urban development spread. A recession in
Quebec in the early 1920s also meant Québécois needed to
look elsewhere for work.
Immigrant Experience
Lowell, MA, mills on the Merrimack River.
(Click icon for citation)
In 1870 and the years following, quality of life for Québécois in Lowell and the rest of New England was
not desperate, but it was bleak. They came to the United States for jobs, which is what they found. They
spoke French and initially found it hard to communicate. Despite their predominantly rural farming
backgrounds, the Québécois went where jobs were plentiful but often undesirable. This usually meant
they ended up in the industrial centers of New England.
Due to this influx of immigrants, Québécois replaced the Irish as the primary source of unskilled labor in
the United States after the Civil War. (Early, 1977) The textile mills and shoe factories of the Northeast
needed reliable, cheap labor in order to keep up with the manufacturing boom during this time period.
Mill owners even traveled to Quebec to recruit more labor because it was in such high demand.
Very few immigrants in Lowell, MA and other cities at this time owned land, and most of them lived in
overcrowded tenement houses. They had very little to eat, and they were not adequately clothed for the
harsh winters, because of their extreme poverty. Québécois women and children over the age of 10 were
overwhelmingly employed in working­class laborer positions, usually in the textile factories. (Richard,
2009) A typical working day in the factory was 12 hours long, leaving little time for food preparation or
properly tending to children (Early, 1977).
Québécois immigrants distinguished themselves not only by the language they spoke but also by the
religion they practiced. The Catholic Church was instrumental in helping Québécois adjust to life in New
England. The establishment of a French Catholic parish in Lowell in 1868 meant that new immigrants
had a familiar place to go when they reached their new home. (Early, 1977) The priests of these parishes
operated as intermediaries between the rest of the town and the Québécois communities, often called
“Little Canadas.” They also formed their own charitable organizations to provide help for fellow
immigrants who needed it, so they would not be forced to request government assistance.
Some towns in the Northeast had populations that were majority Québécois—because once families were
settled in one place, other family members followed behind. Towns such as Woonsocket, Rhode Island
and Biddeford, Maine were almost 60 percent Québécois by 1900. Crowded, dingy tenement housing
was prevalent in the industrial factory towns where most Québécois settled, which meant that these
communities were especially important to these settlers. Their homes no longer enjoyed the fresh open
air of farmland that they enjoyed in Canada.
Their Roman Catholic faith, the French language, and the formation of their own neighborhoods made
Québécois and their descendants targets of the Ku Klux Klan in Protestant New England. By 1920, half
of the population in the industrial center of Lewiston, Maine was Québécois, most of whom were
Catholic. (Richard, 2009) The Ku Klux Klan’s nativist ideas and religious prejudice—most were
Protestant—led them to target the Québécois in the area.
Membership to the Klan in Maine skyrocketed as the Protestants in the state rallied to take back what
they believed belonged to them. They attempted to assert their control over the communities they felt
were being threatened. Leaders of the Klan in the state spoke out against any ethnic groups that brought
religions other than Protestantism to the area. They warned that if Catholics became involved in politics
in the area, the offices would be tainted by foreign influence.
In Dexter, Maine, in 1924, Protestants and Catholics grew increasingly intolerant of each other. One
activist priest told members of his congregation to boycott any establishments run by Klan sympathizers,
and in return, Protestants refused to support Catholic merchants. During this time, the Klan burned a
cross on a hill in Dexter, Catholics heckled Protestants, and members of each side resorted to violence by
throwing rocks at each other and brandishing weapons. Although the Franco­American community in the
town attempted to thwart the efforts of Klan, Protestant candidates still swept the elections in town that
year. (Richard, 2009)
Some people were resistant to the presence of these immigrants because they thought they were
uninterested in assimilating into American culture. Public officials in places like Lowell argued that the
availability of cheap immigrant labor was driving wages down. The KKK’s hostility towards the
Québécois is just one example of the persecution they faced because of their religion, language, and
cultural differences.
Despite the initial cultural and language barriers the Québécois faced in the United States, over time their
experience successfully became a piece of this country’s history. They contributed to the U.S. economy
at a time when cheap labor was necessary to power the transition to a new landscape of factories and
manufacturing after the Industrial Revolution.
The Québécois were not only instrumental in the success of the manufacturing boom, but many of them
also served in both World Wars for the United States. Many notable Americans are descendants of
Québécois immigrants. Jack Kerouac, author of On the Road, was born to Québécois parents in Lowell,
MA, for example.
Rene Gagnon, one of the men pictured raising the flag at Iwo Jima,
was born to Québécois immigrant parents who worked at a shoe
factory in Manchester, NH. (Kelly, 2013)
Early, F.H. (1977). Mobility potential and the quality of life in working­class Lowell, Massachusetts: The Québécois
ca. 1870. Labour/Le Travail, 2, 214­228. Retrieved from: http://doi.org/10.2307/25139903
Early, F.H. (1982). The rise and fall of Felix Albert: Some reflections on the aspirations of habitant immigrants to
Lowell, Massachusetts in the late nineteenth century. In R.B. Breton & P. Savard (Eds.), The Quebec and
Acadian diaspora in North America. Toronto: The Multicultural History Society of Ontario. Retrieved
from: http://www.ourroots.ca/page.aspx?id=3759200&qryID=95b27876­a070­4a25­93c4­39f668d97143
Richard, M.P. (2009). This is not a Catholic nation: The Ku Klux Klan confronts Franco­Americans in Maine. The
New England Quarterly, 82 (2), 285­303. Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25652009
Exercise: Further Readings
As you begin research for your historical analysis essay, you will encounter secondary sources, such as
scholarly journals and periodicals. The following passage is excerpted from a scholarly journal article by
historian Frances Early called “Mobility Potential and the Quality of Life in Working­Class Lowell,
Massachusetts”, pages 214 to 218. This article examines the quality of life of Québécois immigrants in
Massachusetts during the late 19th century.
Click on the title of the article to read, download, and print a copy of the text. These readings are
provided by the Shapiro Library. This reading is required. You will have to log into Shapiro Library with
your SNHU credentials to access this article.
As you read the passage, keep in mind the concept of historical context. You will need to choose a
sentence or passage that illustrates this concept for your discussion board posting. Click on the
highlighted section that serves as an example and explanation of what context the information can
provide for readers who are unfamiliar with this time period.
Mobility Potential and the Quality of Life in Working­Class Lowell, Massachusetts
Lowell, at the close of the American Civil War in 1865, was a major industrial town and center for
textile production. Only Fall River, Massachusetts, exceeded Lowell in the production of textiles in
the United States in this period. Almost 40 percent of Lowell’s workforce was engaged in
manufacturing and mechanical industries, mostly related to textile production. Although 65 percent
of Lowell’s populace of 41,000 was native­born in 1870, the majority of workers in the textile
industry were drawn from the various, largely English­speaking immigrant groups resident in
Lowell at this time: 22 percent of the total population was Irish, 4 percent was English, and 3
percent was from Scotland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island,
and “other.” In addition, in 1870, 6 percent of Lowell’s citizenry was Canadian, in large measure
Lowell attracted many working­class people in the immediate post­Civil War years. In its annual
report for the year 1866 the Ministry­at­Large of Lowell, a non­denominational charity
organization, noted with consternation that in the past two years over 10,000 persons, many of
whom were “utterly destitute,” had entered the city in search of work. Many of the persons arriving
in Lowell were “wretchedly poor” working­class people from other New England cities who were
attempting to “better their condition.” The report continued with a statement that a significant
portion of the newcomers were Québécois. They were described in a highly unflattering manner:
“They are nearly all Catholic, do not speak English, are in a low, sensual condition of life, and are
less disposed than others to improve themselves. They are not so accessible to our influence. Not
mingling freely with society, they do not catch the dominant spirit. The great hope is with the
children, who, in our common schools, are readily acquiring our language and adopting our ideas
and feelings, and will become teachers to their parents.”
The Ministry­at­Large evidently accepted, albeit grudgingly, that the French­Canadian influx into
Lowell was not a temporary phenomenon. In this, the report was correct. In 1865 only a handful,
perhaps 100 Québécois, resided in Lowell. By 1868 the number was around 1200. A brief two years
later, in 1870, the approximate number of Québécois living in Lowell was 2000, 5 percent of the
Lowell population of 41,000. In the next three decades the French­Canadian population would
increase to 15,000, accounting in 1900 for about 16 percent of the 95,000 residents of the city.
The French­Canadian presence in Lowell in the latter part of the nineteenth century was part of a
larger pattern of migration. Between 1860 and 1900 approximately 600,000 Québécois migrated to
New England. By 1900 one in every ten New Englanders or about 575,000 persons, was of French­
Canadian stock. Roughly one in every four French Quebecers was living in New England in 1900.
Québécois abandoned their homeland for economic reasons: the rural system could no longer
provide livelihoods for many farmers’ sons and Quebec industry was undeveloped. Soil depleting
farming methods combined with repeated subdivision of lands among the offspring of the large
French­Canadian families had by mid­century destroyed the viability of the traditional Quebec
agricultural system. Although Quebec land was available for colonization, this alternative was
largely unsuccessful as most virgin farm land was located in remote areas of Quebec with
inadequate transportation facilities. To a large extent, therefore, Québécoiss had little choice but to
migrate. As noted in the report of the Seventh Census of Canada (1931), Québécois were forced to
settle in New England in this period “not in quest of a higher standard of living but to avoid a
The economic and demographic factors which pushed Québécois out of Quebec were
complemented by similar factors which favored their settlement in New England. Southern New
England was by 1865 experiencing rapid economic growth. Industrialization, well under way by the
1860s, created a stiff demand for workers in the textile and boot and shoe industries. Laborers were
also needed in building construction and in canal and railroad work. The native and Irish­immigrant
labor force present in New England in 1865 could not meet the labor demands of industry. In
increasing numbers, therefore, Québécois responded to the lack of economic opportunity in Quebec
by moving to industrial centers like Lowell in New England to procure work.
This sentence explains why people in Quebec needed to look elsewhere for work, because
their rural way of life was threatened by farming methods and overuse of land.
If you are interested in reading more scholarly articles about the Québécois immigrant experience, they
are linked below. These readings are optional, but they provide more context for the case study in this
learning block.
The Family Networks and Geographic Mobility of Québécois Immigrants in Early­Twentieth­
Century Lowell, Massachusetts: A study of the movement of Québécois immigrants between 1900
and 1920 and an examination of the importance of kinship and family ties to migration patterns. You
can read it at this link.
This Is Not a Catholic Nation: An analysis of the role of the Ku Klux Klan in Maine during the
early 20th century and its resistance to Franco­American Catholics in the state. You can read it at
this link.
Early, F.H. (1977). Mobility potential and the quality of life in working­class Lowell, Massachusetts: The Québécois
ca. 1870. Labour/Le Travail, 2, 214­228. Retrieved from: http://doi.org/10.2307/25139903
Theme: Approaches to History | Learning Block 2-2: Primary and
Secondary Sources
Historians use a variety of sources in their research. In order to begin your historical analysis, you will
need to familiarize yourself with the types of sources available to you. As you do your research in the
Shapiro Library, you will encounter many different types of sources, which can generally be grouped
into two different categories: primary sources and secondary sources.
You should use scholarly sources in your historical analysis. Scholarly sources are books, periodicals,
and reference materials that are written for the purpose of supporting and advancing scholarly research
rather than general interest in a topic. Scholarly sources address a narrow topic in either a book­length or
an article­length format.
As you gather and evaluate sources and encounter new information, be sure to keep an open mind. You
will certainly have some initial opinions as you begin your analysis, but it is okay to change your
position in light of new evidence and arguments you encounter while researching. In fact, failing to keep
an open mind can have undesirable consequences. Too stubbornly committing yourself to a particular
viewpoint too early in the writing process may cause you to ignore compelling counter­evidence or to
use sources that are not credible or compelling.
Learning Objectives
In this learning block, you will:
Learn what primary sources and secondary sources are
Distinguish between the two types of sources
Understand the benefits of incorporating each type of source into your writing plan and historical
event analysis
Get recommendations for where to find these resources
Primary Sources
A primary source is a source directly related to a historical topic by time period or participation in the
event. Primary sources include letters, speeches, diaries, newspaper articles, photographs, paintings, and
oral histories, to name a few. Primary sources are created by someone who was a participant in, or
witness to, the historical event you are studying. A primary source can take many different forms, but
what is important is that it is defined by its direct relation to the historical event being researched.
For example, let’s say you were examining the New York Draft Riots of 1863 as an example of ethnic
and racial tension in America in the 19th century. Primary sources might include pictures of participants,
political cartoons depicting the event, newspaper articles about the riots, and firsthand accounts of what
A depiction of the destruction of an orphanage for African­American children during the draft riots,
which was published in Harper’s Weekly in August of 1863. (Click icon for citation)
A cartoon depicting the New York Draft Riots by Joel Tyler Headly. (Click icon for citation)
The cover of sheet music for the “Know Nothing Polka.” (Click icon for citation)
A political cartoon depicting two white men about to beat a black man. The caption reads “HOW TO
ESCAPE THE DRAFT.” This image was published in Harper’s Weekly in August of 1863. (Click icon
for citation)
Importance of Primary Sources
Primary sources give you a glimpse into the past, so that you can see history with your own eyes.
Firsthand accounts and documents can make history feel more real, and they give you an opportunity to
draw your own conclusions about historical events. Primary sources also help develop your critical
thinking skills as you analyze the sources, and they require other knowledge of the event, as primary
sources are often incomplete.
Studying primary sources allows you to examine any potential biases surrounding an event and how the
point of view may affect an eyewitness account. By looking at primary sources, you can draw
conclusions about historical events for yourself, rather than relying on someone else’s interpretation.
Finding Primary Sources
Shapiro Library has many suggestions for digital collections that include primary sources such as
photographs, manuscripts, and documents. Additionally, there are many other resources available
online, which are listed below.
Primary Source Sets: This collection from the Library of Congress provides primary source
sets for selected key topics in American History.
100 Milestone Documents: From the National Archives, this collection includes documents that
chronicle American history from 1776 to 1965. Original and transcribed copies are both
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC): This database includes
photographs, drawings, prints, and drawings that represent close to 95% of the holdings in the
Library of Congress.
Smithsonian Source: A collection of primary sources from the Smithsonian Institute that can be
searched by keyword, topic, or type of source.
These resources will be valuable as you begin to research the historical topic for your writing plan
and your essay. You will learn more about searching for and examining primary sources in Theme:
Communicating Historical Ideas. For now, you need to know what a primary source is and start
thinking about what primary sources might be helpful in your historical event analysis.
Secondary Sources
A secondary source summarizes, evaluates, or otherwise informs you about primary sources. Secondary
sources include scholarly journal articles, books, and other periodicals. Most of the sources you will find
in the Shapiro Library, such as journal articles and books written by historians, will be secondary
Secondary sources give you an idea of what others have
written about a topic and what arguments historians have
made about certain issues. This context will be important to
know when writing your historical analysis, so that you can
compare and contrast your argument to existing material.
Types of Secondary Sources
Authors of secondary sources create their own interpretation
or narrative of events based on primary source documents.
Below are some examples of secondary sources that you might find when researching your historical
event analysis.
Some examples of secondary sources you might find during your research in Shapiro Library:
Journal articles: Scholarly journals are a great resource for shorter historical analyses. These essays
will give you an idea of what arguments already exist surrounding your topic.
Popular periodicals: Magazines and newspapers can provide context for the historical event you
choose. For example, editorial pieces can reveal how people felt about certain events, either when
they happened on in retrospect.
Monographs: These books deal with narrow topics or an aspect of a topic, such as a specific time
period in American history.
Reference books, such as Encyclopedia Britannica, and reference websites, such as Wikipedia,
provide basic information about your topic for you to use as a cursory reference. These reference
books and websites may give direction as to where to look for academic resources (people, places,
events to research for example), but they are not in and of themselves a valid academic resource.
They should not be used for critical research and should not be referenced in your paper. You
should use Shapiro Library as the starting point for all your research.
Graphic: Types of Sources
To determine whether or not a source is a primary or secondary source, you need to assess its
relationship to the historical event you are analyzing. If it was created by a participant directly involved
in the event, then it is a primary source. If it was created by someone who was not directly involved, it is
a secondary source. It is possible for a primary source for one historical event to be a secondary
source for another event.
Theme: Approaches to History | Learning Block 2-3: Searching for
Through the Shapiro Library, you have access to peer­reviewed journal articles and other academic
periodicals. However, wading through them requires some savvy searching. While you may typically use
an Internet search engine like Google to search for everyday topics, you should use SNHU’s Shapiro
Library when researching in this course and others. Knowing how to search the databases effectively will
not only be useful as you start researching your historical event analysis but also in other courses you
take at SNHU.
Learning Objectives
In this learning block, you will:
Learn about the different ways to search databases for sources
Practice developing search terms for the sources that will be used in your historical event analysis
Effective Searching
With all of the resources at your disposal, it might be overwhelming to start searching for information
about your chosen topic. Utilizing these search strategies will ensure that you are not wasting your time
searching through resources that you cannot use in your analysis.
Keyword searching
This type of searching is the one that you are probably most familiar with, since it uses “natural
language.” When you enter a phrase into Google or a similar search engine, you are using natural
language. Keywords are used to search through content to find certain themes and ideas.
When searching for your topic, try out different combinations of words and phrases. Don’t worry if
your initial search yields irrelevant or insufficient results. Try multiple keywords, different
combinations, and synonyms.
You can find more helpful information about keyword searching through the Shapiro Library at this
Subject searching
Subject searching allows you to search by categories within a database or online catalog. Subject
terms are predefined within a database. You can usually find the subjects of an article or periodical
under the “info” tab.
This method of searching is most effective after you have found a useful resource on your topic and
find which subject search terms are associated with that resource. Subject searching allows you to
broadly search for sources on a topic. Since the subjects are assigned to each articles within a
specific database, results will vary from one database to another.
You can find more helpful information about subject searching through the Shapiro Library at this
Boolean searching
Boolean searching uses Boolean operators to search with more precision. The most common
Boolean operators are AND, OR, and NOT. These words help search engines broaden or narrow
search results.
AND: Tells the search engine that you want to find information about two or more search terms.
The search engine will only bring back results that include both or all of your search terms.
OR: Tells the search engine that you want information about either of the search terms you entered.
Using OR will broaden your search results because the search engine will return any results that
have either (or any) of your search terms in them.
NOT: Tells the search engine that you want to find information about the search term but not the
second one. This method will narrow your search results.
Using Boolean operators helps make connections between keywords when you are searching to
yield more specific results. This is a good method to use in conjunction with keyword searching.
During this learning block, you will devise relevant search terms for your topic that you will use in
your research. This will continue the process of drafting the writing plan for your historical event
analysis essay, which you will submit at the end of Theme: Approaches to History, Learning Block 2­
Video Transcript: Keyword Searches
Selecting effective keywords will generate the best source results for your research paper.
Begin by stating your research topic or question. For example: The importance of the Battle of
Next identify major concepts related to the topic or question. For example: Battle of Gettysburg,
Civil War, Civil War Battles.
Next, identify keywords based on concepts. For example: Battle of Gettysburg, Civil War, Civil
War Battles, Important Civil War Battles
Then assess the keywords. Are they too general? In this case, no. Are they related to the topic? In
this case, yes.
If you need ideas for more …

Purchase answer to see full

primary sources

Boolean operations

types of primary and secondary sources

Equal Salary Law of 1963

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